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Pearl on the North east

Svalbardsa is in the very northeast corner of Iceland, in some of the most beautiful scenery on the island. It can be accessed via daily domestic flights from Reykjavik to Akureyri or Vopnafjordur, making it easier to reach than it may seem. The prime fishing section is approximately 17km long and requires a little walking, so it is not suitable for those who are unable to walk between adjacent pools and is not recommended for elderly fly fishers.

Svalbardsa is a three-rod, catch-and-release-only river that averages around 400 fish per year.

The fishing season on Svalbardsa starts to pick up in mid-July, with salmon being the first to run. These salmon are fresh and extremely aggressive, averaging around 10lbs. The runs reach their peak in the first weeks of August, when the pools are filled with holding fish. During this time, the average size of the salmon falls just under 10lbs, while the catch averages reach their peak. Fishing remains good until early September, with fresh fish still entering the river.

Svalbardsa is one of the hidden gems of Iceland, with classic pools that start in fast runs and flow into smooth tails. It is fished year after year by the same anglers, so availability is limited. The best rods to use on Svalbardsa are 9-10ft 7 or 8wt rods. However, anglers should also bring a sink tip in case of higher water levels. Some guests bring a 12ft 8wt light double-handed rod, but this is usually unnecessary unless there is a huge flood. The recommended tippet strength is 10-15lb, and classic Icelandic fly patterns such as micro 1 hitching tubes, small silver and black trebles in sizes 8-16, black and red Frances tied on small trebles, and also on ¼ and ½-inch tubes, along with the Sunray Shadow and Collie Dog tubes up to 4 inches in total fly length.

The Lodge

The Svalbardsa self-catering lodge is a traditional Icelandic small river lodge, newly built and very comfortable. Full-service accommodation and meals can be arranged. It happily accommodates 8 fishers


  • Rods
  • Distance from Reykjavik
    580 km
  • How to get there
  • Location
  • Season
    26.June - 20.September
  • Prime time
  • Guides
    Available on request
  • Service
    Available on request
  • Lodge
    Self catering
  • Fishing Type
  • 10y average catch
    390 Salmon
  • Notes
    Catch & release
  • River map
    Svalbardsa MAP
  • Information

River Location

Contact Information