Gold rush in France, sight fishing for zebra trout and grayling on the Albarine

Two years have passed since the last time we went to France to fish the gorgeous zebra trouts of the Albarine.

The call of the clear water river was so strong that last Wednesday, we decided, Mathias and me, to go meet her again.

We arrived at about 2:30 am at the campsite with a quick stop along the river. With the urban lights and the crystal clear waters of the river it was easy to spot the first trout rising in the middle of the night.

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After having spent a short night, we are going to buy our fishing licences at Jean-Louis’s bar. He is the owner of the “Grand Café” at Tenay, if you pass by there one day, you can’t miss it.

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Pains aux chocolats, croissants, coffee, orange juice and we are finally ready to chase the trout and grayling of the river.
Like always, the first hours are really difficult. The really educated fish let us understand that we are at the end of the season and that we will have to do better to seduce them.

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The day goes so fast that we eat at 3:30pm… We discuss about our numerous misses, refusals but also some catches ! At the end of the day we drink a good fresh beer with our friend Tony. By the same occasion, we plan the barbecue of the next day evening.

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During our first day we caught a dozen of fish. ( trout & grayling )

The second day, we directly notice that our casts and lay down are already more precise and that it’s fishing a lot better. We decide to move often in order to find spots where the fish are more active. In mid afternoon, in a no-kill stretch where the vegetation is very important, we manage to catch a few fish in a row. Some really nice sight fishing actions…

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The technique was to cast the fly not to far from the spotted fish without spook it and to let down our small gammarus pattern to the bottom. After, at the right timing we had to animate to trigger a reaction of the fish who was taking the fly or was refusing it before going back to its hiding. The fishing day ends at 6:30 pm because we are being waited at Tony’s place.

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Result of the day, we approach 10 fish per person.

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When arriving in its street, we could already smell the grill… There was a ton of food to eat and drink… We spent a really pleasant evening with him and his family and after midnight, we decided to return to the campsite. I don’t know why, but it was hot this night… I think that the last bottle of Italian alcohol could be the reason…

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Saturday, our last day on the Albarine… Sad to say but these Rodtrips always end too quickly. In the morning, I met some success with quite many fish… Maybe that’s because of yesterday’s boose… For Mathias it was really the opposite, every fish escaped ; that’s probably because of the boose too… During the afternoon though, many fish get caught either with dries or nymphs.

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Before hitting the road again we enjoy a great evening hatch. Fish are rishing & nymphing like crazy but it’s not always easy to find what they eat. In the end, we get several trouts on tiny spents. I will end on a little bat. No worries, she got out with no problem. We finish this day with not far from 30 fish.

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What a great time we’ve spent on the Albarine. Fish are hard to catch but also incredibly beautiful…  We  are already looking forward to coming back next year !

And, wait a minute… I forgot a major detail. Decidedly we really enjoyed our friend Tony’s wine… During Friday night’s barbecue, we decided to go and try another river « La Loue » on Sunday.

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So then on Saturday evening, after a long fishing day we hit the road again for 2h30 and arrive in one of Ornans’ Camping at one o’clock in the morning.

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After a very short night, the first objective is to find a bakery and the restaurant which delivers fishing licenses. To sum up, from 9 a.m to 11.30 a.m we strolled from one side of the city to the other, finally ending up both feet in the waters of the much talked about Loue.

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After moving through several sectors, we find at last a calm spot with a very nice profile but sadly we only have two hours of fishing left to go, in a river that we don’t know at all. That is not what we were expecting… Despite all this, we manage to catch 7 gorgeous trout whose 4 fish above 40cm. Zebra trouts with golden yellow colorings ! We couldn’t have ended our french trip better !

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As you should have noted by now, we really fell for that river…

See you next year folks !

Math & Jérem

 

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