missing out on a lot of fish but then, it never really was about catching fish…
“In Southwestern France, a group of fish have learned how to kill birds. As the River Tarn winds through the city of Albi, it contains a small gravel island where pigeons gather to clean and bathe. And patrolling the island are European catfish—1 to 1.5 metres long, and the largest freshwater fish on the continent. These particular catfish have taken to lunging out of the water, grabbing a pigeon, and then wriggling back into the water to swallow their prey.”
i’m thinking a
disgusting dirty grey full neck hackle wound around a block of foam with a zip-tie will do the trick and i’m packin’. Albi is about an hour away…
big thanks to Agitated-Acey for the tip-off !
two views from the Cobra’s new office in the south of France.
these stonefly nymph exoskeletons (shucks) where split all the way down the back allowing the adult insect to mute for the last time and fly away to do whatever bugs do.
a springtime image from a Pyrenean river in the south of France. it’s like someone put in some kind of weird milk chocolate for the fish !
is a pretty little rainbow trout from the Pyrenees foothills in southern France.
found at the Federation de Pêche (fishing authority) administrative building in Carcassonne, i guess they forgot that it’s illegal to fish from a bridge in France…
still playing around with the Nymers series, seeing what works and what doesn’t, here’s a little golden ribbed size 16 that did the job on three trout last week on a Pyrenean lake in France. nice start !
quite possibly the most exciting thing that happened this week in France…
Pyrenean riverbed, France
well, one day i came home and there was this tractor parked on the lawn in front of the house something like four meters from the window behind my desk.
always one to take advantage of the little unexpected casting opportunities life brings, i quickly grabbed the practice rod, “you never know when this particular skill might come in handy !”, climbed up on the filthy thing and started playing with my puss.
getting in a real situational context is very important when practicing casts. with that in mind, i was facing ‘upstream’ and casting to Pussy Galore hiding behind the blade to the left. (just behind the yellow fluff that’s just above the ground and about to land) and the idea was to get the fluff to ‘drift’ to her lair, letting the grass current deliver the fluff while the rest of the line was upstream and hopefully out of view of the furry fish. mostly adapted to very close-up fishing, i’ve caught many a fish in the tiny, enclosed by vegetation Pyrenean feeder streams with it.
this cast is a Snap-Back Curve that basically creates a ∩ or more precisely, ɾ uʍop-ǝpısdn uɐ when seen from above.
the vertical snap doesn’t show in the image because the rod tip was brought down earlier in the sequence, however what’s interesting is we can see the horizontal, ‘sharp-edged, squared-off sideways U’ path of the rod tip needed to separate the two legs of line to get the ∩ shaped layout. not very clear even though it’s fluorescent red Amnesia, the curved around leader can be seen coming from the viewers direction towards the fluff.
the same line configuration is often performed by casting an Under-Powered Curve: a side cast followed by greatly under-powering the forward cast so that the loop doesn’t straighten out, also resulting in an inverted U or J shape. the UPC is fun to do but it’s a little tricky to get right and any kind of accuracy with any kind of consistency, specially if there’s any wind usually falls into the realm of wishful thinking.
not really a ‘meat & potatoes’ cast.
when you average driving 40,000 km per year you get to see a lot of interesting and beautiful places and sometimes the beauty is more subtle than others. the one below i didn’t get to see at all but that didn’t take away a bit of it’s charm.
filmed on a french Pyrenees mountain peak coming back from a day of largemouth bass hunting in Spain with Fabrice and Loïc.
today’s trout is an imported rainbow i caught in the Pyrenees range of southern France, an area well known for it’s beautiful endemic Fario brown trout. in France as in just about anywhere in the World these fish are stocked, placed in rivers and lakes on opening day to satisfy those who need the instant gratification of catching finless fish with spinners and love the taste of fish-farm pellets. they rarely make it past the first day. the typical size of these disposable fish is just over 20cm (7-3/4 inches) to comply with the 20cm minimum keeper size.
the one above measured between 50 and 55cm, had a big appetite for caddis’, was very strong and healthy and knew how to put up a good fight. a surviver…
the friend who took the pic, a local, said “It’s not supposed to be here”. i’m glad it was.
“One fish. Two fish. Red fish. Blue fish. Black fish. Cat fish. Old fish. New fish. This one has a little star. This one has a little car. Say! What a lot of fish there are.” Dr. Seuss
met this swarm of baby catfish late at night when taking a stroll along the Canal du Midi while visiting the family. there where maybe thousands of them just swirling around in clouds under a lamp post, fin-loose and fancy free.
In classical mythology, Pyrene was a princess who gave her name to the Pyrenees mountains, the natural frontier between France and Spain. According to legend she was the virginal daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitality during his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon during his famous Labors. Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host’s daughter. Pyrene gives birth to a serpent and runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention instead of wild beasts who tear her to pieces.After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl’s lacerated remains. As is often the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, and lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name: ”struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges; he kept crying out with a sorrowful noise ‘Pyrene!’ and all the rock-cliffs and wild-beast haunts echo back ‘Pyrene!’ … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages.”