Fly Fishing the World Visits Iceland, the Land of Fire & Ice for Salmon

Fly Fishing the World Visits Iceland, the Land of Fire & Ice for Salmon

What makes the most desirable fly fishing river? Crystal clear, icy water situated in a string of challenging pools? Or how about a river that is booked far out in advance because families have a standing appointment for the last 40 to 50 years? The crew of Fly Fishing the World, airing exclusively on Sportsman Channel, wanted to see why the land of fire and ice is considered the 'mecca' for Atlantic salmon fly fishing with guest host Sasha Savic, CEO of MediaCom USA and a longtime conservationist. Traveling to Iceland's famed River Hofsá, they will shine a spotlight on the troubles facing the Atlantic salmon from big nets to habitat degradation. Savic joins Orri Vigfússon, founder of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF), for this unique episode of Flying Fishing the World airing Saturday, March 16 at 9pm ET.


Fly Fishing the World's main host, Conway Bowman, doesn't appear in this episode, but he shares with viewers upfront that the Atlantic salmon's story needs to be told. Turns out, Savic and renowned entrepreneur, Vigfússon, are the perfect narrators. Together, they have more than 50 years of experience in understanding how salmon live'¦and die. "My first salmon was 24 pounds and since then, I don't think I've fished for anything else. It's just different. It's not fishing, it's like a religion. And if fishing was a religion, then this has to be one of the cathedrals," said Savic referring to the beauty that is the River Hofsá.



Fishermen have been pursuing Atlantic salmon for hundreds of years in Europe and that education has influenced the modern day fly fisherman in the States. Human activities like fish farming, over fishing and habitat degradation have heavily damaged Atlantic salmon population. But there is hope.

When not managing marketing campaigns for some of the world's largest corporations, Savic commits his time, heart and soul to the pursuit and protection of his beloved Atlantic salmon. He is actively involved with the Atlantic Salmon Federation and NASF. Plus, he's produced and hosted the film "A Passion Called Salmon," which took him more than six weeks and captured 80 hours of film. "Our only rule was, let's make a film that is pure," said Savic. "I worked on the film for two years and that was my donation to the Salmon Fund (NASF). It was a real labor of love."


Even the media industry knows Savic's first passion is salmon fishing. This past fall, he was asked about his fishing lifestyle in this article in Ad Age titled "'Never Cut and Paste Anything:' Creativity and Story Telling in the Media Business" Also in that piece, Ad Age asks how his passion for fishing has helped him in the media business. He replied, "If you want to catch a fish you need to fish where the fish is. You need to be there at the right time and right place with the right lure and understand the ins and outs. If you want to be successful you need to think like fish. In our business we need to think like consumers and clients to understand what are the challenges and what keeps them awake and night, and if we translate that into our work we will be more successful and we will be able to help them."


Sounds like the man knows media'¦and fishing.

The crew's host for the week is Vigfússon, an Icelandic entrepreneur and environmentalist. In 2004, Time Magazine named him a "European Hero." He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2007 for his efforts on saving endangered species. His objective is to "restore the abundance of wild salmon that formerly existed on both sides of the North Atlantic." His non-stop work and dedication to the cause of restoring the fortunes of the wild North Atlantic salmon has brought him awards as diverse as Orders of Honorary Knighthood from both the Queen of Denmark and the President of Iceland, election as a European Hero by Time Magazine and a coveted Conservation Award from Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne.

Now aged 70, Orri somehow finds time to combine his life as a prominent Icelandic businessman with the continual demands of trying to put the King of Fish back on the piscatorial throne. One of his tactics was creating a system where salmon fishermen get paid not to fish. "I thought we would have this wrapped up in two years, but its 23 years later and just now the salmon are getting the notoriety and attention they deserve," said Vigfússon.

The episode is part education and part abundantly beautiful scenery. Savic tells audiences during the show that salmon fishing may not be around for another 10 to 20 years if something isn't done to maintain and improve their habitat. According to the Atlantic Salmon Federation, salmon is a species that has drawn an international commitment and determination to see that numbers are restored to historic levels - despite dams, acid rain, bad forestry practices and other abuses of the environment

"This is one of those places that's just so dramatic," said Savic to the camera while fishing in River Hofsá. "The land is being created as we speak. Just to be here is a privilege. There is no feeling like this. This is the best there is."

To learn more about Atlantic Salmon Federation, visit http://asf.ca

To learn more about the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (of which Orri is the president) visit http://www.nasfworldwide.com

To buy Savic's film "A Passion for Salmon" click here: http://www.nasfworldwide.com/shop/passion-called-salmon-dvd/

To book Orri's lodging along the River Hofsá or to see about getting on that long waiting list, just email him: orri@icy.is

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream. United States

Saving the Chattahoochee River

Ross Purnell - April 23, 2019

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream.

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere. Fly Tying

Fly Tying Chip's Monster Magic Fly

Dwayne 'Chip' Cromarty - January 15, 2016

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere.

Fly Fisherman's documentary Industry

Fly Fisherman Magazine Documentary Recognized by Outdoor Writers Association of America

Fly Fisherman - June 24, 2019

Fly Fisherman's documentary "One Path" was recognized with two awards.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

A backhand cast is when you use your backcast to deliver the fly.

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range. United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

American River California United States

American River California

MIchael Wier - March 23, 2017

American River California

See More Stories

More Worldwide

 Richard Clark casts to Lake Iliamna rainbows on the Gibraltar River under the guidance of Royal Worldwide

Rainbow Trout of Katmai

Ross Purnell, Editor - January 12, 2015

Richard Clark casts to Lake Iliamna rainbows on the Gibraltar River under the guidance of...


Utah's largest wilderness area remains mostly untapped by fly fishers
Some anglers spend their Worldwide

Exploring the Uinta Mountains

Brett Prettyman - June 25, 2015

Utah's largest wilderness area remains mostly untapped by fly fishers Some anglers spend...

Be careful when you decide to go to Kamchatka, as your trout-fishing expectations are likely to be ruined by the experience. Worldwide

Russian Fly Fishing

Ross Purnell, Editor - January 10, 2015

Be careful when you decide to go to Kamchatka, as your trout-fishing expectations are likely...

See More Worldwide

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.