Svalbardsa, Iceland

Svalbardsa, in the north-east of Iceland, has some of the most beautiful scenery and best salmon fishing in the country. The prime fishing section is approximately 17km but is not a river ideally suited to those unable to walk between adjacent pools.

Type of fishing

Svalbardsa is a three rod, catch and release only, Icelandic river, averaging in the region of 400 fish per year.

The river begins to fish well in mid-July with the first good runs of fresh, extremely aggressive salmon averaging approximately 10lb. The runs reach their peak in the first weeks of August when pools fill with holding fish. At this time the average size falls to just under 10lb, whilst at the same time catch averages rise to their peak. Fishing continues to be good into early September with numbers of fresh fish still entering the river.

With classic pools starting with fast runs and bellowing into smooth tails, Svalbardsa is one of the secret gems of Iceland and fished year in and year out by the same fishers there is  seldom much new availability. Svalbardsa is best fished with a 9-10ft 7 or 8wt and all of the classic Icelandic salmon fly patterns will score. However, fishers should bring a sink tip as well as a floating line in case of higher water and even in flood the river runs very clear, except for the first hour or so.