Blanda River
Iceland's Salmon Haven

The mighty Blanda River is a glacial river and the largest river system in the northwest of Iceland, famous for its high ratio of multi-winter salmon and their incredible strength.

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General Information

The Blanda is a glacial river, located in the northwest of Iceland in the foothills of the mighty Hofsjökull glacier.  The average catch for the past ten years has been just under 1700 salmon annually, with the best year in 2015 exceeding just above 4800 salmon. Fishing the Blanda is a 37 km long adventure, where anglers encounter fast flowing rapids, long calm stretches and a canyon on the uppermost section of the river. Heavy wading is necessary in parts of the lower section but becomes easier towards the upper part. All these pools are ideal for fishing with double-handed rods; we highly recommend this as Blanda is notorious for its high ratio of multi-winter salmon. The salmon of the Blanda have a reputation for being among the most powerful in the country.

The Blanda River is open to four rods fishing in early June after the first spring runs arrive at the end of May. Later in the season as the salmon runs increase – peaking in July and early August -the whole river becomes an eight-rod operation. Throughout the season, the river offers anglers an abundant amount of pools to select from, ensuring well-rested waters for both the fisherman and the salmon.


From June 5th to September 20th.

Early July to early August.

June: 4-6 rods / July: 8 rods. Rod sharing is welcome.

German Snaelda, Sunray Shadow, Hitch. Collie Dog, Black Sheep and Silver Sheep. Cone & brass tubes are very effective (size: quarter – 1.5 inches).

Double-handed rods: Floating & sinking lines.

Expert Guides

Our knowledgeable team of guides is headed by Erik Koberling, our partner at the Blanda. All the guides have fished the river for many years and will do their very best to assist anglers in every way during their stay.

All our guides are English speaking and provide our guests with four-wheel-drive vehicles for transport along the river. Normally, each guide is shared by two anglers, but a private guide can be provided upon request.

Birds of the Blanda

The wildlife around the banks of the Blanda river are astounding and breathtaking: The variety of birds attracts people from all around the world. Every outing to the river offers you the opportunity to witness different birds in their natural habitat. For instance, the Blanda river is home to the second largest stock of the Harlequin duck. The photos displayed here are from our dear friend, sheriff and part of the river committee on the Blanda, Höskuldur Birgir Erlingsson.

Blanda River History

Blanda river is truly one of the few remaining salmon mysteries within the Icelandic fishing community. As one of the country’s largest river systems, it has had enormous salmon runs over the centuries.  In the early days of it’s discovery, fishing was hardly possible due to the murky nature of the flow and mud in the glacial melt during summertime. That changed when a dam was built 60 km upstream from the ocean in 1991, opening up an angler’s paradise downstream.

Now the summer-water has an opaque turquoise tint and is great for fishing. In the early years after the dam was built the river was fished with higher amounts of rods and less emphasis put on the conservation of the wild Atlantic salmon. But now, for the first time in history, the Blanda river will have a strict catch-and-release policy, ensuring the salmon’s lifeline and the vitality of the river. We are proud to participate in that change and to have our anglers be part of that story.

Enchanting Lodge and Cuisine

At Blanda Lodge, we bring you the best of Icelandic cuisine and a curated global wine selection. Begin your day with a continental breakfast before our award-winning chefs prepare fresh, delightful lunches and dinners. Our spacious lodge offers 12 twin-bedded rooms with private facilities. Relax in the outdoor jacuzzi and sauna after a day of fishing and enjoy magical midnight summer evenings at Blanda, surrounded by wildlife sounds and fresh valley air.

Blanda FAQ

We welcome rod sharers on all our rivers as well as non fishers. We can also offer our guests extra rooms depending on availability

Yes, disinfection must be carried out by a veterinarian from the country of embarkation and a certificate of disinfection presented to local custom officer upon arrival to Iceland. If a certificate cannot be obtained, the fishing equipment must be handed to customs officers upon entering the country for immediate disinfection at owner’s expense.

There are many major airlines flying to Iceland during the summer months. The local airlines Icelandair and WOW Air fly daily all year long serving most  major cities in Europe and USA.

In Iceland English is widely spoken by the locals and can be referred to as a second language.

The Blanda is vast, diverse but very accessible. The lower section of the river can require more wading, especially on the south bank where a wading stick can be helpful. However our guides are very hands on in assisting our guests on the river and for those who prefer less wading we have plenty of water to cover.

Although Blanda is a glacial river, it’s summer water is heavily influenced by the spring water from it’s tributaries. This blend of milky glacial and gin clear spring water makes for very interesting water to fish where you can see a whole lot.

Like every river the Blanda has a specific pattern of Salmon runs. The first salmon come in quite early or around the end of May with the runs reaching it’s peak size in the middle of July. However we employ a rod strategy that ensures quality all season round by fishing only 4 to 6 rods in June with the number of rods increasing as the runs get bigger and fish start to spread culminating in 8 rods in July.

Fishing surface flies like a riffling hitch or variations of the Sunray Shadow is one of our guides’ and clients favorite technique to catch fish on the Blanda. Compared to other glacial and spring fed rivers in Iceland the temperature of the Blanda is quite high meaning the fish are very active prompting most anglers to fish a full floating set up with smaller wet flies or surface flies.

Like everything else this depends on the angler’s preference and experience. The Blanda is a big river and in general we encourage double handed rods on Beats I-III, with the exception of the smaller stretch of water on Beat IV where a single hander is the preferred technique. However, every year we get anglers that prefer to fish single handed and we have found that this mix of methods allows the river to be covered in different ways which makes for good times for all.

264 km

Approx. 3 hours, 19 min.

64°45’07″N 21°20’41″W

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