Round two here at Hotel Bräurup!
So, here we go again. More than half a year has passed already since our last visit to Hotel Bräurup last autumn. Closed season for trout in between and bad weather in Germany have made the waiting tough.
Now some of you may know that our HQ is based in Germany, not too far from our neighbor-country Austria – meaning, fishing there is (more or less) like fishing local waters, if you take a look on our annual fishing schedule all over the globe.
Our crew for this trip was a little slimmed down due to some unexpected incidents. Peter, Hubertus (from Fishing-King) and Paulo to complete the team took the car over night to be more time-efficient. At 4:30 am, when we hit the first mountain range of the Alps, it started to get light, the sky turned purple and we got the first glimpses of the astonishing scenery. 50 minutes later, Sun and blue skies welcomed us in Austria as we crossed the border… still 2 hours to go, though.
After a quick Check-In at the Hotel and a brief visit to the fly shot to get a quick status report from the local fishing guides, we hopped back into the car to drive up in the mountains, to fish the infamous Finkausee, located at an altitude of ~1400 meters above sea level. On the way, the wind picked up and the sky turned cloudy – this should be the last time (with very few short exceptions), that we would see the sun for this week. On top, the thaw was about to come upon us with some of the spring creeks being high and muddy for that reason and carrying the debris down into the Salzach – the main river in this valley. Fortunately, when you fish the waters of Bräurup it is almost impossible to be weathered out. 130 km of prime salmonide streams and 8 crystal clear mountain lakes give you more than enough possibilities to evade bad water-levels. Most of these mountain creeks rise from the nearby mountains, which means they recover quite quickly from any kind of rain-caused high water.
Due to these, lets say semi-optimal weather conditions, we couldn’t follow a mapped out plan for the week, but rather went day-by-day depending on the daily forecast. And towards the end of our week, we got a frosty surprise by the Ice Saints, a weather-phenomenon, where the temperatures drop close to the freezing point, taking place mostly in the second week of may.
And the fishing? Well, I would be damned to say the weather gave us a hard time 😉 Except for the sudden drop in temperatures, which indeed affected the behavior of the fish, we had a pretty good week to say the least. Fishing the rivers as long as the conditions allowed made for very good sight fishing with small nymphs for grayling and trout, as well as bigger nymphs in faster and murkier water.
The Krimmler Ache was crystal clear as expected and demanded a more finesse approach. The fish, mostly brookies and browns, line up on the shores here and walking too close to the bank will spook most fish before you even see them. In the deeper runs, you’ll always fing good amounts of grayling that are looking for a passing snack.
On the rainier days, we switched to fishing the lakes, where we encountered great sight-fishing for trout (lake-run and regular browns), brookies and even grayling in the inlets. Peter even managed to trick a pike into eating his 13 inch tube fly.
Unfortunately, Hubertus was put down after three days by a sudden tonsillitis and had to enjoy the warm hospitalities of Hotel Bräurup’s great staff for three whole days…wellness and roomservice, not too bad either when it’s raining outside.
After all, it – again – was an amazing 6 days fishing, with outstanding service and fantastic cuisine that welcomed us each day in the hotel. For that, we want to thank the good guys of Hotel Bräurup: Matthias and Helene Gassner, the utterly friendly hotel-staff as well as Udo and Arthur for their fishing intel and service in the fly shop! Thanks to the huge amount of opportunities, and the close proximity of all different water bodies, we could get the maximum out of our time being there…