The brown trout in Lake Thingvallavatn are known to be extremely powerful, and if you’re fishing with light tippets and small nymphs or dry flies, you will need plenty of backing. Stories of people getting spooled are certainly not uncommon, so the locals generally tend to use micro-spun backing and large arbour reels that will hold at least 300 meters of life-saving backing. Arctic Char (Salvelinus Alpinus) In addition to the salmon- and brown trout, Iceland boasts spectacular arctic char fishing possibilities – both in river systems and in lakes. Char is the most geographically widespread salmonid species in Iceland, and all across the country you’ll find populations of both sea-run and residential char, but not only that. There are several sub-species of char in Iceland – populations of char that have been isolated in certain watersheds and areas for ages, char that have ended up evolving into highly biotope-specialized strains with their own unique physical traits and behaviour. In Lake Thingvallavatn alone, there are four distinct sub-species of char –
something that reflects the variety of habitats in the lakes and makes this place unique in the world. All four strains of char originate from the same species of char (bleikja in Icelandic), and they have developed into four highly adapted sub-species in less than 10.000 years. The four different sub-species of arctic char in Lake Thingvallavatn are divided into two different groups each having their own specialized habitat. The first group – the pelagic one forages in the open water masses, where they constantly need to be on the move as there’s little shelter, and the sources of food are constantly redistributed. One of these pelagic char species is piscivorous – the sílableikja – and it mainly feeds on smaller char and sticklebacks. It grows up to 4050cm in length. The other pelagic sub-species – the murta – is planktivorous, and it rarely exceeds 25cm in length. Both of these char species are very streamlined, relatively light in colouration, and they have long lower jaws.