"Les Gaves": fly fishing in South West France
The rivers flowing from the rugged Pyrenees are called "les Gaves". Rushing down the steep slopes of these mountains which materialize the border between France and Spain, they become much quieter in the rolling hills landscape of the Béarn, a lovely area hosting typical villages, with a strong caracter and architecture.
High granite peaks flanked by layers of limestone form a unique terrain. Rivers are rock and stone, but thanks to the the limestone, the water is rich and crystal clear during the low flow periods, making sight fishing possible.
The fishing season begins in March and ends mid September. Rivers are rain and snow fed. The snow melts between April, May and June, making the fishing either excellent or quiet poor depending on the rivers and current water conditions. Local knowledge is obviously essential when it comes to choosing the river during spring timee. There si almost always a good fishing day to be had, but you need to be at the right place, at the right time.
A nice shad run occurs in spring (with a peak usually in May); a nice reservoir (website) hosting beautiful brownies and feisty rainbows provide an alternative for the rare periods when the conjunction of snow melt and heavy rain makes the rivers too high and muddy to flyfish.
Our local rivers feature a wide range of fishing conditions, from the rushing torrent to the rock and stone river (either fast and braided or quietly flowing in deep, picturesque, gorges), and the big, daunting river, where the trout are large and hard to catch. Depending on your technical level and expectations, I will take you to selected spots where you will either have the possibility to enjoy a wonderful day outdoors in a pristine environment, learning how to catch these lovely mountain trouts, or slowly stalking a large river, searching for larger fish on the feed.
The fishing can be excellent any time in the season, it all depends on the weather conditions, snow falls. Call me, and we will certainly find a way to have a great day on the water together.
Tight lines, and see you soon!!!!