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The Laxa in Kjos is the centrepiece of one of the most stunning glacially forged valleys in southern Iceland. A narrow upper canyon splays into a gentle, peaceful, arable valley before cascading down the final falls and pools into the sea. Amazingly, this exceptional river and its beautiful tributary can be reached within an hours drive from Reykjavík and one and a half hour drive of Keflavik International Airport. Arguably one of the countries top producers and it never falls out of the top ten listings. Besides being a first class salmon river, it also has a very substantial run of good sized sea trout, some straying into the 8 to 10 pound class and it goes without saying that the sea trout add another exciting angle to these intimate and exhilarating rivers.
The Laxá is the main river, originating in lake Stíflisdalsvatn. Close to the sea, the shorter but prolific Bugða tributary enters, having started its run in lake Meðalfellsvatn. Laxa in Kjos is a medium volume river by Icelandic standards and is fished by 8 rods, the Bugða tributary being small by the same standards and fished by 2 rods, the full 10 rods rotating over five beats and sharing the lodge. From late June, when the salmon run begins to strengthen, the rivers are fly fishing only with voluntary catch and release, a practice that is consistently on the up in Iceland.
The rivers are ideal for “light” line fishing, 4# to 8# weight rods, small flies, notably hitched tubes on floating lines and even dry flies have been known to get results here. Bugda in particular, with pools such as Foss, Moeyri, Bakkahylur and Einbuin lends itself to extremely close quarters combat with light line and the most delicate presentation. Kjos, whilst intimate and visual, invites a longer cast in pools such as Kotahylur, Spegill (the "Mirror" Pool) and Laxfoss and guests might be well advized to bring a small double handed rod (12ft 8wt is ideal), some larger flies and a sink tip line as well in case the river is hit by a spate.
Phenomenal Sea-Trout run
Although known primarily as a salmon river, Kjos has a phenomenal July run of strong, large sea-trout. Averaging in the 3-5lb but with several fish in the 8-11lb range, these fish tend to colonise the middle "Meadows" section of the river, a section characterized by low gradient, cut bank pools where fishers can often sight cast to an individual sea-trout. Although taken on traditional Icelandic and British salmon and sea-trout patterns, Kjos has become quite famous for sea-trout being caught on the dead-drift dry fly. Black patterns such as the Hawthorn or Black Bodied "Blue Bottle" in sizes 10 & 12, presented on 8-10lb tippet, have proven to be very effective, often inducing languid takes that lead to extraordinarily hard-fought battles.
Laxa in Kjos was finally treated to a new fisherman’s lodge that was completed just prior to the 2007 season. The Kjos Lodge, overlooking Klingenberg Pool, gazing downriver to the legendary Laxfoss, was immediately recognised as one of the finest fishing lodges in Iceland. It is a large, attractive, wooden lodge with a central gathering area conducive to regaling fishing stories and relaxing in style as would befit a holiday. Each fisher has their own spacious, quiet and well-appointed en-suite bedroom with a river view and a second bed should they choose to rod-share as is often common in Iceland. The Kjos Lodge also boasts a large wader/drying room and the convenience of being able to provide rods, reels and other loan equipment if need be.
Meals at Laxa in Kjos Lodge
Breakfast is served between 6 am and 9 am with a selection of Icelandic traditional foods and classic full cooked breakfast options available with a variety of coffees, teas, juices and cold drinks. Although the am fishing session begins at 7 am, many guests agree a later fishing time with their guide to enjoy a more relaxing schedule – with the lodge right on the river bank it is easy to organise a flexible schedule. Lunch tends to be a buffet style occasion allowing for fishers to eat sooner or later and devise their own 'siesta schedule' although, given a beautiful day, lunch may take the form of a barbeque on the deck overlooking the river. After the pm fishing session guests arrive back at the lodge to freshen up and share a story or two before dinner is served. Dinner is a three or four course (depending on soups etc) meal and focuses on the freshest of Iceland's meats and produce.
One of Iceland's most acclaimed chefs runs the Kjos kitchens, ensuring exacting standards of cuisine, day in, day out.
With a number of differing fishing options and inclusions, please contact us for precise 2011 availability and prices. However, as a guide a four day package for 1 rod in the prime dates would cost below:
4 Days Prime: GB£3,900 - £4,350
Including: Fishing 1 rod for four or six days, all food and accommodation for one, shared guide (1 guide per two rods sharing a beat)
Not Including: International flights and transfers, flies/incidentals at lodge, beverages at lodge and gratuities to staff or guides
Note: For rod sharers we charge only the cost of an extra persons food and accommodation but it is often advisable to take a guide privately between the rod sharers to reduce crowding in the guide vehicle/4x4 and to ensure rod sharers make the very best of their time on the river.
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