Fishing in the Loire Valley


A few anecdotes written by keen visiting fisherman A.J. Ediesson. 

A few days this summer spent fishing at the Moulin de la Fresnaye prompted me to write a few words...

The River Indre which runs right alongside the front door is famous for fishing, with a selection of fish, Carp, Perch, Chub, Roach, Bream, Zander, Tench and Pike to name a few, the Mill will rapidly become a peaceful retreat for fishing enthusiasts and countryside lovers alike.  For the more energetic try hauling in enormous Catfish.

Several early morning late evening sessions were to follow, by then I'd spotted the haunts of several excellent Chub, but following thoughtful pre-baiting only succeeded in catching large numbers of Bream.  Then suddenly in a heavy rain squall I was towed up and down the river either by a shark or a rogue torpedo which on three occasions left me with something I'd never seen before......a totally straightened, decent quality size ten hook and not so much as a glimpse of the fish. 

The whole property is made up of six islands which the river Indre weaves its way through.  This allows plenty of scope for the visiting Angler.  I concentrated on two main areas, one about 200 feet from the apartment and the second, a longer trek which meant carrying tackle as much as eighty yards to a Point where flow from the two bridges feed a large Basin area.  From this point, a float can be long trotted Nottingham style right across the basin or ledger gear can be comfortably reach either the depth of the 'Lake' or the fringes of the huge mass of lily pads where Tench bubble throughout the day and truly wild Carp crash at all times. 

This is no artificial 'Etang' cleaned up and filled with lazy monsters reared on high protein diets, but a test of old fashioned basic angling skills, where you must read the water and form your own judgement on baits, tackle and fishing styles.  Then just when you think you've fathomed it out, someone downstream opens or closes the sluice gates and the flow almost grinds to a halt or hurtles under the mill creating a myriad of turbulence and undercurrents.

Chub six ounces to about a pound are probably the first fish that you will spot, followed by masses of small roach.  Every few minutes a bomb burst of leaping fry fly across the surface attests to the Perch, Pike or Zander feeding voraciously.

For my final sessions I resorted to size 6 forged steel specialist carp hooks which brought in numerous good Bream and a couple of complete a Black Bass, a North American fighting fish introduced to the Paris area some years ago....and my shark?  Its obvious really.  They didn't have the ponderous pulling power of the huge Carp that are undoubtedly close to the mill (watch out for the locals fishing with luminous washing lines and don't scoff as a verified fifty two pounder came out two mills down river), but their turn of speed should have given me a hint.  What other fish would you expect in a slow moving, mudding looking, canal type water?  I'm actually rather pleased with my photo of a two and a half foot long Barbel, the larger of the two I finally outwitted.  Nine different species in ten days, without seriously fishing for Pike or Zander is quite sufficient for me.  Will I return?  Try and stop me.