So after a most enjoyable day with Bruno (Beusse) on the upper Loire the previous day, and after a super dinner of delicious regional cuisine at the Hotel du Nord, we set off over the hills toward the adjacent department of Haute-Loire, and a new Region, to boot.
The drive was beautiful and I will repeat myself, with the assertion, that to many Brits, this is an undiscovered part of France, and well worth a visit.
A journaliere was required and we secured this at the tabac in the Square in Les Estables. This small town is just so French, and the tabac, a treasure trove of local events, past times, and history, and probably the walls can tell a tale or two, as well!
Onward just a few kilometres to Le Chambon, nestling 1200m above sea level, to arrive on a bright sunny day. My first view of the Lignon was where the river is dammed to provide swimming for the locals, but above that and through a few fields, the heartbeat increased as a few fish were rising and a few olives coming off a part where the waters were clear and brown tinted, like a peaty moorland Devon stream. The rocky edges made wading in that morning uncertainty we all know (a bit like that first run of the day down a ‘blue’…everything a little stiff from the exercise of the day prior!)
Nothing early on, but a gravelly run looked promising, and wading upstream for a mile or so, the runs and flows looked just so fishy, and while there were a few flies coming off, nothing was feeding and the first morning session drew a blank.
Not to be discouraged, and Bruno knowing of my personal challenge, suggested we move upstream. Near Chanteloupe, the Lignon changes to the traditional small stream fishing I love,
and quickly we spotted small fish moving, and the important one, was the first to take a shine to my CDC.
Vin de table rouge, du saucisse, du pain and du fromage, sitting and chatting with Bruno in the bright Auvergne sunshine completed this short tour, with two new departments to my name…a delightful trip.