Fly Fishing West Ranga Lodge Iceland
West Ranga Lodge Iceland is only a short drive from Reykjavik, which offers you the chance to fish Iceland’s most iconic Atlantic Salmon rivers within just hours of arriving in Iceland. The West Ranga River is now known as one of the top prolific Atlantic Salmon Rivers in Iceland, which produces good numbers of Salmon to 20lb plus. Back in 2009, this river boasted over an unprecedented 10,000 landed Salmon in a single season, making it second only to the Ponoi River Russia in terms of overall productivity. West Ranga River’s average yielded has been an incredible annual catch of 6,490 salmon over the past 14-years and is indisputably the single most productive Atlantic Salmon river in Iceland. Combine this first-class fishing on the West Ranga with the River Hotel Lodge providing a full service of all meals and single rooms right on the river edge, and you have the perfect Atlantic Salmon fishing destination in Iceland.
All About The West Ranga River
The river is only approximately just over a one hour drive from Reykjavík in the South of Iceland. From its headwaters near the foothills of the spectacular Mt. Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes it runs for over 70km. Although Salmon populate most of the central area of the river the best Atlantic Salmon fishing is from the Árbæjarfoss waterfalls which tend to hold back the Salmon until later in the season, through to 15km downstream to the junction of the East Ranga.
The West Ranga River has an average width of 50 metres, with gentle flats and long gliding runs, punctuated by impressive multi-tiered falls. This river is spring-fed which is worth its weight in gold when Salmon fishing. It never has low water, and it is seldom if ever coloured due to flooding and heavy rains. The only enemy could be the wind blowing on and off, but that doesn’t stop a keen angler as you can always fish from the other bank. The West Rangá is an unusual Salmon river in as much as it has very little in the way of natural spawning habitat and it, therefore, relies on a very successful smolt-releasing programme which that began in 1989. It is this combination of a highly successful smolt rearing program and virtually perfect water conditions all season that has made the West Ranga one of the most popular fly waters for Salmon fishing in Iceland.
What is the Fly Fishing Like on the West Ranga River lodge Iceland?
The West Ranga lodge Iceland has exclusivity on four beats which provide approximately 25km of double bank fishing. There is a maximum of 16 rods per day on these beats; however, you can rod share if you would like. This way, there are only four anglers per beat each session. All fishing beats are on a rotation schedule that you are provided with on your arrival. On the suggested itinerary with four days fishing, you will get the chance to cover all the fishing waterfalls, small and big pools two times during your stay.
On this river, you can fish the majority of pools with single-handed rods; however, due to its large size and the prevailing winds, it is often better to fish with a double-handed rod. These longer rods will allow you to cover the larger pools better and enable you to control a long line through the drift. As the river is entirely spring-fed, the water tends to be at colder temperatures than other Icelandic Rivers. For this reason, sunken fly techniques, often in conjunction with sink tip lines (or sinking leaders) are frequently more productive. During warm weather, fish will usually respond to smaller flies fished on floating lines, as well as hitched and stripped Sunray Shadows.
This river is all wading which is easy as the bottom is mainly made up of black volcanic sand, making the wading relatively safe and comfortable for all abilities. Fishing is with 2 rods per guide, they are all very experienced anglers, who know the river very well and they will help you in any way to catch a fish. They are service-minded, speak perfect English and are good fun, ask them anything, and they will do their best to ensure you have the best time. Also as each day, the river is accessed by car, there is not too much walking involved so this destination suits anglers of all fishing and physical abilities.
A Typical Day On The West Ranga River
You will fly fish the West Ranga river in two daily 6-hour sessions from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 4:00 to 10:00 pm. Because of the lengthy amount of time you get with 12 hours of fully guided fishing per day. Many customers decide to share a rod which makes the fishing more economical. The number of fish, anyone, can expect to catch is, generally, if a relatively competent fly angler could be anything from 4-5 fish per day with many more lost on the way. That would be a realistic expectation, but of course, individual skills and both which week fished, river conditions and weather do affect average catches, so these figures are only as a guide.
Iceland Tackle Disinfection
Iceland has always been free of diseases like UDN and Gyrodactylus salaris, and they intend to keep it that way. There is a strict policy that visiting anglers should have their fishing tackle sterilised before coming to Iceland; this should be done in a 2% formaldehyde solution for 10 minutes and can be easily performed by a veterinary surgeon. You will be given a certificate and a signed inventory of what has been sterilised for presentation to the customs officers at Keflavik airport. (Tackle sterilised in Virkon S disinfectant is also acceptable.) The most critical items to be treated are rods, reel/line, waders and flies.
Another and more convenient alternative before entering the country is handing the fishing equipment over to customs officers at arrival for immediate disinfection at the owner’s expense (approx. € 39 per person). The process usually doesn’t take long (approx. 15 – 20 minutes).
If you have any questions about our saltwater fly fishing holiday to West Ranga Lodge Iceland, contact us by email our experienced team will be happy to help you with any queries you have. Are you looking to explore more of our freshwater fly fishing holidays? Make sure to view all our alternative Atlantic Salmon fishing holidays. Additionally, you can call us on 01603 407596 to make an enquiry.