Flyfishing on Rivers in Iceland

There are countless good trout rivers and nearly 100 salmon rivers in Iceland. Rivers in the north and east are notable fore for their large salmon, while grikls provide most of the sport in rivers elsewhere. Nearly all of the rivers are short, and in summer they offer sight fishing for salmon in crystal clear waters that are sometimes tinged with orange.

Breiðdalsá and Tinnudulsa

Sue Parker fishng on Breiddalsa

Breiddalsa is the major upper arm of the Jökla River, which at 150 km in length is the longest river of Eastern Iceland, draining a catchment of some 2610 km². (The Jökla River itself has been dammed recently and now is a much slower and less silt-laden stream.)

Below: A spectacular waterfall on the Breiðdalsá River
River Breiddalsa


The Breiðdalsá is a small to medium-sized river. It meanders through a peaceful valley surrounded by high mountains until it is joined by the swifter and more rocky Tinnudulsa, its main tributary. From the confluence onwards it is a more significant river.

Tinnudulsa River
A lovely pool on the Tinnudulsa

Trout Fishing

Although not a noted trout fishery, in fact there are some very fine brown trout and char on this river system, so that when the salmon fishing is slow they provide an opportunity for good sport.

Below: Salmon fishing on a nice glide

A 9 ft or even 9.5 ft rod is ideal for this river, and an AFTM #6 floater with a 10 ft leader tapering to about 3lbs can be used to advantage in low-water conditions.

Salmon fishing

873 salmon were reported caught on Breiðdalsá in 2007, which was a low-water year. A 15 ft rod is more than adequate, and most of the river can in fact be covered easily with a 13 ft rod. The best of the fishing is in late August, and Michael Evans, who has run many hosted fishing trips to this river and knows the Breiðdalsá very well, reckons on 1 to 5 salmon per rod-day as a realistic expectation for that time of year - always subject to weather conditions and water height of course, as all salmon fishing is.

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