Of Birds and Salmon

Anglers that have taken on the journey to the North of Iceland are likely to have crossed paths with one particular legend of the area. Höskuldur Birkir Erlingsson or Höski, as most people know him, has as the Sheriff of the Blönduós district kept the countryside safe for the past 23 years. We recently caught up with the passionate angler, guide and photographer who for as long as he has lived in Blönduós has captured on film the spectacular nature and scenery of the Blöndudalur, including the wildlife of the Blanda and Svartá rivers. Some of these photos accompany this article. 

Höski has been fishing from a young age, starting out on the peers around his grandparents home in the West where he spent his summers. When he moved to the area in 1992, to Hólmavík more specifically, he started chasing Atlantic Salmon in the many rivers of the West. His first Salmon caught was in our very own Langadalsá on a fantastic day of fishing that yielded 4 more salmon caught for his rod. By the time Höski arrived in Blönduós, fly fishing had consumed him and since then he has fished and guided on most of the rivers in the area including the Blanda, Svartá, Laxá á Ásum and Víðidalsá.

When asked about his most memorable moment of fishing the Blanda he reminisced about the summer of 2016 when the season started with very big runs of multi winter salmon. Höski was joined by a friend in opening the beat 2 on the Blanda and in only two days of fishing, twenty five big salmon were caught on the one rod they had between them. Extraordinary fishing that Höski certainly hopes to repeat one day. In the article header Höski can be seen holding a beautiful 98 cm fish from that famous trip. Höski describes beat 2 on the Blanda as his home court and names Kvíslármót as his favorite pool.

Höski has been taking photos for the past thirty years. He always enjoyed it he says, however the cost was a big factor in his first years of entertaining the hobby. With digital technology came more possibilities however and his interest has only grown in recent years, particularly in photographing birds. Höski describes the sensation of photographing birds to fishing or hunting. He is well equipped with a tent and gear to hide out, and he takes pleasure in capturing the right bird at the right place at the right time. Achieving that, he says, is no less euphoric than catching a big fish. 

The birds who’s photos are featured in this article are the White tailed Eagle, Mandarin duck, Ptarmigan, Parasitic Jaeger, Bohemian Waxwing and the Black-tailed Godwit.

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