Written by: Sam Orvis, Manufacturing Engineer at the Orvis Rod Shop
A couple weeks ago, my wife, Katy, and I fished high in the Swiss Alps with a guide named Kirk who runs Fly Fish Zermatt. When Kirk first discovered that there was a healthy population of trout in the lake, about seven years ago, he decided to lease the lake and has been monitoring and supplementing the fish population ever since. There are lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, and arctic char in the lake, and I did hit a grand slam, although the char was a long distance release!
The fishing was anything but easy, as all of the hold-over and wild fish–there is natural reproduction in the lake too!–were extremely picky and tough to catch. Much of the dry-fly fishing was sight-casting rainbows, trying to lead them by about two feet as they cruised the banks early in the morning. We caught fish on caddisflies early in the morning, and switched over to small streamers in the late morning and afternoon, when bug activity slowed down.
At 8,323 feet above sea level, the lake is fed by glacial water (about 41 degrees), so the fish have plenty of oxygen and even the smaller fish fought extremely hard for their size.
Sam Orvis—No, really, that’s his name (a very distant relation)—is the Manufacturing Engineer at the Orvis Rod Shop, in Manchester, Vermont, where the Helios 3 is made.