Act 1. Day of departure
One thousand and two hundred. This is the number of kilometers which separates us from the Catalans Pyrenees and the south of Belgium, for an already amazing looking Rodtrip!
Telling you that it is crazy to drive so many hours to go fishing, would be lying. Such a great time we’ve spent with Mathias inside the car. Each of us driving two hours and switching the wheel untill we finally got there by eight in the morning! The GPS wasn’t lying…
Act 2. We reach our destination
Right after we went down the valley by sinuous little roads, we arrive at the camping. The Serra Camping is situated along the main road through the valley and to our big satisfaction, along the river. Just the time to settle down at the camping and Marc is already there to give us a briefing on the fishing there. He makes us understand that the time isn’t perfect for fishing, that the fish aren’t simple , easy to catch, with the heat not helping our cause. Marc gives us a few more advice and leaves to guide a group of french fishermen.
Act 3. First fishing times
After the precious advice of Marc, we prepare to fish fast water. We decide to fish up and downstream all posts we spot along the camping. Once on the water, it doesn’t take long to get bites we easily miss. Jérémy does hit his first bite and nets a nice trout. This first day of fishing passes by missing a lot of fish. They are very quick, and only give us one shot at the first bite. If you miss the bite, the fish won’t come up anymore. In the afternoon we decide to take a break and rest a little. In the evening we catch some nice trout with a little more succes. At the end of the first day we caught some 15 trout, but lost at least double that amount.
Act 4. End of this first day
After this first day, we know the best is yet to come. It’s high mountain stream fishing which awaits us the next day. When eating we prepare our gear to be ready first thing in the morning, because it’s Marc which will come and pick us up. It’s 22H30 and the fatigue of our trip hits us, and we’re quickly asleep.
Act 5. Second fishing day, guided by Marc
Ola (Hi in Catalan), we’re highly motivated at the idea of spending a day with Marc in a remote and wild environment. We take of in a 4X4 to hit a small catlle road, and where we continue by feet before descending through a wood, and reach the valley. Once at the valley, an incredible scenery is awaiting us : a group of mountain goats is quietly grazing. According to Marc, this is quite rare to see this time of the year.
After getting our gear set, we decide to get to the lower part of this amazing stretch of river, to fish our way back upstream. The first spots for Marc and Mathias are empty, no sign of activity at all. Jeremy doesn’t seem to suffer and starts his day with some very nice trout of about 20-25 cm, which is a nice size on this high altitude river.
We continue together, either fishing one on each side of the river, either one after the other switching spots. Our secret weapon which is a parachute jeck sedge enables us to take more nice fish. The scenery is magnificent and so awesome we’re missing hits, admiring all this beauty. Marc advises and improves our approach and we understand this is a complete different style we’re used to. He thinks we’re doing very well, and he enjoys guiding us.
The fishing continues in the same style we’d left the river to have lunch, with again those nice trout feeding in likely spots. Now we fish switching turns. The spots are again of an out of this world beauty, and the fish cover some distance to hit our flies at the surface. We arrive at our first waterfall.
It’s of an amazing beauty, and listening to Marc’s advice, we manage several trout just below the fall. Some further upstream we arrive in rapids and fishing is over. We take some more fish just below the bigger fall, and say goodbye to Marc, thanking him for this unforgettable day.
After this magnificent fishing adventure, we head back to our campground and enjoy a shower, eat, and of course tie some flies. We keep on tying until midnight sitting in the grass and thinking of this memorable day. Falling asleep isn’t very hard now.
Act 6. The third day is hard
The fishing on our third day is the opposite of yesterday’s. We choose a very nice looking stretch, but there’s no activity at all and the fish don’t seem to be feeding. Around 14h00, no fish taken, with 38°C hitting the thermometer scales, we decide to head back and enjoy our campground’s swimming pool.
We decide to fish the evening rise in the village upstream the campground. It’s a stretch that Marc had recommended the day before. But here too, there’s only timid activity besides some small trout and one good fish. Marc, coming back from a guiding trip, observes us. Night is falling now, and we return to our campground after getting some advice of Marc, on other stretches to fish.
Act 6. Our last fishing day
We start early today and fish the campground’s stretch. We manage to take four trout of about 15-20 cm on a nymph in the morning, which encourages us for the remaining of our day. Around 11h we go visit Marc at his place, and stay there talking fishing for over 3 hours, and tying flies. We say goodbye, thanking him for his good advice and company.
The afternoon’s fishing is good with some fish taken mainly on the nymph. Unfortunately the nice fish aren’t out today. We decide to go back to the campground to eat and prepare for our last evening rise. We push ourselves to fish to the falling of the night, and end our day discussing our journey on the riverside. We already look forward to coming back next year.
Back at the campground, we get our gear together and prepare everything in our car for our trip back home. After coming back from a sanitary stop, we see a guy next to our tents, and to our nice surprise, it’s Marc who comes saying goodbyes and buys us a drink. We end up in the campground’s bar discussing until 00h30.
A last night in our tents and there’s our wake up call. It’s time to hit the road with a feeling of having fished to short a trip. We’re already sure to come back to this beautiful region with it’s beautiful valleys, because this journey was way too short.
Final word :
We really enjoyed this Rodtrip in this unknown region. The Cardos’ valley is a highly recommended fishing destination, if you like this style of fishing. The small rivers are full of wild trout, and the complimentary scenery is out of this world.
We would like to thank Marc for his enjoyable company and his numerous tips on fishing this region.
We’ll be back for sure !
Jérémy and Mathias