A visit to the barber to make yours truly presentable again prohibited a trip to the stream on the other side of the border.
The barber told me that one of my old haunts where I first caught a river fish on the fly had been reworked to
improve habitat and to increase the streams water retaining capacity.

The stream in question had been messed up for a long time but what really did the trick was the work they did in the
thirties when they "improved" the agricultural land.
What they basically did was straighten the stream out and make orderly manicured banks.
With all the work already done in the past the streams total length had become shorter as branches where cut off
and meandering section where pulled straight.
This brought new problems as the flowspeed increased thus causing erosion.
So they build many weirs to slow the water down, off course in those days nobody cared about fish migration.

This past Sunday I travelled to the stream but when I came there it seemed I was a little too optimistic about the progress
of the work being done.
The banks where still barren sand so all the work had been finished quite recently and it would surely have effect
on the fishery, most worrying of all - I did not spot any fish.
It used to be a prime spot for dace but the surface of the water yielded no rising fish whatshowever.

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The old steep banks had been flattened - more natural ... they say.

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The steep weirs replaced by so called cascades - I think the fish will have no trouble with them.

Now it came to fishing ... yes there where fish ... pin fry so small that they where not even able to
sink my size 17 dry fly which I was tossing at them.
Every time I struck some small 5cm dace would fly through the air, only small stuff around.
I eventually tried nymphs and streamers but I came no further than a few missed bites on the nymphs
again from tiny fish.

As I hated blanks I had to think of a plan B and that was to visit one of the feeder streams where I
might have more luck.
The junction of the feeder stream with the main stream would have been good but when I arrived there
the heavy machinery was still on the banks ... which where closed off to the public.
The only hope was than the section of the feeder near the border where a small lake functioned as as
a so called sandcollector - retaining sediment.
Unfortunately the spot was already taken by bait fisherman and as the visibility was nearly zero
I did not think flyfishing would have worked there,
The feeder itself only carried an inch or two of water and was pretty lifeless.
Looking at the shallow water I would have found it more likely to encounter a boa constrictor than a fish.

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Shallow and fishless ... for most parts.

At least the wildlife was interesting at the feeder stream.

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The
feeder stream seemed almost fishless ... almost since the section at the culvert under the
road had some deeper water and shelter.
To my surprise some pretty big carp called the culvert their home.
The carp where moving about at the front of the culvert, untill they spotted me off course.

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Carp at the culvert.

Plan B failed but I still had plan C on offer.
As one section of the main stream near the border with Germany had been redone several years ago
it was feasable that fish would be present there.
The last time I had fished there was more than ten years ago so it would be interesting to see how itA
looked now.
When I arrived at the location I noticed that the easy bank access was gone, it had turned in to a total
jungle.
The brigde over the stream was still present be it in a different form as it was replaced by an arching bridge.
The plus side was that I had an high vantage point from where I could spot a school of smaller dace.
After several missed takes I finally hooked a little dace and my day was saved.

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The catch of the day one little dace, for that I had sweated it out in the heat .... got stung by several
horseflies ... had to tolerate antisocial mountainbikers ... people who let their dogs swim ... andsoforth.

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At certain spots these beasts roam free ... by the dozens.

It was a moment of enlightenment as I realized again why I had done my best to find a decent fishing
spot far away from my hometown.
Next week ... back to the syndicate waters :-)