The beginning of the salmon fly fishing season in Iceland is normally marked by the opening of the Nordura River in mid-June. Nordura is one of the first to open and as it is one of the most prolific natural rivers in Iceland its opening is often a good indicator of the season to come. The fish seem to run the river system earlier than most on the west coast, and the tail end of June can prove immensely productive. It is also the time of year in the higher water that that the larger fish run the river system and will push through the Laxfoss without faltering and trickling into the upper beats. I have fished many rivers in Iceland but there is one that keeps me coming back. The Nordura has a magic all of its own and for discerning fishermen a huge variety of different water to fish.
With over 100 named pools on over 60 km of water the river winds its way out of the northern canyon before meandering across the valley. It eventually arrives at my favourite area, the Lava Pockets. At some point in the distant past a lava field headed across the valley floor and the river has now cut a path through this. The result is some extraordinary topography that creates some of the most interesting pocket fishing I have ever experienced. I whiled away countless hours flicking flies into riffles with a single handed rod, watching in fascination as fish smacked at the waking fly.
The river then charges down the Glanii Falls generating power and width before gliding through a peaceful area between falls before smashing down the Laxfoss Falls. I remember fishing below the waterfall once and peering into the blue coloured water, entranced by the flashes of silver coming from the deep. As the fly began to drift to the bottom of the pool suddenly a pod of salmon came porpoising over the lip of the pool and fish began to jump all around me. The fly was hit, released and then hit again by another salmon and thus ensued some frantic action for the following hour.
Below Laxfoss the river carves into the area known as the Canyon, one of the most beautiful spots I have fished in Iceland. It is quite a steep climb down the wooden walkways, but the river empties through some deep pools punctuated with hard rock bands and here I have landed the largest salmon I have encountered in the river. Often fish can be spotted in the crystal clear water from high up and targeted individually which can put your heart in your mouth. This magical area is a fisherman’s playground and fish will hit a hitched fly as it wakes through the current.
Nordura is renowned for its consistency and the runs of salmon appear almost to the day every year. The river normally produces anything from 1,500 – 3,300 fish in a season and it now has a new lodge commanding a stunning position overlooking the falls. There is still some prime space available at the end of June and in July for next season:
15 – 18 June: 2 rods, 535,800 ISK per rod (approx. £4,255 at today’s exchange rate)
18 – 21 June: 1 rods, 628,200 ISK per rod (approx. £4,970 at today’s exchange rate)
27 – 30 June: 4 rods, 912,600 ISK per rod (approx. £6,520 at today’s exchange rate)
30 June – 3 July: 4 rods, 948,600 ISK per rod (approx. £6,776 at today’s exchange rate)
9 – 12 July: 2 rods, 948,600 ISK per rod (approx. £7,330 at today’s exchange rate)
12 – 15 July: 1 rods, 1,045,800 ISK per rod (approx. £7,470 at today’s exchange rate)
27 – 30 July: 4 rods, 685,800 ISK per rod (approx. £4,900 at today’s exchange rate)
2 – 5 August; 4 rods, 516,600 ISK per rod (approx. £3,690 at today’s exchange rate)
5 – 9 August: 4 rods, 491,400 ISK per rod (approx. £3,510 at today’s exchange rate)
All prices in Icelandic Krona (ISK) will be converted at the point of booking. The GBP prices above are a guide price at date of publishing. The cost includes scheduled transfers, full board single room accommodation and shared guide.
For more details on fly fishing in Iceland and on the Nordura please do not hesitate to contact Peter McLeod or Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.