Miðfjarðará

The Miðfjarðará lies 189 km from Reykjavik and is reached in around three hours by driving north on Route 1. It flows into the head of the Miðfjörður fjord near the village of Laugarbakki. It is a large system that drains an area is 790 km²  and consists of the main river, Miðfjarðará, and three substantial tributaries of Austurá, Núpsá and Vesturá. In total there is about 115 km of fishable water containing over 200 named pools.  The five-year average catch is a staggering 3,137 salmon and grilse.

 

Of all the rivers in Iceland, Miðfjarðará probably offers the greatest variety of water to fish in a week. Each of the three tributaries has a different physical character, while the main river is quite distinct in itself. Austurá and Núpsá are two rivers at the head of the long valley, each rising in the wet heathland that stretches into the great interior. Austurá is the larger of the two and is marked by a canyon below the Kambsfoss where a fish pass was built to allow the fish access to kilometres of virgin spawning gravels upstream. Anglers drop into the head of the gorge and fish their way through and it is well worth the effort for the scenery alone. The river is between 15 and 25 m wide and fairly smooth flowing over a rocky bed scattered with boulders. Núpsá is shorter and narrower with pools from 10 to 20 metres wide. The river is very rocky with a lot of rough water and rocky pots and small pools. Six kilometres or so below the meeting of Austurá and Núpsá is where the Vesturá enters Miðfjarðará on the west bank. This is the largest of the three tributaries and produces most fish. The river runs through barren heathland and is confined within narrow banks three to five metres high. The bed is very rocky and the upper river flows over a series of steps in the rock strata, forming numerous small falls and streamy water. In the lower part of Vesturá are long stretches of rocky cliffs which form long deep pools with a medium, smooth current.

 

The main river runs through a wide, gently sloping valley where the river meanders across the gravelly valley floor. Here, the river is up to 40 m wide and rarely more than 2 m deep. Most pools are formed against a high earth bank and fished from a gently sloping gravel shore. Most pools on all the beats are easily accessed and the only place where any amount of walking is needed is on the canyon section of Austurá.

 

Miðfjarðará  is fly-only until the end of the season now. The style of rod is very much to personal choice, but this is a river system that can be comfortably covered by rods of 9 to 10-feet in length for a line weight 7 or 8.  Popular fly patterns are: Nighthawk, Undertaker, Black Sheep, Silver Stoat, Frances in red and black, Blue Charm and Sunray Shadow dressed on hooks from size 14 to 6 and 1 to 1.5-inch tubes for the early season or high water.

 

The season at Miðfjarðará runs from 21 June to 25 September and has its best fishing from 1 July to the second week of August. Some high quality fishing can be found in June and early July as the first run of fish is mostly in the 9 lbs to 16 lbs range, but fish can be up to 23 lbs. By July the grilse arrive, mixed with some bigger summer salmon. Fresh fish may still be found in early September. The best weeks of the season are usually the last two weeks of July and the first week of August. The system is divided into five beats and each is fished by two rods.

 

Miðfjarðará has excellent char fishing  in its lowest pools found amongst the braids of river that flow between the Route 1 bridge and the sea. This fishing is let separately by the same outfitter.

 

Anglers are  provided with full-board service based at the Laxhvammur Lodge.  The lodge has 10 twin-bed rooms all with private bathrooms. There is a very spacious sitting room and dining room,

drying room for jackets, waders, etc., a small tackle shop and a sauna that was refurbished in the winter of 2000/2001. Wine and beer is available to buy at the lodge, visitors are advised to bring their own spirits. One guide is provided for every two rods and he also supplies 4WD transport around the river. Reykjavik/river/Reykjavik transfers are also included in the service.

 

Contact: 

Tel: +354-842-6460. Web: www.midfjardara.is  

E-mail: rafnva@internet.is

Catch statistics for

Date Salmon Trout Rods
Jun. 20956
Jun. 271776
Jul. 43206
Jul. 1151510

Total catch per year

Year Salmon Trout
20173765
20164338
20156028
20141694
20133667
20121610
20112364
20104043
20094004
20081736305
20071132102
20061208242
20051561192
20042228272
2003577247
2002749154
2001433325
2000612103
19991203
19981772
1997602
1996714
19951032
1994668
19931023
19921401
19911112
1990774
19891175
19882081
19871073
19861719
19851059
1984583
1983882
1982926
19811213
19801714
19792132
19782337
19761601
19751414
1974837