Sunnudalsa, Iceland

The Sunnudalsa river is positioned in the north east of Iceland, close to the community of Vopnafjordur. The nearest main airports are Egilstaddir (1 hr 10mins drive) and Akureyri (2hrs 30mins drive), although Vopnafjordur does have a small airstrip (15 mins from the Sunnudalsa Lodge but subject to good weather conditions).

This river is the main tributary to the famous Hofsa, which is renowned as one of the top Icelandic rivers and widely acknowledged as having some of the best fly water in Iceland. Boasting a luxurious lodge, the Sunnudalsa is an idyllic three or four rod river with over 12km of fishable water. The Sunnudalsa head waters start at 876 metres on the Sandfell mountain range; dropping down to the highest Foss (waterfall) from where the river becomes fishable. The uppermost section is stunning; the river runs rapidly away from the Foss through a steep gorge which contains a beautiful array of pools. The canyon is high sided but the construction of a new track between 2005 and 2011 means that it is now possible to access most of the beat from a vehicle.

The middle area starts at the lower Foss where there is now a fish ladder to assist the passage of the salmon upriver. The height of the canyon is such that from far above you can look into the pools and spot fish before moving into casting position. The river then descends at a more leisurely pace through fantastic scenery onto the flats below. The lower section continues from the only road bridge across the Sunnudalsá down to the mouth of the river. The pools on this beat are a ideal to fish fast with a surface fly in order to search for fresh fish as they come into the system from the lower Hofsa.

There are a handful of holding pools on both the middle and lower beats which stop fish running up to the top beat too quickly; most pools are easily accessed by a vehicle. The average weight of fish is historically higher from the colder waters of the North East Rivers, the Sunnudalsa is no exception, as multi sea winter fish range from 8lb to over 15lb and the grilse are generally in the 4-6lb range. Whilst the first fish will run in early July, the Sunnudalsa often sees salmon running later than many Icelandic rivers, throughout August and into the back end of the season, once the majority of the mountain snow has melted.

Accommodation

The Sunnudalsa Lodge is a very comfortable facility, boasting 4 en suite bedrooms (3 twin and 1 double) and a large sitting and dinning area. The lodge is positioned to take advantage of the stunning views across the valley that stretches miles into the distance, and has a large deck with hot tub. Ideal for self catering, there is a well equipped kitchen, a good quality barbeque, and all the washing facilities required. Between weeks a cleaner visits to clean the lodge and change bedsheets..

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An ideal private party river for a week fishing

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