Fly Fishing in Iceland – What You Need To Know

I’ve been scoping out the fishing situation in Iceland for my father in law.  He’s a serious fly fisherman in Bozeman, Montana and has traveled the world fly fishing but hasn’t been to Iceland.

I’ve seen a number of fly fishermen on the rivers as we’ve circled the island nation in our rented motor-home.

Interesting to note that ALL fishing water in Iceland is owned by someone.  When you own the land in Iceland, you own the fishing rights.  Unlike a lot of places in the US where water rights are protected for the public.  Even in front of million dollar waterfront homes, usually you can walk or fish from the mid-tide mark.

Not in Iceland. You need to secure permission or make a reservation in advance to fish an area.  Certain time of the year the hot spots are booked up months in advance.

There are six species of freshwater fish. Trout (salmo trutta), Arctic char (salvelinus alpinus), Atlantic Salmon (salwWmo salar), stickleback, eel and flounder.    Atlantic Salmon is  the KING! Without a doubt the most sought after fish here in Iceland. It comes in early summer, runs the rivers from June to mid August (or so) and then spawns in late autumn. Salmon can be found in rivers, and some lakes connected to sea, all over Iceland.