West Rangá

The West Rangá is on the south coast of Iceland, about 35 km east of Selfoss and within a little over an hour’s drive from Reykjavik. From its source to sea is 70 km. The main area for salmon fishing covers about 15 km of the river from its junction with East Rangá (10 km from the sea) up to Árbæjarfoss. The upper river is used mostly for wild brown trout fishing.


The West Rangá owes its existence to a smolt releasing programme which began in 1989, which continues today using smolts bred from Rangá fish. The river has virtually no natural spawning conditions for salmon and prior to the release programme produced a combined annual catch of between 50 and 100 fish.


The average width of the river is about 50 m, and the average depth is under 2 m. The river bed consists mainly of black and grey volcanic sand, which makes wading very easy and safe. The flow is generally smooth and steady and many of the pools consist of long, smooth glides.


The river came under new management in the autumn of 2013 and some changes to the beats are being made for the 2014 season.

•   The main fishing is now from Djúpártangi to Árbæjarfoss and comprises Beats 1 to 4, each fishing four rods.  

•   The river downstream from Djúpártangi to Þykkvibæar is Beat 5 and fished by four rods.

•   Beat 6 is from Þykkvibæar to the estuary and fished mainly for sea-trout on day tickets.


During the early weeks of the season the pools downstream of the lower waterfall, Ægissiðufoss, are the favoured places to fish. Between the two waterfalls is Rangárfluðir, again, not a large pool but often full of fish and was once one of the most productive pools in Iceland. The pools below the upper waterfall, Árbæjarfoss, can be very productive during late July onwards. By mid-August is there should be a head of fish in the upper section of the river upstream of Árbæjarfoss. In all there is a good variety of fishing found in pleasant meadow land surroundings full of bird life.


West Rangá is a river where a double-hand rod is usually the first choice because of the nature of the river. Using such long rods helps cover the wide pools, enables a long line to be controlled through the drift, and is often the only way to cast in the often windy conditions met with on this part of the coast. A floating line should be included in one's kit as they are very useful in periods of warm, calm weather when fish respond to a skated tube fly or Sunray Shadow fished fast.


The fishing season runs from 22 June to 19 October, which is one of the longest seasons in Iceland. A few fish are in the river by opening day and continue to trickle in until early July. Then the main run begins to build up. The prime time to fish West Rangá is from around 10 July to 31 July. Good fishing continues until the middle of August, after that fresh-run fish become fewer, although there is a small run in September. The average weight of West Rangá grilse is between 7 and 8 lbs, well above the national average. Fish between 10 and 16 lbs are frequent, and each year sees one or two

20-pounders coming to the net.  If an angler catches a  hen fish of 70 cm or over, they are required to leave it in one of the holding boxes placed at many pools (these fish are used for the smolt releasing programme). In return the angler receives smoked salmon.


 Accommodation is at the full-service lodge located just downstream of  Ægissiðufoss. The facility has 18 twin-rooms or rods can choose to stay in one of the more private cabins on site. There is a newly built lounge, with bar and dining room, which has turned the facility into one of the best fishing lodges in the country. Guests are accommodated in tastefully furnished double rooms with a private bathroom. The main building houses the kitchen and new spacious dining area where gourmet meals are served overlooking the river. There is also a self-catering cabin available for those fishing Beat 5. It has four twin bedrooms. There is no accommodation for Beat 6.



A new leaseholder took over the river in the autumn of 2013.

BERGÍS Pvt., Bakkabraut 2 , Mýrdalshreppur, Vik, Iceland.

Sales manager: Johannes Hinriksson.

Mob. +00354 696 7030. E-mail: johannes@westRangá.is


Beats 5 & 6 contact Gunnar Örn Jónsson. Mob: 897 2455.  E-mail:

Catch statistics for

Date Salmon Trout Rods
Jun. 214512
Jun. 2815012
Jul. 536518
Jul. 1257018
Jul. 1990218
Jul. 26157018
Aug. 2228718
Aug. 9288118
Aug. 16374618
Aug. 23421818
Aug. 30458218
Sep. 6558818
Sep. 13607918
Sep. 20652618
Sep. 27683518
Oct. 4709818
Oct. 11729218
Oct. 20745118

Total catch per year

Year Salmon Trout