On Day3, we went up to Gruensee, a lake right on the Italian border.

This 39cm greyling positioned itself near its backwater. And my God, how many times did I have to change flies, and what a lousy fight she gave in the end ! Guess I'm still too young to appreciate the true value of this mysterious beauty.

- Back
On the other hand, the upper half, above the village of Weidenburg, is a rugged mountain stream with lots of pools. The water was quite chilly at 7c but it apparently is normal condition - one fish after another rose to big caddis, sedge, and terrestrial patterns.

The only thing we wished for was perhaps more brown trout than rainbow. Hard fighting rainbows up to 40cm of course make great sport, but in such a lovely valley deep in Austria, we'd wish to see more of European native brownies, wouldn't we?
- Hotel Post
The main target Greyling. Here they were plentiful, but many people, including Uncle Karl, seemed to value Greyling more than trout.

Their fighting quality is not remarkable to be honest. What this fish have is a big dorsal fin that shines in mysterious green, and its unexpectable behavior. Often they refuse a perfectly drifting real insects, while do rise often to awkwardly dragging flies. Sometimes they grab big attractors though they can be super-selective even to small midges. The tendency is especially high with those positioned in slow waters, and catching them takes all what you've got in yourself, and in your fly boxes.

Whether you enjoy being teased by the fish or not, that's what makes you love or hate this fish.
Hotel Post, located right on the town's main square, is the caretaker of the main river, Gailfluss, and its many tributaries. The fishery totals 33kms in length, big enough to puzzle the first-timers like us.

To help us get started, the fishing meister Karl is there to count on - only on part time basis, though. Uncle Karl is working at the local railways, but he's a passionate flyfisher who works as a guide on request. He offers hotel guest a free drive around, showing the hot spots here and there. Listening to his German with super heavy Alpen Austrian accent was an exotic appetizer by the way.

As we visited in late May, the main river Gailfluss was having a high water. We decided to fish one of its tributaries, Assnitzbach instead.
The lower part of Assnitzbach was quite flat with slow running shallows. It was a pleasant fishery, especially during the morning when we can fish with the sun on the back.
May '04@

Our 3rd season fishing Austrian rivers. By now, we have acquired a degreel of orientation around key streams. But of course, there always are plenty other fishy spots we haven't seen yet!

The state of Kaernten is one of them. To do justice finally to what this southern most state of Austria has to offer, we drove to the village of Koetschach.