Iceland is, in general, a wonderful place to fly fish and widely known as the mecca for Atlantic Salmon fishing. What I think is some of the most fascinating about Icelandic rivers is how different they are from each other, and even when staying on one river you can have pools that look so different from each other it even feels you have changed rivers as the scenery is so broad.
One of my most favorite places on Earth would be the Stora Laxa river, specifically beat 4 of the river, which is both the most beautiful and most challenging beat of the river. This is by far one of the most magical places I have seen.
I spend a lot of time at this part each summer and every time there feels like Im discovering something new. The river flows through rocky canyons as well as meandering through the plains. There are calm pools and fast flowing ones which tests anglers to the fullest. That is one of the things that fascinates me the most about this river, it´s a challenge every single time. Every day I come back to the lodge, exhausted but with a smile on my face and already planning the following day.
One of my favorite pools on the beat is called “Klaufin”. Its this very short pool with very deep water, perfect for short casting the riffling hitch and watch it skate over the gin clear pool. It is just fascinating watching the salmon come up from the deep aggressively after the fly on the surface and take it down. BUM. Its set. The hard part is not over however and that is the best thing about this pool – nothing is given and the landing spot is about 1 meter. Just below there are hard rapids and if you loose the salmon down there…. well, odds are you will not see it again. During the fight, you are surrounded in some magical landscape with a tree looking over you, that looks like somewhat those from the Lion King movies except you are situated in Iceland far from all lions. Landing the salmon there is magical and releasing it back, watching it swim away to it´s spot is beautiful. One moment like that is so rewarding that all the hard work is more than worth it.
In today´s world full of phones, ipads, computers and what not, I feel it is so special to get to a remote place like this, with no signal in the canyons, not a person in sight and worry free from the beeps of my telephone. It is precious to me to check out and reconnect to nature.
One of my most memorable catches there was when my father was fishing with me on the lower parts of the beat. He waded over the river and casted from the opposite site so we could follow each other down the river a bit, eyeing what was going on. He had a salmon on before long and a minute later I had a big one too. It was quite the show and excitement landing this monster and at the same time following his battle.
We always have a great time there with friends, staying in a self catering house by the river and BBQ and checking out the Jacuzzi after dinner, my kind of a get-away.
I hope you have some exciting fishing adventures coming up and enjoyed reading about my favorite spot, it was a joy writing and brought back many good memories.
All my best,