Selá í Vopnafirði

Selá í Vopnafirði

Selá flows from its source at Selábotn up in the Dimmifjallgarður highlands, for 55 km down to the sea 5 km north of Vopnafjörður. The airstrip at Vopnafjörður has a daily flight from Reykjavik (two hours’ flying time), but most rods fly to the river via Egilsstaðir.  By road the river is about 230 km from Akureyri via Route 85, and 100 km from Egilsstaðir via Route 917.

 

Selá drains an area of 750 km² and has a total length of 55 km. Salmon now have access to the whole river, but it was not always so. Until 1967 salmon could go no further than Selárfoss, 7 km upstream from the sea. In that year a fish ladder was installed allowing the fish access to the rest of the river as far as Efri Foss, 30 km from the sea. Further improvements were made for the fish in 2010 when the rock structure of Efri Foss was enhanced to form a natural fish ladder, so now salmon make use of the new spawning ground in the very upper reaches of the river. In less than fifty years the average catch has gone from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand.  The Selá is the flagship of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) and cited by that organisation as a prime example of how good husbandry and common sense management can improve a river for the benefit of salmon stocks, and for the riparian owners.

 

Selá is a salmon fisher´s dream river and captivates all who cast a line on her waters. The nature of the river is rocky, strong and fast with some large pools that test an angler's skill and tackle to the utmost. It is regarded as a very technical river and keeps fishers absorbed throughout their stay.

 

Selárfoss, the first waterfall 7 km up from the sea, acts as a temperature barrier and fish do not generally go further than here until the water warms up, usually around mid-July. This means that all early season fishing takes place on the lower third of Selá. The Hvammsá is the only major tributary and joins the main river well up the valley. It is not used much for fishing but does play an important part as a nursery area. Most of the Selá’s pools are accessible by vehicle, but there are still some areas where some walking is required. This is a wild, rocky river and some of the wading can be tricky. The fishing is divided into three beats: Lower Beat, pools 1 to 43, approximately 12 km-long; Middle Beat, pools 44 to 106, approximately 14 km-long; and Upper Beat, pools 107 to 120, approximately 4 km-long. The maximum number of rods on the river is nine, but in the early weeks only four to six rods are fished.

 

The Selá is a river perfect for fly-fishing with its choice of gorgeous pools ranging from long wide flows in the lower valley, to deeper pots and gullies on the more enclosed upper river. The riffle-hitch is a very popular method used on Selá. In the early season a double-hand rod and sink-tip line is the best way to cover the big, cold-running river. As summer

progresses most of the river can be covered with a long single-hand rod and a floating line, but many fishers still prefer to use a Spey rod. Popular flies, whether dressed on tubes for early season or on size 14 to 6 hooks for normal water conditions, are: Silver Blue, Blue Charm, Hairy Mary, Frances, Sunray Shadow and Silver Stoat.

 

The season runs from 25 June to 25 September, and within these dates the prime fishing occurs from mid-July to around the third week of August. The first fish of the season are present in numbers by early July and these early fish are mostly between 10 and 20 lbs in weight. As the season progresses fish penetrate the upper reaches of the river and are caught throughout the system. The grilse run is normally at its height by the middle of August. Fresh fish may still be caught in late August and early September.

 

The fishing is managed by Angling Club Strengur and access is usually by invitation only. Fishing is divided into rotating beats, and usually two rods are accompanied by a guide with a 4WD vehicle. Accommodation is provided at the super new lodge, Fossgerði, situated about half-way up the river, overlooking the pool of the same name.

 

Contact:

Angling Club Strengur, Skipholt 35, 105 Reykjavik, Iceland.

Tel: +354 568 6277.

www.Selá.is  E-mail:orri@Selá.is

 

 

Catch statistics for

Date Salmon Trout Rods
Jul. 112156
Jul. 182996
Jul. 254926
Aug. 17066
Aug. 88636
Aug. 1510296
Aug. 2211116
Aug. 2912226
Sep. 512836
Sep. 1213156
Sep. 2613406

Total catch per year

Year Salmon Trout
20181340
2017937
2016830
20151172
20141004
20131664
20121507
20112021
20102065
20091993
2008202517
2007222537
2006274022
2005231653
2004167078
20031558
2002165358
2001110858
2000136080
1999991
19981140
1997685
1996737
19951160
1994631
19931092
19921318
1991772
1990634
1989895
19881102
19871523
19861258
1985627
1984123
1983229
1982168
1981192
1980637
1979767
19781394
19771463
1976845
1975711
1974589