Thursday, 26 November 2009

Roger Coombes Oct 09.

Roger Coombes asked me to organize a holiday for him in October because he had so enjoyed the May trip. Well I could not think of a better compliment. Unfortunately neither Nick nor Tony could get away so it was just Roger and myself. Although I had heard that autumn had been dry in Brittany I must say I was still surprised and disappointed just how low and clear the Blavet was. While driving through Pontivy on our first day we spotted several anglers on the far bank. Just the fact that they were so close together and appeared to be floatfishing made me think they were English. Sure enough they were a very pleasant group of 5 from Kidderminster. They told us that they had struggled on the early part of the week and were sure that it was river conditions making fishing difficult. Further conversation led to them telling us that they have been coming to the region for a number of years and had enjoyed excellent sport. Although this trip had been a struggle. Today, however had been much better with excellent roach fishing and odd bream.

A bream for the Kidderminster lads!

Roger and I decided that as it was our first day we would just drop into Clegeurec on the way home for a few hours on the lake Pontoir. Roger fished the feeder for 2 hours with little response while I caught roach steadily on the pole. In 3 hours I had 10lbs of redfins which was fine and Roger switched to the whip and was getting a fish a chuck in the last hour.

A decent net of redfins and Roger's best shoes!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Canal du Centre

I have to say that this is possibly one of the most uninspiring venues that I have fished in all the times I have been to France. Certainly it was in this area , 20 metres wide featureless and piled both sides with a busy road running alongside. I only fished it because it was convenient. After 3 hours on the pole I managed 1 skimmer and 16 of those wretched poisson chat. That was enough for me. This was my last session on this holiday and the bait was getting dodgy by now , also I'd done a lot of fishing. A few points of interest .The Rr Saone is a huge river and I think will need a long session to get fish in the swim and feeding. I sort of regret not giving it a go but bait was an issue. The weather had been great for sunbathing but only on the last day did we get any rain. I will leave you with some idea why these poisson chat are such great colonisers of venues. I must have packed up on the last session about 7pm and thought I'd emptied my net.I left the net out to dry until noon the following day and in full sun during the morning. When I came to pack the net away I noticed a poisson chat hitched on about 2 rungs up . oops sorry mate! To my amazement it was not just still alive but within minutes of being put in water it was absolutely chipper, swimming around like nothing had happened. I returned it to home that afternoon. It deserved to live!

Not the best looking venue.

The great survivor

Thursday, 19 November 2009

St Aubin sur Loire

The Rr Loire fascinates me, just the power and size of this river is so different from the rivers that I normally fish. I have often wondered what the river would be like a bit nearer to its source. With this in mind we set off for St Aubin sur Loire. The first frustration is access, some great looking swims but difficult to get at. Eventually we did find some fishy looking swims and I picked the best of them and set up on the feeder hoping for barbel & chub. Lady Morgan set off for the shops and all seemed set fair, even the temperature had dropped a little. The river here is still about 50 metres wide but its all within defined banks and less of a flood plain. There were plenty of bleak topping but few good fish. Also did not see any mullet. After about an hour I had a skimmer followed by 7 bream to 4lbs plus more skimmers and a roach. This was decent fishing but I really wanted barbel & chub so I was a bit disappointed. Lovely swim , lovely river! I,d love to come here again one day

What a swim!

These are ok but I really would like some chub & barbel.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

loire & Saone Rr Grosne

Its a long time since the last blog ( too busy fishing ) I had moved down to the Loire & Saone region and after a look at the Rr Grosne I decided to give it a bash. Well I'm just not prepared to judge a venue in these conditions. The sun beat down from a cloudless sky and the wind was from the north. 3 suicidal chublets of 6ozs apiece spared me from the dreaded blank. But the river was gin clear and barely moving. A glass of the local white was a far more interesting prospect so I packed up early. There actually were some carp up to maybe 8lbs cruising in the swim below but even the sight of these didn't change my mind. It was simply too hot to want to fish.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Canal du Berry 09 Chattilon sur cher.

This canal is a very interesting stretch of water . I have fished it a couple of times now and the + side is the amount of different species that I have caught or seen here.The down side is the lack of depth in some sections. It is coloured, but a colour I have never seen before, a sort of milky grey I could best describe it as. There is also variable flow in different sections. The section at Chattilon sur Cher is deeper than any I had fished previously at about 3 feet and about 15 yards wide. The downside was that there was little flow. I fed 2 lines, down the middle with chopped worm and 12metres with hemp and caster. I fished the far line for 45mins with no response at all. Coming in to the middle line on worm I had a pound skimmer after a couple of minutes. Next put in, a solid thump and I was in to a good fish., this turned out to be a bream of about 3lbs but it was clearly foulhooked. I thought I was going to be lucky, but lost it at the net.The next 2 put ins produced 2 tiny perch but after that nothing for ages. I switched from line to line but it was tough going now. Just when I was wondering if that was it for the day the float went down and I had a bream of about 2lbs. This was followed next cast by the tiniest zander I have ever seen, about the size of a matchbox. It was obviously the day for miniature specimens because next put in I had a silure catfish of no more than 8 ozs. My 1st silure but not a specimen. After this flurry of action the swim died completely. It was too nice a day to pack up and Heather seemed content relaxing in the shade, reading. The next excitement was a madcap dog that looked a bit dodgy with an owner that seemed to have lost control .Luckily her ladyship gave it her " Teacher " glare and the poor mutt passed respectfully by with its head bowed. Bright sun and a northerly wind coupled with no bites made it a bit dull so I decided on a stroll. The Cher runs parallel to the canal so I walked by the river for about 1/2 a mile . There were plenty of fish moving but not a swim fishable from the bank. A french angler asked how I was doing and when I said I had caught a silure he made a big fuss that I should kill it. Despite having mixed feeling about some species I only kill a fish if I or someone is going to eat it. Returning to my swim I decided on another hour and I'm glad I did because some crucian carp turned up out of nowhere they were all well over 11/2lbs and the best about 2lbs. Lovely to catch a few crucians I hadn't caught any for years except in commercial fisheries. I landed 5 and bumped a couple when the light made it difficult to see the bites. This was a pleasant way to finish in this region for now and tomorrow its off to Burgundy.

Love to see these fish.

My first silure is not a specimen.

Canal du Berry ay Chatillon sur Cher.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Back in Selles thursday 10/09/09

Heather and I are just beginning to get really settled in Selles now. Our French hosts Jean -Paul & Josianne have been charming and helpful. Each morning we have had a stroll down to the river and have made friends with a greedy little sausage dog on our way. Well , this morning it is so hot that even Fred the dog seemed half hearted about the treats we gave him. All " summer " we have been waiting for a bit of sun so shouldn't complain, but its not the best fishing weather. This in mind I took her ladyship out for the day hoping to find a restaurant posh enough for her. This left me just a couple hours to fish the Cher in Selles during the evening. The water is so clear here you can see every detail in 4 ft of water and every ring on the keepnet. I am very content here, the swims are comfortable and there are good fish moving. There was still not a cloud in the sky but the wind was increasing from the north east. The other annoyance was that the French youngsters seem as determined as their British counterparts to share their poxy muzak with me at full volume. Of course with car windows open in this heat. I must confess had I been at home I wouldn't bother fishing in these conditions but I'm here so I'm going to. The session was ok with plenty of bites and I caught mostly little barbel, however just one chuck on the feeder and I was snagged. Disappointingly the fishing didn't improve towards dark . The final tally was 24 barbel , 10 bleak , 4 chublets , 1 roach and a perch, interesting that small barbel seem to be the dominant species. Good for the future maybe. Had an interesting chat with Jean-Paul that evening , he regards the spread of the Silure catfish as an absolute catastrophe for fishing in the area claiming that they eat everything . To my eyes though the river seemed to have a fairly healthy fish population in various age groups.

Lots of tiny barbel like these.

The Cher in Selles.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Rr Vienne 09/09

It was watching a guy fishing this tributary of the Loire that inspired me to return and fish this area. That day, sometime last year , the chap was having terrific sport catching chub, mullet, roach and bream. We did look at some promising swims upstream but I eventually found the very swim he had been fishing at St Germain. Access to the venue here is very limited and it was a bit of a scramble down the bank but comfortable when I got there. Lady Morgan prepared some tucker then rather reluctantly set off for the chateau at Chinon. It's not that her ladyship minds going on her own but she has the worst sense of direction in the world and refused to venture the 5 miles without a mobile phone, pre programmed sat nav, map and a goodbye kiss. The swim I'd chosen is quickish and I started on an avon float about 4grams holding back hard. I loose fed caster and maggot and had a chublet 2nd trot. The next two hours produced just a similar sized chublet and I began to get frustrated, again the sun just beat down relentlessly and the mercury was rising fast. A switch to the feeder did bring limited success in the shape of 2 chub a couple of pounds apiece plus 3 bream up to the same size and a couple of roach. Not a fantastic catch but enjoyable. Heather enjoyed her day out and , to my astonishment , was only lost briefly on the way back from Chinon. We packed up early because it is a long way back. I like this river and hope to come back to it. I imagine it has a lot to offer for anglers interested in predators. Some of the attacks on fish near the banks was something to behold!

Chub from the Vienne.

The Vienne