Grüß Österreich! Hello Austria!
Part 4 - Where I fish in waters beyond imagination
By Martin Joergensen
The quality of water, landscape and fish is beyond imagination and the lovely runs and pools are strung like pearls on a string over all 12 kilometres. The river is large and wide, and you have plenty of room to wade and fish undisturbed. I was there for three days, and met as few fishers as can be counted on one hand. And this was in the peak of the tourist season.
Even though the weather was very hot - about 35 degrees centigrade - I saw a lot of activity in the water, especially morning and evening. The dry fly fishing was a challenge without being impossible, but with a gold beaded nymph on the tippet I could get a take in every second or third cast in certain periods and locations. This is how rich the river is. From the bridges, sun in the back and armed with polarizing glasses, I could often see a dozen of fish moving on the crystal clear water, which only in few places was over 1-2 metres deep.
The fish are first and foremost brown trout, grayling and rainbows, but also lake trout (migrated from the Traunsee) and brook trout add to the fun. In the slow section you can even spot an occasional pike.
The fish grow to considerable sizes and especially the rainbows and lake trout excel. I took a couple of rainbows in the two kilo (four pound) range during my stay, but fish of 4, 5, and 6 kilos (12 lbs.) are landed every year. A lake trout tipping the scale to a whopping 18 kilos (36 lbs.) had been caught in nets in the lake itself the week before my arrival, so thinking that the river only produces fish in the pound range is being overly pessimistic.
The fishing is barbless only, and even though you can bring home one or two fish per day, most fishers prefer to release all catches.
During my trip I met very few fishers as mentioned. The waters are large and access is fairly easy, so people tend to spread out over the many kilometres. Through Hans Aigner I met German Werner Tripp and his wife, who were members of the Freunde der Gmundner Traun, and had fished the river for many years. The three of us managed to get some time together at the water and caught a few good fish. We also managed to take some pictures of each other - both fighting and holding fish. I had had some difficulties with this in my solitude, which the many pictures of my hand with a fish clearly shows. It seemed that Werner spent a lot of time in the area, which is close to the German border and the large German town München (Munich).
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