Monster wild brown trout

Despite being small, Lake Villingavatn is the home to some very large brown trout. It is the smaller cousin of Lake Thingvallavatn and has been kept under the radar for years, only being fished by a select few.

Stunning brown trout into double figures

Due to numerous hot springs around Thingvallavatn there are certain parts where the water remains a constant three to four degrees centigrade.  Life flourishes here and the brown trout have a huge quantity of naturally occurring food from midge to stickleback. Stories of extraordinary battles have gone down in folklore with some of the largest fish landed in excess of 30lb.

Fly fishing methods vary according to the conditions but fish can be caught on dries, nymphs and streamers. Spring tends to be the best time for the largest fish as this is when the cannibalistic trout follow the Arctic char into the shallower water.

From the lake a small stream runs into Lake Thingvallavatn, connecting the two lakes and allowing the Thingvallavatn trout to enter the lake. It has a four-rod limitation. Stealth is often needed here as the fish can cruise along the margins and wading is not advised. Casting along the banks and towards the weed lines usually produces the best results. Streamers are most productive here, for instance any patterns that resemble sticklebacks (local bait fish), however the browns will take nymphs and dries in the right conditions. The fish here have incredible markings and are some of the most stunning brown trout you will encounter in Iceland. Villingavatn is ideal for those looking to bump into a massive Icelandic brown trout, but might find fishing Thingvallavatn a little intimidating.

Various accommodation options

There are various lodging options based on group size and personal preference, from small self-catering lodges to full service hotels.


The beat is accessed from road no. 360 through the farm Villingarvatn. The shortest way from Reykjavík is to take road no. 1 (eastbound), turn left onto road no. 435 and turn right onto road no. 360. An alternative route is road no. 1 (eastbound), turn left onto road no. 35, again left onto road no. 36 and finally left onto road no. 360.

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