Laxa in Kjos is one of the Top 10 producing Atlantic Salmon rivers in Iceland. Running through a deep glacial valley it is an exceptionally scenic and varied river offering salmon anglers exceptional light-tackle fishing. Situated on the West coast of Iceland it is just one hours drive from Reykjavik and 90 minutes from Keflavik International airport it is easily accessible and a good option for both full and half week fishing trips.
A medium sized river by Icelandic standards, the river is fished by ten rods, with over 80 named pools. The character of the river provides as varied a fishing environment, across the beats, as you could wish for. The river sources from Lake Stiflisdalsvatn and then follows a tumultuous route where it cascades through a steeply-sided glacial valley. The surroundings then open out to reveal a luscious arable flood plain where it meanders more gracefully prior to a final falls pool and the sea, some 17kms from the source.
Alongside the main river there is a smaller tributary, the Bugba, that joins just above the main lodge. It enjoys a reasonable run of fish and given good-water conditions can provide very exciting sport alongside a substantial stock of brown trout.
There are 5 beats in total, each beat being fished by a pair of rods. Four are on the main river with an additional two rods on the Bugba. There is an additional ‘free’ meadow beat, charachterised by slower moving water and cut bank pools which guests can opt to fish if their assigned beat is not producing.
Laxa in Kjos is primarily a grilse river, offering great sport on light single and double-handed rods. Larger fish are caught each season and a mandatory catch and release rule for fish over 70cm is in place. This along with other conservation measures will hopefully help restore the balance of this and other West coast rivers which traditionally had a strong run of MSW salmon. There are good opportunities for sight-fishing to salmon on a number of the pools and fishing with hitched flies is both exciting and very effective. Most of the fishing is done with a floating line, with small tungsten tubes being used if additional depth is required. It is prudent to bring a sink tip in case the river is in spate. The Bugda is a much more intimate river and an added degree of stealth and accurate presentation are required to get the best results of what can be very close-quarter fishing.
Brown Trout & Sea Trout
The brown trout fishing is also of a high standard and can be an exciting addition to the salmon fishing or an alternative if the salmon are not taking. The Kjos also has a reasonable run of sea-trout, the biggest showing up in early July where fish of over 10lbs can be caught.
In 2007 a new and very comfortable lodge was built to provide accommodation for all anglers fishing the river. Overlooking Kingenberg Pool and with views down towards the famous Laxfoss it is superbly situated to allow anglers to enjoy the sights both on and off the river. Anglers have individual spacious ensuite rooms with river views. All the rooms have a twin bed for those who want to share a rod. The lodge has all the facilities that you would expect from a premium fishing lodge with very high quality cuisine along with space to relax and enjoy the whole experience.
Guests of the lodge fish with a guide shared between two rods. The Laxa in Kjos 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.
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 work with your fishing partner, spotting the fish and directing the action whilst the other casts from a stealthy position. Fishing hours in Iceland are long with 10 hrs of guiding each day. A shared rod need not be an agonising wait until your turn!
Icelandic Salmon flies are typically smaller than those used elsewhere on account of the clarity of the water requiring much smaller sizes than would normally be used with sizes from 10-14 being standard although size 16 and smaller may be used in very low-water conditions. Hitched salmon flies are very popular during the summer months and tungsten coneheads tubes can be very useful to get a fly fishing at the right depth quickly in deep fast flowing channels. The following flies in varying sizes and styles, double, treble, hitched or conehead tubes are amongst the top-producing flies on the Kjos. A full range of Icelandic Salmon Flies can be found at www.salarflies.com
Guests typically fly into Keflavik International airport where they are collected and driven to a hotel in Reykjavik (45 mins). The following day at a pre-arranged time (around 1pm) you will be collected and driven to the lodge (1hr 20 mins). On departure guests can stay overnight in Reykjavik but it is usually possible to fly home following the morning fishing session.
-Arrive Keflavik Airport
-Transfer to Lodge
-Evening Fishing 16.00-22.00
-2 Full days fishing
-07.00-13.00 - Morning Session
-13.30 - Lunch/Siesta
-16.00-22.00 - Evening Session
-07.00-13.00 - Morning Session
-Depart Lodge - Transfer to Reykjavik
-Overnight Reykjavik or international flight home
Fishing in Iceland is typically split into 3 day packages however varied length or split week trips with 3 days at one lodge followed by 3 days at another are quite common.
The season runs from mid-June until early September.
-Varies over the season - Rates and availability on application
-Lodge capacity 10 full rods, shared rods available
- Three nights full board accommodation
- 2 full and 2 x 1/2 days fishing
- Scheduled transportation from Reykjavik
- Guide shared between 2 full rods
- All transport at the lodge
- National fishing license
-Package does not include gratuities, transfers from KEF unless stated, international flights, accommodation or meals in Reykjavik.
-Lodge capacity is 10 guests
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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 ...