Norðurá

The Norðurá belongs to the vast system of rivers that all flow into the Hvitá, which carries the combined waters to the sea at Borgarnes. The river has a long history of being visited by overseas rods and the British fished there since the early 1900s. This is also where the Frances fly was first given a swim in 1978, and is still a firm favourite on the river. It is one of the most productive salmon rivers in Iceland and regularly produces 2,000 to 3,000 fish each season.

 

Norðurá begins life in the high moorlands of Holtavörðuheiði and the rivulets coming off the slopes of the distinctive mountain Baula. The river and drains an area of 518 km² and flows for 62 km to its confluence with the Hvitá. Fish can access 55 km of the river as far as Leitsfoss, below the lake of Holtavöðuvatn. There are two major waterfalls on the river at Laxfoss and Glanni, and they can have an influence on the upstream movement of salmon in the early weeks. The pools from Laxfoss downstream will be full of fish until late June, then when the water temperature rises to the magic figure the salmon decide to move up into the middle and upper reaches of the river.

 

Being such a long river its character changes throughout its length. The lower river, downstream of Laxfoss, travels through low canyons that house some perfect looking pools. The section upstream of Laxfoss to the second waterfall at Glanni is dominated by the lava outcrops that dot the valley and are interspersed with groves of dwarf birch and willow bushes. The upper section of the river is less dramatic and flows smoothly against high sod banks and over a bed of fine and medium gravel.

 

Fishing begins in early June, when some good 2SW salmon are caught, and goes on until September. The prime time is July when the prodigious grilse run arrives. The river contains over 200 pools and is divided into three sections:

•   Norðurá I  is the largest section covering most of the river and fished by 12 rods on six beats. (From 6 to 15 June only 8 rods are fished.)

•   Norðurá II is the beat that covers the upper river and fished by three rods.

•   Munaðarnesiis on the lower river, contains 12 pools and fished by 2 rods. (These rods fish the upper river after 6 July and the beat becomes part of the main fishing.)

(There is also a section of the lower river that is fished for sea-trout and char by two rods, where worm and spinning is allowed. See Trout section for details.)

 

The fishing on the three sections of the river is fly-only throughout the season. The Norðurá is a large river and has some wide pools, especially in the lower section, so is suited to two-handed rods, but many of the locals prefer to fish the river with single-hand outfits. Floating lines are prevalent, though sink-tips and larger flies are often used in the early part of the season. Popular patterns are Haugur, Frances, Blue Charm, Hairy Mary, Green Brahan and Sunray Shadow. Hitch flies and micro tubes are also popular. Anglers are allowed to keep five salmon per day. Any fish found to have bleeding gills when landed should be killed. If this happens after an angler has reached his five fish limit the extra fish should be given to the lodge. If any fish of 70 cm or more is killed this becomes the property of the lodge.

 

The main lodge for Norðurá I is situated on top of the canyon on the lower river in a grove of birch trees and has fine views looking upstream to Laxfoss.  There are 13 twin-bedded rooms and each one has en-suite shower facilities, cable tv, and are cleaned daily. There is a central dining area where all meals are served.

 

The Norðurá II  fishing comes with a self-catering cabin comprising three twin-bedded room, bathroom with shower, kitchen, lounge/dining area, and a patio area where there is a barbecue. Towels and bed linen are supplied. The river owners take care of housekeeping when each group leaves.

 

Contact:

Manager: Einar Sigfússon. Tel: +354 565 8369. Mob: +354  893 9111.

E-mail: einar@nordura.is

 

Catch statistics for

Date Salmon Trout Rods
Jun. 6268
Jun. 13958

Total catch per year

Year Salmon Trout
20171719
20161342
20152886
2014924
20133351
2012953
20112134
20102279
20092408
2008330757
20071456138
2006224760
20053138213
20041382210
20031444181
20022217124
2001133791
20001650161
19991676
19982001
19971899
19961964
19951697
19941625
19932117
19921965
19911267
19901070
1989867
19881359
19871034
19861523
19851121
1984856
19831643
19821455
19811185
19801583
19791995
19782089
19761675
19752132
19741428