After massively expanding our portfolio of fly fishing destinations in Iceland, offering an array of quality locations for Salmon, Trout and Char, one reoccurring request was for a tour catering to genuine double-handed fishing with the chance to catch some of the biggest fish in the land. After working hard with our existing supplier and experienced Icelandic head fly fishing guide (Matti), we’ve put together a package for precisely that.
Based on the banks of the famous Laxá in Aðaldal, located around an hour’s drive from Akureyri and just a ten-minute drive from the town of Húsavík, this exciting new Atlantic Salmon fishing trip offers travelling rods one of the best chances in the country to land a true giant. Renowned for its large ‘multi-wintered’ Salmon, it’s responsible for around 1,600 fish per year, and it regularly produces some of the country’s biggest fish, throwing up more 20lb specimens than most rivers combined. As well as the Laxá, this unique trip also offers anglers the chance to wet a line on the equally exciting Nes, Laxamýri and Árbót beats, along with the tributary Mýrarkvísl.
Based on a small number of rods with access to an incredible amount of pristine water, this is the perfect trip for Salmon fishing purists looking to sample some of the best Salmon fishing in Europe.
In the spring of 2020, the Salmon River Association terminated its contracts for fishing the Laxá in Aðaldal after having leased a large part of it for almost 80 years. By the summer of 2021, the landowners of the river had begun to re-manage the fishing and the big Salmon that have legal residence. The first of three significant changes introduced was the opening of the river to the flow of anglers throughout the entire region. The second was to unite the whole area so that anglers no longer had to choose where they fished; they could fish the entire waterway and all the famous locations in one trip. Thirdly, reduce the number of rods from 17 to 12 to ensure every beat gets a well-deserved rest.
These three exciting changes now mean that anglers who visit this incredible river can fish more water, with less pressure, for more fish per rod, putting the Laxá in Aðaldal in a completely special category among Icelandic Salmon fishing rivers.
Matti, our guide, is convinced the number of Atlantic Salmon caught will remain the same, but the catch per rod will be higher. With the pressure on the river reduced, anglers will have more space and be able to fish more effectively. The fact the Laxá in Aðaldal is a large river and carries a good volume of water also means it isn’t plagued by a lack of water, like many of the rivers in the southwestern corner of the country.
In the summer of 1994, after the urging of anglers from the US, the rivers in the region were all fished on a catch-and-release basis, and since 2006 all areas under the control of the Salmon River Association have been the same. Initially, this didn’t quite produce the number of fish expected, and in the late 1990s, fish over 100cm were still scarce, and a 20lb Salmon was a highly sought-after specimen.
Fast forward to the current day, and the numbers on the Laxá in Aðaldal are still lower than would be liked, but the fantastic average size more than makes up for this. Giant fish over 110-115cm and over 30lb in weight get landed regularly, so much so the ’20lb Salmon Club’ has been joined by a ’30lb Gold Salmon Club’ – to which there have been new members every year for more than a decade.
These Icelandic specimens are now famed around the globe, and travelling anglers trek from all four corners, enjoying the excellent fishing on offer. In the summer of 2016, more than 100 Salmon over 100cm were landed, and for anglers fishing it, the probability was higher of landing a fish of this size than it was of landing a small one-year-old fish from the sea. The average catch per year is around 1600 fish, but this large Salmon population is unique and found in very few other places.
If you’d like to learn more about the fantastic freshwater fly fishing opportunities in Iceland, visit our YouTube channel.
This first-class Icelandic Salmon fishing package will allow you to fish for the largest Salmon in the country. It comes with all the permits you need for your trip, accommodation, full catering and a fantastic 2:1 guiding service. A guide is essential to ensure you get the best out of your holiday, and can often be the difference between catching and not.
Typical Fishing Day:
7.30 Guide pick up and start fishing
13.00 Stop for lunch and back to the lodge.
16.00 Afternoon fishing
22.00 Finish fishing and back to the lodge
22:30 Evening meal and drinks
For fishing on the Laxá in Aðaldal and for some of the largest Salmon in Iceland, double-handed rods between 13 and 15ft, matched with a quality reel, with Skagit or Spey Heads, are the norm. Fly-wise Night Hawks, Laxa Blues, Dimmblá’s, Metallica’s, Green Highlanders, Sunray Shadows and Hitch Tubes all work well. While fly sizes between 6 and 8 are most common, using single and double hooks.
Our trip is based around one of the peak weeks at the end of July and includes six days of fishing, five full days and two half days.
Vökuholt Lodge is situated on the banks of the Laxá in Aðaldal, around one hour drive from Akureyri and a ten-minute drive from the town of Húsavík. It’s a beautiful, spacious accommodation and the perfect base for anglers spending a week chasing Atlantic Salmon. It has facilities for 24 people in 12 double rooms, each with a private bathroom. It features a well-equipped dining room and a large guest lounge. There is a majestic view across the stunning Icelandic landscape from the house in all directions.
The lodge offers full catering with a mixture of fine cuisine that will “tickle the taste buds” of visiting rods.
As with all Atlantic Salmon Lodges in Iceland, all operate a strict disinfection policy. Before starting fishing on any of the rivers and stepping foot in any of them, fishing tackle, clothing and waders must be adequately disinfected. This is to avoid transmitting the deadly parasite Gyrodactylus salaris and anything else that could potentially damage the ecosystem. With the growing number of diseases in the aquaculture industry, disinfection is more crucial than ever. You are responsible for the equipment and infection you bring with you, so you need to keep this in mind:
The sterilising of your fishing tackle can be performed easily by a veterinary surgeon, who can then provide you with a certificate and a signed inventory of what has been sterilised. This certificate will need to be presented to the customs officers at the airport.
Another and more convenient alternative before entering the country is handing your fishing equipment over to customs officers upon arrival. They will then be able to disinfect your tackle for you. This takes around 15-20 minutes and costs approximately €40 per person.
The below itinerary is flexible should you require additional fishing days or additional free days to explore; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart UK (alternative routes available)
Once you arrive in Keflavik and have collected your bags you’ll need to take a taxi and transfer to your overnight accommodation.
Overnight Accommodation: Airport Hotel (Twin Room) B/B
After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll need to taxi to Reykjavik airport.
Once in Akureyri, you’ll be met by a representative who will transfer you to the Vökuholt Lodge. The journey from Akureyri Airport to the lodge is around one hour.
Once at the lodge, you’ll need to unpack and prepare for the first half of a day of fishing. Fishing starts at 16:00 on arrival day.
Overnight Accommodation: Vökuholt Lodge (Twin Room) F/B
For the next 5 days, you’ll be fishing the famous Laxá In Aðaldal, Nes, Laxamýri and Árbót beats, along with the tributary Mýrarkvísl for some of the largest Atlantic Salmon in Iceland. It offers a wide range of diverse waterways for you to wet a fly.
It features numerous quality Salmon beats and a selection of beautiful pools. It also gives you a chance to wet a fly for fish of over 30lb.
Overnight Accommodation: Vökuholt Lodge (Twin Room) F/B
After breakfast, you’ll head out for half a day fishing, fishing until 12.00 pm.
After fishing, a representative will transfer you to Akureyri airport, ready for your flight home.
The journey from Vökuholt Lodge to Akureyri Airport is around one hour.
Once you arrive in Reykjavik and have collected your bags you’ll need to take a taxi and transfer to your overnight accommodation.
Overnight Accommodation: Airport Hotel (Twin Room) B/B
After breakfast, you’ll need to transfer to Keflavik airport ready for your flight home.
The season runs from July & August.
Season: June to September
Peak: July & August
Weight: 5lb to 35lb
Average Weight: 15lb
Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.
Prices are based on one adult sharing a twin room, fishing 1 rod (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharges.
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