West Ranga, Iceland report. - Fly Fishing Forum
Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Old 08-09-2007, 08:08 AM
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petevicar petevicar is offline
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West Ranga, Iceland report.

I got back at the week end from a short trip to Iceland, where I spent 4 days in pursuit of Salmo Salar. I fished the West Ranga river.
This river like many Icelandic rivers is stocked with smolts every year and every angler is encouraged to keep the fish caught. The reason for this is that because of volcanic activity a few years ago there are no real gravel beds and fish returning to the river cannot spawn.
Fishing in Iceland is well organised and mostly controlled by fishing lodges.
The fishing day starts at 7.00am stops at 1.00pm and then resumes again at 4.00pm until 10.00pm. Dinner is served at 11.00pm so after a few drinks and a cigar it is 1.30am before you get to bed, having to rise for breakfast the next day at 6.00am. You make up for this lack of sleep with a nap at lunch time.

The fishing this year in most of Iceland has been seriously affected by lack of rain and low rivers. The Ranga system was not seriously affected and I managed to land 14 fish.
Most Icelandic salmon are one sea winter fish (grilse) and my largest fish was only about 8lbs.

West Ranga is quite a large river with very cold water and a double handed rod with a sink tip and on some pools heavy brass tube flies are necessary.

I surprised myself with my own casting abilities, double spey casting over both shoulders.

What do you do with the fish you catch?
Obviously you can release them but they will not spawn.
Killed fish are frozen, with female fish being kept alive to be stripped of their eggs later in the season. For each female you are given a side of smoked salmon.
On returning to Reykjavik you can visit the smoking factory and exchange fresh fish for smoked fish in the ratio of 1lb for 3 lbs.
I did this with half of my fish and took the rest back home frozen. I had 35kgs excess baggage.

Reykjavik is well worth a visit and Saturday night makes the Squire look like a church service.

It is well worth a visit and is only a few hours away from North America and Europe.
The only problem is that it is not cheap.

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Old 08-09-2007, 10:07 AM
Smolt Smolt is offline
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When you say "it is not cheap", can you be more specific? What did it cost for your 4 days of fishing -- lodging, license, guide, other fees, etc.?
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:18 PM
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txraddoc txraddoc is offline
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Was there a lot of moss and weeds? When I fished that river in 2003, it seemed like every cast the tube fly had a bunch of crap on it, which is why i thought they used such big tube flies, to have soemthing besides moss be seen by the fish. Also, were there any europeans fishing with worms/spinners? The East/West Ranga rivers had many people who came to load up on fish to bring back, and these rivers are designed for taking fish home. Last year one river alone had over 4000 salmon taken to rod fishing. With the minimal spawning, it really becomes a "put and take" situation. My largest fish there was a nice 18 pounder.

Tight Lines,

Jim Y
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