The Wolf in the Black Forest (Germany) 


Heavy rain has been falling during the all afternoon but at dusk the sky has cleared up. We are now sitting in front of a weizen bier, enjoying a large portion of tasty Schwarzwälder ham, aware that we'll be fishing for the coming two days. The next morning some clouds still hang over the trees but there is no rain in sight and the water is perfectly clear.

A blue sky shows above the gentle slopes of the mountains. The stream is here 3 to 10 meters wide and it is a succession of runs and deeper pools.

I decide for a heavy nymph and start exploring the fast running water. I catch a series of strong brown trout, between 20 and 30 cm. in size. The "livery" of some of them reminds me the tiger-trout of some french chalkstreams.

I keep on catching trout while moving downstream, they are in perfect condition with large intact fins, all perfect healthy fish.

After fishing a couple of hours I come across my friend, who had begun to fish downstream of me. He has been fishing only with dry flies and he has caught as many trout as I, even a 40 cm one. Most of the time he has been using a large yellow foam grasshopper that turned out to be "deadly".

In a deep green pool crossed in the mid by a strong current, I glimpse a large shadow. I mount a green nymph with a big chartreuse tungsten beadhead and let it sink. After a couple of tries I think I have a snag..

..but after few seconds the fish starts to pull across the current. It is a strong big barbel that sticks to the bottom. It engages me in a fight to the limit of my 0.14 leader that last 20 minute.

After releasing the barbel, I decide to let the pool rest for a while and cast the nymph a dozen meters upstream. I catch another nice barbel then I swap the green nymph with a striking-red collar one. I sink the new nymph in the previous pool and hook another big barbel. This time I have a 0.18 leader and can end the fight after few minutes but what a strong fish...

While I have been till now fishing only with nymphs, my companion proved that 'hunting' with the dry fly has remained productive throughout the day. In the evening some fish rise and imitations of small gray olive duns become quite effective.

The Wolf is in this section a small stream. Fishing requires extrem care, avoid porjecting shadows over the banks, the cast is often performed by kneeing, keeping as far away as possible from the water. Following the correct tactics will reward you with nice fish.

The stretch is about 4 km long (info 2011). Fishing permits are available in the local tourist office in Oberwolfach. Permits are issued only to fishermen who stay overnight in a hotel within the municipality of Oberwolfach. Pensions or hotels issue a turist card that one has to show in the turist office while purchasing the license.