© Tristan Buchot
River fishing accompanied by a guide in the Hautes-Pyrénées

Fishing in the Pyrenees: all our advice

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    The territory of the Gavarnie Valleys is an ideal playground for fishing. Otherwise called "the Valleys of the Gaves" (the valleys of the torrents), this territory owes its name to the presence and the confluence of different gaves: the gave of Gavarnie, Cauterets, Azun, Lavedan or Bergons for example . Since the mountain lakes which have their sources on the borders of the Pyrenean massif, passing through the torrents tumultuous or the calm banks of the gaves, these valleys offer a multitude of fishing spots, for all levels and all practices.  

    Fishing courses 

    The Gavarnie Valleys are also full of preserved natural areas, ideal for roaming over several days and immersing yourself in the most beautiful corners of our valleys, fishing rod in hand. And for less mountainous fishermen, the Gave between Pierrefitte-Nestalas and Lourdes is worth the detour with Trout Leisure, No-kill or adapted for children under 12. 

    Meeting with our fishing guides 

    In the valleys, two fishing guides, Pierre-Adrien & Clement, accompany you to discover fishing in the lakes and rivers of the Hautes-Pyrénées. Both offer half-day, full-day or multi-day outings, individually or in groups, and adapt to all the techniques, desires and abilities of the participants. They also offer tailor-made stays, whether for groups or for courses with friends.  
    Beyond a passion... 

    Pierre-Adrien explains how he fell in love with fishing:   

    “I was lucky enough to attend a fishing school in La Seoube, near Campan and above Bagnères-de-Bigorre, when I was 12 years old. We left for a whole week in the summer, to attack the mountain lakes, bivouac around the Campana refuge. Then, after long hours of training, it was on the banks of the Adour that I learned the basics of a key technique here, "toc fishing". A beautiful trip around the world and beautiful encounters have allowed me to find my way and enjoy a working environment in the fresh air every day. » 

    © Tristan Buchot
    Alternative text (SEO) River fishing in the Pyrenees

    Settled for two years in the Gavarnie Valleys, Pierre-Adrien details the benefits of his activity:

    “Fishing is above all a privileged relationship with nature; contact with water, approaches through woods and forests offer incomparable feelings of freedom. Contemplating the mountain environment or even admiring a starry sky in a bivouac gives me serenity and calm, 2 essential things for me today. No competition in my opinion, if not the pleasure of having managed to lure a fish before letting it go. » 

    Fishing, practical questions 

    Here is some information not to miss before prepare your fishing trip or your holidays in the Pyrenees !   

    What fish can we catch? 

    In the mountain streams and the lakes of the valleys, there are several varieties of fish including the famous “Gave panther".  
    "This is the little name given to wild brown trout, because here the king fish is this one, the brown trout. Note that other species are introduced to certain sectors and mountain lakes, such as rainbow trout, brook trout, Arctic char and others to the delight of anglers. We can also quote minnow, lamprey and other small fish. Note the presence in the downstream sector (from Lourdes to Argelès-Gazost), of the emblematic atlantic salmon which comes to occur at the exact place of his birth. This fish is the subject of a rescue and reintroduction plan, it is therefore protected and must be systematically returned to the water. » 

    © Clém'emotions Fishing
    Brown trout caught in the Pyrenees

    Where to fish: fishing routes & mountain lakes 

    With a variety of sectors, you are sure to find the watercourse adapted to your level. In the mountain sectors or in the gorges of the valleys, the thematic routes, most of the routes are marked and easily accessible. Using the interactive map of the Hautes-Pyrénées Fishing Federation, select the course that best suits your desires. Beware, however, of water released from hydroelectric power stations, water levels can rise quickly, vigilance is required. As for the must-see fishing spots in mountain lakes, Pierre-Adrien recommends “the sectors of the plateau of Marcadau, Fruitière or Glère which offer beautiful loops. Otherwise, the lakes of Isaby, Gloriettes and Espécieres (No-kill Mouche) are a good compromise with little walking. As to in the little secret corners… we will have to spend the day together. » 

    Discover the map of fishing routes

    Fishing techniques 

    All the techniques are practicable, knock, fly, lure etc However, it is necessary to find out before going fishing because the rivers are managed in such a way as to preserve the species in certain sectors (reserve) and limit the techniques in others (Trout Leisure course, No-kill, under 12 years old).   

    © Tristan Buchot
    Fishing courses along the Gave de Luz in the Hautes-Pyrénées
    Tristan Buchot
    Fishing course in the Pyrenees

    Practice No-kill, a more sustainable fishing method 

    One of the practices that our fishing guides particularly like is the No-kill. This mode of fishing which is intended more respectful and sustainable consists of systematically releasing the holds. Well practiced, it is a way to enjoy the joys of fishing without altering the life of the animal. A outing with our fishing guides, it's also that: learning the right things to increase the chances of survival of the fish after releasing them. Thus, you will have all the pleasure of catching beautiful catches then, once returned to the water in good conditions, they will be able to continue their journey. And who knows, maybe one day you'll have the chance to cross paths with them again? That's the fun of practice!  

    A little advice from Pierre-Adrien…   
     

    “The best way to taste trout is to let it go back into the river.”  

    Fishing and PRM accessibility 

    Fishing is above all a accessible leisure to all, which brings together people from different backgrounds and profiles around a common passion. THE Estaing, Tech and Arcizans-Avant lakes offer some access for people with reduced mobility and Pierre-Adrien also collaborates with associations that manage and supervise people with disabilities to adapt his outings.  

    Fishing courses 

    To share a moment of conviviality with friends or family with our guides, the bivouac is the right compromise: fishing advice, sharing, nights in a tent, in a refuge or under the stars in a pretty setting, healing but above all the feeling of being cut off from everything and taking a break from everyday life. 

    © Clém'emotions Fishing
    Fly fishing at the edge of a mountain lake in the Pyrenees

    Fishing and camping 

    Throughout the fishing season, the guides offer roaming outings to live this fishing experience in the valleys.

    Pierre-Adrien and Clément also organize 2 courses of 3,5 days and 3 nights per year, one at Easter and one at All Saints' Day for a maximum of 6 young fishermen. In autonomy, many hikes around the lakes exist in the area.

    Whether they are quickly accessible in a few minutes' walk or with a longer approach to find yourself in a more intimate and preserved setting, the choice is yours! To find out about the range of possibilities, go to the application Hiking Valleys of Gavarnie
     
    Finally, for the youngest, our two fishing guides run the brand new fishing school in the Vallée des Gaves. This school accompanies up to 12 students between the ages of 10 and 16 on 10 annual outings to learn about fishing alongside these two enthusiasts.

    Fishing technical information 

    • Know the whole reglementation fishing in the 65: opening periods, fishing times, regulatory sizes, etc.
    • “No-kill” course: Find here the interactive map of all No-kill salmonid routes. 
    • Reserves / regulated areas: Find here the interactive map of fishing reserves as well as specific regulations (general and specific regulations, regulations for mountain lakes, etc.). 
    • Fishing licenses: Different fishing licenses exist depending on the desired duration, the profile of the applicant or the desired fishing area. To know the whole offer and prices, click here
    • Where to buy them? In all the Tourist Information Points of the Gavarnie Valleys and on peche65.fr
    • Fishing equipment: find here all the stores where you can equip yourself for your outings. 

    Fishing, a question of transmission 

    With fishing, there is no question of generation, knowledge or level...

    Open to all, this practice will allow you to commune with the elements, to sharpen your 5 senses and above all, to create beautiful stories to tell!   

    © Antoine Garcia
    View of the Argelès-Gazost Valley and its river

    A final word from Pierre-Adrien: 

    " Exchanges, the sharing, the mountain and nature as a whole is what made me love fishing when I was younger, 26 years later these are intact memories that I keep in mind and which continue to fuel the passion I have for fishing and the environment. One element was missing to finish making sense of it all: the transmission ! It's done today. » 

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