When the arctic char comes into the fiords of Greenland in June, we are well aware that the anglers have long since planned their trip, prepared fly rods and packed fishing gear. We know that because the anglers knock impatiently on the door in July, ready to go, as soon as the fish migrate up the rivers in large numbers to reproduce.

Soon begins a short, intense season, when the char, desperate to escape the fish hook, turns and twist its body in a powerful torque and in a long run drags the angler around in a duel that challenges both parties, quite reminiscent of the struggle that the Atlantic salmon can dish up.

Soon begins a short, intense season, when the char, desperate to escape the fish hook, turns and twist its body in a powerful torque and in a long run drags the angler around in a duel that challenges both parties

  • Recreational fishing is done with hooks without barbs, anglers may only take the fish they can eat on the trip, and all living catches must be released again.
  • All river fishing requires a valid license, and this costs DKK 75, for a 24 hour period and DKK 200, for a week.

RIVERS WITH ARCTIC CHAR IN WESTERN GREENLAND

In West Greenland fishing is concentrated, in particular, around the towns of Sisimiut, Maniitsoq and Kangerlussuaq, where there are two dozen rivers with strong angler profiles along the west coast.

Fish destinations are wilderness experiences that can only be reached by boat or helicopter and every river usually has no more than six to twelve fishermen at a time, so this small group of ‘geeks’ gets access to exclusive char experiences that you will have to search far and wide for in northern Europe and the U.S.

Local operators with extensive knowledge of the countryside and fishing provide camps and transportation in cooperation with professional fishing guides, fly fishing and fishing with spinning rod are both available in July and August.

ANGLING IN THE SOUTH OF GREENLAND

South Greenland is called the bread basket of Greenland, and the local population have, since the very first immigrants arrived here, been aware of the rivers in the region that were full of Arctic char.  

At the farm Ipiutaq near Narsaq, and on the rivers further inland in Tunulliarfik, also known as Erics fiord, the optimal conditions for use of both spin and fly rod last from mid-July to September.

The clear flowing river Ilua is located in the neighboring valley of Ipiutaq guest farm, while other rivers in the area are also well suited for fly fishing and spinner fishing with the turbid waters flowing directly from the ice cap.

From 2013, Ilua river and lake system is the first place to be under a fishing concession from the Government of Greenland and owned by Ipiutaq guest farm.

The accessibility of individual rivers makes it possible to buy day trips, especially from Narsarsuaq, and we have noticed that some anglers, in this way, use the area as an à la carte menu of options that can be combined according to their requirements.

  • Access to virtually all Arctic char rivers requires that you either fly or go by boat to the destination. Please note that any boat used must be approved by local authorities for passenger transport.
  • The implementation of a comprehensive Greenlandic concessions act is underway, and this will in the coming years enhance the exclusivity and product quality further.

LOCAL CULTURE AND RIVER ANGLING

If you are able to look away from the river for a minute and have a moment where there is no need for tall fish tales, it is worth delving into the cultural experience that is part of the landscape.

In South Greenland, the many ruins of the Norse culture is a reminder of the changing waves of immigrants in a region closely linked to transatlantic shipping lanes, and the Norse tradition of farming lives on today with sheep herding and farming communities.

In West Greenland there are local families who have fished at the same Arctic char rivers for several generations. Families camp, or come to visit, on weekends during the summer, and you will often find and experience fish smoked in ovens, built entirely by natural materials, people who go reindeer hunting, and stories that are told about hunting and family. Locals and anglers have their very own spot with ample space along a river, so you can easily navigate the area without disturbing each other.