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We love it when subscribers check in with reports on international fishing trips like this one by subscriber William Taylor. He spent a day this past July on the Dordogne River in Perigord, France, and has this to say about the experience:
“Is France a prime destination for fly fishing? Well, maybe not, but if you’re going there and have the time, a day on a river can be rewarding. Anticipating a July trip to southwestern France, I emailed The Angling Report for help in arranging a day of fly fishing in the Perigord/Dordogne region. At Don Causey’s suggestion, I consulted Nicolas de Toldi at www.gourmetfly.com (011 33 6 83 25 84 09), who sent me lots of helpful information. All things considered, we concluded that my best option was a half-day guided session fishing for grayling and brown trout on a tailwater section of the historic Dordogne River. “Nick set me up with Gregoire Ribert from Argentat, France (011 33 6 22 32 53 27), who also guides in Sweden and Slovenia. I met Gregoire at a predetermined spot between Puybrun and Bretenoux, a two-hour drive from my hotel in Monpazier.
“During summer, the river is used heavily by canoeists and kayakers, but regulations dictate that they must be off the river by 6 pm; accordingly, we began our session at 6:30, accessing the river from a farmer’s field adjacent to a paved secondary road. Inside the tree line, the river seemed wild and remote. We waded a long, wide run, the water low and clear, the bottom dark and rocky, the air cool and the winds light. An insect hatch was in progress and I was excited to see multiple riseforms disturbing the calm surface.
“This was technical fishing. I rigged up my 5 wt. with a fine 15-foot leader with 7x tippet and a tiny dry fly of Gregoire’s creation. In three-and-a-half hours of fishing, with lots of good casts, drag-free drifts, and frequent changes of fly, I had only three ‘nudges’ or swirls, but no takes. The fish, mostly grayling, were there, and they were feeding, but they were not interested in what I was offering. But that’s fishing!
“Sadly, the session was over all too soon. We left the river at 10:00 pm so I could get a head start on my drive back, but not before Gregoire broke out a fresh, crusty boule, home-canned pork confit, local sausages, and a tasty Slovenian cabernet sauvignon for a streamside repast. Delicious, and so French! The guided session cost 95 euros, plus 10 euros for a one-day fishing license. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to fellow subscribers of The Angling Report.”—William Taylor.