End it with Arctic Char Fishing

by | Apr 26, 2019 | arctic char fishing

brown-trout-icelandHard to believe how fast these trips go by.  Today was my last day here in Iceland.  Its been a good one with catching some of the biggest brown trout of my life.


It was a cold start.  Gunnar planned to leave this morning and Bjarni came up with a great idea of fishing Arctic char in the Highlands of Iceland.  But before either of these plans unfolded we decided on an early session on the Karastaoir Beat for an hour just in case there was a big brown hanging around.


huge-brown-trout-icelandIt turns out there were three decent browns around.  Gunnar jumped in and caught the first.  I pulled in the second off the high cliff spot.  Neither of these were Lake Thingvallavatn big, but anywhere else in the world they were beautiful browns.


bjarni-bjarkason-icelandBjarni wasn’t on a prime spot so after he took some photos of me with mine I said get in here and get one then let’s hunt some char.  Bjarni made about three casts and got a dandy of his own.  Fishing was on!


Regardless of the fish around, Gunnar had to head back to the Fishpartner office and work.  He said his goodbyes and was off.  Bjarni and I were torn on what to do.  Bjarni said it was up to me.


It was a tough decision to make for sure.  I don’t get to fish for Arctic char often so I said, “Ten minutes without a brown and we’re gone.”


By the way we started I expected to be there awhile but ten minutes went by without a fish and we were gone.


Arctic-char-jeff-currierThe Arctic char thrive in the Highlands of Iceland and Fishpartner has a fishery where they are presently building a lodge.  It should be completed by mid-June.  It was a two hour drive to get there.  As usual it was beautiful and before we knew it I was taking in the view of the river.


Arctic-char-fliesArctic char like brightly colored flies.  I’d packed along a few just incase this moment came and went with a purple egg sucking wooly bugger.  Bjarni had a box full of cool flies.  Its nice to see some color in a box.


I’d spotted a fish from the cliffs before I even got my feet wet.  There were actually a few fish and I made my move down to the river and below the cliff.  It didn’t take long before I landed my first of the colorful char.


Arctic-char-icelandPulling such a beautiful fish out of a barren cold landscape like the Highlands in April is an amazing thing.  Things look so bland and colorless all around and them boom! I released him then gradually learned the char weren’t as easy to catch as that first one seemed.


Jeff-Currier-Arctic-charThe char eat a fly differently than the brown trout.  At first I was stripping fast along the surface.  I was getting the odd char.  But when I slowed my strip down and let my fly sink near the bottom I got them regularly.  Furthermore, if I didn’t yank one up off the bottom, near the end of my presentation when my fly was dangling below me, I’d let it sit there a few seconds.  I’d get them then also.




As the afternoon passed the temperature plummeted and the wind picked up.  I’d waded all the way across the river and caught around 15 char and one last Icelandic brown trout.  I noticed Bjarni wasn’t fishing so I meandered back to the car.  There he was laughing telling me I was nuts.  He got hungry and cold and told me I’d make a good Icelander.  I never feel a thing when the fishing is good!


At 7 PM we packed it up for good.  Its always sad putting my rods away but it was time.  We returned to Reykjavik around 9 PM.  I took a shower then organized my stuff for flying home in the morning then we hit the town for pizza and beer and met up with Gunnar.  You guessed it, another 1 AM bedtime.


Jeff-Currier-brown-troutThis has been no less than a SPECTACULAR trip.  I broke the biggest brown trout of my life twice with the 33” fat one on day one from Lake Thingvallavatn and then the 36.5” beast with Ingo on the Tungulaekur River.  All I can say is that I’m a ridiculously lucky man these days and I don’t take a minute for granted.


Lake-ThingvallavatnA special thanks goes out to Kristjan of Fishpartner for instigating this adventure on a cold day back in January under the fluorescent lights at the Denver Fly Fishing Show.  And then to Ingo of Strengur Angling Club for helping it all come together.  And of course, Bjarni and Gunnar for also hosting me along in the fun.  Its wonderful to have such friends not just here in Iceland but throughout the world.


I’m guessing that there are a few readers considering doing this same trip.  Always feel free to Contact me at any time and I can point you to the guys.  These trips will also be offered by my friends at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures in the very near future.


Time to head home.  Unpack.  And then how about some roosterfish?  Stay tuned!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!