East Ranga, Iceland
The East Ranga is one of the most productive rivers in Iceland and averages an annual catch of over 3,000 salmon which is quite extraordinary by Icelandic standards.
While the majority of pools may be covered with a single-hand rod, the style of fishing is ideally suited to two-handed rods, sink-tip lines and small brass tube flies. Water temperature remains rather cold throughout the summer, so getting one's fly down is frequently the most effective technique. The Ranga is not generally affected by high or low water because of its spring source.
Generally we would hope that a relatively competent fisherman would be landing 4-5 fish per day with many more lost on the way and that is a realistic expectation but of course individual skills do come in to play. The river is very interesting in that it is a smolt release river which means that it is wonderfully reliable. The bottom of the river is volcanic dust which suppresses natural spawning and the Icelandics have made it an art form is rejuvenating rivers in the form of bringing back supposedly dead rivers to being very productive.
Fishing is over a 22 km area from the junction with the Thvera on Beat 1, up to the impassable waterfall at the head of Beat 9. There is an excellent variety of water on the nine beats and something to suit everyone. An interesting note is the steady growth in the run of 2SW salmon. These fish have an average weight of 14lbs and offer terrific sport throughout the season but the majority of fish are around the 8lbs mark.
The extremely comfortable lodge is centrally located at beat 5 offering a panoramic view of the river and the spectacular snow-capped Mt. Hekla. The lodge complex is comprised of 10 buildings, all combined with a 500sqm veranda, Jacuzzi and sauna. Guests are accommodated in fully furnished twin rooms with a private bathroom. One main building houses the kitchen and spacious dining area where superb meals are served. The second main building comprises the living room filled with comfy, overstuffed leather chairs and sofas, a full service bar and tackle shop. There is a heated drying room for waders and coats etc, a full service fish cleaning and storage facility, a barbecue pit, and the "meeting place" where rods and guides meet to discuss the day’s strategies.
The guides are top class and really help the day go well – they are patient with beginners (and most of them can offer excellent casting tuition) but also very good with experienced rods as they are all mad keen fishermen themselves and understand what people are looking for in a day.
You can fish on the day of arrival and departure which makes it a very time efficient river as well. It is arguable that there are more technical rivers to fish in Iceland but the East Ranga’s reliability, convenience and excellent facilities make it one of our most popular destinations.