Annually, I plan a special fishing trip to a new destination. Traveling to Europe has been a lifelong goal of mine, and luckily for me, European countries all have wonderful fly fishing opportunities. The first person that came to mind when I was planning this trip was prior Team USA Fishing Member, George Daniel. George has fished more in Europe than most people. When posed the magic question, “Where should I go?”, there was little hesitation on his part. He quickly answered “Austria.” His enthusiasm made me certain of my choice. I’ll just say this; I was not disappointed one bit.
Within a week of talking with George, my flight from Newark, New Jersey to Vienna, Austria was set. I researched every river and stream that I wanted to fish and made several excellent contacts that led to some very memorable fly-fishing experiences.
Austria is very unique in the fact that it offers every single fly fisherman, whether they are beginner or expert, the opportunity to have a fly fishing trip of a lifetime.
The Travel and Day One
On the first day of the trip I had major jet lag, plus a two-hour drive through the mountains to the lodge and the anticipation of fishing in a new country made it difficult to sleep. After speaking with lodge owner Eva, we decided that fishing the river Ybbs near the lodge was the best bet. I headed out in the morning with mixed expectations. I didn’t realize how clear the water would be. I have heard some great things about Austria but, similar to the United States, clear water like what I experienced on the Ybbs can at times mean difficult angling conditions, even if large numbers of fish are present. This was not the case. I arrived at the river at six-thirty am and saw more trout and grayling than I ever had in my lifetime. After catching more than enough fish, it was decided to take a nice break for lunch. My rest proved beneficial, since I did not know what would transpire in the next few hours.