After enjoying success in Correze, I had a three hour drive to Millau to hook up with my old chum, Pick (see Slovenia, and Pyrenees-Atlantique) where we were to stay, at the Cevenol Hotel in the centre of this bustling regional town, on the Dourbie.
Catching up with chums is always fun. We dined well, sipped extremely well, compared what we had been up to since our last union, then matters turned to our hopes for the next two days.
We were lucky to find, Eddy (Bertrand) , a cracking (and funny) guide, but sadly for him,
both Pikko and I failed to land a fish, and in two days, for the ‘fishing gods’ were not with us, but I hope that what follows show the experience we enjoyed with him, a splendid chap, and on splendid rivers! So…
The sun shone brightly on crystal clear water, on the Dourbie just upstream of Millau, and Eddy asked how we were at casting 20ft leaders! For the fish in these conditions were, understandably, wary and tempting a rise would require stealth at the outer limits of the extreme. We settled on leaders, of two rod lengths for comfort. On the point, a bushy elk hair caddis, to test the hunger of these spooky ‘farios’.
The river here has a lovely variety of narrow fast runs, big boulders and deep pools behind them, long glides, and all protected by tree lined slopes, so at least winds did not affect the casting. To access likely runs required wading to test even the experienced, for the river was much wider in parts. And it was after one precarious wade that I hooked into my first, and only fish that morning which fought and struggled…and came off my barbless hook. Eddy was frustrated for rises were few, and movement even less, and I would persist with dries, as is my wont.
Pikko and I both ‘blanked’ but lunch in one of Bertrand’s favourite restaurants was fun!
Seven or eight miles away, there is a tributary of the Tarn, which is where we hoped for better. Flowing through the village of Peyreleau is the delightful Jonte river.
We left our cars in a narrow lane and walked in intense heat through a meadow or two, to the bottom of the beat opposite a campsite, which will always worry! Dogs, swimmers, kayak-ers, amateurs…but none of these. Just two spin fishermen working their way downstream when we were planning to do the dry fly thing, the other way! It is difficult to attract wary little wild fish when they have had the wits scared out of them by lumps of colourful metallic clatterings landing on their heads, n’est-ce pas!?
We caught ‘rien’ which should not surprise, but wandered some way upstream of Peyreleau to quieter waters, but to no avail.
I gave up and sought the sanctuary of an inn and a cold beer, and at least that was a success.
Wandering back to the car, my mind was filled with a repeat of what I hand enjoyed the previous evening at the hotel…the delicious combination from the ‘Terroir Menu’- “Foie gras mi- cuit au sel – Compoté de poire aux amandes – Pain de campagne grillé, followed by Ris d’Agneau à la Millavoise”
But at the very place where we entered the river in the heat of the afternoon, fish were rising in the gloomy light before dusk…and we left?
Never again, will I put my stomach before a rising fish, and I still have to catch a trout in Aveyron!
The sleepy village of Saint-Georges de Luzencon is just a few klicks from Millau, but to reach it requires driving toward and underneath the most wonderous structure – the Viaduc de Millau.
And through the village flows the Cernon. This is the most fishy of water, but the elusive farios eluded me.
So that was the second of what is rare in my fishing calendar, but this is a spectacular department which I must revisit, and I hope that Eddy will guide me.
Later I received this nice note from this super guy –
Very happy to have got acquainted, it’s a pity that fishes were not this time there. In the pleasure to find you at the water’s edge in Aveyron, also, you can pass on to me Robert’s coordinates;Thank you still,
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Well done Mr Mair. You captured Les Rivieres sans poissons very well.
I am convinced that there are no trout near Millau!!