July 2010

Laxa y Adaldal, Iceland

I was persuaded, and very easily, that we should return to Iceland. The prices were slipping back up, but I could just about stretch for a half week's salmon fishing followed by half a week chasing brown trout with the dry fly. The salmon fishing was terrific; once again the river seemed to fill with fish fresh off the tide, and in the clear water the salmon could be seen taking the fly.

The brown trout fishing was a revelation. The Laxa y Adaldal flows out of Lake Myvatn, which is a huge shallow lake that at this time of year was full of waterfowl and their babies. The lake boasts 16 species of duck, and I think we managed to see most of them. The river has beautiful Barrow's Goldeneye and Harlequin ducks to distract the keen bird watcher from the real task of observing his dry fly.

The fishing, at its best, is wonderful. There are pods of rising fish spread out across the large pools. An accurate cast normally results in a hook up, and those small sips can turn out to be made by large fish. But this is northern Iceland and the weather is not always conducive to delicate dry fly. Sometimes a heavy nymph, or a big streamer are needed as the wind whistles across the tundra. But whatever technique, there is always the anticipation of hooking a real monster.

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Laxa y Adaldal

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