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Old 05-18-2011, 08:21 AM
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Default Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

Well, fly fishing’s been pretty thin for me since I moved out of the Poconos, but brother J-P threw me a lifeline and we had some fun fishing some of his home waters in the South of France last weekend. I was in Barcelona on business, so a quick train ride from there and I was at the station in Beziers, headed for his home in Montagnac.

Saturday was overcast with alternating light and heavy rain in the AM, but getting better in the PM. With the uncertain weather, we decided not to chance it in the higher altitudes, where the clouds were already hiding the peaks, but rather to stay lower and fish the rivers and streams closer to home.

We started on the river Lergue, but didn’t really have much luck at two spots where we stopped; a couple of good hatches in the rain, but no rising fish; they all seemed to be holding deep and acting pretty much asleep. The scenery was nice, but the fish were definitely AWOL!

Click the image to open in full size.

So, after lunch, it was on to the Marguerite; a small stream with a series of linked riffles and pools; home to the European Chub and Dace. Here’s a pic of J-P playing the water; it was tight quarters, but our 9’0” 5 wts. provided us with the ability to fish well ahead of ourselves; particularly useful with skittish fish in skinny water.

Click the image to open in full size.

I can’t say that we didn’t hook a few tree fish and that we didn’t have several LDR’s, but there were some nice fish there. It’s all sight fishing in these shallow waters and being able to see a mouth open on a fish like a Chub; branded the “bucket mouth” by some Europeans, is a big help in landing one of these, because the takes are very soft and the rejections are very quick. Another pic from the Marguerite:

Click the image to open in full size.

And there were fish; I got about a dozen and J-P was closer to 20. Here’s one being brought to hand:

Click the image to open in full size.

Sunday was windy and J-P decided that it was time for some larger fish, so off we went again to some other spots on the Lergue. There were fish, but none were finding their way squarely onto my fly (not quite true; I missed one fish that had my fly and at least 2 ft. of my leader in his mouth! But, true to form, I set late and he was gone.) J-P got a nice Chub that filled up my net; definitely the fish of the day:

Click the image to open in full size.

In the afternoon, we decided that numbers might be more important than size, so we headed back to the Marguerite to see what had come back out of hiding overnight. It is definitely “stealth” fishing in these pools.

Click the image to open in full size.

And it helped being able to cast up into the head of the pools from the tail; which with the overhangs, was fun, but challenging.

Click the image to open in full size.

The fly of the weekend was the “Batistou Special”, a fly designed by one of J-P’s fishing buddies. Very simple fly; black foam body, black mid-section hackle and a white signal wing. It hangs in the film, but is just visible. And the fish loved it! It’s on my “to tie up” list; I want to see how it does here in the US (if I can ever find trout water here in coastal Maine). Message J-P if you want to try one out on your home waters. He’s got a new tying station, so he’s probably ready to tie up some more; not to mention the fact that I used up his last one on the last fish of the day – more on that below.

Here’s a Chub coming to hand:

Click the image to open in full size.

I had a train back to Barcelona that evening, so we had to stop fishing around 4:00PM on Sunday. I was looking for the last fish of the day; a good sized one. We had 15 minutes to go, the pressure to catch was on; we took the car to another spot, no fish rising and not many in sight; cast once, twice, three times – empty. Cast again and it was fish on! A nice sized Chub! I was holding it up for the record, but the camera man was OTL; so, just imagine that last fish (which you can actually see swimming away right after the release on the right side of the pic – nice pic j-P!!)

Click the image to open in full size.

Yup, that’s the “you missed that fish?” expression on my face.

It was a great time fishing with J-P on the Lergue and the Marguerite. Sight fishing is something that I don’t do enough in the US and it’s great to sharpen those skills on water where sight fishing in the rule, not the exception.

Thanks again to J-P, for opening his home to me and showing me some great fishing! Now, when can we get him to come to the US………………………?

I’ll be back…………………………… !


Pocono
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

Great report and pictures Pocono. It's nice hearing stories of our members getting together. Good for you guys.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

Great report Allan,glad you had fun fishing with me...I really enjoyed taking you on the water,I know you won't manage to go often this year.You're always welcome at home.Just remembered I forgot to send you the bill for the Batistou's special you lost on the "Daisy" for the last pic...but it's nice to see the fish swimming awayYou will catch one of the Lergue big chubs next timeand I'll take a pic....
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

That was good. The pictures are great and I know it had to be fun to get out fishing with JP. What part of Coastal Maine are you now in Allan? The good news is that if you are close to Bangor it's a short 90 mile drive to the border at St. Stephens NB. and from there on to Nova Scotia It has been 25 years but I used to make trips up and over there. When you are ready for an adventure there is Prince Edward's Island out in the bay and there are plenty of brook trout out there.

Don't be so down, that is a beautiful area in which to live and a great launch spot for many terrific places to fish......

Hi JP.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

Jimmie, yup it's great to be able to share some real live fishing time with other NAFFF members. J-P's a great host!

J-P, go ahead and send the bill - I'll send you the equivalent in black foam so that you can get started on some more "B Specials"!

Ard, we're in mid-coast Maine; almost the same latitude as Portland; Bailey Island to be exact.

I'm not down, just adapting to the change in locations. Maine is only for the Summer. The plan is to be somewhere else in coastal New England, on a permanent basis, before Fall.

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Old 05-18-2011, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

Great pics. What a treat to hit the waters in Europe with a local showing you his favorite spots. You lucky dog. Looks like a great time, grats.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

Allan: As the others have said, great report and photos! Those are certainly beautiful streams that JP has there to hunt fish on.

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Old 05-19-2011, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

quote:I'll send you the equivalent in black foam so that you can get started on some more "B Specials
I will tie some Batistou's specials when I have time and post a pic on the forum.I've you've seen it's a very simple but very efficient fly
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

I always enjoy reading about your treks to Europe to fly fish with J-P, Allan!
Maine sounds nice for the summer, and I'd be interested in where you settle more permanently. You seem to be a man of discriminating tastes, and if you publish the ideal retirement town here, it could soon be a boom town.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Fishing Last Weekend in the Languedoc with J-P

Great report and pics Allan...

Dan
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