Dear Mat, I just wanted to express my profoundest appreciation…
Paul Procter reports on his recent fortnight of hosted trips fly fishing Europe’s finest brown trout river the mighty Big Laxa……
In early July a group of Fly Odyssey anglers left behind UK soaring temperatures in search of Icelandic midge hatches. Yet, in contrast to the weather back home, Iceland was suffering its wettest and windiest summer for over 100 years. Naturally then there were concerns as to whether any midges would play ball and even if they did, Iceland’s raging winds often do a good job of scuppering dry fly sport by dispersing fly across the surface, rather than allowing them to be filtered into subtle feeding lanes, so coveted by wild brown trout.
Granted, we did experience periods of high winds, but there were plenty of calm spells too. Alan Swann, Brian Garner and Colin Radcliffe were treated to what can only be described as “dry fly heaven” on their first morning. With trout topping everywhere, buck fever reared its ugly head making it difficult to remain composed amongst so many slurping trout. Eventually though, everyone held their nerve to come good.
Colin found form using a CdC creation of his own though this only lasted so long as hell bent on reaching the horizon, Icelandic trout really do pull like trains. His hook wasn’t up to the task and third trout in this got prised open! Stepping up to a heavier hook model, he was so back in the game. Alan Swann took a different route and found a crosswind blowing bibio onto the surface. Here, he managed some stunning trout with small black dry flies.
Jon Pepper joined the group and quickly remarked not only on the number of rising fish, but their out and out tenacity too. We considered this a true testament as being well travelled, Jon has pretty much fished everywhere. Darryl Mooney, Brian Malloy and Kevin Stolz were late comers, who seemed worried they’d missed the best of it due to fishing pressure. Yet, such is the volume of trout they couldn’t have been further from the truth. I remember Darryl’s beaming smile after his first morning and him uttering the words “pure magic”.
Comparing notes afterwards, all agreed it was a privilege not only to pursue wild brown trout in such a raw environment, but more so to be sampling fish which were genetically unspoilt! Personally, I’ll admit the average size of trout is appealing here, but perhaps the biggest draw to me is being able to fling at snouts poking through the surface, as surely this ranks as the pinnacle of trout fishing!
Let’s not forget the out and out condition of trout living here either, as immaculate in every way the fish we caught fell into the “picture postcard” category. Going forward, Fly Odyssey aim to secure private beats in readiness for the 2019 adventure. But be warned though, places will be selling like hot cakes!