River Vienne - France


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River Vienne- Central France

Late in 2004 Chris and I tried a bit of pioneering and headed off to the River Vienne. Large sections of this river are shallow, fast and streamy so I scoured the Michelin map for barrages. Generally speaking the water will back up for many 100's of meters, sometimes even kilometers, giving a nice slow current, decent width and a good depth. Conditions like this make our Uk style of fishing very effective, i.e., putting out beds of bait, buzzers, bobbins etc.

We tracked down a couple of promising areas in the Confluenes area, visited the local tackle shop to pick up the excellent value 15 day holiday permit and managed to confirm that the area we fancied was legal night fishing, which it was, so a relaxed trip was ensured. The small back road goes along the waters edge for the entire night section so we were able to check out the whole stretch from the car. At the end of the section we came across a large flat area with an island 60 meters out, to the left, and another smaller island about 180 meters down stream, to the right. This appeared the perfect doubling up swim, both of us with viable features a nice distance apart but next door for a social weeks fishing, like it should be on a fishing holiday with friends.

Chris got off to a flying start with four or five runs the first night, these came from a sand bar we could see running off the tip of the island to his left. The fish were mostly fighting fit doubles, both mirrors and commons. I had a couple of pickups to the far island and lost both in unseen snags. On checking out the island margins the next day it appeared strewn with sunken trees, good for holding fish but at 180yds, even on braid, the fish made the snags before I gained control. We opted for reasonable amounts of bait (nothing new there!) putting in boilies, pellets and a maize/tiger nut blend. I like to maintain consistency with beds of bait and used about 8kg a day.
Action came to both of us just about every night, and by baiting up later into the evening we extended the feeding period into the following morning. The larger fish tended to be mirrors but all were long lean fish, great fun and awesome fighters but we never saw or connected with the stamp of fish we had been following leads to (20kg+). There were so many fish here that bait was running seriously low with a few days to go so it was off to the supermarket for maize, pigeon conditioner and big tins of cooked chick peas. This got us out of jail and we ended up landing well over 30 fish.

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