(see also Fairport Convention's second album released 1969 on A&M Records)
April 2008, and the five of us head to Lagrasse in S. France for our first family holiday abroad together. Leaving home at 04:00 to catch a bus from Belfast to Dublin, we stop via Newry and stare at the Newry Canal. In recent years, this waterway has attracted a new breed of fly fishers - those after pike on the fly. Traditional streamers and lures are known pike catchers, increasingly they are taken on the dry fly. Whatever the method, this sounds like thrilling sport. Lean, predatory and athletic, I can only try to imagine the buzz of taking a pike on the fly.
The main objective of the holiday is to relax, eat and drink well and get out and about a bit together. But also to fish a little.
I had the opportunity, well the pleasure to meet up with Marc "La Mouche"Fauvet, a local fly fisher, fly tyer and casting guru. He'll blush when he reads this, but hey, I was impressed.
The day started with some coffee at the house, well, we were in France. There was croissants too... We then headed out of town towards the mountains, parking up and heading to the waterside. This was a welcome sight, small water and brushy. I was keen to pass Marc my 7' 2wt rod to see what it could do in experienced hands. I had always assumed such ultra-light gear was limited in terms of casting. Marc was in the water, behind him a narrow slither between branches and brush as he expertly aerialised 30' of line with fast and tight loops. No snagging going on here, just total line control and the ability to alight a dry fly on to the water's surface with complete finesse.
Yeah, I was real impressed....
No wonder then that Marc completed and passed the FFFCCI exam in Germany a couple of weeks later.
We saw a few trout, I spooked them and didn't catch any. Strangely, the day was more about fishing, the landscape and the company than fish, if you get my drift. The conversation was amusing and intelligent, the company warm and thoroughly enjoyable.
Next time, we'll get serious about the fish. Marc knows this water well and would make a first class guide if you find yourself in the Aude/Lagrasse/Carcassonne area in need of some fly fishing or casting tuition. Untill then, I'll keep playing my Fairport Convention album and remember what we did on our holidays...
Marc's details are:
Federation of Fly Fishers-Certified Casting Instructor
Comision National de Lanzado (Spain) -Master de Lanzado
Based in the French Pyrenees, south of Carcassonne, I offer casting courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced fly fishers in English or French.
Guiding services on local waters are possible as well.
marcfauvet at yahoo dot com
phone- (33) 468 69 62 83
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