My husband is a keen fisherman and loves to spend hours sitting on the banks of a river waiting for the fish to bite. Whenever we go over to France, he vanishes for the day to enjoy this very peaceful pastime and invariably returns with some very nice fresh fish indeed, which I then prepare for our evening meal.
We spend many happy days in the south of France, in Provence, where I grew up and over the years he has found some marvellous places to indulge his passion for river fishing. One of his favourite places is on the River Sorgues where he goes fly-fishing for trout and I have to say that this is some of the best tasting trout I have ever cooked.
However, there are many other places all over France which offer avid lovers of this gentle sport some fabulous opportunities of spending real quality time doing just what they love most and that’s catching some very good fish indeed. One such place is the Dordogne and another is in the mountainous regions of the Pyrenees Atlantique. Fly-fishing is an anglers delight on the river Lot as well as the Shad which is found on the western part of the River Dordogne. this is where you’ll be able to catch black bass, a fish my husband is particularly fond of catching
France also offers very good coarse fishing no matter what region you happen to be visiting or live in. But for the most part it is widely thought that the Dordogne, Charente Maritime, Landes and the Lot are the best places to go. Amongst the fish caught in these regions you will find catfish, pike, carp and much more.
The thing you have to remember is to check the fishing seasons and also to get a permit which is known as a Carte de Peche. Now in France there are two categories and for category one, you need to get an extra stamp on your permit which allows you to fish for trout and other salmon type fish which are known as salmonides. However, if you apply for a holiday fishing permit, a Carte de Peche de Vacance, you will not have to do this as it covers both the categories. The rivers in France are watched over closely by the gendarmes as well as other guardians de peche, so it is not worth trying to fish without a permit or you’ll end up in trouble.
A holiday fishing permit last for 15 consecutive days and costs around 28 euros. These are valid from the 1st June right through to the 30th November after which time an annual permit is needed. Annual permits cost about 60 euros but this can be a different price depending on which department issues the permit. One thing to remember is that the permit will only be valid for the department it has been issued in, so you can’t use it anywhere else in the country. If you are planning to tour around France and want to go fishing wherever you happen to be, then for a cost of another 16 euros, you can add up to 45 departments to the permit, this covers nearly the whole country. One other point that many people are not aware of is that you are only allowed to fish during the season and that you can only start half an hour before dawn and then you must stop half an hour after the sun sets.