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Old 28th September 2009, 15:08
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Default River Fljta - a little gem!

The Fljta is in northern Iceland and reaches the sea just short of the Arctic circle. It offers good catches of salmon that are comparable in size with those of the Big Lax and it also has one of the best stocks of arctic char anywhere in the world.

Writer Charles Gaines says about the Fljta river : Wading in shorts and casting small flies on a five-weight trout rod into the sparkling runs of the petite and perky Fljta was like having a date with Kate Hudson.

The river is not very wide but it has beauty, grace, strength and agility and its silver legacy of sizeable salmon can stand comparison with those of the other northern Icelandic rivers. Salmon of over 20 pounds are taken every season so the Fljta provides the perfect challenge for fishermen who like to use a single-handed rod.

Up to four daily rods are allowed along the Fljta – a fly-only river - and the catches during the short season in July, August and September this year have been between 450 and 500 salmon and around 1200 arctic char. In order to continue the build-up of the salmon stock catch-and-release of salmon has been compulsory for the last decade and this seems to have made a huge positive impact on the stock numbers. Char can be retained by fishermen providing they are to be consumed at the lodge. They make splendid eating, of course.

With a total length of less than eight kilometres Fljta is small but prolific. Rising in the snow-crowned mountains that flank the valley the river runs through a small hydro-electric plant in its upper reaches and bounces its way through the fertile valley Fljtin in a delightful variety of pools. Just before it reaches the sea the river surprisingly becomes the seaside lake Miklavatn. This pool is an important feeding area for juvenile char and can produce some excellent fishing for adult char. Then, having tasted the salty water of the lake, the river reaches the open sea on the east coast of Skagafjrdur.

Fljta fishing lodge is a smart house with five rooms and hosts up to seven people. Ideal for small groups, families and small business groups. The river is often fished by distinguished individuals such as Jack Nicklaus, Paul A Wolcker and Catholic cardinals!

From Orri Vigfusson. Sep 2009
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