Marcel_Karssies

Thuringia 06-2019

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10 posts in this topic

The opportunity came along for a road trip with my friends to Thuringia and so I did my best to get some time off work.
The plan was to fish the Werra river and some of its tributaries during an extended weekend.
On Friday  we headed out east in the van of the chairman of our local flyfishing club, three man strong.
After four hours we arrived at the first stop of our trip, a small tributary of the Werra.

On the way to the east I noticed that some of the rivers we passed had quite a chocolate coloration.
Obviously it had rained quite recently and from the looks of it hard.
We got our permits from the local fishing club and went to the stream outside the village.
It was hot and muggy, storks where working the fields and a red kite was patrolling the air.

The stream was indeed off color but deemed fishable to us.
I asked my friends wo already had been visiting the stream on an earlier occasion where the hot spots where and was on my way.
As the stream was small I had chosen to use my Orvis clearwater 6ft #2.
It was the ideal rod for the work in close quarters.
The hot spots yielded fish right away and although small it was good fun.
I checked out the stream at various spots and almost caught fish at every location.

At one point the stream flowed along the hills and access was difficult.
A path along the hill only went higher and higher.
As I wanted to fish and not walk all day I doubled back and started fishing upstream.

First I fished with nymphs and some decent fish came from deeper bends and pools.
At the end of the session I fished in a slow moving wider section of the stream.
I complained to my friends about the lack of rising fish in the river.
As soon as I mentioned this a large fish rose to nail one of the sedges on the water.
I quickly tied on a dry fly and was able to catch some more brown trout the classic way.

We had booked a hotel in the nearby larger town which was a converted old prison.
The plan was to seek out a place for dinner first before heading to the hotel.
We spotted a large sign for a restaurant in the village so the choice was quickly made.
Oddly we did not spot people at the restaurant and wondered why it was so quiet on a Friday night.
The landlord did not look that happy with us as customers or at least that was what we thought.
We had the impression that we had torpedoed the staffs plan for an early weekend.
Still we got our food and drinks and all was good, a place worthwhile to add to our records.

It was late when we arrived near our hotel, crowds where in the old town and festivities where in progress.
We soon hit a snag as the old town was cordoned off with gates and security staff.
The alleyway to the car park of the hotel was now not accesible.

We spotted some coppers at the gates and asked them how to get to the hotel.
Their answer was that security would have to let us in.
The cops went on patrol when we relayed the messaged to security but they would not let us.
We called the hotel for instructions and got the advice to find a spot to park elsewhere.
With the town full of party-goers this was impossible.
The parking garage had not enough clearance for the van and all the other spaces where posted.
After five rounds around the old city we parked the van outside the city at a shopping mall.
We dragged our gear to the hotel and along the way we even managed to get through security.
At the hotel however everything was dark … no staff present in the lobby anymore.
While waiting and calling the phonenumber of the hotel other people joined us as they had faced the same problems.
In the end end a manager came and we got our “cells”.
Outside in the town the party was in full swing and the loud music even penetrated the thick prison walls.
Those cells where darn hot and opening a window was not an option due to the racket outside.
The noise finally stopped at 0300 hrs or it must have been the time that I finally fell asleep.

With the knowledge that the party would continue through the weekend fast action was required.

We decided to ditch the hotel after breakfast the next morning.
The employee at the lobby wanted to charge us an extra night, we refused.
The manager came and wanted us to pay for an extra night because he could not rent out the rooms in a short notice.
He also mentioned that he was not required to inform us in advance about the noise.
The facts however were that the hotel was not fully occupied, we did not get any sleep and we could not park.
Furthermore we would have never booked if we had known this in advance.
In the end we had to pay a minimal fee as the manager was not up for reason.
This attitude would be taken into considering for a review and off course the would be blacklisted by us.

The next day we fished the Werra river in town.
While breakfast we had already booked a new hotel, this time out in the middle of nowhere.
The innercity fishing was tough with turbid water and not a lot of bites.
We would fish the evening session at the river near our new hotel but first dined at an Italian restaurant in town.
We fished the main river in a quaint valley several miles outside of the larger town and encountered
better fishing with quite an evening rise.
The hotel was located on the edge of the village and totally booked, lots of bikers.
After dropping our gear in our rooms we joined the other guests at the restaurant for some cold ones.

The next day we were all well rested, the only racket came from the frogs of the nearby retention pond.
After an excellent breakfast we went out to the river and fished the same stretched as the day before.
The weather had shifted from warm and muggy to cloudy with the chance of strong rain showers anytime.
The fishing was very tough but we still managed to catch some small brown trout.
In the late afternoon the skies became threatening as we made plans for dinner.
With an evening session in mind we where on the lookout for a place with a terrace so we could sit outside
with our wading gear in order not to lose valuable fishing time.
The little village had indeed such a restaurant and so we sent our scout out to investigate the place.
In the mean time the skies opened to full extend and it rained cats and dogs.
Meanwhile a message came on the radio that the place was open and suited our requirements so off we went through the rain.

The temperature had dropped considerably in the mean time but it was still bearable to sit outside.
The restaurant was small but the scale of pork chops variations was enormous.
I settled for the Lumberjack porkchops with bacon, mushrooms and cheese … it was great.
After a few cold wheat bears it was back to the river again hoping to catch the evening rise.
When we left for the hotel the moon was already up in the sky, darkness fell.

 

We had a Friday the 13th feeling when we drove up to the hotels parking lot, a day before fully packed now not a single car.
The hotel was dark … all the guests had left … the restaurant already closed... it was eerie.
The next morning we where the only guests at breakfast but staff told us that in the afternoon the first new guests
would arrive and the hotel was already booked full for the next weekend.

The last day of the trip brought us close to the former East-West border to a small tributary of the Werra.
On the West side of the former border the US Army observation post Alpha was located.
It was the spot at the Fulda gap where the Red army would go through when invading the West to reach the Rhine river.
Fishing permits where obtained at a local pub.
I was quickly in my waders I was the first on on the water looking in amazement at the active fish.
The fish where rising like crazy in the early morning and dry fly fishing was out of this world.
Fish where again small but oh boy there where tons of them in this pretty stream.
The sun was so hot you just had to find a deeper pool at times to cool off.
With the long home journey in mind 17:00hrs would be the end of our fishing session.
Close to the end the radio call came that it was time to hit the beer garden of the pub for dinner.

 

Four days had passed and we had a ball of a time, surely to be continued…

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Marcel's post had a funny consequence for me. I had to go look at Wikipedia to see if the site of the Battle of the Thuringian Wald, where Varus and a couple of legions were ambushed by a coalition of German tribes, had ever been located.  It does appear that at least a large part of the battle (which sprawled over a couple of days, and at least tens of kilometers) has been found.

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Absolutely Stellar Marcel.  You spend so much time so happy with the fish you catch locally, it's great to see you with a fist full of trout!!

 

It's like The Sound of Music. . . with trout.

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