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

Monday, 28 September 2009

Chaumont sur Loire 09

All the way from the depths of Somerset to fish the Loire in September and it's just too hot. 34 c and not a breath of wind .I just can't handle fishing in these conditions. Lady Morgan didn't seem too fazed by this so instead we sipped coffee in the garden of an hotel that was far too posh for riff raff like me. I can't believe that my wife is happy to pay these sort of prices for coffee. I could have got 4pts of casters for that money. Even more outrageous was that we were made to pay 10 euros each just to look around the gardens of the Chateau nearby. This didn't include wine and cheese with his lordship or whatever the french equivalent is. Really! We had to pay just to see the garden, not even allowed indoors. I'm just working out what the postman owes me as he looks at my garden six days a week and has done for over 20 years, When it cooled I had a short spell on the canal du Berry. The canal is very coloured and the first place I tried was less than a foot deep. Not a touch! I packed up quickly and managed the last hour on the canal in Selles. Just when it seemed that I'd manage 2 blanks in the same day a couple of skimmers and a poisson chat took pity on me.

Hot & Grumpy.

Bless all 3 of you!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Saumur 09

I didn,t look hard enough on the maps at distances and didn,t realise that Saumur is the best part of a 2 hour drive from Selles, but undeterred we made the trip to fish the glorious river Loire, I say glorious ! It just is ! .The water looks clean and pacey, in fact very fast in places. The depth varies and much of it is shallow but there are deeper and slower glides that look fishy. It was one of these swims that I chose. The famous Chateau is just behind but I ignored this culture nonsense and got the kit out without paying any attention to it. But it is there if anyone is this way and wants to see it. Nick Hughes from Street had fished this swim weeks before and had some decent barbel & chub on corn. I started on a maggot feeder and 3rd chuck had a decent sized chub. What was noticeable was the amount of mullet that were close in but I wasn't interested in these today. To be honest sport was very slow. I kept getting little indications after switching to a groundbait feeder but a lot were just liners and I am fairly sure it was just the mullet nudging the feeder around. I was putting a lot of faith in groundbait and corn because this had been the successful method for Nick. I did have 2 really good chub and a bream + a small perch . I also hooked something that just was not coming out on 4lb maxima to 020 bottom. All in all I was a bit disappointed but it was seriously hot and not a cloud in the sky. This river just captivates me . I'd go back tommorow if I could. The whole feel of the place and some of the fish topping means you kind of know that one day these swims will really come good.

Good chub . Beautiful river.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Selles sur Cher 06 09 09

Heather and I had decided on our main break in 09 to be in the Loire region for a week and then in Burgundy for a second week. When we arrived at our cottage the weather was blistering hot and I decided not to fish the first day. The river Cher is an interesting venue , shallow and fast but also gin clear and there are not many fishable swims because of the access. From the town bridge in Selles sur Cher I saw shoals of roach and chub plus a few barbel and the odd carp. Between the two town bridges there are about 3 fishable swims and on the second evening I sat down to fish one of them. The fishing part of the holiday couldn't have got off to a much worse start! 3 chucks with a maggot feeder, solid each time! snagged and cracked the line. Bloody fantastic! I chucked around with a little lead until I found what appeared to be a clear spot, changed to a feeder, had a bite, hooked a fish and everything went solid again. Nightmare! I set up a float rod and was able to trot at about 3ft, feeding caster & hemp and fishing maggot I had a bite most put ins but was pestered a bit by bleak. It was frustrating not being able to fish the feeder for barbel but I still enjoyed it. I ended up with 19 small barbel to a pound, 5 roach up to 8ozs , a rudd and 5 chub to 1 1/2lbs plus bleak, a pleasant evening . The only downside after the frustrating start was that I lost the best fish I hooked when, just as I seemed to be controlling some powerful runs everything went solid and I pulled out. Beautiful evening still 28 c after dark.

Nice little mixed net of fish,

Thursday, 13 August 2009


I have just returned from a week in Brittany and have used much of the time to sort out some back up venues for Allezbaz. Possibly the most interesting one was the lake at Corlay which despite being shallow holds a good head of roach, perch & tench. I look forward to having a go on the waggler here for the roach , maybe later on in the year. This time I fished for tench and had a couple on heavier gear. But I still had some decent roach.

The lake at Corlay

Nice tench from Corlay.

My two visits to the canal were much less successful. The conditions were not great with the sun very bright on both occasions, not a sniff of a turtle either. A few roach , rudd, dace, bleak & hybrids .The best hybrid below.

An evening on lake Pontoir at Cleguerec was pleasant enough with roach coming steadily but not fast. I failed to get into the bigger fish so I think maybe I returned a little disappointed having maybe 6lbs of the smaller ones.

There is a stretch of the canal near Glomel where it widens into a huge bay. I always think that it looks perfect for bream but the problem is that its very shallow. I have fished it once before but it took ages for the bream to arrive. When they did I had 5 in 5 casts then nothing. I was fairly sure they just spooked in the shallow, clearish water.The session this time wasn't quite the same because I had plenty of skimmers up to a pound, but when the bigger bream arrived again they spooked after 3 or 4 fish. Got to get the thinking cap on about this area!

Cannot get to grips with this area!

Finally I had to have a go at those mullet. On a non fishing day I talked Heather into at least having a look at Lochrist , just to confirm that my tormentors were still about. Well not only were they still about but a Frenchman was having a go for them. I was fascinated by his set up. It was a surface controller with a small silver spinner some 2ft 6ins behind it , on the trebles was a small ragworm. The cast and retrieve was slow and I must admit I was very doubtful about this technique . 2nd cast he had one about about 2lbs and another a bit bigger shortly after . When the next retrieve was followed by 3 good fish jostling for the bait I bet my eyes were the size of saucers. Well I don't know the french for" lets ave a go mate "but by bribing him with a bulk spool of ironsilk I cadged a go. 2 in 2 chucks no problem. I asked his name and then Arnaud and I were soon in deep discussion about various species and how to catch them . Arnaud is a mine of information and an absolute gentleman.

Got one at last then fatty!


The following day I rang Arnaud hoping he might show me more about this sort of fishing. I had that feeling you get on Christmas eve when I was a kid when he said "qui monsieur". Full of anticipation I drove down to Lochrist hoping to get some serious mullet fishing in. Something had got lost in translation because despite being introduced to his charming wife Jane and all the neighbours, Arnaud seemed in no rush to go fishing. It was while he was showing me an Aladins Cave of fishing tackle [ much hand made ] that he suddenly asked if I wanted to go now. Of course , I replied. Have you any worms? He asked and when I replied no he looked in despair.He explained that he had no worms but these were essential to the rig and the tide was wrong for digging any. Sensing my disappointment he took me to where he gathers these harbour rag and despite his 76 years we scrabbled among the rocks until there was enough for an evenings fishing,I don't think Arnaud was over impressed with my driving and this place has some very odd road junctions. Fully kitted up and full of confidence we returned to the river. Within 10 casts Arnaud shrugged and said they are gone simply not here. We tried another spot further up with the same result.Arnaud then explained that he had spent as much time with me as he could but it was now meal time. Never been a quitter so I returned to the original spot trying to locate the fish and after a long walk I found them on the surface just above a weir.I cast the rig among them time and again but I had a feeling that they were preoccupied with some other food and I did not get a take. Its still brilliant and I would have another go tomorrow. Possibly because I am barking mad.

Arnaud Nicholas a gentleman!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Every year Chinese Fred and his wife Judy spend a week in Silfiac. Here is an account of Freds fishing.

The first 5 days were baking hot, temps into the 30's C. Despite this I still had weights up to 20lbs.On the last day of this heat I had 20 bream on the feeder at Bon Repos one evening for some 70lbs. this despite a blank 1st 2 hours.

Some of Freds bream.

I intended going back the following day but an almighty storm put the river into flood so I had a go on the canal just north of Silfiac. This turned out to be an inspired move, as after a slow start I was sacking up on tench, bream, hybrids and rudd , some of these rudd up to 11/2 lbs. altogether about 45lbs.

The man himself.

I also enjoy fishing for the chub, you need to know where to go but there are some munters about and they scrap hard.

Nice chub to 4 1/2lbs

I have enjoyed the fishing in the area , some years have been better than others but it has never been crap. Most years are good and last year I had a huge catch of bream at Bon Repos. The area is so calm and you see hardly any other anglers.

Finally I suppose I will have to let you into my success with the terrapin fishing. Years of hard work , study of their habits and amazing skill have made me Brittany's top turtle catcher with 2 specimens while the rest of the Brits have yet to capture a single one. Just skill thats all folks.

How does he do it?

See you later readers!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

3rd June 09

I decided to have a days fishing at the lake at Callac. There was a market and several shops that Heather wanted to visit so I thought I would try my luck. This lake is very attractive and to me just looks fishy with a nice tinge of colour. Access is excellent and the banks nice and flat. I have fished here before, but to be honest it was disappointing because I had just a few roach. I was told by the locals that there are no bream but a good head of roach and some good tench and carp. I thought a little hemp might be handy so how's this for last minute preparation.

I started on a light rig in 7ft of water at about 12 metres. The chap next to me said I wasn't really in the area for tench and carp so a 3 elastic seemed ok and I was soon catching some roach on caster. Then I was into a lump. I was fairly sure it was a tench but just couldn't get its head up. I had it on for some time but just as I thought I was winning the bloody elastic snapped. I was really annoyed with myself. I knew all the top sets for this pole need new elastics, but I just hadn't found time and now I had paid the price. The weather was again blazing hot with the wind easterly, in these conditions I didn't rate my chances of another. For the next couple of hours I picked off roach steadily but no pounders or anything. Heather rejoined me and just as we were thinking about packing up I was in to another lump. This time on an 8 elastic landing the fish was fairly straightforward because despite its strong runs the water is fairly open and snag free. I forgot my scales so couldn't weigh it but it was its colouring and condition that impressed me, a lovely fish! I ended with 27 roach and this tench.

5th June 09

I always said that in these blogs I will tell of bad days as well as good and they don't get much worse than this. Lets call it 3 bleak hours. I have always wanted to go back to Hennebont to fish for mullet on the lower Blavet because I caught a couple here a few years back.I have been interested in these powerful and difficult to catch fish ever since , but for whatever reasons have only fished for them once since at Pontrieux. Then I blanked in the most horrendous cloudburst. Well this time I had a cunning plan to fish a method feeder for them but within 2 casts, disaster! Despite the depth of 8 feet a slimy green algae covering the bottom and a foot above and just to make life difficult a rocky bottom meant I was losing feeder after feeder. The mullet were everywhere! hundreds of them. Within seconds of casting, liners galore. Well I popped baits up and put shot + foam in a maggot feeder to feather it down and hey presto I am into a good fish . YES! A good mullet 3 times to the rim of the net then bang, hook pulled out. Desperation , now down to 3 feeders which could be modified but confident I will get another fish. Lost next fish foulhooked and also feeder, 2 left! Had a go on the float but any reasonable bait just got murdered by bleak, I even caught 3 on a size 10! Back to those precious feeders.I was just modifying when the heavens opened. Despite my determination to carry on the water was running down the bank behind me and the first crack of lightning persuaded me that 12 foot of carbon wasn't the best thing to wave about. Totally defeated I packed the soggy kit up . You should have seen Heathers face when it was being loaded into her shiny new car. 2 miles up the road lovely evening sunshine and not a drop. Tell it like it was , awful!

Calm before the storm!

Saturday, 16 May 2009


I was accompanied on this first pro trip by Roger Coombs, Nick Hughes and Tony Cinicola. The overnight crossing was calm and we arrived at the cottage mid morning.

Tony and Nick in the kitchen, Roger is banned from here!

Friday 1st May

After settling in we were soon on our way to the Bon Repos Abbey stretch, in retrospect this perhaps was my first mistake.(did not take long did I ? ) When we passed earlier on our way down there was not a soul about but by the time we were an hour into the session the world and their wives and children were on the towpath. A canoe or two plus a boat, added to bright sunshine made the going tough. We had a bit of encouragement when Roger had 4 bream of around 2lbs in fairly quicktime but it just got tougher. Roger did not add to this . Tony had 1 bream and lost a couple. Nick had 3 roach and I had 1 bream and a hybrid. Not the start we hoped for but the bream were there as we all had a few liners . I was annoyed with myself as I should have avoided this stretch on a bank holiday as it is popular with tourists .

Above Roger and his catch. below disturbance!

Sat 2nd May

The weather was perfect for fishing with a light southwesterly wind blowing upstream . Unfortunately Nick was not in good shape at all. We all did our best to make Nick's swim as comfortable as possible .I was concerned to see floating grass cuttings coming down the river as a lock had been opened somewhere,We all set up feeder rods .I was optimistic that these conditions would see a few fish caught today. In fact the grass cuttings where nothing like the problem we thought. Bingo! 2nd cast I had good hybrid. Nick was really struggling with his back so he was not fishing all the time.After an hour I had a good bream but could not add to it. I wandered down to see the others .Tony had started to catch and had 4 bream but Roger was blanking as was Nick but in fairness Nick could hardly fish. To quote Victor Meldrew , I don't bloody believe it. a boat appeared and not a small one. A lady walking the towpath beside it. Although these people were extremely pleasant and stopped for a chat Tony just stopped getting bites or liners.Time ticked on and I just could not raise a bite and I could see Nick had gone back to the van. A walk down to see Tony perked me up a bit, he had begun catching regularly and now had 9 . Roger still was biteless . Because I had been struggling to such an extent I had fined down to a 20 & 08 looking for roach and I was getting a few twitches and nudges now but not really bites I could strike at . Nick & Roger turned up for a chat and I was just explaining that I could not work out what was happening when the tip dropped gently back and I was into a lump. Gently I coaxed it to the net. I immediately changed back to a 14 & 014 and next cast was into another. I had 6 more in quicktime but while the light was good I needed to do some recording and take some photos . Tony had 14 now but Roger was still blanking as was Nick .I offered them my swim but they both came down to watch Tony . I took a few action shots as Tony finished with 18 bream. When I went back I had 2 more while packing up so I ended with 11. While we loaded the van bream were rolling all over the place even in Nicks swim, much to his annoyance. I think Tony may have put a really big weight together had it not been for the boat. Boats are fairly rare on this stretch so the fish reacted badly and he lost a lot of time.

Top. Nick struggles. Below. Tony with part of his catch

Sun 3rd May

A nasty northeasterly wind had sprung up overnight and despite Nick insisting he would sit today out we all decided that we would sort out a venue with very flat banks. I suggested Valvert which is a lake just outside Noyal Pontivy. The lake has weeded up a bit in recent years but there were lots of fish moving and this has been a very consistent venue over the years .We were a bit restricted but we found a pontoon for Nick . Tony and I opted for the pole while Nick just fished a waggler close in. Roger the splodger was having none of this so the Valvert skimmers were introduced to flying plastic. We all started catching straight away, mostly small fish with the odd skimmer to 1 1/2 lbs . I was pleased that Nick was catching a few and enjoying it. Roger lost a real lump which he thought may have been a carp. Tony was catching well but struggling with the wind. He had been forced to fish well out because of the margin weed. I had even worse problems with the weed as the wind had blown scum and algae all over my swim and I was forced to move. Roger was getting the odd good skimmer now and by the time we packed up everyone had a reasonable day. Roger had about 12lbs, Nick around 8lbs , I may have made 10lbs and Tony some 17lbs. The lake can fish much better than this but it wasn't bad. The wind was vile and Tony remarked that he felt he could have doubled his weight if it had calmed down. Roger lost a few decent fish in the weed and Nick was not fully fit yet.

Nick and Tony with their fish

Mon 4th May

Roger had said he wanted to try a stretch of river below St Nicholas des Eaux. This is a stretch of the Blavet that I am not familiar with. We had fished it last year and caught a few bream above the bridge but a local told us the best stretch was below the bridge. The weather was glorious, maybe not perfect fishing weather but 20c+ and sunny. Further good news was that Nick's back was getting better, so in beautiful surroundings we sat down to fish. The 1st thing we noticed was the depth . 15ft minimum. I wasn't as concerned about this as the others but the truth is after several hours none of us had a bite so we packed up. On the far bank is a hermitage where a monk spent years in isolation, we did consider leaving Roger here until he caught a bream. The previous evening we had seen a lot of roach moving above Neulliac bridge so we had a few hours up there, by now an unpleasant northerly wind had sprung up. The only one to catch was Tony who had a few bleak on the pole. Well this was the low point for me. As I packed up I wondered why there had been so many fish moving the previous evening and this evening, nothing. I walked upstream about 300yds and there were roach moving all over the place, I counted 50+ rises in less than 10 mins. Spawning ? who knows I hadn't caught one to ask!

Above Roger begins an epic blank. below. He was nearly sent here!

Tues 5th may

Tuesday was my designated day off and after yesterdays disaster I was sorely tempted
to go fishing to try to get things back on track.I reluctantly concluded that I would have to get some maintenance done on the cottage or hideout as Roger always calls it.The team were very keen to get back to Gohaze so it didn't really make much difference if I went or not.I dropped everyone off but was a bit concerned about the weather as it was still hot and bright.An earlier finish was asked for so the team could get back for the footie.The swims fished nothing like as well as Saturday.Roger had a bream 1st chuck and alas nothing else . Tony and Nick had three apiece. Sorry no fish photos as the had returned their catch.

The " Hideout "

Wed 5th May

After a good start things are becoming a little more difficult now . We are all agreed that the main problem is the bright sunshine and clear water. We think that colour and flow would be a bonus . My experience of the area told me that the canal Nantes a Brest at Josselin might be a good bet as there is a little boat activity here and that could produce that vital bit of colour due to lock movement. It's a 40min drive but when we arrived the canal looked sock on with both pace and colour. Then the downside! Steep banks have now been reinforced with boulders to stop bank erosion and we just couldn't find 4 comfortable swims together . We searched upstream and down, but nothing. This was possibly the most frustrating time for me. The day was ticking on by now so we reluctantly left Josselin for Ploermel and the huge Lac au Duc. I have fished this lake 4 or 5 times and it has been full of skimmers and roach but I have failed to locate the bigger fish. It is very popular with the French for pike and zander. Access here is restricted but we had some luck and found a super area with easy walks and shade from the sun. I guess fortune favours the persistent and we were all into fish fairly quickly. Nick had a super afternoons fishing and weighed 25lbs + of skimmers on the waggler.Tony had 13lbs+ mostly after switching from feeder to pole. Roger and I fished the feeder and bigger baits looking for the bigger fish that must surely be in a lake this size. We failed to get these bigger fish but had a few skimmers. I had the last hour on the pole and it was one a chuck. We packed up early to watch the 2nd half of the footie and I think I set off one of the few speed cameras in Brittany on the way back. Could be an expensive day but I wasn't going half as fast as that dramatic injury time goal!

Above Tony and Nick survey Lac au Duc.

Thursday 6th May

This trip has flown by and this is the last fishing day. We have caught enough fish to call it a success but have not really bagged up. The crew have been brilliant and we have had lots of laughs. On this last day I really hoped we would come good and although it had to be a non fishing day for me I was quite happy to do the run to Lac au Duc. The crew decided that we would have a look at a lake at Glomel but despite gaining good access my fishing instincts told me not the place today. The lake is clear and shallow and with that sun beating down and no fish moving it just didn't seem right. In the memory bank was a nearby lake at Mael Carhaix. I was relieved when the crew liked the look of this one. There was a funny incident involving parking when we arrived but you will have to talk to those involved for more details. I dropped them off and returned to the hideout. After a couple of hours I phoned Roger and things were not going well. Roger had a bream and a skimmer on the feeder. But the others were blanking. I offered to come and move them but they said they were comfortable and would persevere. I rang later and things had improved , now they were all catching. Good! Tony had a bream + skimmers for 15lbs + Roger delighted in giving this upstart a good thrashing with bream + skimmers for 23lb+ Nick slid his skimmers back without weighing and conceded.Nick also said he had seen a carp that he estimated at 25lbs plus. I will have a look at this venue again.

Roger and Tony with their fish.

Friday 7th May.

Well it's back to blighty, bit of a rough crossing back. Just remains to say thank you to the crew, great laughs and not a harsh word between us all week. My job was made a lot easier because of your help.