Iceland, Fity-five+ River


(English subbtitles available)

Story

We hit the road again and head north, up to a river known for good trout fishing. And by good trout fishing, we mean big trout fishing. Big Icelandic browns, like the ones we all know from the magazines, the ones we all dream of…

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After a full 4WD matinee with a big lack of cookies and tea, we finally set foot at a stunning lodge that covers the upper Laxa Myvatnssveit river.

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The river keeper welcomes us with the rules, regulations and the most recent active trout reports. Unfortunately he also has some bad news too: Even this upper part suffers from an algae plague as never seen before. “Sorry guys, but the gin-clear water you know from the pics.. it just ain’t there at the moment. The whole thing turned green.”

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After the worst salmon-run in 20 years, we could have been expecting this kind of problem for trout fishing too. And I must say, news like that kind of spoils our appetite. “But hey, them brownies are still active guys!”, the river keeper taps on our shoulders.

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So we rather quickly take our rods and hit for the river, as the stunning surrounding landscape turns a big smile on our faces. Ain’t no algae in the world that can spoil this fairytale scenery.

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As we close in on the bank, we see that the river keeper wasn’t fooling around. Coloured water, but no worse than what we often fish in in Belgium. And we do catch fish there, so why wouldn’t trout take our flies here?

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Apparently the fish didn’t come up with no reason not to either, cause rather quickly we hit our first brownies on a streamer, ending this first discovery with a 51cm beauty. Not bad!

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The next morning we’re off early to try another part of this upper river, far more beautifull, easily readable water filled with heaps of nice trout hideouts.

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And rather quickly we discover that each and every one of these hideouts gives us a trophy fish. Shaky hands and blinky eyes… we catch a lot of +50cm fish in a nick of time, and by the end of this moring session we start to realise this is flyfishermans heaven…

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In the afternoon the downstream part is on our menu. But at first sight we believe to have missed the road somewhere. This ain’t the same river we fished before… it’s just… huge!

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About ten time larger than what we saw so far! For a moment we feel kind of lost and don’t have the slightest idea how to fish this gigantic canalish water with no trout marks whatsoever!

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A couple of hours later we’ve tried about every technique there is, and our flyboxes are as messed up as our heads. Not a single take on our nymphs, streamers or wet flies, and not a single sign of surface activity either. Nothing but a vast ocean of slow walking water with no pools, no obstacles, no nothing. Nothing!

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We suffer. Of hunger, of thirst and especially of this sudden wake-up call that brings us back in real life. No need to pinch our arms, this is a nightmare and we are awake, tired, depressed, scared, and even hugging each other or crying doesn’t help. We’re just a bunch of losers, incapable of catching fish in one of the best rivers on the planet. And we probably smell bad too.

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The only thing that we have left is an apple. So we do what we learned in school: eat it. Swallow it. And wait. According to the river keeper, trout is not always active during the day this time of the year. According to us, the river keeper is always right.

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But apples are good for you. And this particular one was good for us. Because we decided to keep on trying anyhow. Before us lays a stretch that looks somehow different from any of the water we fished so far. So we decide to fish close to the banks while we hope to discover some surface activity.

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And finally, after a long upstream cast, the floating cord hesitates at just a couple of centimeters of the bank. I strike and.. shit. Shit! It’s a trout. An not just a trout, but a monsterous trout. Shaky hands, blinky eyes, the stress takes over during the intense fight, scared of losing this only contact we had so far in a way too long time.. but some super long minutes later we behold this magical, magnificent 58cm brown beauty..

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So after some more hugging and tears (of happiness this time), we’re back on track! And how! The next fish is already fighting at the end of our line, and yet a new record is set only minutes after the previous: a 62cm yellow crocodile filled with red dots makes us cry, hug and shout as we never did before.

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And it doesn’t stop there. In the next two hours we catch fish after fish, after fish. Not a single one under 55cm. Something we never saw anywhere else in our fishing lives. Laxàrdalur valley, take us with you!

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Our challenge of catching a big Icelandic fucking centerfold brownie is a huge succes, and we largely celebrate it with icecold canned beer in our warm and cosy lodge.

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Shaking and blinking again as we tell and relive our today stories. Already dreaming of the next day, when our friend Ingo and fishing celebrity annex globetrotter Jeff Currier take us out on a new adventure… Stay tuned!

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  • Brian

    NIce story and film guys!!

  • Very Nice trip, and good flyfishing adventure !
    Thank Rodtrip Team

  • Peter

    Great photos and video! Did you use a still camera? If so, what kind of lens, settings, etc? I have scheduled a day on the Laxardalur in early July this year because of your fantastic article/video. Thanks!

    • Hi Peter !

      Thank you for your comment. We were using DSLRs camera. (Nikon D800/D7100) + Lens like 70-200 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 85 1.8 etc…

      I’m pretty sure you won’t regret this booking, the river is absolutely fantastic, if you find the trick to catch these big trouts ;). We were there only 2 half days so it was a quick stop but an amazing souvenir.

      Good luck !