Iceland has had the coldest winter for many years and certainly I have never seen the mountains and volcanoes covered in so much snow before. Good news for the glaciers which have recovered a lot of lost ice, but not such good news for East Ranga which has been running at barely 4 degrees for the past month. During the summer so far they have had very little rain and near constant cold winds coming from the north, which has also kept the river temperature down.
It is well known that fish are reluctant to run a river until it is at least as warm as the river and as a result East Ranga has had a slow start to the season. I visited the estuary on our first afternoon and have never seen so many fish stacked up in the lower reaches of the West, which is 3 degrees warmer at the moment. Probability is that a lot of these are East Ranga fish waiting to run.
So it was with reduced expectations that we kicked off on Tuesday afternoon. 13 fish from our first afternoon confirmed that East Ranger was still going to be good by any other river’s standards but as all the fish were in the lower beats it was going to be a bit of feast or famine depending upon where you are in the rotation.
And so it proved to be. Beats 4 down to beat 1 were all doing well though usually at their best in the afternoons. This could have been due to tide times or the slightly warmer river after a morning to warm up. On the upper beats you had to work hard for an occasional fish and we suffered a number of blanks but overall the result was pretty good. 80 Salmon and 0ne big Brown trout for our six rods over 4 days with the scores pretty even across our team.
As ever Skuli and all the guides and staff were absolutely brilliant and the food excellent. Thanks guys.
One suggestion for another year though: Why not move down the beats moving two instead of one? That way everyone would rotate faster through the upper and lower beats and reduce the likelihood of several blank sessions in a row. With 9 beats everyone would still fish all the pools.