Michael Plakolb went on a fishing holiday with the family to the small town of Fusch on Großglocknerstrasse in the Zell am See district of Salzburg. He had a lot of confidence with him in the passing Fuscher Ache to make its Salmonid inhabitants unsafe.

Text and photos: Michael Plakolb
The following report was published in the magazine “Fangfrisch – 05/2019” and was created in collaboration with Mr. Plakolb.

The Bruck / Fusch region is one of the member companies of the holiday provider “Adventure Fish Water”. There are four great accommodation options for us fishermen in this region. The great thing about it is that there are hotels for different target groups. The hotel “Zacherlbräu” is probably the best address for hardcore fishermen who swing their rods from early in the morning until late at night. The landlords are anglers themselves, there is a fly fishing shop, a fly tying table and rustic, carved relaxation areas for a sociable end to the fishing day. The Ponyhof holiday village rather appeals to family vacationers with smaller children. In addition to the ponies, there are many play options and wellness for the mothers. The Hotel Lampenhäusl on the other hand, in addition to beautiful hotel rooms, it also has good camping facilities and an accessory shop for fly fishermen. Finally the 4-star Hotel Römerhof , which is more geared towards families  is geared towards older children with its sports and wellness offers.

Two professionals at our side

After my sons Gregor and Patrick didn’t care much for ponies any more and we needed an adequate pastime for mom so that she could let us fish in peace, our choice fell on the Römerhof. The first very positive discovery in our ultra-modern and huge family suite was our own refrigerator, which guaranteed cold drinks. A short time later, after moving into the room, I was already sitting with Hubert Edlinger. Hubert is chairman of the local fishing club that manages the Fuscher Ache. Werner Leonhartsberger, fly fishing guide and fishing supervisor, quickly joined us. Both tried  Touching around us during our stay so that we could experience, see and catch a lot. Not an easy task in a very demanding area with very inexperienced fly fishermen. Patrick hadn’t even fished with a fly before. The two locals know the water like the back of their hand, the best spots, fishing times and flies.

Throwing training
Patricks erstes Wurftraining mit Werner

Very cheap license prices

Werner und Hubert machen auch auf Wunsch für alle Fliegenfischergäste der im Eingang erwähnten Hotels eine detaillierte Gewässereinführung. Werner bietet zudem Guidings an. Grundsätzlich erhält man die Angellizenzen bei den Fischerwirten, bei den Touristinfos Bruck und Fusch sowie im Stop-Shop. Die Preise sind sehr moderat. So bezahlen Gäste von Bruck und Fusch € 35,– für die Tageskarte. Wenn man mehrere Tage angelt wird es noch günstiger. Für Familien gibt es ein Topangebot, hier darf neben dem Tageskartenbezieher der Partner + ein Kind bis 15 Jahre um € 15,– mitangeln. Ganz toll ist der Service eines Schnupperfischens. Um wenige Euros werden dabei in zwei Stunden die ersten Unterweisungen beim Fliegenfischen gemacht.

Start in the Käfertal

The 35 km long fishing water, with first-class water quality, rises at the foot of the Großglockner massif in the beautiful Käfertal. We also started our first fishing attempt there. To get to this imposing head of the Alps, we first had to pass the barriers of a forest road. In principle, access is only permitted to the manager and guests of alpine huts. Anglers get a gate key from the fishermen’s landlords, or hike the water or, like the host of lazy Arabs, can be chauffeured down into the valley with electrically powered golf carts.

Arctic char
Wunderschöne Saiblinge tummeln sich im Zuchtteich mit 6 Grad Wassertemperatur.

The primeval trout lives here

You should definitely not miss this picturesque fishing area in the Hohe Tauern National Park, where orchids bloom in June. Surrounded by several 3000m peaks, glaciers and colorful alpine meadows, you go on the hunt for the pristine brown trout. The route in the Käfertal is 5 km long and offers an untouched stream bed. Due to winter conditions, the season doesn’t start here until May 10th and ends at the end of September. The rest of the stretch is allowed to fish from April 1st to October 31st. The whole area is a pure fly fishing route which may be fished with dry flies, wet flies, nymphs and streamers, but only with soft hooks. The streamer is prohibited in the Käfertal. Also in winter, the fish find smaller insects in this harsh climate, have a shorter feeding phase and therefore grow slowly. Fish up to 35 cm are possible here. It is mainly brown trout and occasionally grayling.

Small dry flies and nymphs are great

Die Wahl der Fliege ist den herrschenden Bedingungen anzupassen. Kleine Trockenfliegen und Nymphen mit einer 3er oder 4er Rute angeboten, versprechen den besten Erfolg. Hierbei wurde ich bestens vom Fliegenbinder Karl Flick versorgt, der mir eine ganze Dose seiner fängigsten Fliegen für die Reise mitgab. Auch von Thomas Huber, dem Chef vom Zacherlbräu, erhielten wir einige seiner Topfliegen. Gregor und Patrick kamen nun in den ersten Genuss des Fliegenfischertrainings von Werner. Als ehemaliger Trainer von Rennschifahrern bringt er dafür die nötige Ruhe und Geduld mit. Nach dem Wurftraining wurde in einem kleinen Zuchtteich sogleich versucht das Gelernte umzusetzen. Die Schüler waren sehr gelehrig und fingen die ersten Bachforellen. Dann ging es in den Bach und Patrick konnte mit Hilfe von Werner seine erste Ur-Bachforelle in einem schönen Gumpen überlisten. Das optisch an Kanada erinnernde Tal bietet bewirtschaftungstechnisch den Vorteil, dass es hier im Gegensatz zum anderen Streckenteil keine Kraftwerke, mit den dort einhergehenden Wasserschwankungen und Schwemmungen gibt und auch der Fischotter sich hier nicht ansiedelt. Das bedeutet die nötige Ruhe und Entfaltungsmöglichkeit für die Wildfische. Apropos Ruhe, auch der Angler findet im Käfertal mentale und physische Entspannung, zudem befindet sich dort auch eine Kneipanlage mit Wetterschutzhütte und WC.

Very varied routes

Die Fliegenfischerstrecke umfasst neben den eher schmalen, ruhigen und mäanderförmigen Bachschleifen im Käfertal auch den Stausee im Ferleitental und noch zwei weitere Staubereiche vor Wehranlagen. Versteckte Gumpen mit sehr schnellfließenden Bereichen charakterisieren den weiteren Streckenteil. In den genannten Gebieten leben Bach- See- und Regenbogenforellen, Bachsaiblinge und Äschen. Besatzfische stammen vorwiegend aus vereinseigener Aufzucht. Eine wunderschöne Anlage besichtigten wir in Bad Fusch wo sich im 6 Grad kalten Wasser rund 2.500 Stück prächtige Saiblinge tummelten. Zu befischen sind auch Nebenbäche wie jener im wildromantischen Sulzbachtal. Hier sind vor allem die Indianerfischer unter euch gefragt, die sich auch unter dichte Stauden wagen.

Favorite spots

Our favorite spots were the fast-flowing parts of the route, which repeatedly formed beautiful bends through large stones. 5 to 6 fly rods are recommended there. Waders are not essential, but waders are recommended. In these areas, nymphs and streamers are your best choices. Hubert swears by the nymph, while Werner swears by big streamers. For nymphs and streamers, heavy ones should be chosen or a clip lead should be used approx. 20 cm in front of the bait. Since fish lurk up to 60 cm behind the stones in these areas, at least a 0.18 leader should be used. The bait is to be placed in the middle, mostly caused by undergrowth, with a roll cast in the current, then to run approx. 25 meters downstream and then to pluck half a meter at the stones on the bank. The trout lurk for prey in these quiet areas and then shoot the bait like arrows. Gregor was best able to use this technique and caught his fish every day, including beautiful rainbow trout up to 40 cm and especially cool – his first lake trout! Patrick, the complete beginner, had Werner by his side until the last day and they too caught one or two fish together. When Patrick was fishing alone on the last day, he got the biggest fish from us on the line. Unfortunately, it shook itself free before landing. At the beginning I was really thrilled. I had several bites a day, but I lost the fish. A fly fishing hook like this is a darned thing … In the end I was also able to catch my tailor’s fish. Then the spell was broken and others followed.

Nice contacts

Neben Werner und Hubert lernten wir bei unserem Urlaub noch weitere sehr nette Angelkollegen kennen. Vor allem Eva und Gregor ein einheimisches Fischerehepaar seien hierbei erwähnt. In der Fischer Ache fischen oft auch gerne Paare und der Frauenanteil nimmt erfreulicherweise stetig zu.

Hotel to feel good

We hit the bull’s eye with our choice of hotel. The fourth generation of the family-run Hotel Römerhof also offers special fishing packages. In addition to the already mentioned beautiful suite, we were offered a variety of highlights. We were able to dry our wet utensils well in the drying room. The catch could be deposited in the freezer for the journey home or, even better, prepared for eating in the kitchen. My boys made use of it and sniffed their own catch for dinner. For the better half or after a strenuous day of fishing, the relaxation oasis with caldarium, sauna, infrared cabin, steam bath, solarium, massage, heated bench and the Römer Spa with heated indoor pool, outdoor pool with indoor access, children’s area, bathing pond with garden landscape and Kneipp facility are available Available. A hotel with table tennis won with my sons in advance anyway and so the boys were able to learn their lessons in some games against me!

Römerhof
Unsere tolle Unterkunft – der Römerhof in Fusch