Grüß Österreich! Hello Austria!
Part 5 - Where I learn not to leave home without a Goldkopff
By Martin Joergensen
As already mentioned the gold bead nymph was a killer. I had tied up a handful in size 12 and 14 and they really did their job. A fly like that can draw fish out of the shadows under the trees, up from the dark bottom or into the free running parts of the river.
A quick roll or underhand cast upstream from the stony edge of the river, a small mend against the current to let it sink and a keen eye on the tip of the line. The smallest twitch in the tip and you strike lightly. Partytime! Particularly the rainbows will give you a thrill on a 4 or 5 weight rod with their many jumps and fierce runs. The variation in the river gives a cunning fish some very good odds. The fish are divinely beautiful and in perfect condition.
In the early mornings the smaller brown trout up to 35-40 centimeters can be enticed with dry flies. A 14-16 CDC&Elk or a large Klinkhåmer Special size 10 or 12 could rise many fish, which in a smooth motion would separate from the bottom, tip their bodies towards the surface and mostly with great pleasure inhale the fly. Patience is a key when you can see everything... "3-2-1... Grüß Der Kaiser" and a light strike and they were hooked. A beautiful sight in the clear water.
I only saw the many graylings as dark shadows from above. "In the autum they will be active again... Große Äsche... large graylings", Hans promised me.
I had brought my Partridge 7½' splitcane for the purpose and it was put to hard work with the energetic fish in the current. The larger fish on nymph was taken on a Loomis GL3 9' 5 weight. A 6 or 7 weight had not spoiled the pleasure, but would not have been required.
My one-week passed all too quickly. Two times three days is exactly sufficient to give you a nagging craving for more. I had rented a car to use for getting around after taking the night train down from Denmark. Another option was to drive for those who come from Europe. Flying in is an alternative, which will decrease the time spend on the road, but increase the expenses. The airfares are more human in the spring and autumn where the fishing is better than in the expensive high season.
There are many accommodation options. Zimmers and Gasthofen (rooms and inns) are plenty and fairly inexpensive. Camping sites are plenty too and useful both for tenting and cabin renting.
Austria is an inexpensive country to visit by European standards. Restaurant meals and super market groceries are reasonable, and food and drink is generally available in even the smaller towns.
People are friendly and the country very calm. German is spoken everywhere and English is spoken and understood in most places - especially where tourists come.
I had luck with these three patterns, which were found on my tippet a major part of my fishing time. The Gold bead nymph was especially proficient, and you should make sure to have enough of this pattern to leave some on the bottom and in the mouth of fish, which break off. And remember to debarb all hooks. This eases unhooking the fish and leaves broken off fish with a chance of getting rid of that dreaded hook.
This is an easy-to-tie and very effective dry fly originally conceived by Dutch Hans Weilenmann. It floats like a cork thanks to the elk hair in combination with the CDC feather. Bring it in sizes 12-16.
Read Hans' own story about the fly.
Klinkhamer SpecialHook: Partridge GRS15ST, sizes 14-8
Another fly of Dutch origin. Hans van Klinken's fly has surprised many a fly fisher. Its name is actually Klinkhåmer Special (pronounced 'klinkhomer'). It is unusually large and a bit different in its construction, but can drag up fish from surprising depths. Hans Aigner, who knew the fly, told some other club members of the fly while we were having coffee, and none of them had heard of it. I brought it in sizes 10-14, and I tended to uses the 10's most. They worked well here as they have on trout and grayling - even salmon - in waters all over the world.
Thread: 8/0, grey or tan
Body: Tan poly dubbing
Wing: A strand of white poly yarn
Thorax: Three strands of peacock herl
Parachute hackle: Large hackle, blue dun, grizzle or your own choice
The gold beaded nymph comes from this region, and is a terribly lethal pattern in all its simplicity. Bring a variety of colors - mostly browns and tans - and have some with some really large beads to bring the fly down to the bottom in fast water. I use Siman dubbing brushes to easily tie these flies in the matter of a minute. Remember to glue the bead to the hook with some instant glue to avoid the bead coming loose when the fly is tumbling over the rocky bottom.
Read Roman Moser's article about the history of the Goldkopff.
Andy recommended jig like, colorful flies for the deeper pools and ant patterns for the more picky trout and grayling.
Hans Aigner also recommended ants and on top of that small dark Elk Hair Caddises
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