First salmon sightings of 2009 established!
Kvislafoss on Laxa i Kjos. One of the best salmon pools in the whole of Iceland! Photo by Heimir Óskarsson.
We have had our first confirmed salmon sightings of the season, that is yet to start. A good looking rather smallish mws was seen finning in the Kvislafoss of the Laxa i Kjos last Wedensday, May the twentieth. It is five days early for the river which does not open though until the 25th of June!
An impatient local angler took the short drive to Laxa from Reykjavik on Wedensday and could‘nt belief his eyes! Right where it should be, the salmon was holding in the current in full view. Kvislafoss in the main pool on the bottom beat of the Laxa, a small falls several hundred yards above the estuary. Over the years Laxa i Kjos has been up there among the rivers that have had salmon sightings in May but the usual day for Laxa is the 25th. That this sighting should be five days early may have some meaning but then again it may have no meaning whatsoever! But there is no doubt that it was a fresh run fish, as the angler was so flushed that he called on Laxa‘s vastly experienced chief guide and riverkeeper Ólafur Helgi Ólafsson, who lives on the riverbank, to put his stamp on the matter. Holding close to the bank and viewed in outstanding cirumstances, it was an easy call. A few hours later it had moved upstream.
The channel above the mixing of Nordura/Gljufura and Hvita. The angler in the photo in standing right on top of the mix. Photo by gg.
We have also heard of another sighting. A keen angler who was tending his summerhouse in Heyholt in Borgarfjordur in the west of Iceland yesterday, took a walk to the close by junction of Nordura, Gljufura and Hvita, called Straumar. In the deep channel, below the mingling of the two clear rivers, and just above their mixing with the galcial Hvita, he heard a loud splash and observed the resulting commotion and rings on the surface. He did not actually see the fish, but felt that no trout could have made these sort of waves!
None of this is out of the ordinary. In the past, while Hvita was netted, the season used to start on May the 20th and there would always be a catch. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but the nets hardly ever pulled blanks this early in the season. Trout anglers further up the rivers used to catch the odd fresh run salmon as early as May 15th.
There have also been several unconfirmed reports recently of salmon being caught offshore, for instance by fishermen netting lumpfish. We hear that one up north had two huge salmon, 27 and 28 pounders, but it is unconfirmed. All these reports are building up to a hopefully memorable salmon season.