June 03, 2010

The Andelle River -- via wikipedia

After an earlier conversation about fly-fishing in Europe, a friend recently forwarded me this article about trout fishing in Normandy. Let’s just say that trout bumming, it is not.

The article largely revolves around a recent restoration of a manor house in Malvoisine which lies beside the Andelle River, one of Normandy’s finest trout streams:

The river is classified as Category 1, meaning swimming and canoeing are prohibited. There’s no stocking of fish, so the river relies on the reproductive capacities of its shy and skittish wild trout. The number of anglers at any one time is restricted to four. During our visit, I had the stream to myself.

The author, Alan Cowell, a native brit and NYT correspondent who resides in Paris, also profiles some of the eclectic history of chalkstream fishing in the area, something which I knew relatively little about beyond the vague recollection that it was associated with a certain angling hotelier.

The river is a legend among French fly fishers. In his authoritative A Fly Fisher’s Life, Charles Ritz (1891-1976)-whose family ran the equally legendary Hôtel Ritz in the Place Vendôme in Paris-identifies the Andelle as the river on which he first tried to catch a fish with an artificial fly.

And also after the D-Day landings, according to French fishing lore, the Andelle River, not too far away from Malvoisine, was the venue for secret encounters between Churchill and Eisenhower-fly fishers both.

Needless to say I was intrigued by all of this. Fly-fishing in Europe is not something that I really know a heck of a lot about, but I seem to keep stumbling across interesting articles about the angling opportunities there. Now that I think about it, wasn’t I just reading something about the Euro falling heavily against the dollar?…


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