"How refreshing it was to know I'm not fishing over stones or empty pools"!
I lost count of how many times I heard this over the past 3 weeks fishing on the Blanda river in Iceland.
A close second was this - "How amazing the guides were at putting me onto fish, and not only when sight fishing"!
As someone who has climbed trees to get a perfect view of how a clients fly being fished and presented to fish, find the skill of those guys is amazing, but it's not just sight fishing! Fishing blind as we do here in the UK, they have a canny knack of putting guests onto fish, knowing exactly where they're likely to be. Each time I take new clients there I get the same feedback - "Ian, those guys are amazing"!
The lodge has a team of Guides whom, OK, call me bias, but I believe, second to none! Robbie, Danni, Stini and Sigthor, all first class and very special characters to fish with. However, they have a 5th member of the team. Camp Manager, Erik Koberling, also guides and after what you will see in this video clip you will understand why he is such an asset, not only to the mega efficiently run lodge, but the guiding team. . How those guys put guests into fish is mind boggling, leaving those with rod in hand speechless and in awe. As someone who has spent all his life in the game and knows one beat of the River Spey intimately, I can totally get this. It took many years for me to find the exact taking spots on various pools on Lower Pitchroy, However, having seen those guys in action I really wish I could now turn the clock back and fish over those lies differently, using the tactics I've seen deployed up here. For me it's something that every aspiring young ghillie should go and see as those guys are truly special. Sit back and enjoy 4 minutes in the life of true professionals.
The Blanda River boasts some of the biggest Salmon in Iceland, a true Double Handed river with and incredible array of pools over its more than 50km in length. The main part of the river is fished with 8 rods only and the more exclusive early salmon weeks, those targeting big fish only are fished with just 6.
The river also has some of the finest Brown Trout and Arctic Char fishing you could imagine and this can be organised independently of salmon.
Why are Blanda Salmon so Big? The answer to this lies in the fish adapting over millennia to specific geomorphology of the river. The canyon at the top of the river reminds me of the Alta but in smaller scale. This may have some bearing on why the fish are big. However, I could also be that the river has a serious waterfall which we know only the big fish ascend.
All in all this is one of the most fantastic Salmon Fishing experiences focusing on -"Quality" of Fish, Fishing, Guiding and Lodging.
We have various weeks through the month of July in 2023 and look forward to continuing the magic times we all had this year. Anyone wishing to join us please drop me a note here