Flies for Iceland – Streamers

This is part three of our series on flies for Iceland. Check out part two Nymphs and part one Salmon flies

Wondering what streamers to tie and bring on your trip to Iceland. Well look no further. Below you’ll find a list of some f our favorite streamers, some of them you’ve probably fished before in your homewaters, and some are Icelandic designs that you might not recognize. In any case, there are tried and tested and recommended by us here at Fish Partners as well as our expert guides.

If you want these flies for your next trip, Fish Partner can furnish all your fly needs. 

For all the streamers on the list, I’ve added a short description, a photo and a link to either a tying tutorial or a recipe. Some of the flies are variants of famous streamers. That’s because we’ve found that these variations to work best in the Icelandic lakes and rivers. 

As I mentioned above, some of these patterns are Icelandic creations and the tutorial / material list is only available in Icelandic. Google translate can be used in those instances.

Black Ghost – Zonker

The Black Ghost by Herb Welch needs no introduction. Originating like so many other great streamer patterns from Maine, MA.

The most popular variation here in Iceland is tied with a zonker wing, rabbit or squirrel, and with a cone to give it a bit of weight. The Black Ghost is a must have in any lake or river situation here in Iceland and will catch you native brown trout as well as sea trout and arctic char.

Fly tying tutorial (Icelandic)

Black Ghost Sunburst – Zonker

Another variation on the great Herb Welch original. The same goes for this one as the more traditional version above. It’s a mainstay in our fly boxes and a great choice for brown trout, arctic char and sea trout. 

Black Ghost Sunburst tutorial by Davie McPhail

Black Ghost – Olive

Last but definitely not least. If you’re heading to Lake Thingvallavatn and looking to get acquainted with some of those huge ice age brown trout, the olive version is a must have. Tied much like it’s more famous brothers mentioned above, with just the collar changed to olive green.

Can be tied with a fish mask or without.

Dýrbítur

First one on the list from late great Icelandic fly tier Sigurður Pálsson. A painter by trade, “Siggi” is responsible for designing some of the more famous Icelandic streamer flies. Dýrbítur is one of his best known designs. Typically tied in sizes 6 – 10 it borrows some of the design from the Wooly Bugger and the Dog Nobbler. But it is quite unique in its own right. Dýrbítur can be tied in multiple colors. The black one is a classic, but you should also try tying it in Orange, Pink and White. 

Dýrbítur tutorial (Icelandic)

Egg Sucking Leech

There are few patterns more simple than the Egg sucking leech, but then again, few are more effective. Tied in sizes 8 – 12, it definitely pays to have a few versions in your box whether you’re fishing lakes or streams here in Iceland.

Tutorial from Tim Flagler

The Dog Nobbler (Icelandic variation)

The Nobbler is such a popular fly in Iceland that it’s almost the general consensus that it’s an Icelandic pattern. It isn’t. Although the Icelandic variation is a bit different to the original Dog Nobbler. It’s tied in a multitude of colors, White, Orange, Black, Pink. You name it.

Tutorial for the white version (Icelandic)

Flæðarmús

Another one by Sigurður Pálsson. Siggi said he wasn’t thinking of anything special when he designed this fly. He just wanted to do something different to what he had seen. As soon as it hit the water, Flæðarmús proved itself as an absolute weapon for sea trout. Has been known to catch brown trout and salmon as well.

Material list (Icelandic)

Rektor

Designed by legendary Icelandic fly tyer Kolbeinn Grímsson. Kolbeinn, along with Sigurður Pálsson, is responsible for some of the most popular Icelandic patterns ever designed. Rektor is an awesome fly for brown trout.

Tutorial where the late, great, Kolbeinn Grímsson ties his Rektor (icelandic)

John Barr’s Slumpbuster

When you need to get down a strong current, the Slumpbuster is a great choice. Tie it in pretty much any color you like, our favorite are olive and black. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

Tim Flagler ties the Slumpbuster

Kelly Galloup’s Zoo Cougar

A few of Kelly’s flies have been really popular here in Iceland recently. The Zoo Cougar is a great choice when targeting the browns at Lake Thingvallavatn or Lake Villingvatn. Olive and Khaki brown are the way to go.

Kelly ties his Zoo Cougar

By Eidur Kristjansson

More reading on fishing in Iceland:

What to expect in the Highlands

Fly selection for the Highlands

Arctic Char

Species to catch in Iceland

Popular Fishing

A Hidden Gem in the Highlands – The river Kaldakvísl is truly a hidden gem. Fished only by a select few, Kaldakvísl has now been made exclusively available only to the customers of Fish Partner. Words are unequal to the task of describing the landscape’s beauty. Diversity and contrasts are the river’s main characteristics.
One of the best brown trout beats in the world – Villingavatnsárós (means the mouth of river Villingavatnsá) is one of the greatest brown trout beats in the world. The beat offers the opportunity to catch the giant ice age brown trout on small nymphs and dry flies. Streamers can also be strong. The beat is only fished with two rods and all brown trout shall be released. It is fly-fishing only.
A Hidden Gem in the Highlands – The river Kaldakvísl is truly a hidden gem. Fished only by a select few, Kaldakvísl has now been made exclusively available only to the customers of Fish Partner. Words are unequal to the task of describing the landscape’s beauty. Diversity and contrasts are the river’s main characteristics.
One of the best brown trout beats in the world – Villingavatnsárós (means the mouth of river Villingavatnsá) is one of the greatest brown trout beats in the world. The beat offers the opportunity to catch the giant ice age brown trout on small nymphs and dry flies. Streamers can also be strong. The beat is only fished with two rods and all brown trout shall be released. It is fly-fishing only.
Tungufljót river in Skaftafell is one of the best known Sea trout rivers in Iceland and is most famous for the high average weight of fish caught, every year multiple Sea-Run Brown trout in the 20lbs range are caught with the average weight of the fish being between 5-10 pounds.

Accessability

  • Easy – Very little hiking required, easy for every one.
  • Modrate – Some hiking required.
  • Hard – Strenuous hiking require, good physical conditions required.
  • Mixed – Some easy access areas and others that require hiking.