Tungufljot in Vestur Skaftafellssyslu
A 12 pounder bends the rod in the Syðri Hólmi junction. Photo by Einar Falur Ingólfsson.
This is in some ways Iceland’s answer to Argentina’s Rio Grande. Not that it has its length or huge number of fish caught per season. In fact the river is accessable to sea trout only for some 5-6 kilometers, up to Bjarnarfoss which many feel is negotiable for the sea trout but is hardly tried and when someone does venture upstream, never is there a sea trout caught or spotted. But the likeness to Rio Grande lies in the frequent huge fish caught in the river every season.
Bjarnarfoss. The sea trout seem to stop in this pool. Photo by gg.
Tungufljot is a big river originating in the southern central highlands. It flows south, through a wilderness with a pair of stunnig ultra narrow canyons, at points one can almost jump across. Finally at Bjarnarfoss the pools start to string along. They are not many but they are long and big with many possibilities each one. The falls pool, Breiðafor, Búrhylur, Grafarvað and Fitjabakkar are the main upstream pools. At the junction with the glacial Eldvatn, the huge pool Syðri Hólmi dominates proceedings and is usually the top producer, frequently offering some dramatic fishing and huge sea trout sprinkled in with the modestly sized fish, the modest ones being 5 to 10 pounders.
Heavy hen fish released in Grafarvað. Photo by Guðmundur Stefán Maríasson.
Tungufljot starts at April 1rst fishing for the retreating sea trout. The spring season fishes into May according to how long the sea trout stay in the river before returning to sea. There is some trout fishing with the odd salmon during mid summer but late in August the sea trout fishing starts to pick up again. Salmon start to run as well but they are the secondary fish on this river. If you pick up say ten fish, you’d perhaps expect one or possibly two of them to be a salmon. The season then really starts to gather pace from mid September to the end of season at October the 20th.
It may be spring on the calendar but sometimes nature does not agree. Photo by gg.
Tungufljot has a recently refurbished self catering lodge close to the junction pool Syðri Hólmi. This is about a two and a half hours drive from Reykjavík and very, very popular during prime time.