Highflyers – Fly Fishing Austria

The country we call our home is Austria. No, not the land with the kangaroos. AUSTRIA. A beautiful place on earth in the heart of Europe. Green and rich in nature, beautiful river systems topped with wild mountain ranges. From small mountain creeks in the high altitude to big rivers down in the valleys, we are blessed with many different kinds of river structures in such a small country. These habitats offer a great diversity of fresh water fish, although we prefer to fish for brown trout and grayling, as they are our favourite fish to catch.

During the summertime, we enjoy hiking in down deep to mountain creeks and fishing for wild brown trout. Hidden between trees, those hideaways are hard to reach. It requires a bit of energy to reach the best spots. Once you get deeper into the woods, it feels like you’re entering a place like Middle Earth. Quiet, peaceful and the only sound you hear is the river itself that comes along with the sound of cow bells surrounding us.

“Those smaller streams often hold the most magnificent trout.”

We are fishing dry fly only, fish are hungry during summertime and eat everything from ants to bugs that fall into the water. But even though they are hungry, the fish are still pretty spooky and you have to move slowly and hide behind rocks or trees.

Sometimes you find tricky spots like these, with overhanging trees and not much space to cast. So you have to be inventive and use new techniques, like the bow and arrow cast to get the fly right where you want it to be.

If the fish doesn’t take the fly right away, be patient, try again and you will be granted with a stunner like this.
If possible, try to get to a higher point and take your time to spot some fish.
Fishing makes one hungry, so we always take our time for a break and refill our energy.

Beneath those smaller mountain streams, we also fish in some bigger rivers for brown trout and grayling. Its not always that easy during summer time because a bigger thunderstorm can crash your plans for the weekend immediately, causing the river to swell. But of course its not always like that, and so we wait for those dryer weeks and often are granted with perfect water conditions. Most of the time we fish smaller nymphs, but if the insect hatch is going wild it turns into dry fly fishing par excellence.

This beautiful brown trout was rising right next to the river bank and fell for a big June bug imitation.

Grayling can often be fished on sight, but they are pretty tricky to catch. Especially the bigger ones that take just very small insects. So you might tie on the smallest nymph you can find in your box if you see a fish like this in the shallow water.

In rivers with dark bottom, the grayling often have very intense and beautiful golden colors. 

But we also fish lakes sometimes. There are some that hold really good trout. If you fish them not too late in the year, you can experience dryfly Heaven. But during late fall, it’s better to fish some streamers on a sinking line to get down to those big fish.

Autumn and moody weather is definitely our most favourite vibe.
When they hit the fly, they hit it hard and the dance begins.

Contributed By

Fabian Fingerlos
Fabian Fingerlos, based in Salzburg, has a passion for photography, fly fishing and being in nature. Flyfishing is an art, same as photography. Capturing those highflyer vibes with his camera is what he loves, while exploring hidden gems in beautiful Austria. There’s nothing better than sitting at a bonfire by the river, having a beer and listening to the sounds of nature.

Florian Lustig
Florian Lustig, Austrian based filmmaker, loves the wild and rustic side of nature.
Being grounded and focused on the good things in life, Florian enjoys every second out with his camera capturing the uniqueness of Mother Earth. Fly fishing is more than just a lifestyle … It’s a conviction and a sustainable way to handle nature and its creatures. Keep yourself curious and live every day like it’s the most special one in your whole life.


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