Last week in Iceland has been truly magnificent. Despite some proper arctic conditions in the north and some very cold and windy weather throughout western Iceland most rivers are now reporting strong runs of fish on every tide. Looking over the season as a whole so far it is running approximately two weeks late and the east coast is struggling due to very cold water temperatures. However water conditions are looking very good across the country as the snow pack is still topping up the rivers. We have at last seen a little rain as well which will help in maintaining level positions.
The last few days on days on Midfjardará have been nothing less than extraordinary. The weather has been really cold and windy but we are delighted to report the fish don´t seem to care. The river just broke 1,000 salmon landed this morning with the last few days producing 80 – 90 fish per day. Yesterday 100 fish were landed to the ten rods. Midfjardará again has proved itself to being one of the most sought after rivers on the west coast with a good average size as well as consistency.
The group currently fishing Laxá I Ásum caught 20 fish in the first session with others lost In the days and weeks to come we expect to see 40+ salmon days to the two rods. These are exciting times at Laxa I Ásum. Nothing really compares to the feeling brought about by the sight of a salmon lifting off the bottom through the crystal clear water and going after the V as the hitch tube crosses over its path. The fish on this river are continuing to live up to their reputation of being particularly aggressive as they smash flies that come near them. Laxa I Ásum landed 120 salmon in just three days of fishing with another big run of fish coming in last night.
Laxa I Kjos produced 139 salmon last week and despite a whole month without rain the water levels on the river have been maintained at the optimum height as a result of the snow pack in the mountains in the surrounding valley. The head guide said that if he could press “save” right now for the rest of the season he would. As of today the river is very slowly dropping due to cold wind from the north preventing snowmelt. There are strong runs of salmon entering the system on a daily basis and finally we are seeing the first sea trout arrive in the meadows.
The Nes beats of the Laxa I Adaldal continue to report good numbers of large salmon running the river system and as of the 18th July they had landed 61 fish of which 6 were over 20 lbs and an average length of 88cm which is phenomenal. This rivers continues to maintain its position as THE big fish river of Iceland.
The Langá is now approaching 700 salmon which is significantly better than last summer. These are similar numbers as we experienced in 2013 which turned out to be the second best summer on record. According to the fish counter on the falls approximately 1,900 salmon have gone up the waterfall itself with an average of 150 per day running it. However there are a couple of different avenues the fish can take so it is not a complete picture. Langá is experiencing some extremely good fishing with the previous group finishing at lunch yesterday landing 186 salmon in three days. After last season this is a very welcome swing back to normal runs.
After a slow start to this season the Grimsá due to the very low water temperatures the river is now beginning to hit full pace. Grimsá produced 141 salmon last week to eight rods. The lower beats are loaded with fish and we are expecting the next two weeks to be the best of the season.
Svalbardsá is in good form with over 70 salmon landed so far. Up until it has only been fished by two rods, but shortly as we approach midsummer it will move to three rods. All the salmon landed have been large as always during this time on the river. Weather up north and east has been terrible with low temperatures and heavy rain which has slowed everything down.
The trout fishing in the North of Iceland has been slower than usual with a prolonged cold spell keeping water and air temperatures down. Despite the conditions the Laxardal beats have still produced some monster wild brown trout. Persistent dry fly anglers have been rewarded from time to time as large golden brown mouths pierce the glassy water surface, the largest fish landed on dry fly for our group was just shy of 7 lbs. Searching methods with nymphs and streamers have been the more popular techniques, producing several fish in excess of 7 lbs including one of 8.6 lbs.
In the neighbouring valley, the smaller Mýrarkvísl has fished well producing a range of fish to both dry flies and nymphs. The fish generally range from 2 – 4 lbs, providing spectacular action on light weight tackle.
For more information on the latest availability in Iceland this season, including a handful of prime spaces contact Peter McLeod and Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.