Friday, November 7, 2008
Away this week fishing in France. For the past few years we have travelled to France at Easter and during Autumn half term for a week fishing with another family, two dads and two boys fishing, Two Mums and two girls shopping and spending money. Initially we fished a few Commercial Carp waters with some success catching many double figure Carp and Catfish but now fish the public waters on a “Carte de Pace” which allows you access to a huge amount of water in a particular region. This year we have fished twice in the Indre region concentrating on the River Creuse, Our week at Easter was spent on Lac du Eguzon at the head of the Creuse, a man made lake of some 700 acres or more it is very deep and ends in a dam over 70 metres high. It has held several eliminators for the French National Carp championship and is very popular with he French Carpistes, it is also one of the hardest waters we have ever fished in some of the worst weather. This week we concentrated on the central Creuse at Tournon St Martin, having seen what water released from Eguzon could do to the fishing on the Creuse we had a few alternative venues on stand by principally the Anglin, the Claise and a municipal Carp lake. The river was low and full of fish, looking off the bridge in Tournon we could see many Chub, a double figure Carp and over a hundred Barbel between three and five pounds, there was also an incredibly enterprising One armed French fisherman who held his rod in his hand and reeled in with his teeth, he fished three rods and landed several fish. On previous trips to other tributaries of the Loire, namely the Cher and Vienne the fishing has improved as the week has progressed as the fish have found our baited areas, this gave us a chance to look at the many Parcours de Peche situated in our area that we were able to fish. Several upstream had produced Carp to over forty pounds and Catfish to one hundred and forty pounds although with the river down to its bare bones we stuck to the fishing in Tournon. The Parcours de Peche are municipal stretches of the river that can be fished on a Carte de Peche. They often have picnic tables, toilets sometimes showers and it is often possible to drive very close to your swim. The stretch we fished was around forty yards wide to a depth of twelve feet. We caught many Chub to four pound, Barbel to six pound and Carp into double figures although the really big fish eluded us until the last night when one of the boys lost a fish that would have pushed thirty pounds. We saw Coypu, Muskrat, Otters and a many different types of Birds. We stayed in a house a mile from the river, surrounded by woods and ponds that echoed to the sound of Frenchmen shooting Ducks and Chasing Boar. The Creuse has huge potential for Coarse fishing and if it was situated in the South of England would be syndicated to Clubs from top to bottom, likewise the Cher where we all agree we have had our best ever river fishing, catching over a hundred pound of Chub, many Barbel and Bream, and River Carp to eighteen pounds that were shaped like torpedoes and had never been caught before. Two years ago we forsook the Loire for a week further south on the Lot, caught the ubiquitous Chub and Barbel and saw Common Carp in the centre of Cahors well over forty pounds before hauling a few of the monsters out ourselves to twenty six pounds. Like the Creuse, the Lot has several barrages in its upper reaches that can release water and disrupt the fishing so it is best to have a few alternative venues on standby. The Vienne was a little disappointing although fishing in the centre of Chinon with the medieval castle as backdrop was spectacular. My fishing friend who has a super fast internet connection likes to get on Google earth before a trip and pick a few swims, before our trip to the Vienne he highlighted a gravel spit where the Vienne entered the Loire as a good spot to start with and a central island a good feature to fish to. On arriving at the likely spot we found that the gravel spit was nearly half a mile long, the island a speck on the horizon in the middle of the Loire and the water chugging through at an incredible pace; It is a huge river that drains half of France, many of its tributaries would be considered big rivers in the UK and the whole system is full of fish.