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Fly Fishing in Europe - The Golden Trout of 'Le Martinet'

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Golden trout from “Le Martinet” lakes Golden trout from “Le Martinet” lakes

Within an area of 5 hectares, “Le Martinet” welcomes you in an exceptional setting where calm, tranquillity and nature reigns. Two lakes with a total area of 2.7 hectares and a beautiful stone house and restaurant mark this superb location. The fishery is located in the small village of Ney in Jura that historically belonged to the Free County of Burgundy, known in French as the Franche-Comté. Dole was the capital until the region was conquered by Louis XIV and it was moved to Besançon. The “Ain” river that crosses the village is also a top venue for fly fishers!

Fight the golden devils!

Set in the idyllic Ney village, “Le Martinet” Fly Fishery is surrounded by natural countryside and most importantly, water comes from a crystal-clear stream full of native brown trout. It creates some of the best small still water traditional dry and nymph fly-fishing in the country. The fishery is heavily stocked with Rainbow, Brown, Brook trout and exceptional Golden trout up to 10lb in weight. The scientific name of this fish is “Oncorhynchus aguabonita”. Very closed to the rainbow trout species, this yellow-orange trout is native to California, where it breeds in rivers. In France, the trout stocks are primarily of hybrids created from the crossing of identical individuals.

Rainbow troutAll are grade one, full-finned, superb fighting fish. “Le Martinet” fly fishery covers two lakes, so the fly-fishing area is not too small and equally, not too big and daunting. The water is just the right size for the art of fly-fishing and you also have the freedom to move about on the banks and fish amongst the natural wild life that frequent the water. In France the modern fly-fishermen have slowly turned to small dries and they became top water fishing specialists. Here dry fly fishing has often been referred to as an art or a cult, with the anglers belonging to some kind of fraternity. If there is a hatch of flies and there are adults or duns about, trout are observed to be taking them on both Martinet lakes. No doubt you will take some good golden trout with dries and they fight like devils but the water is so clear that most of the French anglers practise visual “nymphing”.

rainbow_trout_s_149383478.jpgThe pheasant tail nymph is probably the best example as it has long been one of the most successful flies in these lakes. It must vaguely represent something edible to the trout and I feel that these caricatures of the natural diet are often far better fish-catchers than close copy imitations. Visual fishing is taking an extra dimension in France. It is probably the best way of catching a double figure golden trout. Those specimens rarely suck down a natural on the surface, so you need to get down to their feeding level. There is an exception with the abundance of black beetles on the bigger lake, which sometimes provides massive rising fish, and excellent sport with golden trout!

hard_fighting_fish_s_632765670.jpgStalking fishers want their nymph to get down in front of the trout’s path in maybe two seconds! A long leader up to 20 feet is then recommended! The pulling lure tactic is the last but not least method employed by the anglers on those charming lakes. We all know that sometimes big fish prefer large mouthfuls and here they’ve got plenty to pick from. When coarse fish fry, tops the menu, mainly because they provide hungry trout with a high protein meal, it is time for lure fishing. Brown trout in particular turn on to fish flesh from a very early age. They charge into their helpless victims and leave them stunned, dying and spinning near the surface. It is then easy for the trout to return and sip down their prey, as they would do with a Mayfly! Golden trout are always interested in that gin-clear water by olive and black small streamers. As often in lakes a wide variety of techniques will work including floating lines with small Buzzers or Dry Flies. Olive tadpoles are a favorite pattern fished slowly on a long leader and during the cooler months, a figure of eight retrieve accounts for its fair share of fish. Tiny dries and nymphs on a long tippet will always save the day at “Le Martinet”!

My fishing tackle for “Le Martinet” venue:
Airflo Streamtec Nantec rod 9’ line 5/6, Orvis access or Helios 2 9’ line 6.
Field&Fish reel 5/7, and Airflo Vlite reel 5/7 or Orvis Helios 3.
Airflo Ridge Supple Technical WF6 F
Airflo Light Trout Polyleaders Set or home made tapered 20 foot leader.

Domaine du Martinet.
M. Roche Arnaud
4 chemin le Martinet 39300 Ney France.
Tel. : 00 33 384 52 37 58 GSM : 00 33 679 05 76 71.

Laurent Guillermin

Laurent Guillermin is a French reporter and photographer. Laurent’s images and articles have appeared in a great number of fishing magazines in France and Europe. He’s also well-known in the small fly tying “world” and has commercial patterns tied by Easy Fly. He has traveled all over the world as a reporter and is considered as an expert fly fisher for trout, grayling, pike, carp, sea bass, bonefish and permit. “Every time you go out fishing you can have a different experience. That’s what it’s all about!”

You can contact him on lgfishing@orange.fr

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france, rainbow trout, rainbow trout

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