When you book as an individual you never know who you’re going to share the beat with on the East Ranga. Last year, briefly, it was film producer Ridley Scott who was shooting the movie Prometheus in Iceland. Communication was limited. He didn’t accompany me to the river bank in guide Skuli’s somewhat battered Ford pick-up but arrived a little later in four new Landcruisers with an entourage too numerous to count.
He gave me the nod shared by all dedicated salmon fishers, or so it seemed to me, and that was the last I saw him. This year, my fishing partner was Adrian who had nothing remotely to do with the film business but who, disconcertingly, knew a lot about catching salmon.
When I arrived, the East Ranga was crawling towards respectable figures and blank sessions on some beats were not uncommon. But not for Adrian. He had this uncanny ability to conjure fish from the least likely of places. Feeling a little unwell, I took one morning off when we were due to fish an unproductive beat. Adrian returned at lunchtime with nine salmon.
The scoresheets after each session made dismal reading, for me at any rate. Adrian ended his week with 47 salmon. Me? I’m simply not saying. But I’ll be booking again for next year, provided I’m teamed up with an absolute beginner who doesn’t like to go out too early in the morning. But if that’s not possible, I guess Adrian would do.
note from Lax-á ..
Ian Bain is a writer and a skilled angler who has been fishing in Iceland every year for as long as anyone remembers.