I had planned to leave Ardèche area the day after the Tenkara Fest to visit a good friend of mine who lives at a several hours drives away so on sunday I woke up at sunrise and went on the stream flowing nearby the village of Lablachère where I lived during my stay in Ardèche. The closer stream to the house is La Beaume.
I did hit the stream at about half past seven because like the days before the temperature was going to be around 95°F so I was convinced that it would be hard to find active trouts in such weather conditions.
The water being gin clear and pretty low I did put my shades before getting the rod ready, I saw a few trouts but all of them were nestled against the stones in the rare shady spots of the stream. This section of the stream is what is considered in France as second category stream which means that the fish population is a mix of salmonids and cyprinids. There were a lot of fishes rising a few yards downstream from me and even I had only fished once in a local stream I guessed that these fishes were the same that I caught two days before. I tied a sedge on my line, a very basic pattern made of CDC dubbing and deer hair.
The fishing was very simple: cast, catch, release. After many catches my sedge was totally soaked by mucus and I had to wash it and get it dry so I did a break and decided to go a little bit upstream.
Sitting on a stone I was watching the stream flowing in front of me and I saw that fishes were rising in the mainstream. They were not discreet but fewer than downstream...Trouts? I did see several of them at rest in quiet areas in the outskirts of the mainstream but at nearly 9:00 a.m the temperature was already high, too high for a trout to move on a small bug like my sedge.
My fishing was pretty simple: I was casting my sedge in the upper part of the mainstream, keeping it on the surface while lifting my rod to have a permanent tension on the line. This was very efficient and the catches were almost systematic.
Chubs! I was not disappointed because I knew since the start that I had very little chance to find active trouts and an angler must be able to adapt to weather and stream conditions. I have just read an article by an American fly angler stating that his fishing experience is 90% frustration and 10% joy and that is really something I can not understand. If I was feeling the same thing I would without a doubt definitely stop fishing but this will probably never happen to me because I have been fishing since I was a kid and my enthusiasm is still unspoiled. With a several hours drive coming I had to save energy for the rest of the day and decided to stop fishing on this stream. It was very easy to catch the first chubs but it rapidly became more technical. A whole lot of fun.
Around half past ten I collapsed my rod, spooled back my line and walked back to the hamlet where I lived during my stay in Ardèche. On the path I did come across a group of swimmers which made me think that I had well done to go fishing early.
La Beaume is a beautiful stream but it probably offers better fishing opportunities earlier in spring and that means that I will go back there...