In this episode, we’re fly fishing Iceland. Sindri Hlíðar Jónsson, co-owner and head guide at Fish Partner, walks us through what it’s like to fish over there. We hear about which species are the most targeted and what you need to prepare for.
Find out why there are no public water and fisheries in Iceland – how they are all privately owned and by whom. We also hear about the new lodge they’re working on that has five different fisheries within a 20 mins drive.
Tim Cammissa told us about his amazing trip to Iceland on a recent episode. Today, we confirm with Sindri why. Check out Sindri’s Top 4 Tips for Fly Fishing Iceland. Hit that play button and you just might have your next destination!
Click below and listen to the Podcast with Sindri Hlíðar Jónsson:
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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)
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Fly Fishing Iceland Show Notes with Sindri
03:30 – Sindri and I connected at the Fly Fishing Show in Denver
04:45 – Sindri grew up in the suburb town of Reykjavic
06:00 – Fish Partner started in 2013 and Sindri started guiding there right then
06:50 – The 3 main species in Iceland are trout, Atlantic salmon, and arctic char
07:30 – Early April and into May is the start of the season to fish for sea-run browns. Salmon runs start coming in late June, July, and August. Then the fall, they get another round of the sea-run browns. The season closes October 20th
09:20 – The best sea-run browns are located on the Southeast Coast of Iceland called, Skaftafell
10:30 – Fish Partner is opening a new lodge in June which will be called, Battle Hill Lodge, located right on the banks of one of the smaller tributaries, Thvera
12:30 – Hottest temperature month is July. Their big issue is the wind because it gets really windy up there so casting can be a challenge
13:44 – Sindri recommends bringing both single and double-handed rods – 7 and 8 wt, 12 and 13 foot
15:45 – Fish Partner have about 25 guides working for them
17:30 – Prime time for Atlantic salmon in Iceland is in July
19:20 – There is no such thing as public water in Iceland – all of the waters there are leased to outfitters, angling clubs, or whoever the highest bidder is
23:10 – Sea trout numbers have gone way up and Atlantic salmon in the last 2 years have been disappointing. 15 years ago, sea-run trout was not considered a sport fish in Iceland – they were “trash fish” or food so they make about 5 to 10 runs to the ocean and live up to 25 years
25:00 – They usually just catch and release. But if people want to have fish for the table, they can take you to the high mountain lakes and they’re packed filled with arctic char – taking a few for sushi or the grill is fine for the fishery
29:00 – They use flies like Mickey Finn and Black Ghost. For nymphs, Pheasant Tail works great
30:30 – Start by emailing Fish Partner and tell them what you want to do and what you want to catch – they will set up a trip and the itinerary for you. Choose whatever day you want to start and finish, if it’s available on their calendar, they will make it happen
32:15 – Sindri states that they have more fish in Iceland than in Norway and Scotland but their salmon are smaller. Norway has big salmons
33:15 – Iceland has some of the biggest sea trout. The only place you could compare it to is Argentina
38:40 – The two biggest hatches in Iceland are caddis and midges
39:45 – Reykjavic alone has about 12 fly shops. All Fish Partner lodges have small fly shops
45:00 – Most of the waters in Iceland have waterfalls because it’s mountainous over there – there are about 10,000 waterfalls there
50:00 – Iceland is only about 5 hours flight from the US
52:30 – Sindri says do not eat or buy farmed Atlantic salmon and he tells us why. North Atlantic Salmon Fund is an organization dedicated to saving the North Atlantic Salmon from extinction.
54:25 – Super Tinsel and Hitch Tube are some of Sindri’s go-to flies
Top 4 Tips for Fly Fishing Iceland with Sindri
- Mostly you’d want to use floating lines but bring a couple of short sink tips if you need to get it deep
- The most common thing people forget to bring in Iceland is layers – so better bring more jacket and use the thickest you got
- Make sure you have good backing if you’re going to be fishing the big browns
- Carefully approach the water before you start casting – don’t go running into the bank, splashing water
You can Fish Partner on Instagram @fishpartner
Website at FishPartner.com
Videos Noted in the Show
Related Podcast Episodes
WFS 285 – 21st Century Materials for Fly Tying with Tim Cammisa from Trout and Feather
Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below
Fly Fishing Iceland Conclusion with Sindri
So there you go.
If you want to catch some of the largest sea-run trout..
If you want to catch arctic char and Atlantic salmon..
If you want to have the water all by yourself without competition..
If you want to enjoy nature and get away from people..
Don’t forget to bring your thickest jacket! And bring more of them.
Thanks for listening! Comment below if you find this blog post helpful.