River Ourthe in Belgium

pdenb

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Have plans to visit the river Ourthe in Belgium soon and was hoping that maybe there were some friendly, local Belgian fishermen around here who could give me a few pointers/tips from their own experience. I'll be visiting the stretches owned by the 'La Truite Houffalize' fishing club and have no idea what to expect. Love to fish dries.

kind regards,

Paul.
 

lhomme

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Hi Paul,
you'll be fishing one of the arms above the barrage de Nisramont. It's called l'Ourthe Orientale as opposed to the Occidentale arm. The club you joined is a large one, I believe at some point they had over 800 members, coming from all parts of the country and other countries too. Reason being it is a nice stretch of river and they have a few tributaries you can fish too as a member. Second reason so many like it is because the club has the means to stock heavily with brown trout, so especially in the summer you'll never be alone anywhere on the main river. Dries are as good an option as wet flies, nymphs and even small streamers. Mayflies and sedges are abundant there. The stocked trout are of decent size (up to 30 cm max.) and some years they even get a couple of old breeding fish (géniteurs) to top up the volume. It would be good to get a detailed map of the region, that way you can visit the tributaries when the main stretch gets crowded. They usually are more secluded and definitely less fished.

Bonne merde! ;)
 

lhomme

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I should have added you can fish the whole river Ourthe downstream from the barrage with the state permit you need to buy (I believe you can buy "holiday" permits as well now, at least they were busy looking into that when I left the region). You'll find more info here: http://www.maisondelapeche.be/En

The river downstream from the barrage is less crowded, less stocked, but the chances of catching wild brown trout and other fish as grayling, chub, rudd and barbel are real. You'll even find shoals of common nase and the stretches are beautiful. Tibewé, le Hérou and les Ondes are all worth a visit. Prepare for long walks though. ;)
 
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thetrouttickler

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I'll be watching this thread with interest. Please post a report after your visit. My brother is starting at the university in Leuven in September (well, if the virus pandemic alleviates and he is allowed to travel there). Over the next three years I plan to visit and do some fishing with him. Any trout fishing near Leuven, Johan?
 

docsalmo

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There's 1 or 2 fly fishing clubs in the area of Leuven - Tienen (Frank Sawyer & Millenium). No trout rivers. Perhaps you can try to fly fish for carp or pike. There used to be a reservoir with stocked rainbows (Millenium Lake). Need to check if it's still in use.
 

lhomme

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I'll be watching this thread with interest. Please post a report after your visit. My brother is starting at the university in Leuven in September (well, if the virus pandemic alleviates and he is allowed to travel there). Over the next three years I plan to visit and do some fishing with him. Any trout fishing near Leuven, Johan?
I think docsalmo covered it well, thetrouttickler. All (trout) rivers are in Wallonia and most reservoirs as well, but there are a few possibilities to fish still waters in Flanders and the region isn't that large. Alternatively you could fish Kluizen, a large drinkwater reservoir near Gent.
More info here: http://www.vliegvissen.be/?p=kluizen_voorstelling
 

thetrouttickler

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I think docsalmo covered it well, thetrouttickler. All (trout) rivers are in Wallonia and most reservoirs as well, but there are a few possibilities to fish still waters in Flanders and the region isn't that large. Alternatively you could fish Kluizen, a large drinkwater reservoir near Gent.
More info here: http://www.vliegvissen.be/?p=kluizen_voorstelling
Thank you. We might make a trip to the rivers in Wallonia, then. It's a small distance relatively speaking.
 

pdenb

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Thanks for the information Lhomme. One of my fishing mates decided he couldn't wait any longer and already went over there for a day. Said it was tough but managed to catch 7 trout and 11 chub. Not bigger then 30cm indeed. Our plan is to spend 2 full days there in the coming weeks. I'll let you guys know how it goes.
 

pdenb

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So, I promised I'd report back. Over the course of 2 days we fished both the entire no-kill section and the entire former no-kill section. The best result was 3 trout in a single day. There just didn't seem to be much trout around. We fished about 10 hours a day. There was however, quite a lot of chub in the river. We fished for those, which is always fun. Caught 14 chub in one day. Had a lof of fun. Seems like either they didn't stock the river during the corona-period, or the river's been fished empty of trout. Spoke to several fishermen who had the same experience. No trout. The water was very low also, which I'm sure had an impact on the fishing. Also, we encountered 1 fisherman (fly) without a license and a fisherman with a spinning rod, without a license. While the flyrod is the only allowed form of fishing no the no-kill. All and all we had a great time either way, but the experience really doesn't justify a 50 euro a year license+37 euro state license. Fishing or chub is fun, but can easily be done on other (parts of the) rivers without the extra costs. I'm sure we'll go back again and try another time to see if we have better luck.
 

docsalmo

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2 problems in the Belgian Ardennes...

(1) As you said, the water levels are low right now because of the dry summer. So difficult trout fishing.

(2) Many clubs will stock and the day after, the locals will come and they take all the fish that they can catch back home, even if the fish is not yet the right size :cry::cry::cry: (on a positive note: it are the older, local fishermen who show this kind of behaviour - the young ones have a better mindset)
 

pdenb

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Dank Dominique! That's our experience as well in Belgium (and Luxembourg) but. this time we hoped it would be better. We have had good fishing days in Belgium as well. But more often then not, the fishing days have been tough.
 

lhomme

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Open rivers are what they are, everywhere I guess, overfished and hard. Most are only worth fishing very (!) early and around nightfall. Locals won't be seen when the kayaks and daytime recreationists are out. Some private stretches are real gems but hard to get on and some even require a guide. This one is not cheap but he does a good job and the fishing is quite an experience with three very different rivers to explore. http://www.flyfishingbelgium.com/
If you never fished it the Lhomme is a nice alternative, downstream of the stretch I managed for the province the "Buroise" sells day tickets and is stocked by the provincial hatchery, which you can visit while you're there. This is the domain link http://www.province.luxembourg.be/fr/domaine-provincial-de-mirwart.html?IDC=3790#.Xx2TXeR7mM8
Don't hesitate to speak to the employees and their bosses when they're around, you might get access to one or two governmental parts of the river. There's a waiting list and well known names are members, but first impressions still make a difference in those circles. It may even help to mention my name. ;)
 
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