Season: 1 July - 20 September
Prime time: 20 July - 25 August
Extent: 30km, double bank, 80 pools
Lodge: Full service lodge, gourmet meals
Notes: Catch & release of MSW fish, fly only
To fish the Hofsa once can never be enough. In his foreword for the book A Celebration of Salmon Rivers HRH the Prince of Wales says that: "Perhaps my most special memories are reserved for the Hofsa river in Iceland..."
The Hofsa is located 18km from the village of Vopnafjordur on the east coast of Iceland. The Hofsa is about a seven-hour drive from Reykjavik. It is possible to get to Vopnafjordur via daily flights to Egilsstadir and then drive for 1½ hours.
The words of one Iceland's renowned poet-songwriters give an insight into the intense emotions Hofsa can generate:
"Don't invite me to fish Hofsa if you are only going to ask me to fish it once, for I know I will leave in love, never wishing to fish another river."
To fish Hofsa is to experience Iceland at its best. Whether at the beginning of the season, when the meadows are alive with snipe, plover, whimbrel and redshank and the fisherman must be ever vigilant to aerial attacks from terns and skuas.
Or in the languid dog-days of summer, when the midday sun erases shadows from the pools, rendering fishing futile until the shade lengthens and the pools once again come alive.
Or at the end of the season when man, horse and dog muster sheep from the hill while skeins of geese etch the skies leaden with the tinge of autumn. To spend time beside the Hofsa is so much more than fishing - it is to become a part of Iceland and its unique nature.
The Hofsa is situated in the remote northeast of Iceland and the statistics show it to be one of the most prolific rivers in Iceland. It is divided into seven beats, fished one rod per beat with single- or double-handed rods. The 80 named pools spread over 18km offer fishing that will test the professional and can flatter the beginner.
One of the few Icelandic rivers to be "fly only" with mandatory catch and release for multi sea winter fish, Hofsa is managed to ensure that there are not only grilse in abundance but also a real opportunity to catch a fresh run 20-pounder.
But facts and figures can tell only a fraction of the story. No graph can ever portray and adrenalin-laced visit to the great Foss, the spectacular natural barrier that marks the top of the Hofsa fishing, clambering down the slope and casting a fly into the narrow, spray-shrouded gorge hoping to hook, play, land and release a fish.
No pie chart can ever explain the excitement of spotting for a fishing partner as the fly swings past a fish, helping him make the minute adjustments to the cast and presentation that will brush the fly against the salmon's nose, and then watching as its white maw opens to take it.
No spreadsheet will ever show the riffling hitched fly as it tracks across the surface, the bulge in the water as the fish prepares to attack, or the heart stopping smash of the take.
No league table will ever describe an hour long battle through pools and over rapids ending in a breathless release - and then the time spent on a grassy bank in contended reflection of a job well done.
Experiences such as these can be found individually on many Icelandic rivers, but it is only on the Hofsa that they combine so frequently to test, to thrill and, on occasion, to torment the angler.
Here you can catch Hofsa salmon on the fringe of the Arctic Circle in the midst of Nature in all its glory; salmon which are hard won and the stuff of piscatorial dreams.
The poet was right - to fish the Hofsa once can never be enough.
Words courtesy of Sigurdur Helgason and Robert Jackson and taken from the book "A Celebration of Salmon Rivers".
Interestingly the statistics show that 46% of the salmon caught in 2008 were MSW and 94% of all MSW caught were released.
For more statistics click here.
To get around the Hofsa a four wheel drive vehicle is required. For full details and maps of the Hofsa beats click here.
The lodge comprises ten bedrooms (8 double and 2 single), 4 bathrooms and 4 showers. Meals are served in a spacious dining room which leads into a large sitting room. This overlooks the river valley and seats over 18 people.
|Salmon & Grilse|
No days available online through us at this moment. There may be some later, at which point a booking link will appear here. To be automatically emailed when rods are added, please go to our rod alert page
Tel: +44 (0) 1573 470612