Season: 1 April - 20 October
Extent: 8km, double bank
Average catch: 600-1400
Catch in 2012: 2,800 trout & char
Lodge: Accommodation nearby
Notes: Fly only, catch & release
Litla is a curious river in north-east Iceland. It is relatively short and has a lot of bends. Starting in a lake that was formed by massive earthquakes some thirty years ago. The lake is called Skjalftavatn meaning 'Quake Lake'.
The river takes in a lot of geothermal spring water thus its average temperature is far higher than is usual in Iceland, especially considering how far north the river is located. As a result the aquatic live is very rich and in full bloom all year providing food for the trout which feed during winter instead of semi-hibernating.
Litla's main fish are sea trout and it is without a doubt one of the best sea trout rivers on the north coast and even better than many of the south coast rivers. The river also has a fantastic stock of resident brown trout, some sea char and several salmon.
So it is quite a cocktail and you never know what species has hit your fly until you see the fish emerge. The size of many individual sea trout and brown trout is awe inspiring. Sea trout up to 23 pounds have been encountered and brown trout of 4 to 8 pounds are quite common.
The fishing is, as ever, dependent on conditions and a knowledgeable guide is essential. It is often effective to fish the dry fly but using small flies of size 22 or 24. Tiny nymphs, dead drifted, also work well. There are many fish also taken on copper bead heads and on streamers.
The volcanic rock in this area is sharp on leaders so a fine balance must be struck between abrasion resistance and diameter.
Rods between a line 3 and 5 are best suited with maybe a 6 or 7 weight, in case there is the chance of salmon or the wind is very strong.
Litla is fished with five daily rods. It does not have a lodge of its own, however, the managers of the nearby lodge at Keldunes and a small hostel at Skulagardur both have comfortable accommodation to offer to all Litla anglers.
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Tel: +44 (0) 1573 470612