- Upper Beats
Laxa in Thingeyjarsyslu - upper beats
Fishing one of the "flóar" with trademark mount Vindbelgur in the backdrop. Photo Jón Eyfjörð Friðriksson.
Laxa in Thingeyjarsyslu, often called in English simply Big Laxa, has some of the world’s best brown trout beats. Two of the very best are Myvatnssveit and Laxardalur, situated above the hydro electric dam at Bru. Both beats are fished with multiple rods and have separate full service lodges, the upper one called Hof, the lower one called Rauðholar. Below the dam there is a string of smaller beats with one to three daily rods and they are named Presthvammur, Hraun, Stadartorfa and Mulatorfa.
Releasing a fine brown trout. Photo Jón Eyfjörð Friðriksson.
The upper beats are the more famous so to speak. Myvatnssveit starts at the headwater lake, the world famous Myvatn, translated Midge lake. It is broken up into various beats, the names of every one of them ringing bells in the clear heads of Icelandic anglers. Hofstadaey, Arnarvatn, Geldingaey, Hamar, you name it. The river is a complex of islands, channels, runs and assorted wide bay-like mini lakes called “flóar”. Everywhere there is lush vegetation and everywhere the endless species of various birds, mainly though all kinds of ducks. Among them “American” species Harlequin and Barrows Goldeneye who do not breed anywhere else in Europe, being natives on the North American continent.
And another one. Photo by Birnir Bergsson.
The fish are of all sizes but the main attraction besides the stunning nature is the sizable average weight and the amazing fighting qualities of the brown trout. They are deep bodied and have a lot of water and a lot of strong current to help them out. Most of the time, anglers are hooking and fighting 2 to 5 pound browns but 6-7 pounders are not uncommon at all and bigger fish are caught every season. Seldom do the biggest browns from the beat not exceed 10 pounds and brown trout of up to 13 pounds have been taken.
Streamer flies seem to work best early on but very soon the big flies fade a little and weighed nymphs fished upstream with strike indicators take center stage. Every now and then dry fly conditions will pop up and streamers may well have their moments so anglers need to stay on their toes and “do what they gotta do”.
Into a fine brown in Stekkjarskerjapollur. Photo by Guðlaug Ósk Sigurðardóttir
Anglers on the upper beat stay at Hof, a full service lodge. It is a no frills establishment with solid good cooking and rooms that are suitable for sleeping. No more, no less. The sitting room is nice and there is an outdoor jacuzzy.
The lower beat above the dam is Laxardalur. Much the same applies to what we have already stated about the upper beat. It needs to be said though that the river is totally different in the valley. It is no longer winding along in many channels among the multiple islands. The river has mainly gathered its strengths and flows down the valley like a tide. It is broad and powerful and anglers need to take care while wading. The brown trout tend to be less numerous down here but pep that up with a higher average weight.
The lodge is at Rauðholar and is much the same as at Hof. No frills yet very comfy. Good cooking, yet simple, etc.