Lucas in Search of Magic: The Carp from the Forgotten Valley Part 1

Lucas à la recherche de la magie: Les carpes des la vallée oubliée pt.1 | Hammer Tackle

Last year, during my summer trip, I decided to spend a few days in a valley to escape the high temperatures in the south of France. Always the same topo, an endless check of Google Maps with the hydrographic network in relief revealing turquoise spots. Upon closer inspection, the lakes in this area appear to have a fairly identical profile: shores entirely or almost covered with reeds, water lilies dotting the edges, and dark but relatively clear water. With a little research I realize that these come from the melting of glaciers and are therefore one hundred percent natural in origin.

During an exchange with a friend, I told him about this project and he (thanks Jérome) confided to me that one of his friends had caught a beautiful carp there about ten years ago during his buddy session. . They had never heard of the lakes in this valley and had never returned there.

What is certain is that there are carp, but that in itself is not surprising. Last August I traveled through these waters and began fishing them, discovering the forgotten treasures they hold. There is no carp fisherman on the horizon and given the state of the banks, the fish have been swimming peacefully for dozens and decades to come...

This discovery phase dates back to the summer of 2019, already in 2020! A few weeks ago at one of these lakes, which has become my favorite (for its location, its atmosphere, its livestock…), where I will spend two nights.

Here the behavior of carp is comparable to that of trout. Since the banks are swampy, they are buried less than 2 m deep and therefore provide a cavity and therefore a refuge for fish. When I walk along the bank it is not uncommon for a carp to come out, approach the boat curiously and then return under the edge. A relatively atypical pattern that dictates a corresponding fishing method.

Some elders from the nearest village who love predators and some bathers have left pallets at certain places to allow access to the lake amidst the endless reed beds. I use one of those makeshift pontoons to settle down. The area chosen is the one that has already brought me a few carp and where the activity seems to be the most intense.

Place the first tier on a clean tray in the middle of the water lily shoots, then the second will find its place at the very edge, if not below, in a clean place. The assembly is lowered, positioned manually and visually in approximately 4 m water depth.

The waiting and watching begins...

A short time later, the hand-assembled assembly found a buyer. The fish goes right under the bank, it rubs itself on one side, twitches on the other, but after a while a beautiful dark mass with a special color, tending to brown, washes up in the net. A few special scales are there to upgrade everything.

However, the lake's population appears to be reduced and each fish presents an interesting profile, typical of an older generation. Back and forth on the small boat, the assembly is precisely repositioned, a small handful of freshly cooked tiger nuts accompanying it.

The sun sets, everything becomes dark and the temperature difference creates fog, the birds start to sing loudly, it's almost like a morning atmosphere. Moment of magic...

In the middle of the night a bite occurs, this time it is the plateau rod, no wonder the fish seeks refuge under the bank. I am automatically towed towards the bottom of the bay in the small Zodiac. Does it pull, let it go, let it go? No, it pulls back and then abruptly lets go, the line does its job and shears the obstacles. Finally make direct contact, it's hard, it's palpable, but the fish is visible with the headlamp, you shouldn't miss that, because that's exactly the kind of person I'm here for... A business that works, too after which the fish returns the bag for a few hours.

A quick coffee in the fog at daybreak, then no time wasted, an express photo session before that old mirror is released.

Liberation at the time of release, the goal is achieved to spend a beautiful stay in this forgotten paradise... Which for the future initiates a release on this lake to discover the others of the valley more deeply.

In the afternoon I do a new touch that will result in a more modest sized mirror that still holds promise for years to come.

Then on the second and final night, in return, a fish will dive under the edge and free itself from the rig, I only notice this early in the morning because the fishing angle is not optimal to solve this problem equation: bite detection / optimal presentation...

In any case, it was another great moment that allowed us to better understand the place and get to know its inhabitants. A return is planned, but there are other forgotten carp to hunt in this valley... To be continued

Lucas LC

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