Iceland Brown Trout Fishing

Lake Thingvallavatn

Fly Fishing for Wild Browns

Lake Thingvallavatn, at 32 square miles, is the largest lake in Iceland. The huge and fertile water mass provides an excellent environment for giant wild native brown trout up to 36 pounds. Lake Thingvallavatn is only a 40-minute drive from Reykjavik, the capital.

Lake Thingvallavatn

Lake Thingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland, is home to the unique and sizable brown trout. This species, often reaching impressive lengths and weights, is a testament to the lake's rich ecosystem.

Lake Thingvallavatn lies along the North Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates separated from each other. Canyons and fissures mark the National Park's landscape and cut the lake bottom in many places, reaching its deepest at 377 feet, with an average depth of 111 feet. The lake's catchment area is 90 percent underground, and the water from thousands of cold springs has a constant temperature of 37 to 39'F. The spring water is filtered through layers of the surrounding lava, making the lake gin clear and large browns averaging 8 pounds easy to spot. Although this trip is all about brown trout, it's interesting that three out of five of Iceland's freshwater fish species live in this lake—brown trout, Arctic char, and the three-spine stickleback.

Exclusive Beats:

Lake Thingvallavatn

Exclusive Beats: the outfitter has exclusive beats on Lake Thingvallavatn. With streamers, you'll target brown trout up to 36 pounds. Twenty-pounders are frequently landed in peak fishing times.
At Lake Thingvallavatn, anglers will have the option to fish into the dark but usually stop when it gets really dark. The best fishing is at twilight—not in complete darkness.
Guided Hours:  You're guided up to nine hours each day. Each beat has its own season and a limit of two to six rods. All fishing is catch-and-release. At Lake Thingvallavatn, the evenings are commonly the best time to catch brown trout, although the daytime can also be productive. Each evening after dinner, your guide will pick you up from the Lodge for another round of fishing, and you’ll fish until dark.

Fly Fishing Facts:

Lake Thingvallavatn in Iceland is renowned for its unique species of brown trout that are indigenous to the lake. Thingvallavatn browns can grow to impressive sizes, often surpassing 20 pounds, thanks to the lake's abundant food supply and the absence of significant predators.

Guides:  Knowledgeable, English-speaking guides. Two anglers per guide.
Heavy tackle is recommended. 6 to 9-weight rods and at least 12-pound leaders. Floating lines are most common, but intermediate and sink-tips can also be used. Streamers are really effective, and in the right conditions, dry flies and nymphs also work.
Equipment:  No equipment or flies are supplied. An $80.00 per day rental includes a rod, reel, line, waders, and boots. All flies should be new or unused as Iceland has a strict policy that requires anglers to sterilize their tackle before visiting the country.
Fishing License is included in the package.
Travel Time:  The drive takes 5 to 20 minutes from the hotel to the fishing areas.

Scenic Beat - The Karastadir Beat 1

Karastadir Beat 1 crystal-clear waters are ideal for fly anglers targeting brown trout in the raw and invigorating landscape of Iceland.

The Karastadir Beat 1
Season:  April 20 - September 15. May is prime time. The Karastadir beat (beat 1) is at the north end of Lake Thingvallavatn, where the Oxara River, the brown trout’s main spawning stream, runs into the lake. Giant trout travel in groups, often circling the beat. Rough lava, deep underwater channels, and drop-offs characterize the fishing areas. These channels create thermal movements in the water, which allows the trout to spawn in the lake. The beat holds many desirable giant browns. The biggest fish of the 2020 season was a trophy 40-inch brown trout, around 30 pounds. Some hiking is required.
Kaldarhofdi Beat 4
Season:  May 1 - September 15. The Kaldarhofdi is the only beat that allows spin fishing. This beat is in the southmost part of Lake Thingvallavatn, where River Sog runs from the lake. The beat also stretches south into Lake Ulfljotsvatn. Excellent for Arctic char fishing, especially in June through August. Six to ten rods are permitted on this beat. Some hiking is required.

Villingavatn Beat 3-A - One of the World's Best

Two Anglers with Bright Browns from Villingavatn

Villingavatnsaros Beat 3A

Season:  April 15- September 15. Villingavatnsaros (meaning the mouth of river Villingavatnsa) 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 work great. The beat has a two-rod limit. Some hiking is required.

Villingavatn Beat 3-B

Season:  April 1 - September 30. This beat lies next to the famous Villingavatnsárós. Two points on the beat are usually the best spot. By the western point, anglers can wade into the lake to cast toward a drop-off, which often holds fish. The beat has a two-rod limit. This beat is best early in the season, from April - June. Very little hiking is required.

Villingavatn Beat 3-D

Angler with Brown Trout From Villingavatn

Villingavatn Beat 3-D
Season:  April 1 - September 30. Lake Villingavatn has been kept under the radar for years and has only been fished by a few. From the lake, a small stream runs into Lake Thingvallavatn, connecting the two lakes and allowing the Thingvallavatn trout to enter the lake. The beat has a four-rod limit.

Stealth is often needed here as the fish can be right up along the bank, and wading is not advised. Casting along the banks and towards the weed lines usually produces the best results. Streamers are often most productive here, for instance, patterns resembling sticklebacks (local bait fish). However, the browns will take nymphs and dries in the right conditions, especially when a caddis or mayfly hatch is on. Some hiking is required.

Mike Sadar's Trip:

Mike Sadar with Large Brown

"Fishing was slow, but the size was big. Both Chris and I landed six apiece, with mine being at 5, 11, 11, 14, 17, and 21 pounds. Chris had a similar size. We caught these fish in deep holes in the lake using super long tippets (25 feet). Plan to go back."
- Mike Sadar.

Chris Lusin with Large Brown

Chris Lusin with a Large Brown

Two Hotel Options for 2024.

For this package, you can stay at a three or a five-star luxury resort (not priced the same, obviously) within 20 minutes from the fishing beats. You'll enjoy breakfast and dinner at the hotel and a boxed lunch while fishing.

Getting to the Lodge:

Arrival Day:  You'll fly to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. A Lodge representative will greet you at the airport. Depending on the time of your arrival, you’ll either be driven directly to your fishing location for the day or to the hotel, which is about 25 miles and a 40-minute drive.
Departure Day:  Your guide will drive you back to Reykjavik for your return flight home—a 40-minute ride from Lake Thingvallavatn.

Villingavatnsaros Beat 3A Beauty

Villingavatnsaros Brown Trout

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1:  After breakfast, your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Reykjavík or the airport early in the morning. He will drive you to the lake to fish one of the exclusive beats. You'll have dinner at the hotel. After dinner each evening, your guide will pick you up from the Lodge for another round of fishing, and you'll fish until dark.

Day 2-5:  After breakfast, you'll fish one of the exclusive beats with your guide. You are guided for up to nine hours each day, including travel time. Each day, you'll have lunch at the lake and dinner at the lodge. Possible sightseeing options.

Day 6:  After breakfast, you'll check out of the Lodge. The guide will drive the group back to the international airport for flights home.

2024 USD Rates:

Lake Thingvallavatn:
Season:  April 15 - Sept. 15, 2024:
5-nights and 5-days guided fishing
Two anglers per room and guide:
From $5,600.00 per person
One angler per room and guide:
From $9,950.00 per person

Highland and Lake Thingvallavatn Combo:
Season:  June 1 - August 31
5-nights and 5-days guided fishing
(3-days at Highland Rivers and 2-days at Lake Thingvallavatn)
Two anglers per room and guide:
From $5,920.00 per person
One angler per room and guide:
From $8,650.00 per person
Request an information packet.
*Prices may vary depending on currency fluctuations.

The Packages Include:

• Roundtrip ground transfers between Reykjavík and the hotel
• Ground transfers to daily fishing beats
• 5-days guided fishing
• Fishing license
• All meals for fishing days
• 5-nights hotel lodging, double occupancy
• Wi-Fi at the hotel.

The Packages Do Not Include:

• Airfare to Reykjavík, Iceland, and return
• Ground transfers in Reykjavík
• Optional lodging and meals in Reykjavik
• Fishing equipment
• Optional $80.00 per day fishing equipment rental
• Alcohol
• Gratuities to guides and staff
• Global Rescue
• Travel Insurance
• Anything not mentioned under inclusions.

Lake Thingvallavatn

Brown Trout up to 36-pounds

Iceland brown trout

Iceland Brown Trout Fishing

Anglers with Beautiful Iceland Brown Trout

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Iceland Trips 

Fishing Travel Experts

Guy Schoenborn

1-800-205-3474 ext. 1

MT Office:  406-322-5709


Brad Staples

1-800-205-3474 ext. 3

Cell (503) 250-0558