Fly Fishing in Germany
The Rules License Requirments Fly-Fishing Opportunities Sure Bets Fly Shops Misc
Info for the US Military
One of the most common misperceptions of most Americans is
that you can't fish in Germany, or the rules and regulations make it too difficult to even
try. This is definitely not the case! Over the last four years, we have had
the pleasure and privilege of both working in and fly fishing throughout Germany. The
combination of fish, water, and access make fly fishing in Germany a must do for American
business travelers, tourist, and United States military members. No it's not always
easy, but with a little effort it can be done.
Why? Because there is nothing more thrilling that casting flies for Brown trout and Grayling in the mountain streams of southern Germany. Whether you are casting in a glacier carved and fed lake, or working a stream running under an overlooking castle, the scenery, atmosphere, and superb fishing make the entire German fly fishing experience one that you will remember for the rest of your life.
There are really no public fishing waters in Germany. Someone owns the fishing rights to
every stream, river, lake, and pond. In addition to buying a German fishing license,
you must pay that "someone" for a daily, weekly, or monthly permit to fish. A
daily permit or "Tages Karte" can be obtained for as little as 8 EURO, or as much
as 32 EURO for most waters, but a few of the more secluded and productive locations can run
as high as 100 EURO per day.
In general trout season opens around the first of May and ends in October. Some fishing rights holders adjust dates based on when the fish begin to spawn. There are even a few areas that are open year round. The book and map mentioned belowng give general information on when the season opens and closes for each fishing water listing, and the minimum sizes for each type of fish. You see, even though there are national and state guidelines on seasons and limits, the individual water rights holder has the ability to set his or her own rules based on the their judgement. Night fishing is generally a big no, no, but it varies based on the location.
License Requirements. German Nationals and expatriates living and working in Germany (NATO/US Military Excluded) must complete months of instruction on fish habitat and biology, fishing regulations, and general knowledge before they can be tested and become licensed fishermen. Yes, I do mean tested. Anything and everything from the types of scales, number of eggs, and habitat of the different species to the required test of line required to catch them can be asked.
Ah, dont get discouraged, there is good news. U.S. tourist and business travelers can fish in Germany using a temporary license and without the test. An "Auslander" (thats a foreigner) can purchase a temporary fishing license in Bavaria that is good for three months. It costs 45 EUROs (about $25 depending on the exchange rate). Other states in Germany have similar systems in place to allow foreigners to fish. Just remember, once you have the fishing license you still have to pay for the right to fish, and all fish in season and of legal size must be killed immediately if they are going to be kept. It is also considered cruel to use stringers and other similar devices.
U.S. military personnel stationed in Germany (states of Hessen, Baden-Wurttemburg, and Bavaria) must complete a 2 week (30 hour) course that covers much of the same information the Germans learn. Our U.S. military members must also take and pass a 100 or so question test before they can purchase a German fishing license at the local city hall (Rathaus). The regular license costs approximately 50 EUROs per year depending on where you purchase it.
Temporary "Auslander" licenses can be purchased at almost any City Hall or "Rathaus" of most medium size cities. The actual office is called the "Landrats" or "Ordnungsamt". The easiest way to make it all work is to locate where you want to fish, talk to the water rights holder, and have him or her coordinate directly with the local authorities. Local fishing stores owners can also be a big, big help. They are usually listed under Angle sport, fischerei, or something real similar.
Finding Fly-Fishing Opportunities. As a general Bavaria probably offers the best opportunities for tourist and business travelers looking to try fly fishing in Germany. Not only does Bavaria have the best trout fishing and scenery, the local government and attitudes are more conducive to foreign fly-fishing enthusiasts.
Now, how do you find a place to fly fish in Germany? Permits may be obtained at any of the following locations: private homes, fishing stores, general stores, city halls, hotels, and bed and breakfasts or "Gasthauses". Sometimes you have to be guest in a local hotel to have access to the towns or hotels private waters. Some of these places will sell daily, weekly, or monthly passes to anyone with a license who wants to fish. Sound confusing or appear challenging? It is.
Let me give you some more good news and not so good news. The German Publisher Panna Verlag, in conjunction with Fliege (a German International Fly Fishing Magazine), has produced an information pamphlet and map of Germany with over 400 fly fishing locations across Germany called "Wo Angeln? Extra". From north to south, or east to west, you pick a city and you can find a location close to you. The not so good news for those fly fishers like me who only speak English or Texan is the accompanying pamphlet with all the details on each location is written in German. Never fear, I included a short list of Germany fishing words at the end of this page. Most German fishing stores that cater to the fly fisher sell the maps. Inquiries can be sent to:
PANNA Verlag & Vertriebs GmbH
D - 90559 Burgthann
Another great source of information on fishing locations in Bavaria is "Angelfuhrer Bayern 98/99" (published by Landesfischereiverband Bayern e. V). This book lists over 600 locations where you can buy a fishing permit, and is republished every few years. Of the 600 plus listings, about half have trout (brown, rainbow, or brook) listed as one of the primary fish. Just about every fishing store in Bavaria will have them for about 25 EUROs. Inquiries can be sent to:
Landesfischereiverband Bayern e. V.
81545 Munchen, GE
Telephone from the States: 00-49-89-642726-0
Fax from the States: 00-49-89-642726-66
Some Sure Bets. The very southeastern part of Bavaria is one of my favorite fly fishing locations in Germany. The Hintersee is a large high mountain lake located in Alps near the town of Ramsau. This lake is deep, clear, and loaded with rainbow, brown, and other types of trout! It makes for a great weekend, or weeklong trip. Daily and weekly permits can be purchased at the Hotel Gamsbock, which sits on the western side of the lake (day cards cost about 32 EUROs). Fishermen can rent rowboats for 2-4 EURO an hour or wade in the shallows. Best fishing is near the two in flowing creeks on the south side of the lake. The Hintersee day card also allows you to fish about 8 kilometers of the out flow stream from the lake to the town of Ramsau. Its a tough hike and tight casting, but certainly worth the effort.
Just northeast of Ramsau, the town of Bechtesgaden offers two fast moving rivers located in one of the most beautiful valleys in Germany. Not only is this a great fly fishing destination with stretches of fly only waters, the entire family can enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery, Hitlers Eagle's Nest, and the salt mine tour. Permits can be purchased at a store called Schirm-Dink in downtown Bechtesgaden.
For the military fly fisher, your local Rod and Gun Club, Outdoor Recreation Center, or Hunting and Fishing Coordinator may have fishing rights in local waters on the installation or real close by. These organizations also have information on when fishing license classes are scheduled in your area. Check our military information page for links and more information.
Fly and Fishing Shops. One of the best fly shops in the Black Forest is located in Stuttgart-Weillimdorf. The "Fliegenfishermarkt" is an Orvis dealership owned and operated by Peter Ebert. He has a super selection of fly fishing equipment and fly tying materials to include hand made bamboo rods, and can point you in the right direction to find the best fishing in Black Forest. Were talking 52-54 cm Grayling and larger Brown and Rainbow trout in the headwaters of the Donau and Neckar Rivers. They also offer fly-fishing and fly tying instruction.
A favorite fishing store in Bavaria is located in Neumarkt. The "ASM Anglesport" is located 30 minutes east of Nurnberg just off Autobahn 3. Although they only have a small selection of fly fishing gear, the staff is willing and able to assist you in finding a location to fish. Its also relatively close to the Pegnitz River - the premier trout fishery in this part of Bavaria.
Another big name in German fly-fishing stores is Brinkhoff. "Flyfishing Brinkhoff" is located in Mohnesee-Delecke on the north shore of the Mohnesee between the cities of Dortmund and Kassel. They offer a large selection of fly fishing gear, fly fishing instruction, and classes on fly tying.
German Fishing Related Terms.
Ache or Ach - River in Southern Bavaria
Angelrute - Fishing Rod
Angelhanken - Fishing Hook
Angelschnur - Line
Parallelschnur - Level Fly Line
Sinkendeschnur - Sinking Line
Beidseitig verjungte schnur - Double Taper Line
Asche - Grayling
Bachforrelle - Brown Trout
Bachsaibling - Brook Trout
Fliege - Fly
Fliegengerte or Fliegenrute - Fly Rod
Fliegenfisher - Fly Fisher
Fischwasser - Fishing Water
Fliegenbinden - Fly Tying
Fliesswasser - Fast Water or River
Forelle - Trout
Huchen - River Char or Danube Salmon
Maifliege - May Fly
Nymphe - Nymph
Nassfliege - Wet Fly
Regenbogenforelle - Rainbow Trout
Rolle - Reel
Schonzeit - Closed Season
Seeforelle - Lake Trout
See - Lake (as in Hinter-see)
Trockenfliege - Dry Fly
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Revised: July 19, 2005.