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(Last updated: Monday 26th September)
Autumn fishing in Iceland sees the biggest fish yet!
Autumn means business and the weather last week was dominated by continued blustery wind and rain around the island. The temperature has remained relatively high compared to the average for this time of year yet the fluctuating levels have had both positive and negative effects on the fishing over the past few weeks.
On 25 August one of the largest specimens to have been caught this season was reported on the Laxa in Adaldalur (‘Big Laxa'). It was landed on the Laxamyri beat by Russian angler Stanislav Danelyan and measured 112cm or 44.1 inches. However, Stanislav's monster was subsequently usurped by a 120cm giant on the Ness beat of the same river a week later. By all accounts angler Edvard Franklin Benediktsson certainly had a fight on his hands to net and measure the giant – weighing in excess of 30 pounds – before it was safely returned.
Looking at the catch statistics published on Wednesday we see that some rivers have now closed whilst others have a few weeks left and as such there are some big jumps in reports between the top performing rivers.
Leading the Federation of Icelandic River Owners' table is the West Ranga on 8,379 salmon and it looks like it will exceed its 2015 total of 8,803 which is fantastic. Now that the Blanda has closed (on 2,386) the Midfjardara has moved up to second place with 4,195 fish recorded. In third place is the East Ranga with 3,149, followed by Blanda and Thvera + Kjarara which have now also closed on 1,902.
Fishing just six rods, Laxa in Dolum is doing well compared to last year with 1,431 catches logged while the Langa's numbers are currently down on 2016 and Haffjardara closed on 1,305.
In ninth place the Nordura's salmon have been relatively fickle with a reported bag of 1,297 although this is not up-to-date. Ness beat on the Big Laxa reports a fantastic summer with over 600 fish this summer which is their best result since 1979, coupled with over a 100 fish weighing over 20 pounds. The river as a whole has just exceeded its 2016 total with 1,207.
(Uploaded on 26.9.16)
Here is the current list of the top 25 Icelandic salmon rivers in 2016, with the total catches and figures for 2015 in brackets. Please note that this does not take into account actual rod effort.
West Ranga & Holsa 8379 / 20 rods (8803)
Midfjardara 4195 / 10 rods (6028)
East Ranga 3149 / 18 rods (2749)
Blanda 2386 / 14 rods (4829) CLOSED
Thvera + Kjarara 1902 / 14 rods (2364) CLOSED
Laxa in Dolum 1431 / 4 rods (1578)
Langa 1312 / 12 rods (2616)
Haffjardara 1305 / 6 rods (1660) CLOSED
Nordura 1297 / 15 rods (2886)
Laxa in Adaldal 1207 / 18 rods (1201)
Vididalsa 1053 / 8 rods (1626)
Haukadalsa 1003 / 5 rods (670)
Sela in Vopnafirdi 844 / 6 rods (1172)
Vatnsdalsa in Hunathingi 822 / 6 rods (1297)
Hitara 779 / 6 rods (1238)
Ellidaarnar 675 / 6 rods (870)
Affall in Landeyjum 640 / 4 rods (558)
Nordingafljot 609 / 6 rods (640)
Laxa in Asum 596 / 2 rods (1795)
Grimsa & Tungua 574 / 8 rods (1399)
Jokla 560 / 8 rods (815)
Hofsa + Sunnudalsa 492 / 10 rods (515) CLOSED
Hrutafjardara og Sika 480 / 3 rods (860)
Laxa in Kjos 471 / 8 rods (1383)
Laxa in Leirarsveit 416 / 6 rods (1107)
Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is home to some of the best Atlantic salmon and game fishing in the world. With crystal-clear, well managed rivers and breathtaking scenery, it is no surprise that anglers have for generations come to, and fallen in love with, Iceland. There are around 100 sustainable salmon rivers in Iceland and most of those allowing between 2 and 20 rods to fish per day, there is a lot of fishing to be had in Iceland, but without the feeling of ever being cramped for space. Atlantic salmon catches have been improving in Iceland in recent years.