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After the flood just before the season opening at the Alpine River Rhine, I was quite sure that most of the rainbows must have left the river system in direction to Lake Constance. However, I tried my best to not give in and fight the cold to get the chance to run into one of the big lake resident rainbows which might have still stayed in the river. The fishing was poor the first days and after 2 days with temperatures above zero the cold came back which made the water level drop a bit. Snow in the mountains and icy weather with temperatures around -3°C, what could be better for a great day at the river? I hate clearing the guides from ice, but I don't like to stay at home as long as the chance for a big rainbow is given. On Valentine's Day the waiting was over. I was fishing in a lower stretch of the Swiss part of the Alpine River Rhine in Diepoldsau. A strong fish took my nymph and made my 10ft. #6 LOOP rod bend like hell. It started an incredible fight which ended 40 minutes later and 500 m downstream. The fish was too big to be landed with my landing net so thanks to a very small but shallow pocket between the rocks at the river bank I was able to beach the big lady. She mesured 79 cm in length and weighed 6.8 kg. This fish was by far the heaviest rainbow of the last years and for sure the heaviest fish ever landed from a fly angler. The nymph once more turned out to be the best choice for big ones! If you speak German, please go on reading here for more details or check my German page for more details.

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