Fly Fishing the Aare in Switzerland – Barbel on the Nymph

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After having fished some small streams in Switzerland, Claudio and myself decided this time to go fly fishing the Aare.


The Aare is one of the larger rivers in Switzerland. The main source lies in the Bernese highlands and pours into the Rhein close to Koblenz. There are various fish species in the Aare: Trout, barbel, chub, grayling, pike and some more whitefish. Therefore, the river offers good opportunities for fishing. However, due to the fact that it is a major river system in Switzerland with a divers fish population, the angling pressure is apparent. Subsequently, the abundance of fish species is drastically reduced, because catch and release is not enforced, although it is allowed under certain circumstances. In particular the trout population suffers severely under this deficiency. Even tough every year many stocked trout are released by the local fishing clubs, the numbers are still declining.

The Aare in Switzerland
The Aare in Switzerland
Getting ready for fly fishing the Aare in Switzerland
Getting ready for fly fishing the Aare in Switzerland
The Aare in Switzerland while fly fishing for barbel
The Aare in Switzerland while fly fishing for barbel
Drone footage while fly fishing the Aare in Switzerland
Drone footage while fly fishing the Aare in Switzerland

Not only Claudio joined this fishing trip, but also Jan did. Early in the morning, we ventured to the river, where we prepared ourselves and I took some drone footage. Arriving at the river, we saw that the water looked superb although the level was a bit low. Claudio rigged his European nymphing rod, while Jan put his spinning gear together. Simultaneously, I shot some more footage and started fishing with an indicator-nymph rig.

Claudio french nymphing the rapids of the Aare river in Switzerland
Claudio french nymphing the rapids of the Aare river in Switzerland
Jan and Claudio fly fishing a promising looking run in the Aare in Switzerland
Jan and Claudio fly fishing a promising looking run in the Aare in Switzerland

About an hour later, Claudio had a bite in the deep rifle. Luckily, my drone was already airborne and I could take some fantastic footage. Claudio landed the fish with his usual aplomb. It was a gorgeous barbel with stunningly golden flank.

Claudio in the drill with a decent barbel from the Aare in Switzerland
Claudio in the drill with a decent barbel from the Aare in Switzerland
The golden Barbel from the Aare river in Switzerland
The golden Barbel from the Aare river in Switzerland

We continued our journey upstream and stopped to have a barbecue for lunch. We had a great time, yet the fishing was rather slow. Despite a grayling, which I hooked accidentally, we had no more contact to any fish.

Jan fly fishing the Aare river in Switzerland with an indicator nymph rig
Jan fly fishing the Aare river in Switzerland with an indicator nymph rig
How many mayflies do you spot?
How many mayflies do you spot?

Summary about fly fishing the Aare

Nevertheless, we had a splendid time together and I am looking forward to fish with Jan in Sweden and with Claudio somewhere else again.

 

Have you been fly fishing in the Aare in Switzerland? What is your experience?

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