We had a great report from Pierre Affre fishing Stora Laxa this year, here is what he had to say about a week starting slow and getting so much better in a matter of days:
When we arrived at the lodge of Beat 1 & 2 on the 24 th of august, on the Stora Laxa, I rushed for the log book only to see that only one grilse has been caught during the previous week. Last year, same time of year, there were some 80 salmons in the book, caught by four rods…No rain for 4 weeks and apparently poor runs in 2014 in most of icelandic rivers, were certainly responsible for this lack of water and of fish…We had only 3 days on Stora Laxa with Peter, but then I was following for a whole week (27/8-2/9) with a group of 3 clients. From top of beat 2 to bottom of beat 1 (Kongbakki and the pool below), in the next two days , we didn’t see a fish or even rise one to our flies. Then for our last evening with Peter, Arni came to prepare an icelandic lamb BBQ, that he is a real expert…He told me not to worry too much about the week to come, as some little rain was forecasted in the next days , and that because most of the run in Stora Laxa is a late summer one, some fish should finally arrive in our beats.
After incredibly good lamb and icelandic lobsters, he told me to come with him, early the next morning, before I left for Keflavik to pick up my clients/friends at the airport. At 8 am we were at the top of Kongbakki Under a little rain…The river has not risen yet, but in the first two cast, stripping a small Sunray tube, he caught a pretty fresh 15 pounder male (you never get sea liced fish on Stora Laxa, because they have to ascend some 50 km plus of glacial water in the huge Hvita, before finding the cristal clear water of their spawning river), and in the next ten cast caught a grilse and missed two while I was talking to him…At 8 30 I left Arni and the river to hit the road to the airport, where at 10 am I met the friends coming from Paris. At least I could tell them that finally some fish has arrived….
To make a long story short, after some rain that first day with a result of 2 inches rise for the rest of the week, the 4 of us caught some 80 salmon, plus 10 sea trout (from 2 to 4 kg). And half of those fish were big salmon, no grilse, weighting from 4 to 9 kg…some old that have spent some weeks in the Hvita, but most pretty fresh…The grilse were all silver. Philippe, a very good trout angler caught 24 for his second ever atlantic salmon week, Claude, and old hand, lost some 10 good fsh and finished with 8. Laurent who came with Charles sharing a rod for the last 3 days, caught 11, Charles a newcomer to salmon was happy with 5. Myself I caught 25 and my son Marlin who shared my rods when I was tired caught 3 good fsh but spent most of the time filming his father, including the all battle with my biggest salmon for iceland in more than 40 years, just under a meter long and probably 9,5 kg…
As the river stayed low all week, most of the fishing was with light floating lines (6 to 8), long 5 m leaders and small rifling tubes or SSS (stripped small Sunrays… ).
Last year, same week in high water (the different canyons on beat 4 were unfishable), I had 44 fish (mostly grilse), but not as much fun as this week. After we left, Terry Nab an excellent american angler that I have met years ago on the Tungufljot, caught in the afternoon and the next morning (as he could only grab one day as the river was fully booked by icelanders) 20 salmon, most of them over 5 kg (see his report sept 12 th….).
Needless to say everybody in my party is already in the starting blocks for next year on that probably most beautiful of salmon river (mainly beat 4) anywhere in the north hemisphera.