Brown Trout / Arctic Char
Most anglers know Iceland as one of the world’s best destinations for atlantic salmon fishing. This definitely is true, however Iceland has as well great trout and arctic char fishing. Those fish reach weights far over five kilograms, and it’s the circumstances which make this so special. Besides the breathtaking landscape the trout mainly eat midges. Imagine a ten pounder sipping midges on the surface…
Besides trout, many rivers have a good population of arctic char. Those fish are truly unique – extremely beautiful, strong fish which grow in Iceland to specimen sizes.
On this page you’ll find descriptions to some of Iceland’s finest rivers for trout- and char fishing. Please contact me for availabilities of packaged trips; the organisation of individual trips is of course always possible.
The Litlá river is located in north-east Iceland, approximately 150km east of Akureyri. Litlá means little river in Icelandic.
This river is one of Iceland’s best trout rivers. It’s fished with four to five rods per day. This river offers good chances for catching arctic char as well, and seatrout and the odd salmon run the river in addition to that. The biggest Icelandic seatrout to date, a specimen of 23 pounds, was caught in this river.
The Litlá river is fed by several springs. Some of these springs are relatively warm, which means this river never freezes in the winter. This fact influences the food source of the trout positively, meaning that they can feed also in the winter time. Litlá goes into the glacier river Jokulsá and this place is one of the hotspots where the muddy glacial water is flowing on top of the gin-clear Litlá water. The fish are lying here.
The head water of Litlá is relatively narrow with slow current, in the middle and in the lower part it widens out with some rapids and deep pools.
The season on Litlá starts in April and you will be fishing for those big brownies and seatrout up until mid of May. From June to August the season reaches it’s peak and besides trout you can expect to catch some char. When the midges are hatching, you can experience fly fishing at it’s best.
Regarding the tackle, we recommend single handed rods in the common weights, depending on the flies you are casting. You should be equipped with stickleback imitations as well as midge-, caddis- and mayfly imitations in all stages of their lifecycle.
On the banks of the river there is a lodge, which suits up to 18 people. Like on many other rivers, there is a hot tub on the porch.
The Reykjadalsá river is located 60km east of Akureyri in the South-Thingeyjarsysla region. It’s a tributary to the Big Laxá in the Adaldalur-valley.
The Reykjadalsá can be fished on 35 Kilometer, with a maximum of six rods. The trout fishing is very good, in particular the fishing with the dry fly. The head water has a lot of rapids and pockets, until the river widens a bit and gets slower. This is also where the deep pools are and the big fish are lying. On it’s way to the Big Laxá the river flows through two lakes; in and around the first one, arctic char can be found.
The Reykjadalsá is normally fished with trout rods with line weights 3 to 6. Flies like Klinkhammers, Shuttlecocks, Caddis, Gnats, Midges etc. work as dry flies but remember to also bring nymphs. Stickleback imitations should be in the box as well.
The lodge is newly built and offers space for eight people in four double bed rooms with private bath. Like at Litlá river, there also is a hot tub on the porch.
Die Svartá ist he upper part of the Húseyjarkvísl, on top of the Reykjafoss waterfall. Salmon and sea trout cannot pass this place. In 2007 new leaseholders took over the Svartá. Since then it is flyonly and C&R, which improved the fishery. The Svartá is fished with 4 -6 rods per day.
In it’s head waters Svartá is running through a canyon, which is an absolutely stunning part. Everybody who fishes this river should at least take a look down there. You might have to walk a bit, but you will be rewarded with unspoilt nature and nearly unfished pools. The further down you get, the more the river meanders and flows slowly. You can either fish the river with nymphs or – depending on the hatches – with dry flies. Regarding the patterns the same rules as for Litlá and Reykjadalsá apply.
There is no lodge, but there is a great B&B located on the banks of the river. It offers three double bed rooms and a hot tub as well.
Die Brunná in Oxarfjordur is a gin-clear char-, trout- and seatrout river approximately 20 minutes away from Litlá. Due to it’s location it is perfectly suited for a combination trip with Litlá.
The Brunná river is fished with three rods per day, and it is fly-only and C&R. The season starts on April 1st and ends on October 10th. The surroundings of Brunná are absolutely gorgeous. The river flows into Jokulsá and like on Litlá this is a hotspot of the fishing. The Brunná river is fished on 10 kilometres which means there will be a lot of space for the three rods.
In the beginning of the season particularly trout and sea-trout are caught. In the beginning of June sea-char start running the river, which makes this river so special. The Brunná is actually one of the best rivers in Iceland for sea-run char, and together with the big brownies they are the main target in summer.
The first sea-trout arrive again end of August. An Icelandic saying is that the sea-trout season starts when the first snow can be seen on the mountain peaks around.
The beautiful and comfortable lodge made of wood is newly built and the river is in walking distance of it. It offers space for up to six persons.
The mighty Laxá is one of most beautiful and productive trout (and of course salmon) rivers in Iceland. The trout of the river grow to massive fish due to the enormous amount of midges, which makes the habitat that good. The Laxá has it’s source in lake Myvatn (which means midge lake in Icelandic) and as said these are the insects the trout feed on a lot. The river is located in the north-east of Iceland, which makes it well combinable with e.g. the Reykjadalsá (flows in the valley next to it). The river is divided into three parts:
- Laxá in Myvatnssveit: the upper part of the Laxá. Ten to twelve rods are available here from June 1st to August 31st. The Laxá in Myvatnssveit offers countless pools, pockets and deep runs. Due to it’s vast extent each rod has a lot of space and you never have to worry about too little fishing opportunities. This part of the Laxá is reknown as one of the best trout rivers in the world. Part of the fishery is a lodge.
- Laxá in Laxardalur: the middle part of the Laxá. This part is fished with ten rods per day, and the season starts like in the upper part on June 1st. The fishing is as spectacular as on the Myvatnssveit part. The accomodation type is a lodge with fullboard service comparable to the salmon fisheries in Iceland.
- Laxá in Adaldalur: the lower part of the river. Many flyfishermen will know this part as the „Big Laxá“: here also the salmon are runnig and they are some of the biggest of Iceland. Besides them however, there also are trout. Each season approximately 1000 of them are caught, and sometimes you get a big side catch in form of a salmon…The season starts on May 20th and closes on August 31st. There is no lodge available, but several B&B options exist close to the river.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for packaged trips availability.