Yesterday I went on a short trip to the Harz Mountains with fellow flyfisher Harry.
Since it was a long drive from our home we left a day earlier and stayed in a hotel near the river for the night.
Before breakfast we slipped out the hotel for some early hours fishing.

In the early morning it was raining steadily.

It was raining so insect activity was almost zero and there where no rising fish to be seen.
Since we had visited this river several times in the past we knew fish where everywhere so it was just a case of convincing them to take the fly
I did not receive many hits but the fish I finally landed was of untypical size for this small river, it was quite large.

Nice brown trout

After a hour or two fishing we headed in for a good breakfast.
We made plans for the rest of the day and checked out.
A normally off limits stretch of this river upstream from the large reservoir was opened this season.
That newly opened stretch was a grayling water and since I had not caught a decent grayling all year it was the spot I wanted to visit.

On the road to our second destination.

We hit some snags while we where on the road to the second destination.
The main road to the upstream section was closed due to some road works.
Since there where no barriers placed we gambled and hit the road anyway.
When we had to pass underneath a railway bridge we found the reason of the road closure.
Workers where putting up scaffolding in the middle of the road to do work on the bridge.
Luckily we could slip by just in time before the road was blocked altogether.

We had some trouble find the spot we where supposed to park our car. 
To enter the water we had to find an abandoned soviet army base.
When we came across a pedestrian I was singled out to ask for directions.
Normally not a problem but I was not feeling that well so I replied that I was
about to feed the fishes my breakfast.

I was feeling seasick and so I ran to the bridge over the river and fed the fishes, not a pretty sight. 
After clearing my stomach I was good to go and within a couple of minutes we drove on a very bad dirt road towards the former army base.
I hit the water and within minutes I had contact with the fish species a came for, a nice grayling.

Grayling nr. 1

I had never been to this part of the river so I was excited to see all the beautiful spots along the stream. With no roads in the valley it was very quiet, the only audible sounds where coming from the birds of prey and the ravens.
One thing worried me though, large areas of the forest floor where dug up and it was not done by humans.
Tracks in the mud made it clear to me that this place was frequented by wild boar, lots of them so I treaded carefully. 

Nice spots.

I was fishing with my regular nymphing setup, Harry on the other hand was using his tactics he learned in the Czech republic.
Since I was always jokingly referred to his style of nymphing as dredging he decided to give a small demonstration.
In spots where I managed to catch one of two fish he caught at least ten.
I tried his setup for a short while and learned that I could register far more strikes than I would have with my gear, a valuable lesson was learned.
Next time I would have to organize a rig like he used.

I started fishing again with my gear and managed to catch a couple of grayling along the way.
The grayling where of reasonable size, the Brown trout I encountered where all very small.

More grayling.

As I walked downstream I noticed the mud deposits on the riverbank.
The river widened and slowed down so I figured that I had hit the entry of the large reservoir. 
It was still possible to wade into the beginning of the reservoir but with every step you took clouds of silt stirred up.
Fish where rising and I got one hit on a dry fly, still rises where far and between so we decided to visit the river upstream again.

At the reservoir.

In the afternoon the weather clear and now and then the sun peeked through the clouds.
We fished until the evening, during that time I managed to catch one larger grayling and a couple of tiny Brown trout.
Before we left the Mountains we visited one of the local restaurants for a good meal to jeep us going for the home journey.
As usual it was time well spent.