Unless you are a hardcore fishing aficionado like I am, Austria may not feature on your list for fly fishing. For some, this can be a disadvantage. But I consider this to be an advantage.
If you are wondering why – here is my explanation.
The undiscovered waters make fly fishing in Austria exclusive and special. Because it is not a commercial area that is frequented by a lot of fishermen, if you make it to this fishing destination, you can pat yourself on the back.
Fly Fishing in Austria
Fly fishing in Austria is marked by some of the biggest fishes while you marvel at the tallest mountains in the area. If you are a nature lover like I am, you will also love admiring the kaleidoscope of wildflowers that cover the hillocks.
Sounds like a dream?
Allow me to brief you on everything you need to know before you make one of the most thrilling and memorable fishing trips of your life.
License and regulations for fly fishing in Austria
Securing a valid license is one of the first steps you need to complete before you can take your rods to the waters in Austria.
Securing a fishing license in Austria requires a bit of an effort. To get a valid fly fishing license, you need to pass an aptitude test. This is a test where your knowledge about fishing are checked.
In most parts of the country, you also need an annual state license along with a fishing permit. The test for the annual state license also requires you to undergo a test. This fishing exam can be anywhere up to 30 hours or less of theory classes. The classes are scheduled for the evenings. This will also be followed by practical classes.
However, in some areas, you can purchase the license without sitting for the exam. In this case, getting a license book can be of immense help.
The fishing license can be bought online from the federal state fishing Association websites. Keep in mind that fly fishing licenses are a serious concern in the country. This means you cannot use an Upper Austria license to fish in Lower Austria and vice versa.
Fishing licenses are also called anglers cards, fishing card, and fishing permits.
To apply for licenses and also have access to an online trainer, you can visit the following links.
- Fishing Association of Upper Austria
- Fishing Association of Lower Austria
- Fishing Association of Vienna
- Fishing Association of Styria
- Fishing Association of Carinthia
- Fishing Association of Salzburg
- Fishing Association of Burgenland
- Fishing Association of Tirol
- Fishing Association of Vorarlberg
Side Note: All the homepages of the associations are written in German. You can use the translate option on the page if you are not familiar with the language.
Regulations for fly fishing in Austria
Austria has strict regulations for fly fishing in all parts of the country. If you violate any of the various fishing laws, it could land you in serious trouble.
Some of the most important fly fishing rules and regulations are:
- It is illegal to fish without a valid license in Austria. If you are caught by the frequently patrolling officers, you will be fined.
- Most fishing licenses are valid for one year, and it must be renewed annually. In some cases, local fishermen can apply for a license with a validity of three years.
- Most fishing cards for foreign nationals are valid for four weeks from the date of issue.
- The minimum age for fishing license applicants are:
- 12 years in Salzburg and Upper Austria
- 14 years in most part of Lower Austria
- 18 years and above in Burgenland
In addition to this, different federal state has its own regulations for fishing. So before you take your trip to the waters, be sure to check them out.
Best seasons for fly fishing in Austria
The best time to pack your bags and hop over to Austria for fly fishing starts from late spring to the fall season. If you want it in terms of months, then it starts in May and goes all the way to October.
During this time, the waters are crystal clear, and the sun shines exuberantly. You will be surrounded by lush green nature, as you land your best catch.
The official fishing season starts from April 1st in Austria, in case you are interested.
Best places for fly fishing in Austria
Krimmler Ache River
This is undeniably one of Austria’s best fishing spots. The river has one of the clearest waters I have come across in any part of the world. The river lies on top of a high waterfall that is among the highest in Europe.
The location of the river makes it even more special for fishermen. This place can be accessed only on foot, unlike most fishing spots. A number of huts that dot the way to the river offer some local delicacies that you must try out.
Brown trout, brook trout as well as graylings of good sizes call this river their home. The waterfall divides the river into the upper and lower sections. In this river, you can catch and release or fly-only.
Learn more about this stunning river here.
As a frequent traveler, you would think that I have gotten used to the beauty of nature. But no. Somewhere there is always a spot that makes me take a second look, and the Gasteiner Ach is one of those.
It is located in the heart of the gorgeous landscape, and the clarity of the waters is unreal. If I wasn’t such an avid fish catcher, I could stand and admire the landscape or ages.
But that is not all. The fishes in this river make a great catch. You will have no problem catching brook and brown trout as well as rainbow trouts. Another feature that I loved about this fishing location is the water level. It can seriously test your skills and your gear, so come prepared.
Get more information about this fishing spot here.
The locals simply call this place Alm. Its strategic location to the scenic village of Vorchdorf and its clear waters is a heady combination that few fishermen can resist. This river has one of the best waters in terms of clarity and quality. It is so good; you can drink straight from the river.
But I am sure you are dying to know if there are any fishes in this river? Yes. There are lots of graylings and different varieties of trout, including brook, rainbow and brown trout.
This fishing spot is among those on high demand, and so you need to make a reservation in advance.
Learn more about the river here
This fishing district is also one of the places that are loved by fishermen, both local and foreign. It has a good population of rainbow and brown trout along with graylings.
The water level, as well as banks of the river, is easily accessible, which makes this place an ideal place to fish both by veterans as well as beginners. If you plan to go fishing in this river, you will need rods that are 8 to 10 feet in length.
You can use artificial flies and fly rod in this river. If you enjoy being in the heart of nature as much as I do, it is a great place to relieve stress.
Get more information about this river in this link
This 17 km long river is a fantastic place for fly fishing in Austria. The stretch of the river is divided into four sections, which suits fishermen of all ages and skills. The environment and the river bed are as varied as the types of fishes found in this water body.
There are gravel sections in the river as well as rushing canyons. In some sections, however, there are paved roads that require you to have a safe stand. You might also need to get information about the level of the waters in this river before you head out.
You can expect to catch fishes of different varieties, including graylings, rainbow trout, and brown trout. You can use rods of different lengths ranging from 8 to 9 feet if you want to get lucky with your catch.
You can get more information about this river here.
Austria is, no doubt, a hidden gem when it comes to fly fishing. It has some hidden treasures that make the trip even more worthwhile.
You cannot write about Austria without mentioning its spectacular natural beauty. Most of the Austrian waters are crystal clear, and you can see your catch in many places, which adds to the overall experience. The alpine scenery against the bluest of skies is enough to ease all your stress and anxiety.
The size of the fishes in this part of Europe is not the largest. But as with many things in life, it is not the size of the catch that matters. It is the overall experience that counts. And Austria does not disappoint one bit.
Niels Thomas is a wildlife expert and fishing fanatic that works with major fishing brands like Deeper Sonar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, PENN, BassPro and Pure Fishing. Through sharing the best fishing tips, tricks, gear reviews, locations and much more he hopes to inspire fishing fanatics to start their own journey towards becoming the King of the Catch!