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FLY FISHER GROUP: Iceland Salmon Rivers Report 2014 and Looking forward to the 2015 Season

October 22nd, 2014 by Fly Fisher Group 0 comments

Watch our Fly Fisher Group  Icelandic Salmon River Film HERE.

Despite generally good water levels and some excellent 'snippets' of fishing at rivers like Midfjardara, Laxa in Asum, Laxa in Kjos and Nordura, 2014 has been a largely disappointing year for those targeting the normally prolific grilse and summer salmon runs in Iceland. Whilst a poor summer's grilse run in Iceland tends to be better fishing than a good year in most other countries, most rivers in the Icelandic south were down in numbers by a factor of 30-60% against their normal catch averages.

The reasons for this poor return are being vigorously debated and investigated and are likely a combination of factors including poor feeding (therefore high juvenile mortality) in the Norwegian seas, bycatch concerns relating to the mackerel and herring fisheries between Iceland and Greenland and most notably an extremely prolonged and cold Icelandic spring in 2013, again leading to high juvenile mortality.

The highlight of the 2014 Icelandic salmon season was undoubtedly the very good returns of multi sea-winter (MSW) salmon, both in the north west and north east particularly. Fish of excellent quality, many up to and over the 20lb mark, were landed in numbers in rivers like Midfjardara, Hafralonsa, Hofsa, Svalbardsa, Sela and Laxa in Adaldal.

In fact some rivers, although down in numbers overall, saw the best return of larger fish for many years - Midfjardara fly fishers landing more than 20 salmon measuring over 100cm and Hafralonsa, now limited to just four rods, at points in July averaging over 5 MSW salmon per rod per day. Svalbardsa also exceeded its 2013 seasons catch total and offered some exceptionally beautiful larger fish.

This success with 2014's MSW salmon is credit primarily to the determination of fishery managers and fly fishermen to release larger fish over the past years, both ensuring a higher number of larger fish spawn, protecting the particular bigger fish genetics, and of course in the simple fact that a fish not killed has a chance to spawn and return to the river another summer.  

Looking forwards to 2015, we can note that the spring of 2014 was unseasonably long and mild and this would tend to indicate an excellent grilse run next summer. This should be great news for the likes of Laxa in Kjos, Grimsa, Nordura and other south western rivers fished by FFG clients and of course will be a welcome supplement to the big fish running Midfjardara, Hafralonsa and the like.

In reality salmon fishers partake in an uncertain sport, relying on the generosity of nature and the limiting of man's negative effects, hoping for that red-letter day or trip where all conditions conspire in our favour. For reasons of location, short summers, reliably clear water and naturally aggressive fish, Iceland improves those odds dramatically - it is as reliable as salmon fishing gets. Therefore we hope you have the opportunity to fish there in 2015 and to enjoy the spectacle of fresh fish attacking your fly!

Watch our Fly Fisher Group  Icelandic Salmon River Film HERE.

Please feel free to contact Fly Fisher Group (FFG) with any Iceland or fly fishing queries whatsoever. The FFG staff have decades of experience not just advising on the best overseas fly fishing trips but setting up lodges and operating several destinations. Email , telephone +44 (0) 1367 850429 or visit the Fly Fisher Group website



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