Salmon fishing. 




Salmon fishing has been practiced here in Iceland since the first settlers arrived here in the late 800 AD.  Dragnets were widely used, but now people debate if  our ancestors fished by rod or not. (A fine topic to debate on, as no one can prove his point)

Soon after 1860 English and Scottish gentlemen came here to fish for salmon.  They frequented rivers in the south-west area, such as the Ellidaár, Grímsá, Langá, Thverá and Norduá.  Some even bought all fishing rights in rivers, like the Elliðaár and the Langá.  This continued for the next 50 years until the First World War put an end to it.  Even if some of the anglers returned after the war the attendance was never the same.

In the late 1960 some American anglers rediscovered the Icelandic salmon fishing and soon became the most common foreign fishermen in Iceland.  In the last decades the number of European anglers have increased and by now  they equal the Americans. 

The inflow of foreign anglers increased the demand for good fishing and raised the prices considerably, so local fishermen were not at all pleased.  By now this dispute has settled and Icelandic anglers acknowledges that salmon fishing is a costly sport.


                                    The state today. 

There are more than 100 self sustaining salmon rivers in Iceland.  Of those at least 20 offer the prime time on the international market.  Most market their fishing as 3, 6 or 7 days packages, including the fishing permit, all food and accommodation, one guide with a car for every two rods and all local transport.  A few rivers also offer shorter terms. 


Prices and services differ somewhat. As the icelandic krona is now at an all-time low, the present rate (February 2010) being 180 to 1 €. the prices have gone somewhat down in foreign currency.  Now anglers may expect to pay from – say – 800- up to 1200- € for every rod/day.  (1100 up to 1700 $)  Lower prices can be expected for rivers with little or no services but self catering cabins.


If you are preparing a fishing trip to Iceland but do not know how to book a permit, we would like to bring your attention to our list of the major outfitters here in Iceland. They represent almost all the top rivers and will be more than happy to provide you with all kinds of information.   If you are looking for some of the lesser known rivers please open our list of Icelandic salmon rivers.  There you can find information on rod numbers, average catch and where to book permits for most Icelandic rivers.  We hope you will find this website helpful and are willing to provide all additional information we can give. Just send us an E-mail at   Tight lines.