The Schwarza (Germany) 


Photo contr. S.Madera

The Schwarza, in the former East Germany state of Thuringia, has its source in the Thuringian forest at about 700 m. of altitude and after 53 Km., in the city of Rudolstadt, it flows into the Saale. We have fished it from the Schweizerhaus locality down to the city of Bad Blankenburg (about 10 Km).

Under normal condition the water is crystal clear. Upstream the village of Bad Blankenburg, the bottom is impressively rich of macroinvertebrates.

In spite of the low altitude, in the upper part the river has got some characteristic of an alpine stream, with cold water and plenty of caddis(and caseless, on the left a Hydropsiche) and mayfly larvae.

Between the Schweizerhaus locality and the bridge of Weidmannsheil the wading is prohibited, here the population of macroinvertebrates is astonishing. The presence of lampreys (left picture) provides a further evidence of the good quality of the water.

Downstream the bridge of Weidmannsheil the wading is again allowed, there is however a very bad feeling when having to walk on the impressive amount of caddis that lie on the stones under the water.

Entering the village of Bad Blankeburg, the caddis covering the underwater stones become less and wading is less "problematic".

Nice trout often dwell right under the small waterfalls created by the barrages. Medium sized dark nymphs ruled during the afternoon.

Right in the middle of the village trout were rising on tiny flies. Not very big trout, at least during the sunny afternoon but we did not have the chance to fish here in the evening.

As the sunset approached, we preferred to fish upstream of the village.

It is here that we could experience hatches of different mayflies and sedges species. The emerging duns mixed up with swarms of spinner of large Ecdyonuridae, Rhithrogena (right picture) and Leptophlebidae (on the left) imagoes in their in their mating flights on the surface. The evening and as well the morning have returned the largest fish. Practically the periods with a climax of insect activity, at least during the warmer months.

At dusk the sky filled up with whirling clouds of insects, a spectacular scene for any fly angler and fish were appreciating it too, even though from a different perspective.

The Schwarza is mostly populated of brown trout, unfortunately the large grayling that used to thrive a few years ago are no longer present but a plan to reintroduce them seems to be on the way. If I could express a wish, a fish way at the Crysophal weir should be built. The fishing permit can be purchased in the tourist office of Bad Blankenburg or in some Hotels, a weekly card costs 50 Euro, a daily permit 15 Euro (year 2009).