It’s the last day in Iceland and only a few hours of fishing took place this morning on the Selá River. The weather was cool, gray and drizzly. A perfect day to catch one more Atlantic salmon on this Iceland trip. And if you read this blog often, you know I like to end trips on a high note. But the day didn’t start well. My Simms G4 Zipper waders were missing from the wader room because a guest grabbed the wrong pair when he left last night. A bad start to say the least. But that’s life. Ingo loaned me an extra of his and off we went to Beat 4 almost expecting something to happen.
Granny and I were tired. Today was the tenth day of fishing. I wasn’t missing the last chance for anything, but Granny opted to spectate. Ingo and I celebrated this amazing week together with cigars in the rain then hit the water.
Ingo insisted I do all the fishing. Beat 4 is one he’s familiar with and we went right to pools he’s taken salmon at before. The first hour at the first pool we saw some leaping grilse but never touched one. The second pool looked incredible but we saw nothing. The third pool, #42 named Bryggjur, had one obvious spot where a big salmon would live. Ingo handed me one of his small salmon flies and I went into action with confidence. I hooked into a tank on my second cast.
The grab from an Atlantic salmon is one of the great experiences in fly fishing. For me, it always happens so fast it’s a blur. In the beginning of the trip I often screwed up by setting the hook. But now, ten days later, somehow I’ve mastered the technique of giving the fish some line then gently lifting my rod without even thinking about it. This fish was hooked well and took off like lightening downstream towards the rapids and rocks.
I ran downstream with the Atlantic pressuring and testing my tippet as much as I dared. I knew if the salmon went down the rapids landing him would be doubtful. I leaned hard with sideways pressure with my Winston and managed to turn the large fish. Then to my delight the salmon ran upstream to a safer area to handle. I followed and got up on the bank.
I kept the heat on this fish. Ingo always gets nervous. But I trust my tippet and the backbone of my rod. This fish didn’t jump at all the first five minutes of battle and saved all its energy to swim and pull. Finally, after ten minutes the salmon jumped.
The leap about finished her off. I had a big dark colored female. Ingo eased his way into the water with his mammoth net. I walked back on the bank. Sometimes it’s easier to walk backwards on the bank rather than reel in too much line. Inch by inch I worked my fish to Ingo. At last, in one quick stab he had her in the net.
I tailed the beautiful salmon and lifted her with pure amazement. Atlantic salmon are one of the most wonderful creatures on earth. On the last trip to Iceland I landed a hefty female salmon in the last session and here we were – it happened again. Ingo and I were all smiles.
After I released the 84cm beauty I was done. What a way to end it. Ingo tried to get me in fishing mode again but this time I insisted he fish. He worked one more pool then returned and we called it a trip. My second trip and Granny’s first trip to Iceland is in the books.
We made the seven-hour drive back to Reykjavik through the afternoon and evening. We drove in and out of rain and saw some amazing countryside. Iceland is spectacular far beyond its fantastic fishing.
We just finished a late dinner of pizza in downtown Reykjavik. Ingo’s wife Hanna came down to join us. It was great to meet her. The big news however is that we recovered my waders. The guest we suspected to have taken them is also staying here in Reykjavik. We contacted him and sure enough he checked and had mistakenly taken mine. They were on their way to Russia but not anymore.
Its late now. Its almost 1 AM and our pick up for the airport is at 5:15 AM. It’s time for a few hours rest then the long journey home. I plan to stay awake the whole flight to catch a glimpse of Greenland and summarize the trip with one final blog. This was a good one for sure.