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Flyfishing small streams on the Dutch / German border.

Flyfishing small streams on the Dutch / German border.

Chub from a small stream on the Dutch / German border / Flyfishing small streams / Dry fly fishing / Mayfly
Chub

Introduction

The idea behind this site is to document my flyfishing exploits.
Living at the Dutch / German border in Enschede offers interesting  fishing opportunities.

The streams over the border are well suited to flyfishing.
That good fishing resulted in memberships of German fishing clubs so
I could have access to several small streams.
The major attractions are chub and dace but with in addition brown trout.

Allthough I prefer to fish small rivers saltwater flyfishing has always been of interest to me.
Saltwater flyfishing for me ranged from searun browns in Denmark, Stripers and Bluefish in Rhode Island to several different species of saltwater fish in Florida.

Small stream Dutch / German border / Chub / Dace / Roach / Barbel / Brown trout / Asp
Local stream

The water

Most of the small streams entering the Netherlands at the eastern border with Germany originate from the remnants of a bay from the cretaceous period. The streams I fish are mostly straightened watercourses allthough some parts are still more or less untouched.
These streams have a high fluctuation in waterlevel as they are for the most part dependant on rainfall.
The streams are lowland streams with sediment consisting mostly of sand with some sections made up of sandstone.
Man made obstructions like weirs and watermills have made the streams impassible for migrating fish.
Due to the EU guidelines many weirs have been removed in recent years while others have been made passable for migrating fish.
I have not seen any migratory fish myself yet but have heard stories of other anglers who did encounter them.

The fish

The species of fish available in the streams I fish varies widely.
Upper reaches often hold dace, roach and trout.
Further downstream where the streams go wider species like bream, chub, barbel and asps join in with off course pike and perch.
Any section above a weir will have carp roaming the slow moving water.
The fish species I have caught in the stream where: bleak, bream, brook trout, brown trout, chub, dace, gudgeon, perch, pike, rainbow trout, and roach.

Flies

Duo to the limited clarity of the streams my preferred fishing method is fishing small nymphs most of the time.
Besides shrimp the nymphs of caddisflies and mayflies are often found.
There are however always moments where a well fished dry fly is a killer.
Mayflies can be abundant in spring with St.Marks flies (bibio) with caddis flies being a favourite of mine as they always seem to work.
I seldom fish with streamers due to the shallow nature of the streams but sometimes when dryfly and nymph are fruitless a streamer can work.

Equipment

Upper part of the streams often feature a landscape I refer to as the jungle with shrubs and trees everywhere leaving no room for backcasts.
A short rod like 7ft. with a 4-weight line is best.
When fishing with light tippet full flex rod protects the tippet when a larger fish like a trout takes the fly.
On the lower reaches of the streams in the open landscape with high banks a longer 9ft. rod is of advantage.
Wading is not neccesary but handy to cross over to the other bank.

Brown trout from a small stream on the Dutch / German border / Flyfishing small streams / Mayfly fishing
Brown trout from a local stream
Dace from a small stream on the Dutch / German border / Small stream flyfishing / Nymph fishing
Dace
Small stream Dutch / German border / Chub / Dace / Roach / Barbel / Brown trout / Asp
Local stream

Questions? message me in English / German or Dutch.

info(at)marcelkarssies.com

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Germany 12-09-2021

Germany 12-09-2021

Mission big chub almost a success, spotted the chub before it spotted me.
Put the hopper right in its face and waited until the fish gulped the hopper in.
Struck and fish was on.
The fish took me in the weeds but I got it out.
Ready to grab the net and the the hook came out … bummer.

The window of opportunity is slowly closing as fall is around the corner.
Managed a few of the smaller fish and tossed a mini Clouser to an ignoring pike.
Irritated the pike with the hopper until it shot off… I will be back with streamer and trace leader.
Harz mountains 09-2021

Harz mountains 09-2021

With the pandemic ditching many road trips for another year a last minute
decision was made to squeeze in a trip to the mountains.
The goal was to catch a lot of trout as the results on the home waters where
pretty dismal.

Hotels and licenses where booked in advance and nothing stood in the way
of a good trip.
Almost nothing as just a week before I noticed that extreme rainfall in the 
area had swollen the rivers to alarmlevel 2.

We had to expect that we would be fishing high and dirty water.
As part of the stream we would fish was a tailwater and I had been fishing
in such conditions before I was not worry we would not catch any fish.
It would be challenging though….

In the end it all worked out but water was high and off color for all day
of the trip.
Despite that fish where pretty active with the only letdown being the lack
of rising fish despite the presence of many insects.

I fished the squirminator almost exclusively to provide some silhouette 
for the fish in the dark water and that worked out good.
The only time I fished the dry fly was when I noticed rising grayling,
a short lived rise but a few fish where caught.

My goal of catching brown trout, rainbow trout and grayling where all
achieved with as a bonus a brook trout which I had never seen there
before.  The upstream section above the reservoir also yielded the
usual roach that enter the stream from the still water.

Germany 29-08-2021

Germany 29-08-2021

For a change the weather frogs got it right … it rained … a lot.
I checked out the upstream part of the stream hoping to find a leftover trout, didn’t find any …

Now my friends and I had a theory about the lack of trout being caught.
It had not been the first time that the guy responsible for stocking trout
also was the one to clubber them out of the stream the next day with his friends.
No proof of course but this had to be the worst season I had experienced concerning trout catches.

Anyways I tried my best in the rain as the stream started to discolor and rise due to the heavy rainfall.
The fly of choice for these low visibility situations was the squirmy and it attracted a lot of bites.
Alas only bites from gudgeons … smallest bottom feeder in the stream that usually grabbed the tail
and hanged on till the last minute like little pitbulls.

The plus of the murky water was that even in the shallows you could approach the fish close.
Some spots also yielded dace and a couple of small roach but no trout.
Plenty of action but no good fish to be found at the spots I visited.

When I got enough of the gudgeon bites I headed straight to the pub for dinner.
The pub was void of the usual bikers and day trippers due to the weather.
I did ran into my fishing buddies though … they also had seen no trout on another stretch.
The highlight of the day sure was not the fishing but the dessert, waffles with ice cream and hot cherries…

Germany 21/22-08-2021

Germany 21/22-08-2021

2021 … the Summer that never was … 

With the pandemic in place the pressure on the fishing water was greater than ever.
Lockdowns and border closings meant I missed the start of the trout season.
When travel was possible almost all trout where cleared out.

I tried my luck at with the chub but unlike last year it rained a lot and the streams carried a lot of water unusual for summer time.
The days with nice weather caused other troubles as apparently some tour operator had started canoeing trips on the little stream. Loud people … empty floating beer cans every where and no fish anymore.

Last week I tried my luck again in off conditions and managed only 1 chub on the hopper on Saturday. 
I had some shots at other fish but no solid hookups other than that one fish.
It was a day saver and the first time that I have actually seen a chub jump out of the water during a fight.

The Sunday was predicted as a full rain day but I figured you will not catch any fish if you are not at the water.
Off course it did not rain all day …
With the rain in mind I choose to fish the upper section of the stream where chub where absent.
The quarry would be either dace, roach or small gudgeons.
I fished a yellow/orange perdigon that yielded quite a few fish from the shallow water.

Still the lack of trout bugged me and so a little poaching was in order.
I was absolutely sure that one spot would hold a trout but it was a no fishing section.
As I knew the owner of the property and it was late in day I tried that spot.
A small deeper pool with a good flow that always held fish.
At first I fished the perdigon and got hits from the small dace and gudgeons.

There was a trout in there and little flies would not convince it for a take.
I broke out the squirmy and after a dozen or so runs trough the pool I hooked up.
I was now connected to a decent trout on the four weight glass only connected with light tippet and a barbless squirmy worm.
The fish was strong and after the second jump I was not sure if I could land the fish.
It took patience and in the end I could safely land the fish.

Germany 25-07-2021

Germany 25-07-2021

“You should have been here yesterday” was the motto of the day.
Yesterday thunderstorms where predicted so i skipped fishing.
The storm came in the evening so in hindsight I could have gone fishing without any issues.
Rain was plentiful in the evening/night and it blew out out the streams I was allowed to fish in.
There was clear water in the stream I could not fish, go figure.
 

After some sightseeing on the hill and the observing tower pub time came early.
When I finished lunch I braved the brown floods as I could not leave without catching a fish.

The only fly that could work was the squirmy and when I finally found a pool with some calmer water I got a few bites.
A small roach and dace where more than welcome in these off conditions.

Still waiting for stable Summer weather but that is not forecast for the near future.

Germany 18-07-2021

Germany 18-07-2021

With summer in full swing and harvesting going on the best time for chub fishing is near.
If only the weather would be more stable things would be easier.

Mission big chub was a fail once again as I messed up the only chance at a big fish.
Although some of the banks where finally mowed the high and murky water prevented me from spotting any fish.
A few small ones went for the hopper anyway though.

I had three shots at one big chub. In the first and second cast the fish would follow the fly but hesitated to grab it.
At the third shot I launched the hopper with a splash in the water and the fish followed and tried to take the fly.
Tried as I lost my cool like usual and struck to early … will the hurting never stop…
But we will try again with mayflies, hoppers and the odd crane fly imitations.

Anyways a nice day to be out and about.

Germany, 10&11-07-2021

Germany, 10&11-07-2021

Last Saturday was predicted a 100 percent rain day by the weather guru’s.
It actually stayed dry all day and I even got a tan in the end.
Once again I tried to fool the chub and even had some new weapons in my armory.
Besides the large abstract hoppers I usually fished I decided to try a more natural and
smaller pattern hoping to fool the wary fish.

It was tough again to even get to the water which was btw very murky.
This summer is completely different than last one, unstable weather with a
constant supply of water.
The water just was not as clear as last summer.

I tried some of the known spots and noticed a few fish in the murky water.
The first reaction to the new hopper where promising as it was instantly attacked.
After a few missed bites and one hooked it went quiet … fish gone.
The other spot on the main stream remained fishless.

Next stop the feed, it was clear and had fish in it.
Also big ones but I only nailed one slightly larger fish.
The problem here was the extreme shallow water, dumping a hopper usually meant
all the fish took off.
Noticed one pike in the water but without the proper streamer it was no use trying,
lots of weed in the water with no real depth to make a long retrieve.

With the fish not cooperating I did some sightseeing and took the long road to the pub.
Went for the double cheeseburger this time.

On Sunday I tried the home stretch hoping to find a trout but I hardly found any fish.
The squirmy yielded a small dace from one of the pools and that was it,
The only thing hitting the squirmy where the gudgeons, small bottom feeders that
constantly grabbed the tail section of the squirmy,

I tried some other places but the water was shallow, found a few small dace and
fished a small dun pattern to get some bites.
The pub visit was early as I had hoped that I would find fish surface feeding
in the nearby village.
Alas the surface waters where void of feeding fish, a small pink Perdigon yielded one
roach and that was it.

A cloudy day with some of the clouds looking like thunder heads, it stayed dry though.
Maybe it is time to visit some of the spots that are more off track in order to find fish.

Germany 03-07-2021

Germany 03-07-2021

Another hot weekend day thus again on the quest for a big chub.
This time I tried again at the home waters but I had difficulty finding fish.
Again the banks still overgrown so there was hardly an open space to
find to reach the water.

The feeder stream had visible fish and indeed some of the big boys.
The big mayfly did not work so I downsized to a crane fly pattern.
The cranefly did work as long as it hit the water, free drifting and the fish
showed no interest.
I got two of the smaller fish relatively fast,

I spotted again a pike along the bank, it had seen me first though and
retreated to deeper water.
Further upstream I noticed the big chub and I made a good cast near
them without scaring any fish.
One came up and nailed the fly, I battled the fish successfully but just
before I could net it the fish got off.

Back on the main river I battled the long grass and countless horse flies
to find any fish.
It was really hot and access to the water was virtually impossible due
to the tall grass.
I spotted a few fish moving but not the stationary feeding fish I wanted.
In the mean time the storks where circling overhead, a sign of summer.

I tried the feeder stream on the way back but in the late afternoon all
activity ceased.
Last stop off course the pub, as the clouds gathered and rain and thunder
where predicted I opted to sit inside.

As starters I ordered the Manta platte, a curry sausage with fries.
Next was the salad with baked feta cheese.
Skipped the desert as I was stuffed.
The beer garden had plenty of visitors, amongst them pagans who
ordered the strawberry beer .. beer with strawberry sirup and strawberries
(lady drink).
I made a picture of it otherwise you would not believe what savagery goes
on at this side of the pond.

Germany 25-06-2021

Germany 25-06-2021

Last Friday I went on a road trip to a tributary of the Ruhr river with some palls.
I had fished this river only on two earlier occasions at upstream sections.
When we arrived at the river the first thing we noticed where the large puddles
of water on one of the field roads leading to the water.
It obviously had rained pretty hard quite recently.

Once in the water it showed, visibility low and a strong current pushing along.
The part to fish was the adjacent bank but I went only half way as I did not
know the pitfalls of this river and the current was to strong in my book.
I did some blind casting tossing perdigons and squirmy’s at likeable fish
hideouts but did not got any bites.

There was one place where I noticed a fish, it was a big fish.
That fish made such a racket that I thought it was a Asp but my palls told
me it was resident big trout.
A rather smart one because whatever I tossed near be it streamer, squirmy or
large mayfly it would not fall for it.

The fast current and the lack of success made us relocate to an even wider
section of the river.
My palls had some success with French nymphing but I was not on my a-game.
I tried a calmer shallow section hoping for chub but I only got a few small chub
plus some assorted minnows.

Later in the day the question arose to find an alternative spot but as conditions
where off I rather would stay at the wide section hoping to see some rising fish
sometime.
To my surprise the rising fish came, suddenly fish where popping up in front and
behind me that I had not seen all day.
I quickly tied on a sedge and soon had several good hits and lost a few good fish.

That fast current was something I was not used to so I had some trouble with
getting the line in quickly enough.
A few fish did stick though, trout and grayling.
Just as I thought the bite was really on cloud cover got thicker and the rise stopped.
I was recalled from the water as it was dinnertime so we visited a pizza shop
for a quick bite to eat.

We where back at the water maybe short of an hour to see if a evening rise had
commenced but after checking out two spot we figured it would not happen.
I voted for the option to call it a day due to the high water and the lack of action.
At least I had caught some fish and had a nice day exploring new water.
This was a spot to revisited when the conditions would be better.

Germany 19+20.06.2021

Germany 19+20.06.2021

On Saturday I once again went after the chub, there was more activity and I
had shots at two good fish.
The first big chub had no interest whatsoever for the mayfly I was throwing.
The second big chub was in a school amongst small fish at a feeder just
behind some rocks.

The strong current made a good presentation virtually impossible so I
opted to fish with a heavier streamer.
The streamer landed behind the rock and a big chub plus a small one
raced forward to intercept the streamer.
The small chub was first and nailed the fly.

At other spots I saw fish but could not get them to take the fly.
In the afternoon the heat got to me and I went to the main stream
upriver in the forest.
The shade made it more comfortable to fish.
I had two ferocious attacks on the mayfly by a trout but the fish
missed both and did not return later.

The next day I opted to go after the trout but the weather had turned
as a front with rain, wind and lower temperatures passed overnight.
The stream was up and murky but still good enough to fish.
I opted to fish the squirmy and had many hits from the small gudgeons
that where pretty active in the increased flow.

I hooked a good trout but after a long battle it threw the hook before
I could put the net into action.
Nymphing did not work that well so fished a small blue dun pattern with
a foam post and caught several small dace.

I tried the spot where I lost the trout earlier later in the day.
After many fruitless casts with the squirmy and the mayfly I tied on a
heavy perdigon nymph.
Heavy was the way to go as the fly went deep and yielded an attack of
a trout, a different one than the one I had seen earlier.

Before I left for home I tried to get the first trout out of the pool that I
had lost earlier that day.
I decided to fish a small weighted conehead streamer and to my surprise
the trout I was looking for chased the fly a few times.
The fish did not commit so I called it quits and went to the pub for
dinner.