The day before attending the Tenkara Fest my friend Edouard and I had planned to discover the Drobie stream which is a tributary of the Beaume stream that originates in Montselgues, at the south East of the Parc National des Monts d'Ardèche.
We did meet in the village of Joyeuse where we did buy local traditional food and then we had to drive on a small mountain road towards the village of Sainte Melany where Edouard knows a beautiful stretch of the Drobie stream that he wanted to share with me.
We did arrive on the stream at 8:30 a.m and it was already pretty hot. I did not know this stream at all before going there and I was fascinated by the sheer beauty of this landscape. I was sure that fishing was not going to be easy because of air and water temperature but at least I was gifted to spend a day in such a beautiful place.
While we were walking down to the stream we were analyzing the stream to spot trouts that we could try to catch. I did catch the first one after about five minutes in a very tight raw of water. It was a small trout but I was happy because it was my first Mediterranean Trout that I ever have got in my tamo.
Edouard was fishing a few meters upstream and had already caught several "sofies" that were very active on food, rushing to anything falling on the water surface. These small fishes were taking advantage from the fact that trouts were not active on food and as I have observed many times in my streams of Normandy the intense activity of small cyprinids in a trout streams means that the local trouts are going to be very hard to get interested by a fly. The goal of this tenkara outing was not anyway to catch a lot of fishes but to go fishing with a friend. We had never met yet and only shared our passion for tenkara through the internet. We did fish upstream, trying our chance on every spot but all the trouts we were targeting only rushed to our flies without biting. Edouard was fishing with a black dry fly and I was using a grey wet fly. A lot of small trouts did rush to my kebari but I was not fast enough on hook setting when one of them did bite it. It was nearly noon and it was really hot.
We were hungry and decided ti fish downstream back to the place where we had parked our cars and did catch lots of "sofies". As we saw in gin clear deep pools these "small" fishes can reach nice sizes but the bigger specimen do not mix with the mass of small individuals that rush to any bug falling in the water.
We took a long lunch break in the shades of trees while discussing about fishing and of course especially tenkara and we realized that we had many common viewpoints and analysis about many aspects this fishing technique. Refreshed by this break we decided to go fishing down in the valley even though we agreed to say that we had very little chance to catch any trout in the afternoon. It was about 3 o'clock p.m and the temperature was 95 F°!
I still had my grey kebari tied to my tippet but I did not catch any trout but lots of sofies did see the stream from above...
To catch these small fishes one needs good quality fly drifts and when the wind stuffed in the valley at about five p.m it became very hard to control our lines and we did not catch fish at all. Line control is really the key to success for tenkara anglers.
Overwhelmed by the heat and convinced that we had very little chance to catch anything more Edouard and I decided to stop fishing and go back to the place where we had parked our cars. We were not disappointed as we knew since the start that this tenkara outing would be hard because of the hot weather. We just wanted to spend a nice day before the Tenkara Fest.
Back at the parking lot we did take a wise decision: driving to the next village and drink some ice cold beer in a pub. I have spent a good day with a friend who thinks like me that a good fishing outing is all about fun and challenge. I had the opportunity to discover a stream I had never heard about a few days ago and I have to thank Edouard for sharing with me a gorgeous place.