as far as fish can be happy, i’m sure it was a happy fish. it lived in a beautiful, completely wild stream in the french Pyrenees mountains. it’s waters are clear and clean enough to drink, there’s an amazing variety of fauna and flora with lots of food to feed all the creatures that live in this little community. a quick look says thriving and a longer look says thriving very well.
like any size fish, this little fish was always hungry and constantly exploring this open air market in search of it’s next meal. one day it came upon an unfamiliar morsel. even though it had never seen one before it was just the right size, was undoubtedly an insect and probably smelled good. it might have wiggled, it looked yummy.
the little fish couldn’t hesitate ! and just gulped it down straight.
what the little fish didn’t know was there was a hook attached to this strange treat and the two of them went straight down deep in it’s belly. the yummy thing turned out to be a maggot. there was a piece of it stuck inside the little fish’s mouth when i inspected it.
what was also stuck in it’s mouth where a pretty large part of it’s own stomach and who knows what other vital organs of this beautiful little fish.
the poacher (fishing in trout waters with maggots as bait or chum is strictly forbidden) was faced with a couple of dilemmas. the fish was too small to legally keep, he can ditch the leftover maggots before going back home but he’s in big trouble should the warden catch him with an undersized trout. if they deem it appropriate, wardens can take all tackle and even the vehicle from poachers and they don’t get them back, and of course there’s a fine.
hooks that have gone into a stomach are basically impossible to remove but strangely enough, will often dissolve quickly being surrounded by gooey stomach acids and such if left alone. a lot of fish get out of this situation just fine. all it takes is to cut the the line and put the fish back in where it belongs. sounds weird but it’s true.
sad but true is, the poacher decided that a single, small, bare hook was more important than not only a single fish’s life but also all the other fish this little creature might have produced later on, perpetuating this little stream’s community, and decided to tear out the hook by force and throw the little fish back in the water to hide his act. it never had the chance to recover because that chance was denied.
this little fishy went to market but never came back.
“In classical mythology, Pyrene is a princess who gave her name to the Pyrenees. According to Silius Italicus, 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.”
one of the countless Pyrenean peaks that supply us with us with liquid love down below. thanks babe.
by Jim Williams
this Jim just won’t stop !…
continuously putting up juicy fly casting tips and tricks for us to enhance our fishing experience, here’s another nifty one in the form of a presentation cast that gives a little bit of slack to the line and leader that’s very easy to perform and just the ticket for, as Jim calls them ‘non-complex’ flows.
what got me all excited when i saw this yesterday evening is i had ‘self-discovered’ this cast myself a few years ago when in a fit of tired laziness… i started lowering my casting hand after the completion of the cast and before line touchdown and noticed that it gave a nice, straightish yet slightly wavy layout that i later went on to use in the smaller Pyrenean streams around my house to great effect. back to the exciting part: until now i had never heard or read of anyone else other than Jim describe this cast that i had not-so-creatively named the “Pull Back Slack”.
as always, very well explained and this time including two fantabulous gifs that show it all. if you’re a river fisher take the time to read this article and practice it a little before your next outing for yet another dead-simple manner of presenting your flies with better drifts which as we all know, leads to not only more fun casting-wise but more success with the fishes !
* the top photo of Jim performing a wiggle cast has nothing to do with this particular cast, it’s just a groovy pic of a groovy guy.
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.
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 !
Pyrenean riverbed, France
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 in the clouds 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.
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.”