Affolderner and Eder (Germany)
It was a sudden arrangement. The weather has been miserable for the all week, the forecasts uncertain. Against all odds, before the end of the day the sun makes it through the gloomy blanket of clouds. That is enough to make the decision. The next morning we are heading north. With rain-swollen rivers our choice fell on lake Affolderner. We have booked no accommodation and we have to search for something at the arrival. Which ends up being easier than expected and cozier than the house by the lake.
The Affolderner lake is a reservoir on the river Eder in central Germany. It functions as storage basin for the local power station. Today a part is a protected bird sanctuary and a part is a fishing area. According to patched up news gathered the last minute from the internet, there were trout in here and even hatches of mayflies and sedges. However in the internet there is everything one wants to find.
The license can be purchased even at the local turist office. It grants the right for fishing the lake and the part of the river Eder that runs between lake Affolderner and the lake Eder. We immediately decide to start fishing in the river. At first glance the river seems really promising. There is a very thick fog, but the water is crystal clear even if the level is high after all the rain.
It does not look productive to fish from the bank as the water is too shallow in the first 10 meter. We have to go wading. Now, this is a tail water, meaning that the dam releases cooled down water from the bottom of the lake into the stream. I fished other tail waters, but here it is like wading in melted ice. I cannot recall having felt this cold after two minutes, neither in the arctic circle nor in the North Sea. Impossible to resist with our light breathable waders. We would require five to 5 to 7 mm. neoprene to fish standing in this water. After two hours and nothing seen, we decide to try to fish the lake.
In the lake we try some casts from the jetty, we see some big chub rising, but catch nothing. The next day we manage to rent one of the two available rower boats and off we go. It is said that even the real mayfly hatch here, but we have seen none so far. Many buzzer midges though.
Eager for bending rods after the blanking suffered on the tail water, each one of us is armed with two canes: a five weight with floating line for the dry fly and an eight weight with fast sinking shooting head for the streamer. In the lake the water is murky, completely the opposite of the clear water we found in the Eder tail water.
Today there is not much movement on the surface. So, I let the streamer explore the depth. After a while I feel a snag, there is a fish. Good that at the end of my leader I mounted a steel trace, it is a nice pike.
It is a nice and healthy fish and after the ritual picture it is released to the depth it came from.
Now the sky got cloudy and close to the branches that stretch into the lake there is some surface movements. Very sporadically some nice fish rise. Once we manage to row close to where we have seen the activity the fish are gone. From the way they rise I could bet they are trout.
It looks like the rising fish is fast moving around the lake, drawing trajectories that we do not manage to intercept with our rowing around. We keep on seeing occasional rises, but we are always too far to be effective.
Before the day ends, only the sinking line and the streamer turned out to be successful. All efforts to catch with dry flies are in vain. The trout of lake Affolderner remain ghosts.
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