A huge brown from Minnivallalaekur, at least a 16 pounder. It is alive and kicking. Photo Ólafur Ragnar Garðarsson.
Minnivallalaekur is a delicate spring fed river which meanders through a grassy plain, hemmed in by a mountainous panorama led by the world famous Hekla volcano. The river is one of the planets most well kept secrets when it comes to brown trout fishing. These are no normal brown trout. They are ancestors of the ice age browns that came forth during the breaks in the last ice age. Dinosaurs from the past. Brown trout are not naturally in such famous trout fishing regions as in various South American countries. They were put there by Europeans. The are however wild and native in Iceland. And some of the most awesome brown trout are to be found in this very river. Its delicate façade indeed belies what lies beneath the mirror like flats.
A six pounder for a local angler. Photo Páll Ágúst Ólafsson.
Minnivallalaekur is quickly becoming world famous in the world of brown trout fishing, thanks to several angling writers who have been brought up here to sample the fishing and write of their experience in their respective books and magazines. Yet, it is a highly technical river and not all get to grips with fishing it.
An early season brown bends the rod. Photo Páll Ágúst Ólafsson.
The season starts on April the first, frequently in sub zero temperatures but that doesn’t stop the local anglers fishing the river with streamer flies. They invariably catch quite a few monsters, and as this is a catch and release fishery, these huge fish are still there when the foreign guests start to arrive in June. They are fishing the river to the end of July or so and they are catching fish with dry flies. The adventures these anglers have sampled have made them come back again and again. To catch wild brown trout weighing up to 14 or even 16 pounds on a dry fly is of course beyond belief. Of course they are not all that big. The norm is 2 to 6 pounds but 7 to 10 pounders are quite frequent and there are always several of the monsters around. Hooking and fighting these incredible fish on weight 3 to 5 lines and light tippets makes one mutter: Salmon? What salmon?
Minnivallalaekur, popularly known by foreign clients as Minni, is fished with four rods and they stay in a very pleasant lodge situated on the very bank of one of the best pools on the river, Husabreiða. It is a self catering lodge but full service can be arranged upon request.