Ice age trout in Iceland

Text & images by Lars Marius Bjørnstad, Guideline PowerTeam

Late night fly tying and a significant lack of sleep. Departure day has come. After six months of preparations, we’re finally ready to fly to Iceland in search of the majestic ice age brown trout. We are four pumped up fly anglers, reaching to beat the 10 kg limit. We acknowledge the difficulty, but nothing is going to stop us from pulling up some monster trouts on this trip.


The excitement level is rising already in the car on our way to the airport, as we dream about bright summer nights and mirror-smooth waters. We keep chatting about our expectations over a mandatory airport pint as we wait to board our flight. When we arrive Keflavik airport, we quickly collect all our stuff before we pick up the car we are renting for the week. Before we head to our cabin, we drop by a tackle shop where we purchase more flies, equipped for the big day tomorrow. We’re accommodated right by the water where it’s gonna happen. After enjoying a glass of red wine, we strolled down to discover the terrain and to get a feel of the surroundings. Knowing that tomorrow is going to be a long day, me make sure to get as much sleep as possible.


Breakfast goes down in an irregular speed as we can’t wait to get out and start day one of fishing. However, when we get to our daily spot, we’re met with huge disappointment as hurricane-like winds destroys the potential. Not only this today, but the next four days came along with terrible fishing conditions, and the numbers of decent trouts turned out few. We keep fighting with heavier rods, lines with different sinking degrees and all types of flies. The wind just doesn’t want to give us a break. Within these days, we manage to catch four trouts up to three kilos. At least, this gives us hope. Still, we’re relatively frustrated, knowing that these waters usually give good results. The mood kept sinking as we moved from rivers to smaller creeks, trying all options.


We still had not reached what we hoped for. This was supposed to be a trip of big catches. Big trouts. However, we succeed in consuming tasty Icelandic meat and liquor from all over the world and sharing old fishing stories. Without any certain expectations, we wake up on day five, finally seeing no wind. Breakfast was eaten in the car… Is this the day?!? The sea lies like a mirror and I start rigging my brand new LPXE 9’#5 with Haze v2 #6/8, floating line and egor tippet 0,23 and a small black fly. We hear a familiar sound, and within a second, a big trout shows up above the surface. We all burst out: “oh my god” at the same time. We’re four men sharing two rods, and those two rods quickly bend. From there and out, we had action all day long. Just as ordered! Suddenly, the trouts didn’t hesitate to embrace our midge flies. We swap rods and cameras, making sure to capture all our catches. We are landing big trouts and there’s always a high five going on.


Two of the guys broke their personal best, landing trouts on 4 to 5 kilos on dry flies. On #5 rods. The Icelandic landscape is amazing and makes the evening even better. It’s magical and words can’t describe. It’s all about the experience. After feeling some careful bites I decided to change fly, and a fish takes it immediately. As I set the hook, the water explodes with a big trout dancing ten metres on its tail, ending in a somersault. The LPXE is running warm and the line runs quickly off the reel. You need backing in Iceland. I am beaching the fish carefully and realize that this is my peak point of the trip.


A brown trout that pulled the scale straight to the bottom. Approximately 7 kilos and 80 cm in length. Ridiculous girth. We spent our last day by a small river, catching char and trouts in smaller versions, letting yesterday’s fishing adventure sink properly in.

We are definitely coming back. It’s all about the experience. Enough said. Below you find a full gallery of additional images than the ones showed above. Click the first image and you can view them in slideshow mode. 

Text & images by Lars Marius Bjørnstad, Guideline PowerTeam


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