Fly Fishing in Iceland Moves Near the Sea

by | Apr 22, 2019 | fly fishing in Iceland, sea trout

lake-thingvallavatnWe awoke to an incredibly nice day here on the banks of Lake Thingvallavatn here in Iceland.  The sky was mostly blue and the vast lake was calm.  Nonetheless it was time to leave here for a few days.  The Fishpartner crew, Kristjan and Bjarni had to return to work and it was time for me to fish with another of my Icelandic friends, Ingo Helgason.


strengur-angling-clubIngo and I met at the New Jersey Fly Fishing Show in 2012.  We became friends and he’s since treated me twice to Atlantic salmon fishing here in Iceland (2014 & 2016).  He presently works with another friend, Gisli Asgeirsson, both for another top fishing tour operator in Iceland, the Strengur Angling Club.  After a visit at their office in Reykjavik, Ingo and I loaded his truck and took for the wilds.


fly-fishing-icelandWe drove straight east along the southern coast of Iceland for the Tungulaekur River, a new river of Strengur.  While Iceland has long been known for its famous Atlantic salmon rivers, the island nation has its share of sea run brown trout rivers as well. Lucky for me, the Tungulaekur is considered the best sea run brown trout river in all of Iceland!


iceland-sea-troutIt was a gorgeous 31/2 hour drive from Reykjavik to the farm house we’re staying at.  To break up the drive we stopped for lunch in Selfoss at one of Ingo’s haunts, Kaffi Krus.  Whenever I eat out in Iceland I order fish & chips.  I sample fish & chips throughout the world but here in Iceland they’re hard to beat.  We enjoyed the rest of our drive in full-on American road trip style with stops for cokes, chips and even Magnum ice cream bars.




We arrived at the farm house around 5.  The farm house is about 15 minutes from the Tungulaekur and the road into the house was washed out in a section making for some nasty four wheeling. Staying 15 minutes away isn’t the normal protocol for fishing this river but the long time lodge here is no longer and Strengur is building a new on that will be ready for this year’s fall brown trout season.


Tungulaekur-RiverWe tossed our bags in our house then wadered up.  Though most of the day had been nice, now there was drizzle and plenty of wind.  We drove straight to the Tungulaekur and found ourselves rigging by 6 PM.


Sea run brown trout rivers are much different than a mountain stream back home.  Because we’re so near the ocean there’s not much gradient and there are no trees.  Hardly any shrubs for that matter.  Here is only grass, moss and shrubs.  The river seems tired but only from the relentless winds and harsh weather.  Once you fire the first cast you learn this river is full of life.


sea-run-brown-troutThe best sea run brown trout fishing here is from August 20th until it closes in mid October for brown trout spawning.  From April 1st in to May is a short spring season.  Its not considered as good as fall only because the fish are not in perfect shape.  They endured the stress of spawning in November then the Icelandic winter.  However these big trout are aggressive and fun to catch as they are busy fattening up and working their way back to the ocean for summer.


Bauer-fly-reelWe were both fishing our 7-weights.  Ingo went with a floating line while I had my Scientific Anglers Sonar Intermediate.  I tied on the first fly I saw which happened to be a rubber leg-conehead bitch creek.  Then went to work.  I started by fishing the deep at the top of the hole but took a few steps downstream after each cast.



photo by Ingo Helgason/Strengur Angling Club

When I’m prowling for fish on a new river I like to move fast.  I also change my stripping techniques each cast.  Sometimes I move my fly fast then slow it down.  This also allows me to change my depth.  Things started slow but I think it was partially due that both of us were tired from the long day.  Even so, I jumped this fish which by the looks was no slouch of a trout!






At 7 PM we tried the last hole of the Tungulaekur before it hits a major river then to the ocean.  It was in the tail out where I raised a big brown.  I got a good look at him but he wasn’t fooled by my fly.  I made one more cast and hooked another smaller.  I soon landed a nice silvery 4lb sea trout!


monster-brown-troutIngo and I had already decided this evening fishing would be short. There’s a restaurant in town that serves burgers till 9.  We weren’t going to miss that.  After I landed the fish we thought about leaving but I was enticed to fish where the Tungulaekur entered this massive river.



photo by Ingo Helgason/Strengur Angling

The massive river was muddy as can be but the Tungulaekur sent in a streak of its clear water into it.  I cast into the clear water and worked my way down.  Second cast I got hit hard.  Off went a fiery fish into the heavy current and murky water of the big river.




photo by Ingo Helgason/Strengur Angling Club

It was a thrilling battle for nearly five minutes.  And with the muddy colored big river we really couldn’t see the size of the brown I had on.  At last I got a glimpse of its length and I let out a holly ****!


We didn’t have a net and our bank was steep. There was one spot where the current slowed and a two foot section of beach existed.  It was a chore but soon I got the big trout’s head on the sand and Ingo grabbed its tail.


The old aged brown trout was a sight to behold.  First of all he was a beast.  His length was 92 cm which is more than 36”!  He was thin likely from a hard winter but also a lifetime of spreading good genes.  After quickly admiring the existence of this big boy we released him.


currier-fishing-icelandIt was borderline time to pack it up in order not to miss burgers in town but I couldn’t help myself, I launched another cast.  Then another.  And soon I hooked up again this time landing an 85 cm fish.


That was it.  After releasing this one I reeled it in and smiled to Ingo,  “We have a full day tomorrow.  Let’s crush some beer and burgers!”


The burgers were good and we are two happy dudes.  I honestly can’t believe how great the fishing has been so far on this trip.  As with any of my excursions, if you want do this feel free to contact me and I’ll get you connected.


Fasten your seatbelt for tomorrow!


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!