The French Chronicles: The Zebra Trout Hunter
In the latest French Chronicles feature Stanislas Freyheit takes a look at another great French angler.
In the last ‘French Chronicles’, I introduced you a very gifted French angler but if you thought he was the pinnacle, then you were mistaken – we have a number of very fine anglers plying their trade on this side of La Manche, and today I would like to introduce you to yet another ‘specimen’.
Maybe some of you know that we have a special kind of trout in the north east of France, called ‘zebra trout’. This trout is a pure Salmo trutta fario, but the phenotype is adapted to the geology of the calcareous rivers of the north east of France. It gives this fish a stunning dress, striped with several brands, and sprinkled with dark spots (we also call them ‘Adidas trout’!)
These fish have a perfect camouflage for their particular environment, and it’s sometimes really hard to spot them in the water - but our man is a real pro when it comes to chasing these zebra trout. His name is Alexandre Gauriat, and when it comes to zebra trout he is ‘the man’!
Alexandre - like many high level French anglers – is specialized in sight nymphing and is able to stalk the banks of any clear river, to spot the fish, and to present his nymphs to them with incredible finesse. But Alexandre is not just a sight nymphing freak, he has also made numerous trips throughout the world, from searching for big bow in Patagonia, to fight mighty tarpon on the flats!
So, you want to know his secret to catching so many big trout? Well, I’ll tell you, and the answer is in fact very simple - he is a complete angler!
He executes perfect drifts, he has all of the weights and all of the sizes of all of the classic nymphs, a very good vision of the fish in the water and, last but not least, he approaches trout like a wolf… He knows well that big trout feeding close to the bank can be really cagey and will quickly spook from any unusual noises, movements or shadows and that is why Alexandre tries to be as invisible as possible when he approaches the fish.
You can have a look at his blog HERE. Maybe you won’t understand all of the French, if not just have a look at the pictures if you want to enjoy a virtual trip with some totally stunning French zebra trout!
About the author
Stanislas Freyheit is a French professional fly-tyer and writer, specialising in the production of hand-tied French original nymphs.
He has travelled in many different countries during the past ten years, fishing with both dry flies and nymphs, and has decided to specialized in the production of nymphs designed to fish what he has called the ‘four fundamental nymphing methods’ namely:
- Czech nymphing
- Klink and dink nymphing
- French nymphing
- Sight nymphing
You can find his tungsten and ceramic nymphs HERE Stanislas also shares his fly fishing experiences on a colourful blog HERE describing ten years of nymphing around the world in texts, pictures and tutorial videos.
Articles by the same author
- The French Chronicles - Autumn in the Balkans
- The French Chronicles - New Zealand’s Explorer
- The French Chronicles: The Zebra Trout Hunter
- The French Chronicles: Sight Fishing
- The French Chronicles: Three Frenchies on the Thingvellir
- The French Chronicles: Ceramic Nymphs