While Iceland’s red-hot runs of big early salmon begin to show signs of cooling, there are still remarkable numbers of fish entering the rivers. And one river in particular – the West Ranga – continues to break records as it defies logic and surpasses all expectations.
In the week ending July 13, fishermen on the West Ranga captured more than 800 salmon, an astonishing figure for this early in the season. With most of these in the 5-9kg class, there’s never been a week quite like it.
Less than three weeks into the three-month season, the East Ranga is already more than half-way towards beating the admittedly poor 2015 total catch of 2,749. In the week to July 13, nearly 50 fish a day were recorded with the majority of them two-sea-wintered.
Last year, the Blanda nearly doubled its best previous annual catch, finishing with a remarkable 4,829 salmon, a figure that would seem impossible to pass. Yet the 2016 season so far raises the prospect of doing just that. With just under 300 in the past week, the total to date is 1,300 fish compared to around 800 for the same period of 2015.
Another river improving on a fantastic season last year is the Langa where anglers have taken 471 fish so far in 2016. In fact, there are very few rivers where catches to date are not considerably in excess of 2015 which was a brilliant year for the majority of fisheries.
The Haukadalsa, which recorded 150 fish to July 15 last year, has easily surpassed that with a catch of 233 to July 13 this year, a figure made all the more remarkable because it has been produced by only five rods.
The Svarta, which usually comes into its own much later in season, is a tributory of the Blanda and has so far delivered nearly three times the total for the same period last year.
As the runs of big fish reduce, anglers are hoping for another great year of smaller 1SW salmon which make up the bulk of Iceland’s catches. There’s nothing better than the sight of these delightful fish breaking through the water as the rush up river.