A large grilse clears the Sjávarfoss. Photo by Heimir Óskarsson.
The Elliðaar, although small in volume, ranks as one of Iceland‘s most famous and very best salmon rivers. It is unique in the sense that it flows through the middle of Iceland‘s capital city Reykjavik. That makes it very unique and although Reykjavik is no sprawling metropolis, it is still a big and difficult job to keep the river clean and free of the perils that accompany close contact with civilization.
One for the pot from Sjávarfoss. Photo by Heimir Óskarsson.
Elliðaar is a rather small volume river. Its first signs are several streams in the moorelands east of Reykjavik. They gradually come together in the lake Ellidavatn which is a very good trout lake. Full of brown trout.
A dam with a view. Phot by Páll Jensson.
Elliðaar is hardly more than five kilometers in length as it starts its journey at the water regulating dam at the lake. Half way down there is another dam attached to a hydro electric station slightly further down river. These establishments are never the best of squatters in salmon rivers but Elliðaar seams to cope admirably. It is a tourist attraction in itself to walk onto the dam and view the huge flocks of salmon that have made their way through their „hole“ in tha dam. There are sometimes salmon in their hundreds there in plain view.
Mayor of the moment Ólafur Magnússon opens the Elliðaar 2008, after moving from Sjávarfoss to Breiðan. Photo by Heimir Óskarsson.
The river above the dam is fly only water of outstanding quality and variety. During early spring, the uppermost part of the beat is a prolific brown trout fishery as well. Below the dam the river starts to hurry on seaward and there are a lot of small potholes and falls that are fished with worms as well as flies.
Many Reykjavík families use their six hours for bonding. Photo by Heimir Óskarsson.
Elliðaar has one of Iceland‘s most long standing traditions. Every opening day, the reigning mayor of the city formaly openes the season and the Sjávarfoss is kept exclusively for him. Sjávarfoss has long been considered the safest place for the mayor, although that has misfired over the years.