Rock and roll legend. World-class guitarist. Record-setting angler? Eric Clapton, also known as “Slowhand,” is one of the greatest musicians of all time. Turns out he is just as good with a fly rod in his hands as he is with a guitar.

Last week, while on one of his annual fly fishing trips to Iceland, Clapton landed a 28-pound salmon on the Vatnsdalsa River, setting the record for landing the biggest salmon of the summer. The massive fish measured 42.5 inches. Working with Vatnsdalsa guide Sturla Birginsson, Clapton had to run over a half-mile downriver after hooking the monster, and spent 2.5 hours reeling it in. I imagine Clapton spent the rest of his time fishing, while humming the tune to his famous song “I Shot the Sheriff” with a little twist replacing the lyrics with “I Caught the Salmon.”

Hooking and landing this trophy fish was no case of beginner’s luck. Clapton’s love for fly fishing goes back decades – from learning to fish on the Wey River in his hometown Surrey, England, to utilizing it as a healthy pastime after getting sober 30 years ago. He described his reintroduction to the sport in his book, Clapton: The Autobiography.

It got to a point where Clapton would request that his long-time manager, Roger Forrester, only book hotels that were near fishing facilities while on tour. He jokingly called his 1986 U.S. tour a “fishing” tour.

Clapton went on his first salmon fishing trip to Iceland in 2000, and has been returning ever since. “It’s the thing I look forward to every year,” he said. “In August we go out there and fish, and I take my family and I look forward to going there because I can forget everything.” We hear you Slowhand, and it is that very connection to the lakes, rivers, or woods in which we all, as outdoors enthusiasts, share common ground.

Image courtesy of Vatnsdalsa

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13 thoughts on “Eric Clapton Catches Record-Size Salmon in Iceland

    1. well I am sure you have affected millions of peoples lives and have the right to say what you want. I am sure you have no teeth left, because if you talk that way in public, you will loose a few each time. it is either that or by hiding out behind your computer you bad mouth everyone to to raise your ego up a little, and while it makes you feel good for a little while, in the end it makes you look like a punk. what ever you do, do not put your real name down, keep hiding you insignificant fool.

      1. i have no idea what you are talking about, but converse with me in something other then slang and i will answer you. i am just someone that feels there are a lot of punks out there that say things on the internet they would not in person. saying things without any balls to say them in person does not make a man. it makes you a pervert. you have no idea who i am and i could not care who you are so start the bad mouthing if it makes your little person bigger. if a person wants to eat a fish it is none of any animal rights person business. it does not matter whether he ate it or not. whether he kept it or not if he followed the regulations. what is it to you folks. if you do not want to hurt any animal, let the flies and everything else contaminate your food. that is your right. leave my rights alone or should we force you to eat insects and meat. freedom, freedom, FREEDOM to choose for my self. not have someone choosing for me. my right to be an individual not some conformity major. i was not trying to be hard just me. i have stood up to a lot of bullies and none of them came back for more yet.

  1. than you Mr. CLAPTON. YOUR MUSIC HAS INSPIRED ME MY WHOLE LIFE. you are the MAN. I love fishing and hunting and have not had time to get out in decades. I guess that is what running a business is all about. I want to try and get out if I can before I lose the ability to do it. keep up your excellent work, talented and inspirational. you have help me get through life. LOVE YA!!!

  2. I rank Clapton as one of the greatest guitarist ever….(Rolling Stone agrees with me, they rank him second, right after Jimi) and am greatly impressed with his character especially in later years.
    He was a mess but with the help of God, a good woman and folks who cared about him, he pulled himself out and cleaned himself up.
    Plus he is an outdoorsman, a Sportsman, and a philanthropist who puts on one of the greatest music festivals there is.

    Cool dude in my book.

    1. Clapton’s music has been absolute crap since getting sober. Plus, gods don’t exist. Unless you’re talking about Eric himself.

  3. Yea, Clapton is one of the most over rated of all guitar players. When he was on drugs he was SO much better… I see him now as a better fisherman but then again, money can buy you anything….

  4. I heard that Eric has had some nerve damage that makes it difficult to play the guitar. Have fun fishing, Eric! I love the sport! Sorry to hear about the nerve damage but you’ve recorded so many great songs that if you’ve stopped playing, they will live on forever!

  5. Eric loves all kinds of fishing – he has a beautiful boat, and goes deep sea fishing also – he loves the Mediterranean, especially near Corsica.

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