All those years that I went to Bohan, I always focused on the Semois river (in Belgium and in France).
But there are a lot of these little waters that flow out into the Semois, with a lot of trout in them.
But this is the kind of sign you often encounter: “Peche Interdite”, which is French, and literally translated, it means: “Fishing Prohibited”.
But there are other signs as well…
Like this one: “Fishing reserved”
This means that the rights to fish here are owned by sometimes a hotel, or in this case by a fishing club. You just need an extra permit and you’re on your way.
But of course, there are other rules and laws to follow again (typically Belgian).
In this water (until the grand opening in June), you’re already aloud to fish in every way you want to, and enter the water (unlike the Semois), but you’re only aloud to fish in the weekend and on holydays.
Also, I quickly discovered that I’ll be totally on my own to learn how to fish there. It seems that I’m the only person on this water who’s fly-fishing.
I’ve met six other fisherman so far, and they all said the same thing: “ you’re crazy!” (or at least something in that area).
I have to admit that the first weekend, I almost thought they were right. But of course, I came totally unprepared.
There are a few open spaces like you see on these pictures…
But most of the time, it looks like this.
The lightest rod I had with me was a 9’ 4# (way to long). So I didn’t catch a single fish the first weekend, and I lost a lot of flies.
Due to the hard winter (they hadn’t seen this amount of snow in a very long time), lots of trees just collapsed under the weight, and the forest is a real devastation in the whole region.
Here the electricity cables were still on the ground. The sign on the right says 15000 volt. So this was not my favourite place to fish.
So I ordered a new rod at the local shop (they didn’t have a rod in stock that I liked for these conditions).
And on Friday (just in time for the weekend), this brand new JMC Image 7’ 3-4# arrived.
I’m already convinced that I’m going to have a great time with this little rod this year. I was able to cast almost anywhere I wanted to (and I lost only a few flies).
But I only fished dry flies and terrestrials, which was a bit to soon, so again, no fish.
But then, I had a Shakespearian moment!
“to fish a streamer, or not to fish a streamer?”
So I fished a streamer and missed two trout in half an hour!
The next day, I went back for a couple of hours, and this ‘classic’ Mini Zonker did the trick. I landed three small trout (about 17, 20 and 24 cm). Unfortunately my camera was in my car again, about a kilometre away, which is a shame because these trout were very different from those in the Semois. Different colours and very beautifully spotted. So those will be for next time (in a couple of weeks).
But one thing is certain. No matter how crazy they think I am, fly-fishing does work, and I’ll be doing it a lot more in that water this season. The fun (and the skills) can only get better!