The Villgraten river is the most powerful of the tributaries of the Lesser Drau and has the typical mountain stream features. After meandering peacefully through the hill moor the stream drops down in stages with flat sections between them. Brownies, rainbow trout and charr abound, with the brown trout reaching a considerable size in the permanently clear water. The valley itself with its rugged landscape and impressive farmhouses is an extremely picturesque backdrop for fishing. The Villgraten river is not affected by snowmelt or glacial runoff and can therefore be fished from mid-April until the end of October.
The Villgratenbach beat in Heinfels starts at the old Punbrugge, a medieval wooden bridge in Heinfels where the road to Villgraten branches off. It stretches for about 4 ½km upstream to where the Winkelbach joins it in Ausservillgraten. Fishing is permitted with artificial dry or wet flies, nymphs and streamer, all with no barb and no extra weights.
The beat between Heinfels and Ausservillgraten is a wild and romantic gorge with deep pools that are not, however, easily accessible. There are powerful rainbow and brown trout to be found at the foot of the Heinfels castle ruins, and lovely grayling that have come upstream from the Lesser Drau can be caught now and then in the lower reaches. In the upper reaches the brown trout prevails.