Breiðdalsá

The Breiðdalsá

The Breiðdalsá is situated on the east coast, about an hour's drive south of Egilsstaðir on the main Route 1. There are several daily flights, duration 1 hour, between Reykjavik and Egilsstaðir. To drive from Reykjavik takes between eight to ten hours. The river flows through what must be one of the most stunning fishing valleys in the country, where the river  is surrounded by walls of high jagged mountains inhabited only by sheep and ptarmigan. The valley is sparsely populated with farmsteads, and the little coastal village of Breiðdalsvík lies near the river mouth fifteen minutes away.

 

The river system comprises the Breiðdalsá and its major tributary the Tinnudalsá/Norðudalsá, which have a combined drainage area of 370 km². The whole system contains around 60 km of fishing; with over 30 km on the upper Breiðdalsá, 17 km on Tinnudalsá, and a further 6 km of Breiðdalsá below where the two rivers join. The river is fished by six rods in the early season and then by eight from late July onwards.

 

The upper Breiðdalsá has a smooth, gentle character and flows in meanders through a wide fertile valley. The holding water is mostly found in the deeper water on the inside of the many bends in the river. There are areas where rock outcrops form the pools. The main waterfall, Beljandi, lies just over a kilometre upstream of the junction with the Tinnudalsá, and this stretch contains several productive pools.

 

Tinnudalsá has a much rockier, rougher course through a more mountainous landscape. There is more white water on this stream and pools vary from swift runs in deep gorges to stretches of pool and riffle on its upper course. Days spent on this beat see rods constantly on the move as they prospect the many smaller pools up in the valley before taking their time to cover the larger pools in the lower section.

 

The lower Breiðdalsa is a different river altogether and offers the most productive fishing on the whole system. From the meeting of the two parent streams the now bigger river flows in wide sweeps over a wide gravel bed before squeezing through the Glufrú canyon then emerging to continue a snaking course to the delta. The great horseshoe bend overlooked by the lodge contains the great Cliff Pool, which is a quarter mile of pure expectation, and a string of holding water down to the first pool above tidal water, Klapparhylur. It should be noted that between the first pool and the sea the river breaks into many braids to flow into a wide area of sand flats for about 3 km until it gets to the estuary. At high tide it becomes a great bay into which, along with salmon, sea-run char come to feed. These shoals provide great sport on the ebbing tide at the river mouth.

 

A smolt releasing programme (smolts from ponds sited on tributaries to the main rivers) to bolster the indigenous run began in 2001. The release programme started to kick in when the first major return came home in 2004.  Since then the catch has climbed to between 700 and over 1,000 in a season. The river also has gained a reputation for having a healthy run of 2SW salmon, which saved the 2012 season when grilse were scarce throughout the country. Each season produces a handful of 20 lbs fish and scores of 15 to 18-pounders.

 

Guests are provided with transport between Egilsstaðir airport and the lodge, as well as having domestic flights booked for them. At the river there is one guide and 4WD vehicle per two rods. All beats are fished by two rods and a rotation is drawn at the beginning of the week.

 

Eyjar Lodge provides luxurious accommodation for fishers. Built in 2000, it has eight twin bedded  en-suite rooms (rod-sharers share a room) that have television and free WiFi access. The main area for guests is open plan and used as a lounge and dining room. The fireplace acts as the main focal point inside and there are breathtaking views of the valley and out to sea through the floor to ceiling windows or from the decked area outside. There is also a sauna, and an outdoor hot-pot. The team of chefs from Reykjavik, all regulars each summer, provide first class cuisine made from local produce.

 

Contact:

Angling Service Strengir, Smárarimi 30, 112 Reykjavik, Iceland.

Tel/fax: +354 567 5204. Mob +354 660 6890.

www.strengir.isE-mail:ellidason@strengir.is

 

Catch statistics for

Date Salmon Trout Rods
Jul. 466
Jul. 11106
Jul. 18156
Jul. 25206
Aug. 1406
Aug. 8456
Aug. 15506
Aug. 22556
Aug. 29636
Sep. 5886
Sep. 121056
Sep. 191096
Sep. 261096
Sep. 281106

Total catch per year

Year Salmon Trout
2018110
2017106
2016375
2015383
2014290
2013305
2012464
20111430
20101178
2009782660
2008910
2007875572
2006937922
20058151850
20047001430
2004700
2003202852
2002325852
20012331463
2000171744
1999128
199885
199763
199692
1995180
199472
1993130
1992226
1991116
199091
1989104
1988185
1987257
1986158
198578
19844
198321
198220
198141
1980153
1979248
1978412
1977248
197676
1975123
1974126