The Grimsa sits alongside the top rated and most spectacular of the Icelandic Salmon rivers. Medium sized and extremely scenic it is a prolific grilse river that sits amongst the top 10 salmon producing rivers in Iceland. Situated 100kms North of Reykjavik it is easily accessible and ideal for both ½ week and full week fishing trips.

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Grimsa River


The Grimsa is a medium sized river with easily accessible pools. The fishable part of the river is 30 kms long with 60 named pools. Along with the other rivers on the West coast of Iceland it benefits from the earliest runs of fish. During June the lodge capacity is limited to 8 rods, increasing to 10 rods in July during the prime month by which time the salmon will have filled all the pools in the river system. Annual salmon catches over the season range from 1,200-1,800.  The river is fed by a large lake in the headwaters.   This ensures that the river always has a sustainable flow of water.

The lower beats closest to the lodge are the most rugged looking with the river flowing through rocky gorges, waterfalls and generally very scenic areas.   Despite this, all the pools are easily accessed and easy to fish.  There are very few areas where a long line would be a requirement and although shorter switch rods are helpful in windy conditions single-handed rods in most situations would be sufficient.

The upper two beats cover a more extensive section of the river as it meanders through the valley surrounded by farmland, leading up to a final waterfall pool, beyond which the salmon cannot go any further.   Whilst these pools lack some of the dramatic characteristics of the rockier sections closer to the lodge, they also represent some of the best and largest holding pools and can be very productive.   

A beat rotation is in place, typically with pairs fishing one beat each morning and afternoon session.   At the outset of your stay, the rotation will be finalised depending on the river conditions at the time to ensure that each beat has a proportionate amount of productive pools.  Anglers draw a card to determine their starting position in the rotation on arrival.

 

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The Fishing


For the most part, the river can be fished with a single-handed rod. Stealth and good presentation will always reward the angler with more opportunities. A switch rod or a short-double-handed rod can be an advantage on the days when it is windy or where back-casts are awkward due to high banks and cliffs. There is a good run of Sea Trout from July onwards. The fishing is fly only and although anglers are welcome to take salmon catch and release is encouraged and widely practiced.

Although floating lines are the most widely used, having an alternate rod set up to fish the pools at different depths or in a different manner can be very productive and is an efficient way to quickly switch techniques whilst fishing a pool.   Anglers should consider having at least a sink tip line and a full range of flies ranging from the very small trebles in sizes 14-18, hitches, sunrays in all sizes as well as copper & tungsten bodied tubes or coneheads.   The extensive variety of pools mean that anglers who are flexible and open-minded in how they fish it will typically be rewarded with more opportunities.   Nymphing is also an effective technique.

For those unused to fishing in Iceland hitching a fly is an incredibly exciting and very visual technique.   Seeing the fly skate over the surface of the pool and having a salmon rise up and take it like a Trout will have your heart palpitating in excitement!   If your fishing partner or guide has a suitable vantage point expect excitement on a level equivalent to a world-cup penalty shoot-out!

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The Lodging


Towering above the most productive pool on the river, the Laxfoss, guests are treated to a spectacular view of the fishing below which is rarely short of activity. Ernest Schwiebert, a notable architect from the USA was a passionate angler of the Grimsa as well as being a renowned angling author. His love and knowledge of the river led to his appointment as architect for the lodge and his time on the river provided the inspiration for the design.

The lodge is large, comfortable and spacious!   There are 14 guest rooms with twin beds which are shared amongst the 8-10 rods.  Anglers with a full rod will always have an individual room however it also means that in most situations when fishing a shared rod, anglers will more likely than not all have an individual room.  All rooms are ensuite with the exception of two pairs of rooms which share an interconnecting bathroom.   

The main dining room & sitting room has a spectacular view onto the river as do a good proportion of the bedrooms.  Changing room , outdoor hot tub, sauna, drying room, tying desk, tv room and wi-fi make it one of the most well-appointed lodges in Iceland!

 

 

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Food & Drink


The Grimsa has a reputation for securing outstanding chefs.  Meals are of a very high quality and are of restaurant standard!  Fish hard, work hard, build up a good appetite and enjoy the full culinary experience that you will be treated to!  Expect a cooked breakfast, lunch, hors d'oeuvres on return in the evening as well as a three-course dinner.

Although it is common to have the main meal after fishing in the evening, a lot of groups request that they have the main meal at lunch, followed by a lighter supper on account of the long fishing hours.  Although group consensus is required, this would always be the WhereWiseMenFish suggestion!

Alcohol is expensive in Iceland, however on arrival into Keflavik airport there is an excellent and very extensive duty free with an excellent range of good wines, spirits and beers at affordable untaxed prices.   The allowance is for 6 units/person which should allow even thirsty anglers to be self-sufficient over 3 days!

(Wine -1 unit, Spirits-2 units, Case of beer-3 unit)

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Rod Sharing in Iceland


This is commonly practiced in Iceland and is a good way to not just keep the costs down but also to get the most out of the fishing. Having your partner spot the fish, guide your cast until it is covering the fish and then watching the salmon react and hopefully take the fly is an experience every angler should experience. Fishing hours in Iceland are long with up to 12 hrs of guiding each day.  A shared rod need not be an agonising wait until your turn!   

During the early or later weeks it may make more sense to fish a full rod when the catch numbers are lower however equally dutring the peak periods over July when the action can be pretty full then if you wanted to split the costs then this would be the best time to do so.

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Grimsa Guides & River Transport


Guests of the lodge fish with a guide shared between two rods. The Grimsa guides are knowledgeable and all speak fluent English. They will happily coach, spot or assist as required with all the special techniques particular to Icelandic salmon fishing. Transport is provided using the guide’s 4wd vehicle and good access is provided to almost every pool.

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Getting to the Grimsa


Depending on where you are flying from you should be able to arrive into Keflavik airport (KEF) in the morning, be collected on arrival by the lodge transport and taken to the lodge in time for the afternoon session, typically having stopped off for lunch in Reykjavik on the way.   If time is not of the essence then guests can overnight in Reykjavik, and then be collected around 2pm for the journey to the lodge, approx 1 hr from Reykjavik or 1hr 45 mins from Keflavik international airport.

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Typical 3 Day Itinerary

Arrival Day

-Arrive KEF International Airport
-Overnight Reykjavik

Day 1

-Collected from Hotel or international airport as appropriate
-Transfer to Grimsa Lodge
-16.00-22.00hrs - Evening Fishing Session

Day 2-3

-2 Full Days Fishing
-08.00-13.00 hrs - Morning Session
-Lunch/Siesta
-16.00-22.00hrs - Evening Session

Day 4

-08.00-12.00 hrs - Morning Session
-Lunch
-Depart Lodge
-Overnight Reykjavik or Fly Home

Most fishing in Iceland is split int 3 day packages. It is quite common to split 3 day packages between two different rivers

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Rates & Availability

Season:

Runs from late June-early September

Rate:

-Please inquire for availability and weekly rates.
-Rates will vary from week to week.
-Lodge Capacity 8-10 full rods, shared rods welcome

Package Includes:

-Guide shared between 2 full paying rods
-3 nights full board accommodation
-Single room/full rod
-Return transfers from Reykjavik
-National Fishing License

Note:

Does not include, accommodation or meals in Reykjavik, KEF-Reykjavik transfers unless stated,, international flights, insurance, gratuities, alcoholic beverages

Best Times to Go

July is typically considered the prime month on the Grimsa and most West Coast rivers in Iceland

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