One of Iceland’s most renowned rivers for fly fishing, The Vatnsdalsa River attracts many anglers each year looking to enjoy the large run of multi-sea Winter Atlantic Salmon.
Easy to access and providing over 40 kilometres of fly fishing waters, the river is a magnet for keen fly fishermen from all over the world. It’s also home to an excellent eight-rod lodge overlooking the river, providing a great fishing base.
This is a full-service lodge set close to the banks of the river and can accommodate up to eight anglers. The lodge was built in 1964 and upgraded in 2003. It offers extremely smart and comfortable accommodation with spectacular views from the lounge. Each room is equipped with an en-suite shower. There is a spacious and comfortable common living area with a TV and a separate dining area. The food is first class. There is a hot-tub and a steam-bath where you can relax after a day outdoors.
Following breakfast you fish from about 8:00am through to 12:00/1:00pm when you have a riverside lunch or return back to the lodge if you prefer. Then, you fish again until the late afternoon. In the evening there is a three-course meal.
We would advise all anglers to hire a guide. It is usually one guide to two anglers and includes the 4WD transport.
For the non-fisher, there is horse-back riding and a mini four-hole golf course close to the lodge plus endless nature walks and of course fantastic scenery to view in this unique country.
WIFI is available in the lodge but you will need to bring your own laptop or tablet.
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 history of providing Salmon fisherman the world over 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.
Passport with minimum six months validity and photo ID to purchase fishing licence. No Visa required.
Fly direct to Reykjavik. The lodge is a two-hour drive from Reykjavik.
All fishing tackle and equipment must be sterilised and you must have a validating certificate.
Let us do the groundwork for you.
Our tailored fly fishing and accommodation itineraries are designed with you in mind to suit your preferences. They are also quoted in your local currency with very favourable exchange rates.
Fly Odyssey have access to the best guiding and lodging rates, suitable tides and updated availability to this destination which can vary throughout the season.
This includes flight bookings, transit accommodation, transfers and a host of non-angling activities and experiences.
We specialise in group stays to the region, and our long involvement with our partners on the ground in Iceland will ensure you are well looked after both on and off the water.
This includes extended stays in Reykjavik and elsewhere
Please enquire for the latest rates and availability, including information on any applicable special offers.
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