Iceland Rivers 2019

tyee

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Hi there. I'm heading to Iceland in a few weeks. The season has been only open for a couple of weeks but there have been no reports yet. The water appears to be low. Anyone been over yet? Any updates?
 

Aled

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I'm off to West Ranga in July so yep news would be much appreciated.
Cheers
Aled
 

Daveygc

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I’ve just got back from Iceland. They are in a drought at the moment, there was some rain at the end of last week which didn’t do much for the west coast rivers but apparently those in the north east got a bit more.

Despite the low water there were fish running the river we were on but in the main it sounds like there are runs waiting in the estuaries for a bit more water.

The Rangás hold their water as I think it comes from glacial springs etc so I don’t think they are affected by drought as much as others.

Davey
 

john8

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Iceland is suffering from a drought, they have had some rain the past 10 days or so. But if you are going the water will be low for this summer on most rivers as most rain will get soaked into the ground and all snow is gone. The catches have been down as well the next week or two will determine how the season goes as this is when the main grilse runs begin. I’m headed up later this month been tying very small flies 12s & 14s in preparation.
 

tyee

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Just back - very few fish in the rivers for this time because of the low water but fish starting to push through the rivers nontheless. Sea trout were early though and provided great sport.
 

john8

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The catches in general are way down compared to last year as well as other years. It is more than just the low water as the rivers which are fed by lakes or glaciers which are not suffering from the low water their catches are down even though the water is not really low. The grilse runs have been late before hopefully that is the case otherwise this will not be a good year.
 

tyee

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yes - without the sea trout, it would have been barren. In previous years, the river has been full at this time!
 

ILGG

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Just back from Laxa in Kjos. River was way lower than in previous years - a lack of snowfall before Christmas was apparently the issue. Fishing was hard work but some good sized salmon and sea trout were around with most caught on upstream nymphs. Grilse beginning to show in the river on Friday.
 

tyee

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We must have been the group before you. Did the river come up on Tuesday/ Wednesday??
 
C

cgaines10

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I’d love to plan a trip for next year. Anyone got recommendations for who to book with?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Aled

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Due to many factors the fishing on the West Ranga was not as good as 3 years ago. There were salmon present but not in the numbers we saw back in 2016. Dad caught 1 and lost 6, my brother caught 1 and lost 1, I had two takes, both of which I landed. Did however get a PB salmon of fly around 15lb. Our ghillie mentioned that the grilse runs seem to be getting later.
Tight Lines
Aled
IMG-20190715-WA0000.jpg
 
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Darcydog

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Aled, is your guide called Dotti by any chance??
He looks very like a chap I met guiding on the Svalbardsa river last year.
 

Darcydog

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I'm just back from 6 days on the Selā.
We had nice water and phenomenal fishing with 166 fish landed to our 6 rods with many more lost.
We had many msw fish up to 20lbs.

It was fly fishing heaven.
 
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Oscar

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I'm just back from 6 days on the Selā.
We had nice water and phenomenal fishing with 166 fish landed to our 6 rods with many more lost.
We had many msw fish up to 20lbs.

It was fly fishing heaven.

I've often thought of fishing in Iceland - would you mind letting me know how you arranged fishing on the Sela?

Many thanks.
 

Aled

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Aled, is your guide called Dotti by any chance??
He looks very like a chap I met guiding on the Svalbardsa river last year.

No his name is Einar, he and his brother Sigi have ghilled for us in the past. Tight Lines. Aled
 

sgellert

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I just got a mail from Roxon's about all of their Iceland trips for 2020 being reduced about 15%.
Its still crazy expensive, but since I was supposed to go to Varzuga in June, and BC in August, I'm very much considering a trip to East Ranga.

As far as I can tell, the latter part of the season, August and onwards, seem to be the most productive.
Looks like East Ranga was producing decent catches last year, whereas West was a lot lower than normal.

Any advice or suggestions ?
 

Icelander05

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Yes, Icelandic prices are still crazy, despite the discount. East was pretty good last year with lots of larger fish and the start this year was good as well. West was disspointing last year (despite I took an 8 kg fish, landed some 400 meters below the waterfall where it took -see photo) and the start this year wasn't too good either. The only backdrop about East that it colors very quickly and your whole trip can be spoilt. A friend of mine is a bit in the fishing business in Iceland and he has rather good offers at times. I you want I can direct you to him.
Icelander05
 

Handel

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Last year the problem at West Ranga wasn't just the lack of fish, it was also that the fish that were there were concentrated in just a couple of places. That meant spending a lot of time fishing empty water which is very disheartening. I am not sure there were many more fish the year before but they seemed to be better spread around the river, there was always a chance of a fish. And of course more get caught that way.

As Icelander05 says more big fish seem to get caught on East Ranga. One of my regular fishing partners had a fish of 25lb there last year. But the river can colour up. I have never seen West Ranga colour up even after several days of heavy rain.

Early August is a good time to be there in a normal year.
 

sgellert

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Thanks to both of you.
I will go with Roxton's, cause I can use the deposit from the cancelled Varzuga trip.
Most likely it will be from around 11th to 14th of August.
Keeping my fingers crossed for it to not color up.
Due to the Covid-19 situation, its recommended to bring own car, so I'll rent a 4x4.
Do you guys know how difficult the driving is, to get around the fishing spots ?
 

sgellert

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No problem if you got a 4x4. You can reach all beats and pools easily. It might be a problem to find them but I assume that you will have a guide.
Yes there will be a guide, where the guests (me) will drive behind. It's to prevent too close contact between guest/guide.
Hah, I just noticed your username now, no wonder you have knowledge !
 

sgellert

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Regarding flies it seems like Snaelda/Francis variants in red/black are pretty popular.
The Sunray Shadow exists in so many different variants, I'm kinda thinking these with the mylar body (not mine, I wish).
1594216733847.png


Lengthwise I'm a little unsure, I'm thinking bodies from 1-2 inches, wings around twice.
Also, weight, the Snaeldas etc will usually be pretty heavy, the Sunrays will be a lot lighter, but I still imagine a conehead and/or a smallish US tube or similar ?
Other flies mentinoned, like Willie Gunns and Monkey style, I guess in similar size/weight to the Sunrays ?
Here in Denmark I'm mostly using yellow/orange'ish tubes, total length 1½-3 inches, often no-body style, usually with 0,3-0,8 gram of tungsten or similar. No harm bringing those.
And finally a bunch of flies tied on double/singles from size 6-12, like Flamethrowers, Cascades, GPs etc.

I guess that will cover most.
 

Handel

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The flies in your photograph are called Bismo in Iceland though on West Ranga they are called HKA Sunray. But they are usually fished with shorter wings. As you can see there is no sleeve to hold the hook, it is usually free hanging and the idea is that it hangs out the back of the fly or at most so that the wing ends level with the hook.

Smaller snaeldas are popular, all sorts of sizes and colours of frances and yes the ever present willie gunn. Black and blue tubes in various sizes. You don't need to bother much about dressed flies.
 

sgellert

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An attempt of an HKA Sunray
IMG_20200708_195129.jpg

Pearl Mylar tubing
10mm US tube
Lower wing : White Arctic Fox
Pearl / Pink Accent Flash
Upper wing : Black Goat
3D Epoxy Eyes

Would some longer than this be a good idea ?
 
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