Trout includes a number of species. These oily fish have fins entirely without spines but different colorations and patterns according to the environment they are living in. Like a camouflage based on the surroundings, these features change as the fish moves to different habitats. In general, wild trout are claimed to have more vivid colours. It is one of the most sought-after fish in France.
|Life Span||from 7 years to several decades|
|Breeding Period||from November to January|
|Records in France||84cm - 14.3kg|
Trout are generally found in cool (10-16°C) clear streams and lakes. Most of them are restricted to freshwater but many - like the steelhead - spend their adult life in the ocean and then return to spawn in their birth streams. Trout mainly live on soft bodied aquatic invertebrates, although the largest specimens regularly feed on other fish.
Trout Fishing in France
In France, the trout season legally starts by March 20th and runs until the 3rd Sunday of September. These dates can however vary according to the regions, the best period to combine peak hatches and low cost of license is from June 1st to July 15th.
Fly fishing for trout is an exciting encounter with nature on any level. Coaxing a selective trout into taking your fly is one of the most satisfying challenge on fishing, all the more so as France is renowned for being a pretty difficult fishing location. The top spots are the following areas: Normandy, Camargue, Lozere, Jura, Champagne, Dordogne and Pyrenees. This latter area is among the wildest and most scenic fishing destinations in Europe. Off the beaten track hide perfect trout-fishing getaways.
Choosing the right tackle is crucial. Below is a list of basics.
- Fly rods : to keep things simple, your first rod should be a nine foot #5 weight ; it will allow you to cover the widest range of situations. However, while gaining in knowledge and experience, more specialized tackle is becoming more appropriate.
- Fly reels : the reel should balance in weight with the fly rod. It must be backlash-free and hold a minimum of 75 yards of backing. Some functional art work machined fly reels can greatly increase your catches chances.
- Fly lines : a clean fly line in good repair is essential to good line handling and performance. Bright coloured ones are great for fishing nymphs but can hinder your presentation to spooky fish in clear water.
One of the key to successful trout fishing is the understanding of rivers. An accurate knowledge of water moves is indeed very useful. As follows are some tips:
- Having a fast current and shallow water, riffles are morning and evening feeding areas. Trout usually spawn just above or below them, but may spawn right in them.
-Runs are deeper than riffles with a moderate current. The bottom is made up of small gravel or rubble and represents hot spots for trout almost anytime.
-Pools are smoother and are the darkest parts of the stream. These deep, slow-moving waters make good midday resting spots for medium to large trout.