We salmon anglers are always trying to find the best chance of getting the rod bent into one of these extraordinary fish. Of the destinations where you target this remarkable species, some stand out. Some of the destinations we have highlighted are technical and perfect for the trout angler at heart, while others are steeped in history or hold especially large fish.
Iceland, Laxa I Kjos
The international elite have always fished Kjos. It very quickly built a fantastic reputation as one of the world’s best small salmon rivers and is considered one of the more technical salmon rivers in Iceland. If you have a passion for fishing small flies and hitching, then the Laxá I Kjos will become your playground. It is primarily a grilse river but despite its size every year a number of large salmon are landed. Good runs of big sea trout can also be targeted from early July.
The Laxa I Kjos lodge is one of the prettiest and most comfortable in Iceland and sits overlooking the lower section of the river. The river itself is intimate, and the fishing is more akin to trout fishing for salmon, a true hitchers’ dream. Small rock pockets, canyons and open meadows are perfect for single-handed fishing with tiny flies, and it offers some exhilarating sight fishing and hitch fishing opportunities for salmon. The river also has some huge sea trout which adds to the excitement. The lodge is just 30 minutes from Reykjavik and caters to eight anglers in the early and late season and between 8 & 10 anglers through mid-July and August.
Canada, Camp Bonaventure
The Bonaventure River is legendary for its water clarity and sight casting opportunities. Gaspé is famous for its big fish, and these rivers regularly catch fish over 30lbs. The chance to sight cast to fish this size using dry flies in crystal clear water is unique to this part of the world. Although targeting Atlantic salmon, this kind of fishing also appeals to those more accustomed to technical trout fishing. On the Bonaventure, it is not a game of chucking and chancing and anglers who come with a careful and thoughtful approach are often the most successful.
Camp Bonaventure has been described as one of the finest fishing lodges in North America. The main lodge and guest house each have a unique and elegant atmosphere. They feature living rooms full of character with massive fireplaces, spacious bedrooms with private baths and screened porches. Delicious meals are served in the dining room overlooking the Bonaventure River.
Russia, The Atlantic Salmon Reserve
The Atlantic Salmon Reserve (ASR) comprises of the Kharlovka, Rynda and the Eastern Litza rivers. These are some of the finest salmon rivers in the world and the home of giants where landing a 40 lbs + Atlantic salmon is a real possibility.
All the rivers that make up the ASR are unique in their character and size, ranging from the challenging spring waters of the mighty Kharlovka and Litza to the charming summer pockets and pools of the Rynda and Zolotaya. They all have one exceptional quality in common, their ability to produce large salmon.
The Kharlovka flows through a canyon before curling its way to the legendary Kharlovka home pool and the highly comfortable Kharlovka camp. The lower section of the Kharlovka opens out in the final race before entering the sea. Any angler encountering a big fish in this area needs to be well prepared. A large Salmon hooked here is likely to turn tail and head for the sea, leaving a spooled and breathless angler in its wake.
The Rynda is a medium-sized river that is ideally suited to a 12-13ft double or a sturdy single-handed rod in most heights. The Rynda has 75 pools along its length. Most are medium-sized pools, pockets, runs and glides, and a long cast is rarely needed. Behind almost every rock and hole, no matter how unlikely it may at first appear, there is usually a potential salmon lie.
The river is as scenic as it is majestic. The Litza cuts a deep ravine sided channel through the tundra, only opening out briefly in the lower 1/3 of the river before dropping back into a final white-water gorge, Military Pool and the open sea. For many anglers, a highlight of the week is the Litza Tent camp, where guests will have the opportunity to spend one or two nights, in comfort, on the river.
Norway, The Gaula
The Gaula is one of those Atlantic salmon rivers that needs little introduction. It has for a long time been regarded as one of Norway’s finest and known as ‘the river of silver and gold’. The river sees strong runs of salmon averaging between 14 – 18 lbs, with many fish exceeding 30 lbs and a few over 40 lbs. The river is full of character, and it carries a slight golden tinge when clear. The surrounding scenery is thick evergreen forested slopes interspersed with small villages and farms. It is a beautiful location to target some of the world’s largest salmon.
Winsnes Fly Fishing Lodge in Norway was founded in 1882 when the first British salmon fishers, known as the ‘Salmon Lords’ (Lakse Lorder) used the house as a base for their summer fly fishing adventures on the Gaula River. Travelling salmon fly fishers have now enjoyed over 130 years fishing and staying at the lodge.
For more information about our salmon fishing destinations please contact us or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.