The Fljotta is a small but exclusive river in the North of Iceland, with a good run of Salmon including some good-sized in the 8-15lb range. The river and lodge is typically booked in its entirety and fished by 4 rods, each fishing a separate beat and rotating every morning and afternoon session. Alongside the Salmon fishing, the Fljotta has an excellent run of Arctic Char.
The Fljotaa has an incredible variety of fishable water along its short length, of approx. 8 kms of fishable water. Ranging from fast streamy sections to deep pools surrounded by high rocky banks and then to slower streams with cut-banks where traditional salmon techniques make way to nymph fishing and some excellent fishing for Arctic Char. Techniques will range from using the typical assortment of Icelandic flies in the 12-16 size range as well as small ¼ and ½ inch tungsten tubes to get compact heavy flies down to the salmon lies in the deeper pools. Some anglers come to the Fljotaa almost exclusively to fish for the Arctic Char! There are few better rivers to do this, orange weighted nymphs being one of the most successful flies.
The upper beat of the Fljotta sources from a lake which feeds a hydro station. This section of the river is relatively speaking flat but flowing over boulder strewn water with a good number of lies, running into the 2nd beat where the river flows down a steeper gradient amidst tightly meandering turns. The bottom section of the lower beat has a deep holding pool where the river’s hydro station empties back into the river.
This has one of the most spectacular holding pools on the river. Overlooked by a perfectly situated high grassy knoll you can look into the lowermost depths of this extremely deep pool of maybe 7 or more meters. Salmon are always holding here, near the top of the water column if undisturbed but dropping down deeper should they feel the need to do so. This allows for classic Icelandic fishing where a partner or guide can provide directions to steer a fly towards the waiting salmon. The lower section of the middle beat has some faster flowing water with numerous holding areas along the way.
Here the river changes dramatically, slowing down before it finally enters an estuarine lake before emptying into the sea. This area of the river has a series of meandering curves and cut-banks and offers some of the best Arctic Char fishing alongside the salmon pools.
The lodge that serves the Fljotaa is simple and straightforward but more than adequate for most fishing parties. It is setup for self-catering however many groups choose to have a cook to come in to assist with evening meals or more if required. There are 5 bedrooms including two double beds, two twin rooms and one single room. It comfortably sleeps 4 anglers and one host. Food and other such provisions can be obtained from the small fishing town at Olafsfjordur.
The Fljotaa uses experienced, but freelance guides who will typically drop their day job for a stint on the river. Guides are almost always local with countless years watching, fishing and monitoring both the Fljotta and other rivers in Iceland and will always boost returns. Regardless of anglers experience or indeed budget it is highly recommended that the use of a guide be considered, whether individually or shared amongst the group to provide better and informed river knowledge as well as assisting with techniques for the river and pointing out the best lies and which ones to focus on. Guides will have a 4x4 vehicle.
Anglers need to fly to Reykjavik and from there travel to the river, either by a 5hr drive from Reykjavik or a 1 ½ hr drive from Akureyri where a hire car can be collected. In order to adequately fish the river with 4 rods split amongst the 4 beats two vehicles are recommended to access all the water. One hire vehicle and the use of a guides 4x4 should suffice.
-Travel to Fljotaa, either via hire car from Reykjavik (approx 5 hrs) or via domestic flight to Akureyri (35mins) and drive to Lodge (90 mins)
-1600-2000 1/2 day Fishing
-2 Full days fishing
-0700-1300hrs AM fishing session
-1600-2200 hrs PM fishing Session
-0700-1300 AM fishing
-Overnight Reykjavik or fly home
Although 3-day packages are the standard please enquire for availability and longer or shorter stays.
Late June-Late September.
Best Time to Go:
-Mid July offers the best Char fishing and is very popular
-Early to mid-August offers the mosst consistent salmon fishing.
-Late August-Sept best for technically savvy anglers as well as good Char fishing
-The rate varies over the season. Please enquire for availability and costs.
-2 half days and 2 full days on a typical 3 day package along with self-catered accommodation
-Guides can be booked by the day for an individual or to be shared amongst the group. Costs from approx £430/day
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The early reports were not encouraging. The West of Iceland had been suffering the worst early season drought that most river managers could remember. There had been no rain for 4 weeks, unheard of over late May and June in Iceland. Some rivers, without the benefit of a steady supply from large upland lakes ...
I first fished in Iceland in 2007. We were to fish a small river on the Northern coastline called the Fljota, which, common to almost all Icelandic Rivers, flows with water that is incredibly clear. This would necessitate the use of flies far smaller than one would normally expect to use whilst salmon fishing in almost any ...