Fly-fishing the Vatnsdalsa River in Iceland for Atlantic Salmon offers the chance to fish on one of Iceland's most prestigious waters. The Vatnsdalsa has a long and unique history in providing Salmon fisherman the world over with a private setting in which to enjoy one of Iceland's best rivers. One of the few rivers in Iceland to produce large numbers of multi-sea winter fish, meaning fish in excess of 100 centimetres (twenty pounds in weight) make up a good proportion of the catch. Being the first river to introduce 'catch and release' in the late 1990's the Vatnsdalsa now has a self-sustaining population which averages eleven hundred Salmon landed each year. Each season anglers catch Salmon in the twenty-two to twenty-five pound range and only fly-fishing is allowed.
The Vatnsdalsa River is located in the north of the country, approximately three hours' drive from the city of Reykjavik. This long river (over forty-four kilometres) has a huge diversity of water for the Salmon angler. The river is split up into three main beats, giving every angler enough space to enjoy the beauty and serenity of Vantsdalsa River. There are over forty different pools in Vatnsdalsa and the salmon-fishing area stretches to around twenty kilometres, giving plenty of space for six different rods on average. The middle beat of the river, approximately twelve kilometres in length, is prime Arctic char water, but also includes Brown Trout, Sea Trout, and Salmon.
The stunning valley which this river flows through ensures you feel like you are fishing a special part of the world. The river itself offers a diverse range of Salmon fishing pools, from the stunning gorge section where Salmon can be spotted up high, to the meandering pool, riffle-run section above the lake and the famous sea pool in the lower river where fresh fish pour into the river on the incoming tide.
The river is ideally fished with a 12 foot 8 or 9 weight rod. Small tube flies and 'hitched' flies are the most effective and interesting ways to fish the Vatnsdalsa. Fishing the 'hitched' fly and watching a big Atlantic Salmon take it from the surface is an experience all Salmon fisherman should try at least once.
Hiring guides when fishing in Vatnsdalsa is recommended, especially when visiting the river for the first time. This includes a 4WD vehicle which is almost a necessity when fishing in Vatnsdalsa. Fishing the river properly requires a lot of river crossing.
Fly Odyssey offers prime weeks in July through August fishing the Vatnsdalsa River and runs both groups and individual bookings on this river. Availability on the Vatnsdalsa is at a premium and open rods will sell very quickly. For the unique opportunity to fish this river please get in touch.
We would advise all anglers to bring their own gear, from waders and boots to rods, reels lines and flies etc. Whilst single-handed rods work very well it always worth putting in a small double-handed rod to offer variety on your fishing trip and the slightly longer double-handed rods can give you greater control over your fly helping to work the pools more effectively.