My wife and I just completed a ten-day journey through Iceland. If there’s one thing that defines this unique island, it’s water in all forms–glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, ocean, rain, mist, and snow. Did I mention rivers? It seems like you can’t drive five miles in Iceland without crossing a river or stream. Rivers in Iceland seem to fall into one of two types: glacial melt rivers with their characteristic gray-green coloration that gradually clears the farther downstream one goes and snowmelt streams from mountain snowpack. Iceland is justly renowned for its Atlantic salmon fisheries, especially the “big” Laxa’, but many streams and rivers boast good populations of brown trout and arctic char.
I wish I could say that I fished while I was in Iceland (especially tenkara), but I knew before I left home that this would probably not be the case. You see, the fishing permit system there is somewhat byzantine. Rivers are “owned” by the landowners through which the water flows. Almost all fishing in Iceland is privately controlled and strictly limited as to the number of anglers allowed on a stream at a time. This, of course, translates to a fantastic angling opportunity, if you have deep pockets. The services of a guide are almost certainly required. There are some self-guided waters with reasonably priced permits, but they are maddeningly difficult to identify, especially via the Internet.
In any case, I saw many small streams in Iceland that would be very appropriate for tenkara fishing, especially with one of the longer, sturdier rods.
To the Icelanders credit, they are extremely environmentally cons
cious and protective of their small nation’s ecosystem. To that end, unless your equipment is new and still in its original packaging, you will be required to present a letter from a veterinarian (?) confirming that your rod and line have been properly disinfected by the vet.
Although I didn’t get to fish while in Iceland, the glaciers, geysers, ocean, mountains, the people and their unique history, culture, and language, and, oh yeah, the waffles kept my mind occupied most of the time, except….