Watch more episodes from our video series “Characters”:

Christopher Rownes – Finesse in Movements 

Ari t Hart – The Ree/al Master

Jean-Pierre Vollrath runs the fly fishing school Oberammergau close to the Bavarian Alps in Southern Germany. He has been a fly fisher and mountain hunter all his life. His lifelong goal has been to pass on his passion of fly fishing to people from all over the world. As a young man, Vollrath worked as an outdoor photographer for publications like Outdoor Magazine and brands such as Patagonia. He extensively travelled the American Northwest to discover its vast landscapes. 

His home is Oberammergau close to the Bavarian capital Munich. Even though it’s not as remote as the American West, it’s still a place of incredibly beautiful landscapes and nature. We met Jean-Pierre Vollrath for an interview and spent a day of fishing with him. He studied forest management at the Technical University of Munich. Hence we deep dived into topics such as tourist management in the Bavarian Alps. 

As the city grows, more and more people in and around Munich want to explore the beauty of its surrounding landscapes. Jean-Pierre Vollrath welcomes the fact that more and more people want to get into fly fishing. But he also sees the problems coming along with that. 

Jean-Pierre Vollrath: Preserving the beauty for the future

The region around his hometown Oberammergau is dominated by remote valleys. Rivers such as the Ammer are gems in Western Europe. Prominent fly fishermen such as Charles Ritz fished it decades ago. Today these streams are facing the same problems that most rivers face around the world. Amongst them are deterioration of habitat, pollution and overfishing. Jean-Pierre Vollrath’s goal is to educate people so they can enjoy the sport of fly fishing for generations to come. 

We sat down with Jean-Pierre to talk about the differences of fly fishing since he was a young kid, how the sport evolved and what needs to be done so that fish populations in Southern Germany can recover and stay healthy.