for trout waters in France was last saturday.
not including stocked fisheries, i know plenty of areas where trout go past the official ‘trout sections’ (downstream) and even if i target other species of fish, the maybe more than occasional wild brown or escaped rainbow will eventually take the fly so, opening day to me isn’t so much about trout themselves but more about being able to fish the lovely areas that are closed off from the end of September through early March where these lovely-slimy creatures live.
add to that the beginning of spring, a healthy increase of sun rays, birds coming back from warmer climes, happy bees, tree buds and not having to dress up like an inuit and it all adds up to a ‘oh yeah, this feels good’ type of feeling. usually.
from an outsider’s point of view (read non-fisher’s), last Saturday was what might be considered as a gift of the gods. after a normal chilliesh early morning, by 10 or so the temps where already at 18°, there was no wind (rare), the sun was doing it’s spring thing, i was wearing just a long sleeve t-shirt instead of four sweaters and a jacket and then… the hoards started to come out of wherever hoards come from and it seemed like there must have been enormous flashing signs at malls, supermarkets and wherever it is that the hoards usually hang out telling them “Sorry, we’re closed for business, please go to the nearest trout water and disturb the peace until we replenish stocks“.
being rude is well known around the world as being typically french. they take great pride in it and probably consider it as a public service. it’s definitely considered a right. not being as french as i could be, i find this greatly annoying.
having fellow anglers thrash through the water and crowding me within less than a cast’s distance without even the slightest thought of River-Side Etiquette to a) announce their presence, b) the normal “hey mate, are you working upstream or down ?” c) “mind if i pass in? d) casting a spinning lure over my fly line (yes, that actually happened three times) and when the noises of kids throwing rocks in the water, their parents encouraging them to throw the rocks harder all the while shouting at the top of their miserable lungs in a poor attempt of be understood over blaring music to the point that the river’s sounds become a distant murmur even though i’m standing in the middle of it and even if there are a few rises here and there, this guy needs to escape. quickly.
now, you might be thinking: “geez Marc, why didn’t you go to more remote places to start with ?” and i’ll congratulate you on your logic but the thing is, i was in the more remote places. instead of the usual 100km round trip, Saturday, i drove 300+km trying to find some peace. throughout about a dozen stops i managed to catch three little trouties in some not-so-crowded areas and the only real peace was found in a fishing reserve (not allowed to fish)(and for some reason, completely overlooked by the hoards).
hopefully it will rain or snow next year for opening day.