Austrian Alpine Trout

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by dude_1967, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. dude_1967

    dude_1967 Chris

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    It has been a while since I reported.

    In August 2008 I recently had an opportunity to visit Austria in the region of Hohe Tauern near Glockner (Fusch am Bruck). It has been quite some time since I visited Austria and I decided to finally head down there and do some alpine trout fishing and mountain biking.

    I took the fast train from Stuttgart to Salzburg and slower rail from Salzburg to Zell am See. I had spent quite a bit of time arranging the trip with my host family, my energy level, work as well as the weather. But all of these things worked out fine.

    Austria is an amazing country. It is full of mountains and traditional farmlands. In addition there is a lot of history and traditional culture. I stayed in a guest house on the Glockner Alpin Hochstrasse (Glockner Alpine High Street) which has been owned and operated by the host family and previous generations for about 400 years. They had a micro brewery which used water from the nearby emerald river. The host family had come into the fishing pact for about 40 river kilometers about 5 or 6 years ago. They were very nice. In fact, the eldest son picked me up at the train station upon my arrival---bike gear and all.

    After getting settled in and meeting the family, I went prospecting on my mountain bike. I rode up to some high alpine pocket water and visited some traditional grazing lands. It was evening when I left so I only rode for about 2 hours and maybe about 2000 feet vertical climb. It was good to be back in the mountains. I returned for dinner and the host introduced me to some local fly guys and another guest family (a swiss gentlemann and his daughter). We had a lot to drink and partied a bit. The host family even came out after closing the restaurant and shared some local alcoholic root bitters (Schnapps) with us.

    I woke up the next day. It is customary in Austria to get a free breakfast---all you can eat. The host offered us additional eggs. He then took me on a tour of most of the water. This was a very nice act because he was very busy and took quite a bit of time out of his schedule for me. He drove me up away from the road and told me to take off on my mountain bike into the high valley. I fished the high valley the first day for native browns and grayling. I caught about 20 fish rangine from 6-16 inches. The high valley was at an elevation of maybe 4500 feet. It is rare to find native middle European grayling at this high altitude. However for some reason this race of grayling was healthy and present. I fished single beadhead nymphs size 16 with a tiny split shot.

    On the second day I rode up a high dirt road on my mountain bike and fished alpine pocket water. I caught a few small trout in the alpine pocket water. On the way down I fished the mainstem stream and caught large trout up to 20 inches.

    On the third day it rained a bit and I waited for it to stop in the afternoon. I fished near the guest house in jeans and a shirt for about an hour and picked up trout and grayling. In the afternoon I rode up the mainstem river and fished for large trout. I used a 3wt with straight line nymphing tactics as well as dropper techniques for fast pocket water.

    On that evening we arranged a fly tying session in the cellar of the guest home. I was able to learn a few things and also show some others some of my tying techniques. We drank a bunch of beer and tied stuff.

    It was a very pleasant journey filled with mountain scenery and nice people. During my four days there I rolled about 140km of mountain bike riding including some high terrain and caught maybe 30 trout and about 10 grayling all ranging from 6-22 inches. There is better fly fishing available in Austria. However the combination of the nice guest family, the scenery and the fishing made this a very worthwhile trip. There are some pictrues below.

    If you ever get an opportunity to visit Austria then I hope you enjoy yourself.

    Sincerely, Chris.
     

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  2. Ethan G.

    Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

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    Isn't it great?
    -Ethan
     
  3. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    This is absolutely disgusting!! :beer2:
     
  4. Diehard

    Diehard aka Justin

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    Damn, Austria looks soo cool!
     
  5. Steinbock

    Steinbock New Member

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    What a great journey! My family is from Southern Tirol near Landeck in the Kaunertal Glacier region. I was lucky enough to be forced to work on the family farm during the summers as a kid. I do some climbing and ski touring over there but I have not tried the Fly... Looks like one more thing to pack next trip!

    Thanks for the report,
    Anton
     
  6. Bruce Davidson

    Bruce Davidson formerly hatman

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    Thanks for sharing your trip, Chris. Great report and awesome pics.
     
  7. Dan

    Dan Member

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    Dude, you are making me home sick. Thanks for the report.
     
  8. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    great shots, Chris! Looks like I'll need to add that to my trip next year. The scenery looks quite similar to Leavenworth: small wonder they went that way with the town!
    Alex