Stora-Laxa is a 90 km long freshwater river, located at Hreppar in South Iceland. It is renowned for its salmon and widely considered one of Iceland‘s most beautiful rivers.
Explore this area of Iceland on a self drive tour.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Christian Bickel. No edits made.
The river has its source south of the Kerlingafjoll mountains in the South Highlands and falls into the river Hvita, itself home of the famous Gullfoss, on the border of the Gnjupverjahreppur and Hrunamannahreppur counties.
The landscape of Stora-Laxa is particularly impressive. Most renowned are the Laxargljufur canyons, where the river has dug its way deep into the the several million years old bedrock. The canyons will become as deep as 100-200 m and about 10 km long. Sandstone and tuff have been easily shaped and carved by the river, and the variety in cliffs and pillars, along with colourful vegitation, make these canyons among the most beautiful in the country.
To fish in the river you must apply for a fishing permit.The fishing season is from June 20th to September 30th.The average catch is 700 salmons per season for 10 rods. When fishing in the river, bear in mind that the only bait allowed is fly and that all salmons over70 cm shall be released. Injured salmon will be given the benefit of the doubt.
For fishing, the river is divided into four areas, but fishing licences for areas 1 and 2 are sold together and share the same fishing lodgings. Separate fishing lodgings accompany licences for areas 3 and four. These three self catering lodges each come with double bedrooms, a shower, a toilet, a well equipped kitchen and a comfortable living room.
Excellent lodgings, stunning scenery and great opportunities for salmon fishing: All these factors come together to make fishing in Stora-Laxa one of the best fishing experiences to be had in Iceland.
In 2012 the energy company Landsvirkjun applied for a research permit to irrigate the river, but this became a matter of debate between Orkustofnun (The National Energy Authority), fishing associations and the government at the time. The same year Orkustofnun gave Landsvirkjun a research permit for their plans to irrigate the upper part of the river. The matter nevertheless continues to be debated.