March 21, 2023

Best Fishing Spots in Iceland: A Comprehensive Guide

Best Fishing Spots in Iceland: A Comprehensive Guide
Photo by Robert Lukeman / Unsplash

If you are looking for the best fishing spots in Iceland, you have come to the right place. Iceland is known for its diverse fishing opportunities, from freshwater rivers to saltwater fjords. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, Iceland has something to offer.

In this guide, we will explore some of the top fishing spots in Iceland, including rivers and fjords, where you can catch different types of fish.

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The Sog River: The Ultimate Spot for Salmon and Arctic Char

Arctic Char

The Sog River, located east of ReykjavĂ­k, is one of the most popular fishing spots in Iceland. The river is known for its abundance of Atlantic Salmon and Arctic Char. The river originates from Iceland's biggest inland lake, the Thingvallavatn Lake, and flows for around 25 km until it joins the ocean.

The river has several sections with varying fishing conditions, including rapids, deep pools, and shallow runs.[2]

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The Varma River: A Paradise for Sea Trout Fishing

If you are a sea trout enthusiast, the Varma River is a must-visit. Located in southern Iceland, the Varma River is known for its large sea trout population. The river is small and easy to fish from, with many abundant fishing spots. It features meadows on both sides, as well as rapids and waterfalls.

The name "Varma" means warm river because of the temperature created by blending with geothermal water.[3]

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The Laxa in Adaldalur: A World-Famous Salmon River

The Laxa in Adaldalur is a world-renowned salmon river located in the north of Iceland. The river is known for its high catch rates and the quality of the fish it produces. The river runs for around 23 km, and its upper section is particularly famous for salmon fishing.

The river is surrounded by stunning landscapes and is one of the most scenic fishing spots in Iceland.

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The Westfjords: A Haven for Deep-Sea Fishing

The Westfjords region of Iceland is a haven for deep-sea fishing. The region has several fjords, including the Isafjordur and Patreksfjordur fjords, where you can catch fish such as cod, halibut, and haddock.

The area is also known for its breathtaking scenery, making it an ideal spot for fishing enthusiasts who want to combine their passion with sightseeing.

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Lake Thingvallavatn: A Unique Fishing Experience

Lake Thingvallavatn is the largest natural lake in Iceland and is located in the Thingvellir National Park. The lake is unique because it is a rift valley lake, which means that it sits on the boundary between two tectonic plates.

The lake is known for its clear waters and the diversity of fish species it supports, including Arctic Char and Brown Trout. Fishing in the lake can be challenging due to the clarity of the water, but it is a unique experience that is worth the effort.

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Other Notable Fishing Spots in Iceland

  • Lake Myvatn: A large shallow lake in northern Iceland known for its trout fishing.
  • Huseyjarkvisl River: A scenic river located in southeastern Iceland known for its Atlantic Salmon population.
  • Hofsa River: A river located in eastern Iceland that is known for its Brown Trout and Arctic Char fishing.
  • Thvera River: A world-famous salmon river located in northern Iceland. It is known for its high catch rates and the quality of the fish it produces.
  • Hofsá River: A river located in eastern Iceland that is known for its Brown Trout and Arctic Char fishing.
  • Lake Myvatn: A large shallow lake in northern Iceland known for its trout fishing.
  • Huseyjarkvisl River: A scenic river located in southeastern Iceland known for its Atlantic Salmon population.
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Tips for Fishing in Iceland

If you are planning to go fishing in Iceland, here are some tips that can help you have a successful and enjoyable experience:

  1. Hire a guide: Iceland has many professional fishing guides who can provide you with valuable advice on fishing techniques, locations, and regulations. They can also provide you with all the necessary equipment and help you with transportation.
  2. Respect the regulations: Fishing in Iceland is regulated, and there are rules that anglers must follow. Make sure you are familiar with the regulations before you start fishing.
  3. Dress appropriately: Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, so it is essential to dress appropriately for the conditions. Wear warm and waterproof clothing and bring extra layers.
  4. Bring the right gear: Make sure you have the right gear for the type of fishing you plan to do. If you are not sure what to bring, consult with a fishing guide.
  5. Be prepared for the unexpected: Iceland's weather and fishing conditions can change quickly, so it is always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. Bring extra food, water, and emergency supplies.

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Top 7 interesting activities besides fishing

While Iceland is known for its fantastic fishing opportunities, there are also many other interesting activities to enjoy during your visit. Here are some popular options:

Glacier hiking

Iceland is home to several glaciers that are open for hiking tours. This is a great way to experience Iceland's unique landscapes and get up close to some of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world.

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Northern Lights viewing

Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. Many tour companies offer guided tours to prime viewing locations, and there are also plenty of self-guided options.

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Whale watching

Iceland's waters are home to a wide variety of whale species, including humpback whales, minke whales, and orcas. Whale watching tours are a popular activity, and you can often see these magnificent creatures up close.

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Hot springs and spas

Iceland is famous for its geothermal hot springs and spas. The Blue Lagoon is the most well-known, but there are many others to choose from, ranging from public hot springs to luxurious spas.

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Hiking and trekking

Iceland has some of the most beautiful hiking and trekking trails in the world. From easy day hikes to multi-day treks, there is something for everyone.

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Horseback riding

Icelandic horses are a unique breed that is well-suited for the country's rugged terrain. Horseback riding tours are a great way to experience Iceland's landscapes from a different perspective.

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Sightseeing tours

Iceland has many scenic routes and landmarks that are worth exploring. From waterfalls to lava fields, there is no shortage of stunning sights to see.

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Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, Iceland has plenty to offer beyond its excellent fishing spots.

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Make sure to add some of these activities to your itinerary for a truly unforgettable trip.


Iceland is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, offering a wide range of fishing opportunities for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. From world-famous salmon rivers to scenic sea trout streams, Iceland has something to offer for everyone.

By following the tips mentioned in this guide and exploring some of the top fishing spots, you can have an unforgettable fishing experience in Iceland.

Top 10 FAQs about Fishing Spots in Iceland


What is the best time to go fishing in Iceland?

  • The best time to go fishing in Iceland depends on the type of fish you want to catch.
  • Generally, the fishing season starts in May and ends in September.

Do I need a license to fish in Iceland?

  • Yes, a fishing license is required to fish in Iceland.
  • You can purchase a license from the local authorities or from fishing guides.

What type of fish can I catch in Iceland?

  • Iceland is home to a wide range of fish species, including Atlantic Salmon, Arctic Char, Brown Trout, Cod, Halibut, and Haddock.

Can I fish in Iceland year-round?

  • No, fishing in Iceland is seasonal and is regulated by the government to ensure the sustainability of fish populations.

Are there any restrictions on the number of fish I can catch in Iceland?

  • Yes, there are restrictions on the number and size of fish you can catch in Iceland.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the regulations before you start fishing.

Do I need to bring my own fishing gear?

  • If you have your own gear and are familiar with Icelandic fishing conditions, you can bring your own gear.
  • However, if you are not familiar with Icelandic fishing conditions or do not have your own gear, it is recommended to hire a fishing guide who can provide you with all the necessary equipment.

Can I fish in all rivers and lakes in Iceland?

  • No, not all rivers and lakes in Iceland are open for fishing.
  • Some fishing spots are private, and others are reserved for specific groups or individuals.
  • Make sure to check the regulations before you start fishing.

Is it safe to fish in Iceland?

  • Yes, fishing in Iceland is generally safe.
  • However, it is important to be aware of the weather conditions and potential hazards such as slippery rocks and strong currents.

What is the cost of a fishing license in Iceland?

  • The cost of a fishing license in Iceland varies depending on the location and the duration of the license.
  • Prices range from around 5,000 ISK (40 USD) for a daily license to several thousand ISK for a longer-term license.

Can I catch fish in Iceland without a guide?

  • Yes, you can catch fish in Iceland without a guide.
  • However, it is recommended to hire a guide, especially if you are not familiar with the fishing conditions and regulations in Iceland.
  • A guide can also help you find the best fishing spots and provide you with valuable advice on fishing techniques.