West Ranga, Iceland
Just a short drive from Reykjavik, the prolific West Ranga offers the opportunity to fish within hours of arriving in Iceland.
The West Ranga is fast becoming known as a river capable of producing good numbers of 10lbs - 20lbs salmon all season long and is one of the most productive in Iceland. With improvements being made to the accommodation all of the time, it is one that is highly sought after.
The West Ranga caters for 12 rods in June, 14 in July and 16 in August & September and is slightly different in character to its sister river, the East Ranga in that two waterfalls on the beat tend to hold fish back in the pools below until later in the season. It also has a more stable water flow than the East and is fishable until later in the year.
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 your fly down is frequently the most effective technique.
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.
The average catch is on a par with the East Ranga making it, per rod, a very attractive option. Both Rangas are large rivers, requiring double handed rods but with sparse riverside vegetation, overhead casting is possible in all but the most remote pools. The West Ranga produces high numbers of salmon per rod/day. It is never low and is seldom if ever coloured due to flooding and heavy rains. The only enemy could be high winds, but there is always the opposite bank.
The lodge is very comfortable with single en-suite rooms for every full rod. The newly completed dining room overlooks one of the most productive pools on the river and has been the scene of many a memorable evening.