With the recent abdication of our Queen the opportunity rose for a trout trip
to the Möhne river in Germany.
It was our tradition to use the holiday called Queens day for a trip to this river.
As Queens day 2013 was on a Tuesday my boss found it a good idea to close the
company down also on Monday so I had two days off.
As the proprietor of the river also ran a hotel I asked my friend if it would be 
a good idea to a two days fishing package.
It was not cheap but we always did well at the Möhne river.

So arrangements were made and the next day we arrived timely at the hotel.
After check in we immediately headed out for the river and as we were eager
to fish we choose the so called senior citizen stretch of the Möhne river.
The main characteristics where that there was ample room for back cast at that
spot as one bank was a meadow, the other a hillside where the main road was 
located. 
This stretch resembled more a canal as the end was blocked off by a Watermill.
A small bypass left the main river at the end to join the main river behind the mill.
The main reason to fish there was that there were always a lot of fish on that
stretch due to the deeper water.

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I fished a small nymph and within a short time I was in to a good size rainbow
trout that took a small bead-head nymph.
The rainbow trout put up a good fight and even made some nice jumps.
Unfortunately during all the mayhem the barbless hook came out so no fish for me.

It was eerily quiet at the water, although the temperature was rather low and nature
was probably two weeks behind schedule due to the cold winter insects where 
around. 
I spotted Alder flies, small midges and other unidentified insects but nothing was rising.
Even worse I could not spot any fish in the water which would be normal for this spot.
When I fished a streamer I finally got in to a good rainbow and landed the fish.
A little while later I managed to hook a small brown trout.

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In the meantime my friend remained fishless which was a very rare occurrence.
As it was midday we decided to end the slow fishing session and head to one of the local
restaurants for lunch.

At the restaurant we pondered how we would spend the remainder of the day.
As things where so slow I opted to fish the end section of the river where it entered
the Möhne reservoir.
The end often boasted large schools of roach and chub which entered the river from
the reservoir, at least I would be having some action.
My friend opted to fish the upper section of the river with as goal to catch a trout.

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When I entered the lower section I had to pass underneath a bridge where you could
normally spot the chub.
Unfortunately I spotted no signs of live, not a single fish was around.
A little further upstream a deeper pool always held roach and chub but
even there I did not got a single hit.
Maybe it had just been too cold and the fish where still in the reservoir, 
I had no idea .
I continued fishing and after an hour or so I finally got a hit on the fly.

Fishing the four weight with 5x tippet and a size 14 gold bead nymph was
a suitable setup for the coarse fish.
There was however something else at the end of the line, when the fish
flanked I saw that it was a large brown trout.
A rare catch at the end stretch as it was a place I figured was never stocked
because the fish would probably swim right into the reservoir anyway.

The battle was nerve wracking as the strong fish continued to make strong runs.
My full flex rod however dampened every escape attempt , I kept my cool and
in the end could net the fish.
The fish looked like one of the so called lake trout, large fish that live in the reservoir
and head up the river in spring to spawn.
During all the time I fought the fish one of the locals was a spectator on the bridged.
When I released the fish he asked me bewildered why I let the fish go.
I just replied “fish too big” , the spectator figured “oh well it probably does not taste that good then” 
Yeah right 

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For a while I continued fishing the lower section but it was pretty dead so I made a long
walk to the senior citizen stretch where I met my friend.
He had fished the upper section and all he caught was a small brown trout.
Having fished such a long distance his suspicion was that somebody might had forgotten to
stock the river with fish.
With a rather steep day ticket price you would expect to have a good fishery, not in this case.
After sunset the temperatures dropped and we called it a day.
At the hotel we noticed that people where fishing in the so called protection stretch of the river,
this was highly forbidden.

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We wondered what the reason for this anti-social behavior was when we ran into the proprietor
of the place.
Apparently the other angling guests of the hotel had the same experience was we had, very unsatisfied customers.
Now the proprietor had given those people permission to fish the protected stretch which obviously would hold fish.
The word rip-off came floating in my mind.

The second day started with a breakfast in the hotel which was in our minds substandard.
This boasted nothing good for the rest of the day.
We would give the upper section of the river a try but after hours of fishing the only result was 
that my friend caught another small brown trout.

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The senior citizen stretch was visited but it remained pretty lifeless, a few small browns 
followed the streamer I was fishing but no hits.
There were still insects on the water but again nothing was rising.

Time passed and out of pure boredom we decided to have lunch early.
At least lunch was good, as usual at the Al Lago restaurant on the banks of the 
Möhne reservoir.
I decided that the highlight of the day was probably the waitress there, a real looker 

Since the fishing was so terrible my friend wanted to fish the protection stretch since the
other guest where allowed to go there the day before.
I guess the proprietor was allowing this to prevent any negative promotion of his operation.
Well, I would not go for that so I told my friend I would stick it out at the end of the
stretch.
So I entered the lower section again and on this day it was still void of fish.
I waded upstream to a shallow section where I noticed that there were a lot of insects on the
water.
Swallows and other birds where picking up small mayflies from the water.

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There was one single fish rising pretty predictable in front of me.
I tied on a small dry fly and launched my fly towards the feeding fish.
Every time I would do so the fish would stop feeding, when all was quiet again the
feeding would commence.
I figured that due to the shallow water even the landing of the leader on the water would
put off the fish.
I was beginning to fear that I would end the day with a blank and since it was a travelling day the
end was nearby.
I head back to the deeper pool in vicinity of the bridge and made some more futile attempts to
catch chub or roach that where not there.
An hour before sunset I finally got a hit on the small nymph.
From the resistance I knew it was not a roach or a chub, too my surprise another big brown
trout.
I suspected that I had hooked another lake trout and this one was equally strong as the one of
the previous day.
So another tough battle lay ahead for which the outcome was very questionable.
Again I kept my cool and the rod absorbed the runs of the fish.
I was very happy when I finally landed the fish, a perfect chubby brown trout.

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When my friend picked me up for the return journey he could state that he had caught a couple
of standard size browns in the protected stretch.

Although the cold winter might had something to with the minimal results we figured that 
the river probably was not stocked the way it should have been.
Combined with the rather steep day ticked prices and our experience with the hotel we 
concluded that visit might have been the last one to this place. 

Since we no longer have a Queens day as official holiday but a Kings day this might be the 
incentive to start a new tradition on another river where there is a proper balance between the 
fishing and the price you have to pay for it.