Deplar Farm Lodge anglers wade the famous Laxa River, known by many as the Big Laxa. Considered one of the best trout and Atlantic salmon rivers in the world, we fished the upper trout water and found browns to 26 inches.

Deplar Farm Lodge

The website said Deplar Farm Lodge blends into the natural surroundings. When I saw the two-foot grass and native vegetation growing from the roofs, I knew I was about to have the understated copywriter’s descriptions absolutely blow my mind. The lodge is in a valley, surrounded by huge mountains, as lush green as Ireland or Kodiak, Alaska. But, not just any valley, the Fljotaa River Valley, with runs of mint bright Atlantic salmon and pools with medium to large Arctic char. The mountains, steep and close, are the home of the Deplar Farm Lodge heli-ski operation in the winter.

Add mountain biking, whale watching, horseback riding and hatchet throwing. No matter what you do all day, it will blow your mind, too. There are a variety of fly fishing opportunities from Deplar Farm Lodge. While Atlantic salmon are the number one tug, I found the brown trout fishing to be some of the best in the world. We caught 30 inch trout, wade fishing lakes, 26 inch trout in rivers and had several sessions of super technical, light/long leader, match the hatch, dry fly midge fishing for 16 to 20 inch, selective, high IQ, slick water, risers.

Deplar Farm Lodge is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible fly fishing (and heli skiing) lodges in the world. From location, to amenities, design and architecture, service, comfort, award winning chefs and great staff and guides, Deplar is so nice I lingered after breakfast, stalling, to enjoy the lodge experience. Plus, there is a very good Atlantic salmon and char river ten minutes away.

These beats were as challenging as any spring creek in Montana, Idaho, Oregon or California. But, you have miles of water all to yourself. When the dry fly action phased out, we would go to bigger, freestone water and strip streamers for heavy browns. Steelhead sized browns. In every direction, of every hour, of every day, the scenery is spectacular. As were the guides, and words cannot describe the lodge cuisine. One of the most fun and interesting things about Atlantic salmon fishing, as compared to my backyard Oregon steelhead, is that Atlantic salmon are devils! They roll under your fly five times on one swing. They jump over your fly in a graceful arc. Even if they don’t actually take the fly, they entertain and thrill and drive you crazy. Changing flies and swing speed, with or without a hitch… Madness. Then, they crush a fly so small that you were convinced this had to be a joke from the guide. And, the next fish takes a 4 inch, conehead, Sun Ray Shadow tube. It’s all good, no matter what, there is a steak to die for, superb wines and a geothermal hot spa and pool waiting for you at the lodge. – Brian O’Keefe

It’s possible that most anglers associate Iceland fly fishing with Atlantic salmon, but the resident brown trout and sea-run browns are big, to super big, incredibly beautiful and can be found in lakes and rivers that require Henry’s Fork style techniques.
A couple of really nice lake brown trout. Six weight rods, floating lines and small nymphs. This was August 18, my birthday! Late summer in Iceland, cool weather, with off and on wind and light rain. Who cares?!
One of many beautiful farms that are a constant in Iceland. I took this photo out the car window, going 60 mph!
The food scene in Iceland is very fun; from five star restaurants in Reykjavik, to fish and chip ‘local pubs’ in coastal communities. Local lamb, cod, ptarmigan, Arctic char, beef and salmon compliment menus that also include ethnic food from around the world.
Downtown Reykjavik is a great city. Very walk-able, friendly and safe with shops that sell wool products and hiking gear, and a plethora of restaurants, brew pubs and wine bars.
Street scenes in Reykjavik. Reykjavik has a population of 124,000 and was founded in 874 AD.
A nice Arctic char from the Fljotaa River, 5 miles from Deplar Farm Lodge. The char are very numerous and love small black nymphs and small midge dries. Always bring a four weight.
The colors, spots and scale detail of a nice Arctic char.
The sturdy, medium sized, Icelandic horse; a constant sight everywhere in Iceland. Icelandic law prevents any horse to be imported into Iceland, and Icelandic horses that leave Iceland are not allowed to return. They have few diseases and want to keep it that way.
A nice sunny day at Deplar Farm Lodge.
The rod rack, ready for action. Salmon and trout tackle is provided, plus waders, boots, raincoats, etc.
Deplar Farm Lodge; a place to really be spoiled.
Two forms of relaxing.
The weather…Well, just be ready for anything!
Expert angler and guide Elvar Fridriksson lands another big and bright Atlantic salmon.
There are so many Atlantic salmon rivers in Iceland. Many anglers are surprised that most are small to medium sized, with a few really large, wide rivers. Single-hand and two-hand rods are both used.
The beat system is standard on every salmon river. Some pools are numbered, some are named, or both. All are impossible to pronounce.
There are some ups and downs on certain rivers; thigh burning, but short. Besides… the hot spa-tub awaits.
Angler Chad Pike admires a feisty Atlantic salmon.
A guide’s rig, loaded for a day of brown trout and salmon fishing.
An Upper Laxa River monster brown. This is a catch and release stretch. Not all beats are, but they should be!
A popular sea-run brown pool. And, not far from a quaint little town with great pizza and a solar powered brew pub.
An iPhone selfie. This brown was rising to micro midge adults. I went with a 16 foot leader to 5X. There were a dozen trout rising, all in casting range. They were very selective. The weather was great. I love the Laxa.

Contributed By

Brian O’Keefe

Deplar Farm Lodge is located on the Troll Peninsula, in the rugged, lightly populated, North Country. We watched whales from our rental car on the drive in. We drove over a dozen Atlantic salmon streams. We were pumped up. Deplar delivered. This is an Eleven Experience property, where pampered luxury is combined with a dedicated staff that will fish you, ski you, bike you, feed you, but will also let you chill with a book or soak motionless in the hot pools.


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