It was a short night in Iceland as far as darkness is concerned. I enjoyed my time in the rain walking every inch of Reykjavik until about 10:30 PM. Then the sun came out just before finally retiring to my Guesthouse. I wanted to keep going because the sun was lingering low in the horizon – unsure if it ever wanted to set. If you’ve never seen the midnight sun its absolutely beautiful. But I was toast after that last local brew.
After I went to sleep I woke up in light conditions that looked like noon, but I felt very tired still. Of course I was, despite the sun already being up it was only 2 AM! I slipped on an eye patch and went back to sleep till almost 7.
At 9:30 AM Ingo of Icelandic Fly Fishermen had a taxi pick me up and scoot me the half hour up to Mosfellsbaer where some clients/friends of Ingo picked me up. They are fishing the same place Ingo and I are so they drove me up to a roadside stop where I met Ingo driving his brother-in-law Hilmar’s Land Rover. This rig is a true classic with plenty of fishing miles on it. Then we drove together to Akureyri and onward to where we are now, the Vökuholt Lodge on the Laxá í Ađaldal or better known in Iceland as Laxamýri Laxá í Ađaldal.
The travel since Victor, Idaho caught up with me by arrival time at the lodge. But a coffee and some Gu got me going and soon Ingo and I were fishing together for our first time on beat 4. Tonight Ingo and I had beat 4 and 2.
All salmon fishing in Iceland is privately owned and leased by lodges. Ingo and Icelandic Fly Fishermen are connected with many lodges and can get you on some of the best Atlantic salmon fishing in Iceland. Each lodge has the rights to certain beats and you as an angler fish the beats. Here it works that two anglers can share one rod on a beat, typically for three days, for a set session time of 7 AM till 1 PM and then 4 PM till 10 PM (anglers never fish the same beat twice in a row). This doesn’t include a guide but Ingo can organize you one and it’s highly recommended. At our lodge we’ll rotate beats with eight others over the next five days. Basically we’ll fish eight sessions rotating through all the beats at least once.
No matter how tired or disoriented I am from whatever, put me in waders in thigh deep water and I’m wide awake. My jet lag and tiredness was long gone when Ingo lined me up on a salmon run and told me where to cast. Being we are fishing for Atlantic salmon, I’m fishing my Winston 9 foot 9-weight SX with the Scientific Anglers Salmon Steelhead floating line. Then a straight piece of 22lb SA flouro all held together on my Abel Super 9/10 reel. Ingo and most salmon anglers in Iceland prefer to use Spey rods on the Laxa (big rivers), but going back to 2010 in Norway, I am the “Single Handed American”, big river or not.
The first few runs we fished didn’t produce. It’s likely I was getting my technique in order so the salmon were too clever. About three hours into our session I had a close call. As soon as my fly landed an Atlantic swirled on the splatting fly. But that was it. He didn’t strike and for the final hours of our session till 10 PM we didn’t see another fish. No worries however, this is Atlantic salmon fishing and we have another week and we’re in Iceland, where some of the finest Atlantic salmon fishing still exists.
Everywhere you look in Iceland there are spectacular sights. The Laxá í Ađaldal is a stunning river filling everything I dreamt Iceland was. As my fly swings through the river I find myself in awe looking at the surroundings. Its big sky country with snow capped peaks, volcanoes and miles of green grass pastures. A trip to Iceland is a must for every traveler whether fly fisherman or not.
We ended out session at 10 PM. I was exhausted but wasn’t hitting bed without dinner. Dinner is at 11 PM and by the time we finished the scrumptious meal it was easily midnight. Just like last night, the sun lingered low in the horizon – the midnight sun – truly extraordinary!
A very special thanks to Icelandic Fly Fishermen for making this trip possible!
Stay tuned for day by day accounts.