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  3. Tackle and flies

Tackle advice

When arriving in Iceland for the purpose of fly fishing every angler should bring equipment that he likes best. We are talking about waders, spinning or Fly rod whichever you are planning to use, some tippet material and some typical flies. Although fishing and tackling stores in Iceland are very good and you can buy everything in almost any town in Iceland to get by. We recommend however that you bring your own rods and tackle, the equipment you are used to handle.

We also recommend that you buy the Icelandic, salmon or trout flies. This is not based upon the rational of boosting angling shopping in Iceland, it has simply been proven that for some reason Icelandic tied flies work well in Iceland.

Clothing is also very important. Gore-Tex waders and rain coat or fishing jacket are the best. The anglers should layer their clothing with around 3-4 layers because believe it or not it can be hot on the rivers as well as cold. A good fishing hat, good glasses and gloves are not only functional but also provide safety. Bring a good sweater or get an Icelandic woollen one!!

A good hiking bag or a typical fishing bag is also necessary. Sometimes you need to walk a little distance from the car.

Typical gear will include 8-10 weight single and double handed rods, 8-16 pound tippets on weight forward floating and intermediate lines.

If arriving in August, bring sinking tippets or sinking line with you and preferably on a separate spool or reel along with GoreTex waders, GoreTex rain jacket and hat, glasses and 2 pair of gloves.

Most productive flies sizes are 6-10 and much smaller if water levels are:

  • Black Sheep on Single and double hooks (make sure they are long tail with jungle cock)
  • Red and Black Frances in several sizes from size 10 double to a 3" tube
  • Hairy Mary on Single and double hooks
  • Laxa Blueon Single and double hooks
  • Collie dogon Single and Double hooks
  • Black Braham on Double

At least 3-6 different kinds of micro tubes / with and without cone heads and 4-8 different kinds of so called riffle hitch tubes

Also, it is good to know that most fishing guides in Iceland collect flies that they recommend. Also, they usually have spare rods and repair kits if something untoward happens.

Although it is not part of the tackle we strongly recommend that you practice, take lessons in casting before arriving to Iceland. The reason for advising this is that the wind is a big factor in Icelandic fishing.



In order to protect the quality of its salmon fishery, Iceland employs a number of protective measures. The country has remained relatively free of freshwater diseases and maintains a strict disinfection policy towards tackle, waders and gear imported by visiting anglers. This is detailed in the "Freshwater Fisheries Law" of 1970, chapter X, prohibiting the use of fishing equipment which has been used for angling abroad, unless the equipment has been disinfected according to the guidelines listed below.

A certificate of disinfection issued by your local veterinary office will be accepted at the airport when you enter Iceland. The certificate should be clearly worded on officially headed paper with the appropriate stamp of approval. Your co-operation in maintaining a clean and healthy environment will help ensure a bright future for the wild Atlantic salmon.


The minimum equipment for disinfection consists of a plunger or chute for immersion, spray bottle and a washbasin. It is also good to have a plastic bag and tape at hand.

The following disinfectants are approved: VIRKON-S and 70-85% alcohol. The substances are very active against the most common infectious agents and do not damage equipment or clothing if done correctly and are harmless skin in the recommended strengths.


  • Alcohol: 70-85% solution (disinfectant alcohol).
  • VIRKON-S 1% solution (10 grams (2 tablets) dissolved in a liter of water). The solution is pink/red but becomes clear over time as activity decreases.
  • If dirt or moisture is noticeable, the equipment must be thoroughly cleaned before disinfection.
  • Spray the liquid carefully over the surfaces to be disinfected. In the case of a fishing rod, it is enough to just spray the shaft.
  • Fishing reels and hook boxes can be sprayed in their entirety and then rinsed well in running water after a.m. 10 min. contact time. (Note: Fly boxes often contain new unused flies which are thus exempt from disinfection).
  • Hooks, knives, rotors, fishing vests, fishing shoes and waders should also be sprayed carefully (even dipped in a disinfectant) and then placed directly in a plastic bag for ca 10 minutes.


A 24 hour disinfection service is provided at Keflavik International Airport. Price is 10-12 EUR for each rod, including related accessories such as waders, reels, fly boxes, etc. Contact the custom officers for this service.

Please note that all import of fresh bait of organic origin is strictly forbidden. This ban includes for example all kinds of worms, larvae, shrimps, minnows and eggs of fish. Any attempt to import such bait is punishable by law.

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