Hvannadalsá is a two rod salmon river, located on the West Coast of Iceland, aprox. 260 km from Reykjavík. The river is delightful to fish and the surrounding country side is unique, here you are alone with Iceland.
The origin of the river are other small rivers that have come together to form Hvannadalsa. The river flows right along side Langadalsa aprox 1 km from Ós. The fishing area is magnificent and aprox 7 km long. It begins in Stekkjarfoss all the way to Ós. The waterlevels in Hvannadalsa are much higher and the current stronger than in her big sister Langadalsa. The diversity of fishing pools is great in the river with many waterfalls, rapids in big gorges with some slow running fly fishing streams in between. The river is known for it‘s big salmons which are easily recognized by their girth and mass. Sea char also runs in the river late in the summer.
Number of salmons caught per year in river Hvannadalsa:
170 salmon in 2005
154 salmon in 2006
150 salmon in 2007
327 salmon in 2008
212 salmon in 2009
465 salmon in 2010
In addition to the salmon fishing one can catch a good deal of sea-trout in the river mouth around the tides.
Hvannadalsa is gin clear, you can spot Salmon in most of the places from rocks and on the edge of the canyons. The salmon is shy so you have to be very careful!
Hvannadalsá has 27 marked fishing pools beginning from the top of the river.
1. Stekkjarfoss waterfall. which is to big for salmon to run through, There is a path that leads right to the waterfall but it‘s only for 4X4 cars. Many of the biggest salmon have been caught there especially late in the summertime. You can fish on both sides.
2. Stekkjarfljót. Next pool leads to the Stekkjarfoss waterfall, has strong current. It‘s easy to see from the banks where the salmon lies.
3. Pallklettar. Right next to Laugarengi which is a natural heat source that steams from the cliff. There are couple of big rocks there where the salmon usually lies.
4. Steinbogastrengur, a beautiful pool, very good late in the summer when the salmon runs up the river.
5. Hellisfoss efri waterfall is in the gorge down the river from Steinbogastrengur. There are really two pools but only for experienced anglers and climbers. The fish spooks very easily and it is hard to get to the best spot to cast.
6. Hellisfoss. Another waterfall one of the most beautiful spots in the river. The fishing expectancy is good there but it‘s hard to get to the right spot cast and land the fish. In August there is always fish in Hellisfoss.
7. Hellisfljót. Where the river runs from Hellisfoss is a strong current that usually has lot‘s of fish. The salmon usually lies under the platform in the waterfall and follows the current from there right along side the walls of the gorge.
8. Réttarfljót. When coming further down the river it runs from the gorge and by a open grassfield. The pool is very short and has big currents with big rocks on the riverfloor. That makes it very easy for the salmon to hide among the rocks. The salmon always stops there in the runs. This is a very sensitive pool so anglers MUST tip-toe around the banks and watch out if they cast a shadow. Réttarfljót and Hellisfoss have been the best pools last summers.
9. Strengur. Going further down there are some cliffs on both sides there was a hanging bridge there a long time ago but now we can only see what is left which are some carrier poles. A good way to recognize the pool.
10. Kvörnin (Ármótafoss waterfall). Below there Hvannadalsa and Lagadalsá meet. By the banks in the top of the waterfall there are two platforms where salmon sometimes lies. Both salmon that are going up in Lágadalsá and Hvannadalsá. Most of them go up in Hvannadalsa because of low waterlevels in Lágadalsa. If the fish takes the fly it‘s impossible to land it there, you have to follow it down the rapids and get to the banks there right by Imbufoss waterfall.
11. Imbufoss waterfall. This is the place that is most find to have the best scenery. It‘s simply magnificent. It lies in a small gorge below where Hvannadalsa and Lagadalsa meet. Many big salmon have been caught there and it‘s easy to spot them. But if they spot the angler they run into the waterfall and chances to catch them get slim. It is very important to creep up to the banks and be very quiet so the fish doesn‘t spook.
12. Imbufljót. One of the best flypools in the river. There the sun shines easily on you so watch out that you don‘t cast a shadow. Best place to cast is above a big rock in the middle of the river where the fish lies and let the fly go down stream and past the rock. Many salmon are caught there.
13. Brúarfoss waterfall. This is a pool that is usually underestimated and anglers often just walk by. The fish usually lies where the waterfall splashes down in the middle of the waterfall or to the sides. This is a spot where it‘s best to vade in the river by the banks and get close to the waterfall.
14. Rauðbergsfoss waterfall. This is a small waterfall just above the bridge. It‘s not uncommon to get a salmon there. In 94 there was a angler that stood on the bridge and cast right in the waterfall, as soon as the fly hits the water he got a 9 pound male on the line.
15. Rauðbergsfljót. Down the waterfall undre the bridge is a great spot to cast the line The salmon easily hides under the bridge so if it‘s not visible it‘s still good to cast and see if there are some hiding under there.
6. Klapparfoss waterfall. Down Rauðbergsfljót is a small waterfall. A beautiful place where there is easy to cast all the way over to the other bank. The salmon sometimes stops there after having jumped the waterfall. It‘s not recommended to just pass there through.
17. Djúpifoss (Árdalsfoss waterfall). Below Klapparfoss is one of the best pools. The waterfall is wide but low and has cliff walls on either side. No matter what time of the season it always has very visible salmon. Usually one of the first pools anglers go to. There is a big rock in the middle of the river where the salmon usually lies in July. The salmon moves alot because the angler is as visible to the fish but when it goes into hiding, preferably in the waterfall it usually comes back in a short while. This is a very fun pool and is highly recommended.
18. Árdalsfljót. This is the best flyfishing pool in the river and most fish have been caught there. The salmon is not very visible and doesn‘t show it‘s self unless while jumping. Its best to stand on the little island in the middle of the river and cast in the stream. Middle of August it‘s not uncommon to see salmon jumping all over Árdalsfljót.
19. Langholtsfljót (Langafljót). Beautiful flypool. It starts in a stream where Árdalsfljót and Langafljót meet. The water is quite shallow by the banks but rapidly get‘s deep. It‘s not recommended to vade over before casting the whole pool. There are couple of big rocks, some are underwater where salmon lies and also it lies by the banks. They spook easily so it‘s important to be careful.
20. Horn. This is a very beautiful flypool down by a gravelbank before the river takes a big U-turn and then disperses in many directions. This pools changes with the years and has become deeper so it looks good for anglers. This pool tests the anglers imagination and experience to read the current.
21. Neðra Horn. Far down in the U-turn below Horn is Neðra Horn. This pool also tests anglers like the Horn pool.
22. Mógötubakkar (Eyjahyljir). Below Neðra Horn after the river has taken the U-turn there are many little but deep pools. Great for trout but salmon sometimes stops there while running. There it‘s very important to be careful and do not walk out on the banks. Many think this is the most beautiful spot in the river
23. Móhella .This pool is easily recognized by a big white rock or a plate on the bottom of the river. It starts in a stream above and ends in a deep hole that salmon uses as advantage by diving down while anglers are trying to land them.
24. Hornvík. Below Móhella is a short but rather deep pool. It‘s hard to do a description there because the river changes every year there.
25. Brúarfljót. Below Eyjabrekka. Has many small pools where salmon and trout lies in hiding by and under the grass banks.
26. Langafljót. Below Brúarfljót. Very short pool but very deep by the banks, fish often lies there.
27. Neðstafljót. A very good trout and sea char pool. This is the lowest pool in the river. It‘s best to fish there when it‘s high tide.