I have just returned from a trip to Iceland where I fished the West Ranga river. We stayed at the Laxa lodge which I can only describe as outstanding. It’s the best lodge I have visited by a country mile. The facilities were first class with a huge drying /rod room, first class bed rooms, and and an excellent bar area and restaurant which over looked the stunning river. The catch rates have been poor this year but they are still well in front of the waters in the UK. I was also really impressed with how they do everything possible to maintain /increase their Salmon population. In my opinion the UK should try and implement some of their ideas to increase our population of Salmon. The river was amazing, crystal clear with a strong flow to it which made it an ideal fly water. The clarity of the water made it easy to sight fish which came in handy as the Salmon were very rarely seen bouncing about on the surface as we often see them in the UK, they always seemed to be low in the cold water and the takes were more like trout takes, they appeared to be hoovering the fly off the bottom and you often just felt a tug and release like trout do. I combated this by extending my plastic tube on my tube flies to push the hook further back then on any short takes I had a chance of hooking up, this seemed to work a treat. I used three different setups on this trip. See below.
1/ Guideline NT8 13 ft 9 inch 9/10 w multi piece travel rod with a Haze V2 reel and the 4 D line, which I think is the best Salmon line on the market at the moment. I did the bulk of my fishing with this rod This set up is awesome for anybody interested in buying a new outfit. The line is very versatile as it comes with a selection of tips with a variety of different sink rates which allows you to quickly adjust depth control by just changing a tip. The other great thing about the line is it sinks in four different densities meaning only your tip is bouncing the bottom not the full line.
2/ Guideline LXI 11ft 6 inch 7/8 w multi piece switch travel rod with a Haze V2 reel and a self made shooting head. This setup I used in tight spots when I wanted to fish a lighter presentation.
3/ Guideline NT8 10ft 7 w multi piece travel rod with a Vosso reel and the ULS multi tip line.
I fished this system when I wanted to go super light or fishing from the bank. My guide also had me casting up river bringing the fly back over the fish with this setup. Big thanks to Jim Curry for the heads up on this line as it works superb, again it comes with a variety of different sink tips which makes it super versatile.
The trip was amazing and I have been lucky enough to be invited back next year by Jon Ingi Agusstson who organised the trip. A big thanks to our guide Bikiri Mar Haroason who did everything possible to put us over fish and eventually started to get the Yorkshire sense of humour with most of it aimed at him he took it in good heart. Big thanks to Malcolm Cocliff of www.simplyflies.co.uk who’s knowledge of flies never seizes to amaze me. What hooks should be used with different materials to make the fly fish in a certain way etc etc etc I learn something from him every time I am in his company, and also for his banter as we were constantly laughing throughout the trip.. THNKS guys for making this trip special, looking forward to returning next year.