We’ve all heard about it over here, but only few went out to give it a try. The reservoir of Meerheuvel – and yes, for once we can call a Belgian reservoir a real lake for fly fishing – opened its doors for our Rodtrip team on a glacial day in January 2017.
Meerheuvel offers you 52 ha(!) of premium fishing water, and is Belgium’s biggest fly fishing reservoir. It has ginclear water and the bottom is sandy mixed with small rocks, so this means it has an excellent visibility which enables you to see the bottom at depths to 5 metres.
Talking about the quality of the water, it’s actually suitable for drinking, and in case of droughts, its water can be used for human consumption.
The Meerheuvel club owns the right for exploiting a fishery on it only since 2015, and they’ve already introduced 3,5 tons of trout between 800 grams and 1,2 kilos. The trout really thrive in it, because only a week before we went there, an angler took an 80cm fin perfect trout.
Their plan is to stock 2 more tons of rainbows, but also 2 tons of brown trout in 2017. So this club is really not shy of a challenge to promote their passion in Belgium for fly fishermen from all around Europe (The Netherlands and Germany are less than an hour away).
Also planned in 2017, and we could witness the preparation works were already done, is a big pontoon for putting permanent boats on the lake one can hire. Do notice there’s already a new and very safe boat launch for those who own a boat.
And for all visitors it’s nice to know, the parking lot is private, and only accessible for the club’s visitors.
So it’s clear our Meerheuvel friends seem to be inspired by the biggest fly fishing reservoirs in Britain and Ireland, and try to step up a thing or two, to become a worthy hotspot for fly fishermen, whether you’re new in lake fishing or already an experienced fan of it.
So what about the fishing ?
Well, to be short, on the day we gave it a try, we couldn’t have hoped for worse climatic conditions. We experienced all four seasons in one day at an average temperature of about 3°C, and let us tell you: if there were 4 more seasons we probably would have had them too.
But, even in these ‘rotten’ conditions as we’re used to say, we still were able to connect with some of Meerheuvel’s aquatic residents, on a dry fly that is !
We all started off with intermediate to full sinking lines to check all depths to find some trout. But nothing happened, we could occasionally see them moving, but they didn’t want to play yet.
Until suddenly the sun broke through the clouds, and we were able to connect with some nice rainbows, fishing a washing line with small chiros.
It looked like the sun activated the fish during a brief moment, which sadly didn’t last long, so soon after the fish went deep again. And with depths up to 30 metres, it becomes complicated on such a vast lake.
So, we decided to call it a day, but we agreed with the people of Meerheuvel to come back in april, and test the real potential of this beautiful lake.
Interesting too is that this is a club who takes it passion seriously. Every day, at least two members will visit the site to check if everything is OK, and don’t be afraid, they are really nice, and will give you advice with a smile !
Many thanks to the Meerheuvel team !
Should you fancy a trip to Meerheuvel, here are some practical infos :
- Boat or float tube fishing. Wading is possible but not recommended because of the steep bottom.
- Two boats will be available to hire soon (10€/day)
- Presence of a (new) boat launch
- Only electric motors (gel batteries) are allowed because of the drinking water qualities
- This said, keep the water clean of any debris, cigarettes, etc
- Day license 30€, for clubs (min. 6 anglers) 25€.
- Year license 250€ for 25 fishing days. Family year license 350€ for 35 fishing days.
- No-kill fishing for day tickets.
- It’s allowed to keep one fish/day for the people with a year license.
- After having caught (and released) 15 fish, you have to stop fishing that day
- Maximum 3 flies, barbless hooks, no lead allowed (drinking water qualities)
- Contact person : Nico Stulens @ +32 (0)470 38 29 34 or +32 (0)89 81 24 73
- For more details : www.meerheuvel.webnode.be