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Fly Fishing in Germany – Angling in Some of Europe’s Finest Water Bodies!

Germany is one of the places in Europe that offers a fantastic blend of culture, food, and who could forget the beer? For some time now, I have been itching to get on to the land where the state of the art cars exists side by side with ancient castles.

Along with all these offerings, Germany has a hidden secret. Well, it is not a secret to veterans in the fishing community. I am referring to all the fishing spots among its forests. Among them, the Black forest stands out. It is a massive forest that covers the larger part of the south of Germany.

Fly Fishing in Germany

Now, I had been to Germany on an earlier carp fishing trip. I had heard so much about the potential for fly fishing in Germany, but I was pressed for time on the first trip. So I decided to head back.

By the way, you can check out my guide to carp fishing in Germany here.

So this post is about my second trip to this historical place and all the tips I can give you for fly fishing in Germany.

License and regulations for fly fishing in Germany

The permit for fly fishing in Germany varies from place to place. I will attempt to cover as many areas as I can.

There are only a few places where you can fish without a license. These include Hamburg and Bremen. Fishing in the North Sea can be done without a license.

To obtain a fly fishing license or Fischereischein in Germany, German nationals have to undergo an exam. The test is called Sportfischerprüfung, and passing the test is mandatory to receive a certificate. On passing the test and receiving the certificate or the Prüfungsbescheinigung, it is valid for life.

To know about the exam and how to prepare for it, you can visit this link

For foreign fishers, you need a license for fly fishing in Germany. However, the federal states of Hamburg and Bremen are an exception. You do not have to sit for the exam, but basic knowledge about fishing is required.

Where and how to acquire a fishing permit in Germany

There are three ways you can acquire a fishing permit in Germany:

  • From a fishery owner if you are fishing in private waters
  • From one of the many angling clubs. Here is a list of all the angling clubs in the country.
  • From tackling shops in the local area

To know more about the fishing license and how to get it, click here.

You also need a separate license for fishing in the Baltic Sea. You can get your license by clicking here and here.

Regulations for fly fishing in Germany

  • Good knowledge about the daily catch limits closed seasons and size limits is a must.
  • Fly fishing in Germany without a license is prohibited and punishable. A person fishing without a license can be fined up to €25,000. In some federal states, you could be imprisoned up to two years. 
  • Using live fish as bait is strictly prohibited in Germany.
  • You cannot leave your fishing rods and your gear unattended.
  • Catch and release type of fishing is also prohibited in all federal states of Germany.

Learn in-depth about the fishing regulations through this link

Best seasons for fly fishing in Germany

Fishing in Germany is practiced in some form or the other throughout the year. But the best season for fly fishing begins from March and can extend all the way to September. If you really push it, you might be able to get something in your rods around early October.

Best locations for fly fishing in Germany

Germany has a lot of fishing spots due to its proximity to a number of large water bodies.

Hintersee Lake

Located among the picturesque alpine greenery, this lake is home to some of the finest brook trouts in the region. Brown trout is widely available in this lake as well. It is complemented by the crystal clear water, which gives you a sight of your catch several feet away.

However, if you happen to visit the lake after the rains, the waters can become cloudy. This factor does not pose much of a problem, but I thought you might want to know.

Fishing in this lake witnesses the highest traffic from May to August. But the fishes are active all through September. The lake has been managed by a fishing club called the Berchtesgaden/Koenigsse for more than two decades. I must add they have done a fantastic job of maintaining the fish population as well as the waters.

You can learn more about this lake here.

Berchtesgadener/königsseer ache

Fly fishing in Germany takes a serious turn when you decide to fish in these water bodies. It is a unique opportunity that few anglers can afford to miss. Here, you can fish in two places with a single license.

The environment is a combination of gently flowing streams and mountain streams. You will see a lot of brook, brown and rainbow trout. If you visit these waters during the spring when the ice is melting, and the dam is opened, you might come across a sea trout.

A sea trout is considered special, and coming across one only occurs very occasionally. But it depends on your luck as well as the timing.

Using a rod with a length between 8 and 9 feet is the best way to maximize your fishing adventure. In some sections of the Königsseer Ache, using a short rod can also come very handy

Learn more about these water bodies in this link.

Black Regen

It is also called the Schwarzer Regen in German. It is a part of the Regen River, along with the Little Regen. The fishing spot is a prime one for fly fishing due to a couple of reasons:

  • Many parts along the river, there are plenty of insect hatches which facilitate the growth of the fishes.
  • Some parts of the river flow through remote areas so the fishes can populate without being disturbed.

Graylings and brown trout are the primary inhabitants here. But there are other fishes that you can find in this river. They include brook trout, barbel, and some rainbow trout. The varieties of fishes are quite diverse, so you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun.

The water body is managed by the fishing club of Regen, through which you will find a lot of information.

Weisse Traun

This river is another spot that is favored by fly fishing folks throughout the season and beyond. It is located in the upper parts of Bavaria. The river is interspaced with shallow waters, fast-flowing waters, and deep pools in different areas. This makes it a great place for fishes to congregate.

You will find a good number of the rainbow as well as brown trout. The average size of the trout that are caught in these waters is about 24 inches, which makes the trip very special. It is said that even Charles Ritz, the icon of fly fishing, was said to have been taken by the beauty and the fish in this river.

The location of the river makes it ideal for fishing in this river as soon as the spring starts. You will find some fishermen in the river starting from April till October.

You can find some information about this river here.

Isar River

You haven’t practiced fly fishing in Germany if you have not been to this river. The river has wild sections that are among the last in Europe. It has a good combination of crystal water and wide banks, which makes it a great spot for fly fishing.

The graylings are the primary residents, but you will also encounter a good number of brown and rainbow trouts. Fishing in this river is unfortunately very hectic throughout the year, which makes it a bit congested. You will even see kayakers and boat divers during the summer.

If you plan to avoid the crowd, I suggest you go early in the mornings or late in the evenings. Although, how long you can stay out is limited, so check with the concerned authority to avoid getting into trouble.

There are two sections of the river where you can fish as a guest fisherman, so be sure to check with a local.

Find more about the river in this link.

Final words

Fly fishing in Germany is a fine mix of catching the fish, drinking their famous beer, and relaxing through the night. The country has some unique vegetation and fishing areas that make it a perfect spot for many types of fishing.

Apart from the fishing, if you so wish to indulge in such activities as hiking, there are plenty of options. I personally loved the chance to access some fishing spots on foot. It is an excellent way to get some air into your lungs and work up a sweat in anticipation of the fish that you will catch.