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

Iceland Brown Trout fishing

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 catchments 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 the five of Iceland's freshwater fish species live in this lake—brown trout, Arctic char, and the three-spine stickleback.
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.

Chris Lusin with a Large Brown

Four Exclusive Beats:

Lake Thingvallavatn

You're guided up to 12 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.
The Kárastaðir beat (beat 1)
Season:  April 20 - September 15. May is prime time. This beat is on the north end of Lake Thingvallavatn, where river Öxará, the brown trout's main spawning stream, runs into the lake. Giant trout travel in groups and are often found circling the beat. The biggest fish landed to date was a huge 40-inch brown trout weighing around 30-pounds. The area is characterized by rough lava and deep underwater channels and drop-offs where the trout can be found. These channels create thermal movements of the water, which allows the trout to spawn in the lake.
Villingavatn beat (beat 3-A)
Season: April 15- September 15. The Villingavatn is one of the best brown trout beats in the world. This beat is limited to two rods. Here, anglers use small nymphs and dry flies. Streamers can also be strong.
Villingavatn beat (beat 3-B)  
April 15 - September 15. This beat is best in the early season (April-June). This beat lies next to the famous Villingavatnsárós and is limited to two rods.
Villingavatnsárós beat (beat 3-D The Lake)
April 1 - September 30. Despite being small, Lake Villingavatn is the home to some very large brown trout. It has been kept under the radar for years and has only been fished by a select 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 lake is divided into two beats, beat D-1 on the west bank, and beat D-2 on the east bank. Each beat is fished with two rods.
The Kaldárhöfði (beat 4)
Season:  April 20 - August 30. This new beat is in the southmost part of Lake Thingvallavatn, where River Sog runs from the lake. The beat also stretches south into Lake Úlfljótsvatn. Excellent for Arctic char fishing, especially in June through August. Six rods are permitted on this beat. The Kaldárhöfði is the only beat that allows spin fishing.

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.

Fly Fishing Facts:

Lake Thingvallavatn Fishing

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 Lodge to the fishing areas.

Two Hotel Options for 2023.

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

Getting to the Lodge:

You’ll fly to the Keflavik Airport, which is two miles west of Keflavík and 31 miles southwest of Reykjavík (pronounced Ray-ka-vick). 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 of choice.

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 up to nine-hours each day, includes 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.

2023 USD Rates:

Lake Thingvallavatn:
5-nights and 5-days guided fishing
Two anglers per room and guide:
from $4,318.00 per person
(The rate for the five-star resort is in the works.)
One angler per room and guide:
from $7,701.00 per person

Lake Thingvallavatn and Highland Rivers Combo:
5-nights and 5-days guided fishing
Two anglers per room and guide:
From $4,623.00 per person
Request an information packet.
*Prices may vary depending on currency fluctuations.

Packages Include:

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

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

Scenic beat on Kárastaðir Beat 1

Lake Thingvallavatn Fly Fishing

Villingavatn Beat 3-A - the best in the world

Fly Fishing Iceland

Heavy tackle is recommended.

Heavy tackle

You're guided up to nine hours per day.

Beautiful Iceland Brown

Iceland Brown Trout Fishing

Villingavatn Beat 3-A

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