I grew up in Enns, Austria, right next to the river of the same name. My father took me fishing when I was only 3 years old. My father fished, however, mostly with a lift net and for pike with lures.
I arrived at fly fishing years later when Wolfgang Fabisch held a course in Passau. While participating, I caught (or it is perhaps better to say that the fish hooked itself) a lovely grayling about 35 cm long. From then on, I was infected with the fly-fishing virus.
I started tying flies several years later through a colleague who was also a fly fisher and tied his own flies. Fascinated by fly tying, I drove often to see Harmuth Glowa in Pocking and he taught me the basics.
After visiting the shop of Erhard Loidl and Walter Reisinger during a fishing trip on the Gmunder Traun, I took various fly tying courses from Walter. Afterwards I went for about two years to fly-tying meetings held by Walter at which, for a small fee, mostly 3 to 4 flies were tied under his direction and he revealed a number of “tricks of the trade.”
At one of our German-Austrian tying evenings, another tyer suggested that I should participate at least once in competition. In 2011 I entered the tying competition at the EWF and was able, much to my surprise, to take third place in the dry fly category.
Emboldened, I participated in the Slovenian Open and managed third place in 2013, second place in 2014, and eighth place in 2015, all in the dry fly category.
The flies I tie are only for me or for friends. One of my favorite flies has a knotted body and I give it to good friends, mostly for a birthday or for Christmas.
My fishing is mostly limited to the Austrian-Bavarian area. My home waters are the Ilz near Passau where I have an annual license and prefer to fish with a dry fly for brown trout and for grayling, my favorite. Otherwise, I happily buy day cards for the Steyr, Alm, Gmundner Traun, and Mattig Rivers.