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  1. #1


    I've just moved to the South West of France, which apparently is fly-fishing heaven. It's mostly small to medium sized rivers, mountain streams and the odd small to medium lake, although there are some larger reservoirs as well. Can anyone suggest an all-round fly-fishing set up that will cope with most of these conditions? I'm only just getting started with this fluff-flinging malarkey, so I'd like to keep it relatively simple, i.e. what rod (length? number?), type of fly line (floating or sinking? weight?), dry or wet fly? nymph? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Gerry Castles Guest


    If its' only one rod you require then a six weight 9 footer wil cover you for medium size rivers and lakes. Not entirely suitable for small stream fishing or large reservoirs but OK for the majority of circumstances you are likely to find in the South West of France. Get youself a spare spool with your reel and a floating and medium fast sink line. Later you might find that a fast sink line will allow you to fish some of the faster flowing streams. Find out what the local patterns are and stick with them or get a small selection of dries,nymphs and lures. Don't forget that you'll probably have largemouth bass as a possible target species in your location too. Join a local club if you can, it's the fastest way to meet expereinces flyfishers and learn the techniques and locations.

  3. #3


    Cheers Gerry. I take it the medium fast sink line is for the medium sized rivers, right? As I said, I'm just beginning, so my knowledge of these things is pretty limited.
    I think you're probably right about joining a local club, but my French will have to improve, though - I'm only just getting used to the fly-fishing terminology in English, never mind French!

  4. #4
    Gerry Castles Guest


    The medium fast sink line has more to do with current flow and/or the need to get down to sub surface feeding fish on rivers and lakes. Ideally you'll switch between both lines. You can still fish at depth with a floating line and a long degreased leader but long leaders are tricky to handle when you are just learning to cast. Initially keep leader length to no more than 8/9 feet until you've stopped lassoing your ears then experiment with longer leaders. It's not unusual to use 20-22 foot leaders on finicky fish. On the days when fish are feeding confidently on the surface usually dusk and dawn then the floater is your best choice. When there is no sign of fish activity and your surface flies are not attracting attention then they usually are to be found sub-surface sometimes at great depth, at that point switch to a medium sinker. This is a much simplified explanation of general feeding patterns and how to address them. When you know your way around then you'll be in a position to experiment with different kinds of sinking lines.

  5. #5
    Gerry Castles Guest


    Incidentally Ben, I buy most of my flyfishing stuff from Tony Van De Molen in Luxembourg. His website at has both french and german languge versions so if you don't know the french word for an item of tackle, then you'll probably find it on the website. Tony stocks most of the Orvis catalogue and his staff also speak excellent english if you order by telephone.
    The other site I use which is french (english language version available) and is also saltwater flyfishing orientated is

  6. #6


    Cheers again Gerry - that's topped up the vocabulary considerably. Just remains for me to go out, buy the tackle and catch some fish!

  7. #7
    Ron Clay Guest



    Don't ever reduce fly fishing to "Fluff Flinging". Once you get into it you will find that it is one of the most interesting and satisfying ways of catching fish ever invented. I spent many years of my life doing very little ese, not only for trout, but for many other species too.

    A 9 to 91/2 foot fly rod that will throw a 6 to 7 weight line is the thing to aquire. In addition a reel with cassette spools is not only ideal, but low cost as well. You will find that a floating line is the most used, although a couple of slow sinkers (clear slime lines) and a fast sinker can be useful.

    If you are fishing very small streams, an 8 foot rod that will throw a 4 weight line is ideal.

    Learnt to tie your own flies. They will be far better than those you can buy.

    And good luck.

  8. #8


    Thanks for the tips, Ron. No disrespect meant by fluff flinging, just a term from my earlier coarse fishing days that seems to have stuck with me. I can't wait to get out there and try it, to be honest - a book called 'The Longest Silence' by Thomas McGuane put the idea in my head, and now I'm in the right part of the world I just have to give it a go. If you get the chance, give the book a read, it's well worth it.

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