Iceland’s North Coast
We’ve been fishing in Iceland for many years now and the focus in the beginning was Atlantic Salmon. During this time we were also traveling to Patagonia to fish for sea-run browns. Our friends in Iceland often described world-class Seatrout and Trout fishing a lttle closer to home than the very southern tip of South America.
We were initally interested from a convenience standpoint, but once we gave it a chance we quickly realized the trout fishing was every bit as good as they claimed! Today we operate on the Litlaá and the Eyjafjarðará which offer fantastic Seatrout and Trout fishing. With Iceland lying between Europe and the US, access is quick and comfortable.
In addition to the trout fishing, the nearby Skjálfandafljót has one of the best Salmon runs in the country. This river is not typically sold to visiting anglers and when it’s good, it’s hard to beat. We have special access and our guests may elect to combine a couple of days with the Seatrout/Trout fishing for a rare, risk-reward experience.
Litlaá í Kelduhverfi
is the highlight of a unique ecosystem on Iceland’s north coast. Kelduhverfi is one of the most earthquake prone regions in Iceland and was partially transformed when Skjálftavatn, or ‘earthquake lake’, was born between 1975 and 1976 when a number of earthquakes caused the area to sink and flood. Today, Skjálftavatn provides part of the headwaters for the Litlaá which is also spring-fed and maintains a constant temperature of 12-15 degrees centigrade throughout the year. The Litlaá runs a short seven kilometers or so from the lake down to Öxarfjörður and migratory fish traverse the distance in a very short time. Seatrout, Artic Char and Brown Trout are very concentrated in the system. The high density of Stickelback and rich insect life ensures the perfect, year-round food supply. This is reflected in the condition of the fish which are abnormally deep and broad. They are aggressive and offer some of the finest sport available. The river is easily covered with #5 & #6 rods though a #7 can be useful on the wider sections or if the wind is up. All methods are effective from dry flies and nymphs to streamers. Fast stripped streamers in the surface induce brutal takes and stunning visual fishing as the trout often track the streamers across the pools before exploding on them.
The Fishing Program
Fishing the Litlaá is fly only and no-kill regulations are strictly enforced. The river has been well cared for over the years and the result is a remarkable fishery. Litlaá is fished with five rods and transport is by 4×4 typically with one guide to 2-3 anglers.
Though relatively short, the river is broad below the headwaters and very different from most rivers in Iceland. Wide meandering pools with cut-banks are typical of the middle and lower section while there are classic glides, riffles/rapids and defined pools in the top. The guides know the river and place anglers exactly where they need to be regardless of conditions in order to optimise their effective fishing time. Some portions of the river are known haunts for certain species so that an the angler may even choose the target species they wish to catch.
Like most rivers in Iceland, fishing begins at 1500hrs on the first day and ends at 1300hrs on the last day. The midday “shift change” allows for stress-free ingress/egress from the aiport in Akurueyri 90 minutes away. It also means for example, that four “days” fishing equates to five days on the river (two half-days and three whole days). Fishing generally ends by 2200hrs each evening though the Autumn evenings are somewhat shorter.
Lodge & Info
We have reserved the Keldunes Guesthouse for the time slots our clients use to fish the river. Located at the headwaters between the springs and the lake, Keldunes offers the absolute best access to the river and every comfort to anglers grinding it out during long days of fishing. It’s a two-story, open-plan house with a fantastic view of the lake. There is an adjacent garage/dry-room for changing and hanging waders and jackets. The bedrooms are all comfortably appointed and anglers are assured of restful sleep and relaxation between shifts. There is a spacious common room on the top floor beside the kitchen for mingling and dining. Hearty Icelandic table fare from local sources is plentiful and prepared to perfection.
Together with our Icelandic partner, Reliant offers a complete ground package including transfer, fishing/guiding, lodging and food. Alcohol is excluded. We have spring and autumn slots reserved for the 2018 season, so please contact us at email@example.com for information regarding availability.
This river has long been number one in all of Iceland for large Artic Char and in recent years Seatrout numbers have steadily increased. Eyjafjarðará Seatrout are large and well-formed and they take the fly well. Like most rivers in Iceland, the Eyjafjarðará is diligently working on conservation. The season is broken down into limited harvest for the heavy run months and the river has a catch and release policy for the sensitive part of the season – all which has dramatically improved the fishing.
Eyjafjarðará is 70 kms long and is large and braided in the lower sections. During the summer period from 20 June until the end of August the river is divided into six beats with two rods each. During Septmber the upper spawning pools are closed and there are eight rods in four lower beats.
We provide local, experienced guiding along with transport to, along and from the river. We also provide accomodation which can range from a fully-catered summer house or a do-it-yourself cottage. One can even choose to stay in a nearby city hotel.
Like the Skjálfandafljót, the Eyjafjarðará provides a nice diversion for a couple of days when combined with the Litlaá. All three river systems are within easy reach of Akureyri and any combination of the three will provide a varied and interesting angling experience.