Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Green River Canoes: Fishing Trips


Fishing in the Belgium Ardennes
Canoeing and Fishing

Without a doubt you could easily mix a canoeing trip with a fishing trip and their is no reason why you couldn't use a canoe to fish from just as the locals in France and Belgium use the small flat-bottomed punts. You have to admire these punts because you often see them partially drowned tied up to the bank and you must wonder if they will ever be used again, but I've seen a seemingly lost boat patiently bailed until it was afloat again and then pushed out into the stream for an hour or so of fishing.

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The rivers we paddle in France and Belgium do not allow any motorised boats on the river, apart from a small stretch of the Dordogne where the Gabarres run between Roque-Gageac and Beynac offering a tourist service.

Most of the fishing we see is from the bank or fly-fishers stood mid-stream. Only a few fish from boats. The fishers are friendly too and don't much mind the canoes as we go by. This must be because the river is not at all busy. My friend and I were once briefly the scourge of fishers as we paddled through Tours on the river Loire. We didn't have room to skirt them in a wide arc as we had a rapid to negotiate. We were not popular and some even chased us downstream to pass on some advice and encouragement! Normally however a friendly nod and a wave is enough to pass pleasantly.

On the Célé river the fishers are given the river to themselves before 11am and again after 6pm and it is only between these hours that you are allowed to paddle the river. It seems fair, but I wonder what they would say if you were fishing from your canoe.

In all the ten years I've been taken canoe trips down these rivers though we've only ever had one person who trolled from the back of his canoe. He enjoyed himself too although he had to rely on the patience of his partner to do his paddling for him. He didn't actually have much luck in the actual fishing department. The Rainbow Trout and the Barbels eluded him but he did manage to catch one small but handsome Perch, which he gallantly put back.





Anyway the point is if you like fishing then I'm sure we could arrange plenty of time for it on our canoeing trips. We have plenty of time in the early mornings and in the long warm evenings to fit in some bank-side fishing and of course trolling is always a possibility. If more serious fishing time was required then we would re-arrange our schedule to fit it in.

We would also organise the licenses and search out the shops that sell bait and tackle.