Fly fishing in Iceland is a dream for many anglers. With its trout, char, and salmon populations, Iceland is one of the best fly fishing destinations on Earth. For those who are curious about fly fishing in Iceland, we have compiled this guide to help you learn more about fly fishing in Iceland before going there so that you can get the most out of your trip.
When most people think about Iceland they think about the Northern Lights. The truth is that fly fishing in Iceland offers a variety of fish species and spectacular views.
Where Can I Fly Fish In Iceland?
Fly fishing in Iceland can be done from rivers, lakes, streams, or the sea. It's important to know which type of fly fishing you are pursuing before heading out as each area has different regulations about permits and other necessities for fly fishermen.
There are also day and night-time fly fishing opportunities available so it's worth exploring both options depending on where your tastes lie!
Most days last 12 hours but they can get shorter if there isn't much light left when daylight starts to wane. The best time for many types of angling like trout may start earlier than this at around six o'clock (18:00) while salmon will typically start around two o'clock (14:00).
Those looking for a fly fishing adventure can find this at Siglufjordur, North Iceland’s largest town and hub for tourism. The area offers day or night fishing excursions that allow you to see something other than just rainbows in the sky--at least if you're lucky enough to be there during peak season.
For those with their own equipment, there are also two lakes nearby where they can try out their luck under local guidance either on foot or by boat; these include Skogafoss Lake and Morsárvatn Lake.
Skogafoss Lake has plenty of offer when it comes to fly fishing. You will have to focus more on where to fish in the lake so talk to your guide to figure out the best spot.
Morsarvatn Lake can provide some success as well. Most people are more interested in fishing the rivers and streams than trying these lakes, but that is a mistake.
This lake that is nestled within a valley is a picturesque way to spend your fly fishing adventure. It is nestled within a valley between two mountains that are both around 150 meters in height. The lake has an area of about 50km and is one of the largest lakes in Iceland.
This fly fishing destination will have you trying your luck with all three types of Icelandic fish: char, trout, and salmon. You can fish for anything from large northern pike to rainbow trout year-round!
There's also excellent shoreline fishing available where freshwater meets saltwater on this beautiful coastline where migratory birds come during their long journey northward from Africa for the breeding season each summer - it truly is a "fisherman's paradise".
This area is next to a mountainside that provides access to many different areas for fishing. You will find that the museums will have exhibitions on the local fishing history as well.
This coast area gives you ample access to several different types of fishing. Most people only think about freshwater fly fishing, but inshore you can do the same thing with shore-fishing. The best time to fly fish in Iceland is during the summer months when you have plenty of daylight hours for fishing and it’s warm enough to wear a wetsuit year-round.
Another coastal town that is great for travelers and fishing. You will find that most people that go to Iceland are there for the Northern Lights or the fantastic fly fishing. Some think this will come at a high cost, but the value is much higher than you would imagine.
You will find great whale watching tours that go out of this town and port. The mountains in the background are also a magnificent sight to see. The culture in this town is a mix of Icelandic and Danish which you will notice when looking at the old buildings or reading about them on their history pages.
The only thing to truly do around here is fish. That honestly is the way I like it. There are the occasional tourists who come to take pictures of the geyser but other than that it's a tranquil place.
Sudureyri has one long pier and three short ones for fly fishing. The locals know all too well which holes in this area have the most fish, so they will happily show you where to go. There is also an excellent day-long guided tour that takes visitors around Sudureyri and some surrounding towns like Hveragerdi or Reykjahlid if you want to see more of Iceland while on your trip here.
The brown trout is by far the favorite species, followed closely by rainbow trout and grayling. You will find an ample amount of these at this location and the peace and serenity will make you want to stay forever.
Nestled in the highlands of Iceland, Kjosarhreppur is a picturesque place with lush green valleys and grazing sheep. The village has long been known as a fly-fishing paradise for anglers seeking trout, char, or salmon who are looking to go north.
Kjosarhreppur's population peaked at around 750 people during the time when it was formerly under Danish rule but now stands at just over 50 inhabitants.
Tourist facilities have grown increasingly popular as travelers flock from all over northern Europe to witness the beauty of this remote fishing community by way of various guided tours which can be booked well in advance given its growing status across Scandinavia as one of their favorite destinations for vacation fishing.
This area is higher up on the altitude meter, but none the less great fishing can be had here. You will find that several varieties of fox are located in the area. Coastal winds that provide you with gentle breezes help keep away bugs and insects. The temperature of this region is warmer than other parts of Iceland, which means it has a lot more mosquitoes. When fly fishing Sudavik you should be prepared for long walks up hillsides through bogs or marshes and also some hard wading if necessary.
The fish found here can range from char to brown trout depending on what time of year you're visiting; however, they tend to run smaller at only about 12-15 inches since there's not much food available due to how barren the area is. Remember that almost everything you catch will have sea lice so bring insect repellant and use your wading gear to protect yourself from the unknowns of the waters.
The fly fishing in Sudavik does have some perks for travelers looking to experience the country's most bleak landscape, but please note that it is not a beginner-friendly area and you need to be well prepared if you want to enjoy this part of Iceland.
is a nice mountainside town that provides ample areas for hiking and fishing amongst its wilderness. You will find the lodging can be more rustic if that is what you prefer. It is a great place to fly fish in Iceland for those who want some solitude.
If you are at Breiddalsvik then it is easy enough to grab your fishing gear and head out into the wilderness with your map or GPS device while exploring all that this part of Iceland has to offer.
One of the more scenic areas is Langavatn. You will find clear lakes and wide inshore beaches that will allow you and your family to enjoy the outdoors. The rolling hills are good to hike upon and view the overall landscape.
You will find plenty of guided fishing tours to take you out to find the best spots. It offers many species of fish including trout, char, and salmon. Additionally, there is excellent fly fishing for these species as well as others like browns that can be found in this region.
If you would prefer to travel with an experienced guide then Langavatn will provide plenty of opportunities. In addition to guiding you, they might come equipped with a boat or jet ski which could make your trip even better! The views are stunning so take your camera along on all guided trips - it's worth capturing those moments!
This area might be one of the best places to go fly fishing in all of Iceland. Many travelers repeatedly go here and locals recall great fly fishing here.
It is difficult to find trout, but when you do it can be great. Most of the good fish that people catch are at Vopnafjordur in September.
There are char and salmon too! It's not just about trout for those who want more variety. Unfortunately, it does not have an ample amount of brown trout, but you can't always get everything you want.
Regardless, if you're looking for spectacular fly fishing near Reykjavik without traveling too far from the city - take your gear out to Vopnafjordur! The water might be cold most of the time, but it's a great place to fly fish.
Is there good trout fishing in Iceland?
There is plenty of areas to fly fish from, but you will have to speak to the locals or do guided tours to get into the action fast. There are many streams that will have enough water to cast a line and catch some great fish. The trout over here is world-renowned for its size and the number of fights they put up during battle.
The best time to fly fish in Iceland is during the summer months from June through August. During this season, both salmon and char run large rivers looking for food before winter sets on them with freezing waters bounding insurmountable levels of ice flows to their doom every year.
This makes these arctic regions one of the most lucrative places in the world for fishermen who specialize in catching these creatures when they are in their prime.
How Much Is A Fishing License In Iceland?
A fishing license is needed in order to fly fish, so before you go it's important to know if your visa requires that you buy one. You should also keep an eye out for any special regulations about fly fishermen and their accompanying permits when buying a fishing license.
If your spouse or children are coming with you they will need the appropriate licenses as well. However, don't worry too much about acquiring them because many Icelandic hotels have a full range of equipment available for guests on request!
The price of the "Fishing Card" is 8,900 ISK ($73.51) and covers 36 lakes.
Other areas can have cheaper prices on an individual basis. This is when it is best to get these from your local guide or hotel. You will find that most travelers can't go to every body of water during their dream vacation, but going to a couple is something that everybody should do.
Best Time To Fly Fish In Iceland
In Iceland, fly fishing is best from late April to early September. The weather might not be perfect during this time frame so make sure you pack accordingly for rain and wind. If the temperature starts dipping below freezing then it is too cold to go out fly fishing in Iceland. It's also important to keep your eye on the sky - if there are any severe storms that could provide hazardous conditions or cause a delay in flights then don't take a chance with your trip!
If the above was too confusing I have created a recap that is easy to understand below:
- Best Time To Fly Fish In Iceland - Late Spring/Summer
- Early Fall - Not Enough Daylight Hours For Fishing And Migrating Salmon Spawning Season Begins Soon After This Period Ends
- Late Fall- Storms
- Winter - Too Cold (below freezing)
Fly Fishing Iceland Prices / Cost
Fly fishing in Iceland is not only for the northern lights. It is one of the best places for trout, char, and salmon fisherman's paradise with many rivers suitable to fly fish like Thjorsa River where you can meet brown or rainbow trout from April till October when it freezes solid during winter months.
The cost of a fly fishing license varies depending on location: Reykjavik- $30 (USD) per day; Akureyri – $40CAD+GST/day; Skagafjordur -$150 CAD + GST/weekend; Hvanneyri -$200 USD/$250 CAD seasonally
There are no costs associated with fly fishing in Iceland outside these licensing fees.
There are also many companies that offer guided trips with experienced guides who can provide helpful tips and share knowledge about locations and types of fish; some tours even include accommodation!
Now that you know about the cost of a fishing license let's talk about the real money. Travel, lodging, food, and guides are going to be the majority of your expenses when you go to Iceland.
Iceland Fly Fishing Lodges
These one-stop shops for fishing in another country are great for those that don't want to deal with issues. The problem comes in when the costs of purchases one of these places are discussed.
There are many fly fishing lodges in Iceland that offer both self-guided tours and fully guided fly fishing trips for individuals of all levels. These lodges have amazing facilities with comfortable accommodations, good food, and knowledgeable guides who will teach beginners how to fish while providing an unforgettable experience for expert anglers too.
They also include everything from transportation arrangements, gear rentals, lunch meals (or packed lunches), snacks & beverages, etc., so there is no need to worry about anything other than having fun.
You will find that many of these places are more affordable than you think. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $150 - 175 per day for fly fishing Iceland.
If you are wanting more in-depth experience, fly fishing lodges with cabins and beds will be your ideal option if they don't mind putting up with your sleep schedule. Expect to spend at least $200 - 250 on these types of accommodations.
The only thing left is making sure it is actually worth doing before signing yourself up for an adventure! A good idea when looking through the cost list may just come from figuring out how much money you want to use from your savings.
For some, this may be a trip of a lifetime and for others, it may be a yearly thing.
There are a few tips and tricks to fly fishing in Iceland that may be helpful for those who have never done it before. We recommend renting your equipment ahead of time if you can, as the cost will add up quickly whether or not you're going with someone else. If that is not an option, then try purchasing them used from previous tourists at secondary markets like eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
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Iceland Travel Costs
Traveling to Iceland will require plane tickets. The prices for tickets to Iceland vary greatly depending on the time of year and which airline is chosen. The most basic flight from New York City is $787 roundtrip in February.
Tickets can also be booked with some Icelandic airlines such as WOW Air, Direct Fly, or Icelandair if that's more convenient. Keep in mind that these flights are often expensive due to their lower quality service and no-frills policies (they do not offer seat selection).
Flights will cost about $100-$500 extra per person when using a discount code online or around 20% off when booking through an internet travel site like Orbitz, Hotwire, Expedia, Travelocity, etc. If you're looking for cheaper airfare keep searching different websites and you are bound to find a deal.
If you plan on flying in the winter months or during the festival season, it's best to book your flights well in advance as they tend to sell out quickly and can cost more than $1000 per person one-way!
Fly Fishing Iceland Guides
Finding a high-quality guide who will put you on the fish during your short stay is almost always the best option.
A good fly fishing guide will be versed in the best spots and techniques for your time of year, know all about landowner rules and regulations, have a boat on hand to cross lakes or rivers if needed, offer you plenty of fresh wild trout dinner recipes, organize accommodations at wilderness lodges in small towns where there are no hotels, can handle requests like organizing a surprise birthday party with cake and champagne.
However, this is the point that using a fly fishing guide is not free. They will not only show you where to go and what fly to use, they will also charge you for the experience.
A good rule of thumb is to budget around $150-$200 per day with a higher price point in peak season or for celebrity guests who are coming from afar.
This does not include other costs like transportation when necessary, lodging at wilderness lodges if needed, guide gratuity which should be about 15%+ depending on how much time was spent fishing and the quality of service provided by your fly fishing guide.
Shore Fishing In Iceland
Many people including myself love fishing from the shore. Some places are easier to reach and fish if you don't have to drag a boat around. This has changed a lot with the innovations in the kayak industry, but in Iceland things can be different.
Iceland is a relatively small country with little shoreline, so there are not many places where you can get out on the ocean. The coastline of Iceland doesn't have any large river systems like in other countries (like Norway and Canada) to bring lots of salmon up from the ocean into fresh water.
This means that most trout fishing takes going to lakes and rivers, and generally more inland.
The coasts of Iceland are also very rocky with few sandy beaches for shore fishing. So if you want to fly fish from the coast in Iceland, it is best to go during low tide when there is a lot less rock exposed that can be slippery under your feet.
Some people will carry nets on these fly-fishing expeditions as well because they might find some shellfish like shrimp or crabs here too! These aren't as common but still possible around this type of Icelandic coastline.
Iceland has great surf fishing spots which include salmon, trout, char, and even sea trout at times (though not often). However, these all require getting out into the ocean so you'll need a different set up than you would need for fly fishing from the shoreline.
Fly Fishing Iceland Self Guided
A bit of research can go a long way when you want to explore Iceland's fishing on your own. You should first do research on what type of fishing you want to do.
If you are wanting to do ocean fishing you will need to rent a boat or learn the few spots you can do reliable surf fishing from. If you want to go freshwater fishing then you should research all the lakes, streams and rivers.
Then find the best spots at those locations. This will need to be done by talking to locals. You may even be able to pay a guide for information (win / win). You can also learn from them what flies to use and techniques.
You should plan out all of your days precisely if you want optimal enjoyment. Where will you stay? Did you buy the right license? Where will you fish? How will you get to the fishing location? Do you fish alone and is that safe? What fishing gear should you use? Things like this are important to think about.
Sea Fishing In Iceland
Fishing from the sea in Iceland general requires a boat. The shoreline is not large here and that means you will be stuck on a boat, which isn't really a problem. The problem you have to pay to rent a boat or have a charter take you out.
If you are going to purchase a charter then you will be set with all the things. Honestly, if you don't have much time then this is the way to go. They will have all the gear, location information, boat, experience, license, etc... As you can see this is definitely the "Done For You" model.
If you are looking for a more "Do it Yourself" approach then Iceland is the perfect place to do that as well. The shoreline and coastal waters allow you great access without having to get on a boat. You can easily rent gear at any of the local shops or outfitters and go out on your own with some help from Google Maps. This method is obviously free but not very convenient since all of the gear has been brought up already.
Fly Fishing Iceland On A Budget
Obviously going to Iceland to fly fish for cheap is going to be a little tough. The fishing licenses are pricey and fly rods for Iceland can be expensive as well. But there are a few ways to save money:
- Bring your own gear from home or buy used equipment in the United States before you get on an international flight
- Take advantage of deals at local fly shops that sell inexpensive but quality rods, reels, lines, flies, etc.
- Buy bait locally instead of paying shipping costs which will also keep gas usage down while traveling abroad
- Buy package deals that come with airline and lodging. These packages will save you a good bit of money!
Here is one way to save money when looking into fly fishing Iceland prices - look up a self guided trip that is run by a guide. Some guides realize fishing tourist want to do things their way. They can still provide a service by giving out information or products to those that actually want it.