The guys from the fishing club had planned a trip to the Eifel region, basically the part of Germany
that is adjacent to the Belgian Ardennes area.
Since I already had a few fishing trips on my sleeve and a upcoming trip to Rhode Island planned I declined the offer to join them.
It looked like it would get busy at work so I did not take the chance to ask for more time off.
When I discovered that it would be quiet at work for some time I decided at the last minute to join the trip.
The first destination would be the Rur river at the village of Blens.
Two of our party had already fished there last year during the summer and had good results.
Since the hotel was full we got the rental house on the other side of the street which was nice.
The first day of our trip was purely a travel day, after 3,5 hours we arrived at the village of Blens and off course
the first thing we did was park the car and walked to the bridge over the river to see if we could spot any rising fish.
We did not stop at the hotel though but ran straight to the end of the stretch we where allowed to fish.
Halfway at that spot the river would make a s-curve, at that curve there was a deep hole.
A cross at the roadside was placed in remembrance of an unlucky soul who died there due to an accident in 1881.
Lokal folklore stated that the man in question in was drunk at the time and ran his horse drawn carriage
right in that deep hole to be never found again.
A nice tall story although the divers of the local fire department estimated that the hole would be 40 meters /
120 feet deep, enough to swallow man and horse I guess.
“Pray for the soul of the Joseph Kühl ,born on the 4th. Of Mai 1881, who crashed here on the 13th. Of July 1881.
Watch and pray because death will come to you at an hour you do not suspect.”
After our little sightseeing trip we headed to the hotel and occupied our rental house.
We would not fish this day, instead we went to the hotel’s restaurant for some good German food and
of course some fine wheatbeers.
The next morning we would visit the river well before breakfast for a short fishing session.
The part of the Rur river we would fish was located behind the Rur reservoir at Heimbach.
This meant clear water with a constant temperature and a quite steady flow of 7.5 cubic meters per second according to
the measuring station at the reservoir.
In the early morning we headed to the river when it was still dark outside.
The river looked good, mist was still hanging in the valley and over the cold water.
I had some difficulties coping with the fast flow and the wide river, not a place I was used to.
What disappointed me was the total lack of visible fish, I already was told to fish into the adjacent bank
but somehow I did not got a single bite.
The guys who had visited this river last year had fished there with a guide and that obviously paid
off since they managed to catch a few fish.
I scouted a large stretch of the river but it was to no avail, in the end I decided to join the other guys
to see how they where faring.
Tom told me he had seen a rising fish near the bridge but could not get it to take his fly
and suggested I might have a go at it.
I decided to launch a klinkhamer dry fly at the spot mentioned and behold after a few drifts a trout sticked
it’s head above the surface and took the fly.
Luckily skunk was avoided, the brown trout was a pretty specimen with a nice dark brown coloration.
When we left for breakfast Tom had six fish, Alfons five and Joop and I both one fish.
According to the other guys the water was slightly higher than usual but not extremely high.
We settled in the restaurant of the hotel for breakfast and would visit the stream later in the morning.
The afternoon session was tough, we fished downstream from the bridge and had a hard time
getting into the water because of the steep banks.
I could not get a single hit on the fly even though I fished a lot of places that would have to hold the one or the other fish in my book.
The other guys did not fare well better and I must confess that I felt a bit disappointed that a water with
such a heavy price tag for a permit would not yield more fish.
The icing on the cake came when my wading staff decided to lead a life on its own.
The staff was new and came with a warning in the manual that some people had lost their staff due to a
faulty connection on the line that secured the staff to the holster.
Off course I checked that connection as suggested in the manual but it still came loose and so
I stood there in the full current without my wading staff.
I had to think quick to avoid a swim in the cold water and made my way to the bank,
picked up a suitable wooden stick and secured it to a line.
I made my way downstream until I was at the S-curve where Joseph Kühl plunged to his death in 1881.
I found that close to that abyss there was a rock ledge where you could walk on.
I crawled along the willows of the bank and positioned myself on rock ledge so I could reach that
single rising fish that was located near an otherwise unreachable deadfall.
I did get a good shot at the fish and voila, the fish took the fly.
The problem was that the fish was rather small in my book, I tried for some bigger trout but could not find them.
While fishing Joop radioed in that the water levels had risen quickly, we also noticed that a lots of debris where floating by.
When I met the other guys at the river we decided to take a break and go for dinner to the restaurant.
We told the story of the increased flows at the hotel’s owner who stated that the people at the reservoir would inform him
on time if they would release water.
So a call went out to the reservoir, and indeed extra water was released “turbine cleaning“ so they told us.
We where directed to a second spot by the hotel owner that would surely yield fish in the evening so after dinner we headed way upstream.
The water was still running high though and the fish where nowhere to be seen.
In a last ditch effort we headed back to the abyss after sunset in the hope of catching more fish.
Only Tom managed to get more as he spotted some rising fish in a spot that was difficult to reach.
When it was to dark to see the fly we called it quits.
We retreated to our rental place and discussed the plans for the next day.
There was an option to fish a second day on the Rur river but with these results and the hefty permit price we skipped that option.
Calls where made to our plan B spot at the Kyll river in Kyllburg where we would rent a cabin on the local camping.
To be continued…