The freshwater fishing in Iceland is limited to Arctic char, Atlantic salmon & Brown trout. It is common knowledge that Iceland offers some of the best fly fishing in the world for Atlantic salmon but the fishing for trout can be unbelievable at times as well as challenging rewarding the angler with the catch of his life.
Some of the lakes in Iceland are extremely hard to get to and therefore even more exciting and mystical. There are a few lakes in Iceland that offer you a chance to catch trophy trout in abundance and we at Iceland fishing guide offer tours to them. That are the lakes Hraunsvatn, Þingvallavatn & Skjálftavatn and they all have their own prime time when you are most likely to catch a trophy fly fishing.
Hraunsvatn is the least known of the 3. because it is hard to get to but that is also why we prefer it to the others as it hardly ever has other anglers, the silvery Ice age Arctic char like no other lake in Iceland & the most unbelievable scenery.
Most of lakes in Iceland have either brown trout or arctic char and many of them have both.
The trout in most lakes can get really large which makes the fishing especially exciting.
There are also many great fly fishing rivers in Iceland from small spring fed rivers to larger runoff rivers. Icelandic rivers offer a fishing season from the 1 of April for brown and sea trout and ends at the 20th of October with the salmon rivers that don’t rely on spawning of the salmon.
Iceland sea trout fishing is unique in the way that the sea trout is fished in broad daylight and not at night like in many other countries.
The fishing season in Iceland.
Here is a breakdown of the fishing season in Iceland on our rivers and beats. This is an overall expectations list with the average from each river but in the end the weather conditions can vary and they will play a large part in the productivity in our rivers on different season.
April & May
The fishing season in Iceland starts on April 1st with all of our rivers opening appart from the Lónsá. The beginning of April the weather can still feel alot like winter still with snow on the ground or spring might have arrived with nice bright days and sunlight. We sell limited amount of rods in April and May and use all of our rivers for smaller groups to maximize the opportunities our guest have. Some of our rivers fish really well even though it is cold and others are sensitive to run off so it is important to have all these options. You do not want to be in Iceland for a week of fishing stuck to one river if that river is blow’n out so by doing this this way we always have a plan A,B,C,D and E.
The Laxa in Adaldal fishes well in April and especially the pool we call the honey hole where you can see brown trout in big shoals feeding. We mostly fish the Laxa in Adaldal with Nymphs and skated flies (Hitch) in the spring but streamer fishing can also be quite effective along with dries if there are hatches. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Mýrarkvísl often produces the biggest trout in April and May on Nymphs, streamers and skated flies. Some years you can fish the whole river but other years the upper half of the river is still under ice and in that case you are just fishing from the lodge and down to the confluence on the Laxá. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Brunna is the river that produces trophy trout daily and especially the lower half of the river where the brown trout, sea trout and arctic char congregate in a feeding frenzy after the long winter. This is where we get multiple fish from 30″ to 33″ every year and the average size is about 25″. In the lower half of the Brunna we mostly fish with streamers, mouse patterns and riffle hitch skated on the surface while the upper river offers incredibly versatile fishing with dries, nymhs, streamers and hitch flies skated on the surface. The number of trout congregated in one pool on the lower half of the Brunná is so much that you can easily land from 15 to 30 fish in a day if you have good conditions. There is not many things that top a big aggressive trout taking a skated fly on the surface. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Lonsa does not start producing big numbers until the end of April beginning of May when the sea trout, brown trout and arctic char come into the estuary part of the river to feed on freshwater shrimp/scuds. When this happens there is usually amazing fishing limited to the estuary of the river. It’s hard to explain fishing like this for a feeding fish as the aggression can be incredible. In some cases you can see big trout in shallow water feeding on scuds and you are casting you fly in front of the fish and you see everything unfold as it is happening. We fish with streamers and scud imitations or foam flies skated on the surface. From the middle of May we expect runs of arctic char making their way up the Lónsá in big groups and if you find a pool with arctic char there are usually between 50 and a 100 char in the pools. This does not guaranty catching multiple fish as you need to approach every pool with extreme caution and try to get the fish out of the pool without desteving the others. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Laxa in Adaldal fishes well in in June and in fact June is usually the most productive month on the Laxa. June is also the month when the first real hatches start happening but then again this depends on the weather and conditions. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle and dry flies.
The Mýrarkvísl prime trout season is in June and July when we start getting brown trout on dry flies. From the middle of June we often get the first very small runs of multi winter salmon from 10 to 20 lbs but chasing these can be a hit or miss since very few salmon can easily get lost in the canyon beats of the river unless you consistently fish the lower half every day. We usually sell the Mýrarkvísl with the target of catching brown trout and then the guides check the canyon pools regularly for salmon and if they spot them then you will get your shot at one of these trophy fish. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Brunna we fish until June 10th and some years the lower half of the river has gotten colored by glacial melt in the first days of June so we usually do not specificly plan tours to the Brunná but instead we do day tours from the Mýrarkvísl lodge if the conditions are good. Some years the fishing on the Brunná is fantastic until June 10th while other years it has become completely unfishable. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Lonsa really comes a life in June and while the estuary fishing for brown trout, sea trout and arctic char remains fantastic the river gets steady runs of arctic char throughout the month. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Laxa in Adaldal fishes well throughout July and in fact July is usually the most productive month for dry fly fishing on the Laxa. We fish with dry flies, streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Mýrarkvísl prime dry fly season is in July. From the beginning of July the salmon runs increase with multi winter salmon from 10 to 20 lbs arriving from the ocean and as July prodresses the chance of catching a salmon increases. From the middle of July you can expect to find salmon on all beats on the Mýrarkvísl and this is when the attention of the anglers really shifts from trout to salmon. The later half of July is the start if our prime salmon season which last from July 20th to September 20th. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle and salmon tubes and flies.
The Lonsa continues to produce large sea trout and brown trout and the char runs have all made their way up the Lónsá and start spreading for spawning you will find the char spread over the river. Towards the end of July we start expecting the first runs of brown trout and sea trout if the water levels remain good. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Laxa in Adaldal fishes well throughout August but weed build up can propose a little bit of a challange for anglers. We have found that the best methods when the weed buildup starts is ether a skated single hook fly or soft hackle right on the surface. We fish with dry flies, streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Mýrarkvísl the trout tend to get more selective in early August which does not really affect the fishing as our main focus is on salmon in August. In the later half of August the trout start getting more and more territorial and we get large brown trout taking our salmon flies. The salmon fishing is fantastic in August and you can expect good catches the whole month. We often get runs of colored multi winter fish from the Laxa in Adaldal from the middle of the month really steering up the salmon that have already run. We also start fishing with weighted flies along with the skated flies and small salmon flies. Nymphs, skated flies, salmon tubes and flies.
The Lonsa continues to produce large sea trout and brown trout and the char runs have all made their way up the Lónsá and start spreading for spawning you will find the char spread over the river. Throughout August the Lónsa gets runs of brown trout and sea trout along with the occasional salmon. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, dry flies and soft hackle.
September Also a great month to see the Northern lights.
The Laxa in Adaldal fishes well throughout September and the weed build up has usually cleared with the first fall rains in the end of August beginning of September. We fish with dry flies, streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, soft hackle.
The Mýrarkvísl we continue to catch beautiful trout in September. The salmon fishing is fantastic in September and you can expect good catches the whole month. We fish a lot with weighted flies along with the skated flies and small salmon flies. Nymphs, skated flies, salmon tubes and flies.
The Lonsa continues to produce large sea trout, brown trout, char and the occasional salmon truthout September. We fish with streamers, Nymphs, skated flies, dry flies and soft hackle.
In October many of the rivers have formally close but we do offer day tours throughout October.