West Ranga, Iceland
The West Ranga is the most prolific and reliable river in Iceland making it the ideal place for those who want to catch a number of salmon in a short trip.
While the majority of pools may be covered with a single-handed 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 West Ranga is not generally affected by high or low water because of its spring source.
Generally with this river, during the peak time (from July 10th to the end of August) we would hope that a relatively competent fisherman would be landing 3-5 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 West Ranga has about 25km of water and caters for 18 rods with a very well organised beat rotation. The West Ranga has two waterfalls on the river which tends to hold fish back in the pools below until later in the season and it has a very stable water flow.
The lodge is located right on the banks of the river and each full rod has a very comfortable single room with ensuite bathroom with shower. 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. The lodge prides itself in employing the very best chefs that Iceland has to offer and the food is simply delicious.
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.
Do not rule out rod sharing as the hours are long (7am to 1pm followed by 4pm to 10pm) and it can be a lot of fun sharing a rod.
The West Ranga is one of our favourite rivers in Iceland and the repeat rates of our clients show that we are not the only ones to enjoy it to the full.