According to the Environment Agency, the number of annual rod licence applications in England and Wales surged by more than 120,000 in 2020, up 15% on the previous year.
In light of this information, we’ve put a selection of snippets together highlighting some great places to go fishing. Spring and autumn are usually the best times to fish, when it’s not too hot or too cold; there’s still time this year.
Freshwater fishing in the Isère, France
Figures show that thousands of Brits took to angling during lockdown. With high mountain lakes, streams, rivers and inland lakes, Isère is one of the best destinations in France to go fishing. So grab your rod and head to the high mountain lakes for trout and arctic char; brown trout in streams; perch, pike and roach in the valleys; and arctic char, lavaret and féra in Lake Paladru and Lake Laffrey. For more information about what to catch where, visit www.peche-isere.com. Discover some of the best high-altitude fishing locations in the area with a mountain and fishing guide – Roland Claudel – will take you to some of his favourite places. And if you want to make the most of remote mountain rivers, learn how to reach steep places safely on an extreme fishing course with Kahotep. Prices start from €540 pp. Isère has eight fishing-labelled lodges, campsites and gîtes that have angling sites nearby, drying facilities and storage for equipment, live bait and food. Ser Sirant Campsite on the shore of Lake Laffrey offers a seven-night stay, starting from €395 (based on five people, including two anglers) with accommodation in a chalet or mobile home, boat rental and a five-day fishing licence.
Cast a line in the Austrian Tirol
Home to rushing streams, calm lakes and spectacular landscapes, the Austrian Tirol is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. The rivers and lakes are home to trout, grayling, Danube salmon and artic char. The still waters in the east of the region have large populations of pike, perch, carp and tench. To fish in public lakes, guests must be members of the Tirolean Fishing Association and attend a course on correct fishing practice and technique, however, anyone who is keen to try fishing is welcome to try at the private lakes, found across Tirol. Private lakes include the Hager-Angelpark near Kössen, the four lakes in Bichlach in Kaiserwinkl, and the Nassereith Angelteichfishing pond in Gurgltal Valley. A week’s stay, at Gästehaus Gerti, near the Nassereith Angelteich fishing pond, costs from £432 total for two adults sharing a double room with breakfast every day.
Austrian Tirol: www.visittirol.co.uk
Fish and dine in Morzine, in the French Alps
Morzine, in the Portes du Soleil, is one of the most northerly of the French Alpine resorts, enjoying stunning mountain views and a traditional village feel with boutique hotels, independent shops and Old-World wooden architecture. During the warmer months, the village is a hive of activity with plenty of outdoor pursuits on offer including a range of climbing and trekking excursions and array of more transformative experiences, like horse-back rides in the mountains or taking to the skies over the Alps in helicopter. Morzine is also popular with anglers, and visitors can combine great dining with a unique fishing experience. Just above Lake Nyon, holidaymakers are invited to enjoy a fabulous meal at Le Refuge de Nyon before stepping outside and taking to the tranquil waters to fish for trout. If diners wish to do so, they can fish for their own meal, with the restaurant able to provide equipment and a licence, and a chef on hand to cook and serve up the catch. A seven-night stay in a double room at the three-star Hôtel Igloo in Morzine, with breakfast, arriving 4 June 2022, is priced from £625 (£313 pp) based on two people sharing. Return flights from London Luton to Geneva with EasyJet are priced from £47 pp.
Fishing on the Charente River with Le Boat
Le Boat is the No.1 provider of European inland boating holidays, bringing together 50 years of experience, expertise and memories. Many of the rivers on which Le Boat operates are a haven for both rod and line anglers. Boaters can troll while they are underway, cast from the banks when their boat is moored or even hire a dinghy and outboard motor so they can reach the most secluded spots. For example, the pretty Charente River in western France is tidal for some distance inland and is a good habitat for large specimens of carps, pike and perch. There are also bream, roach and bleak here and Mullet comes in from the sea. In May and June shad swim up river to breed. Then, for something different, the sea fishing off La Rochelle is excellent. In the region holidaymakers can go fishing at night, even during the summer months to catch conger and skate. A seven-night self-catered stay on the Charente River in 2022, starting and finishing at Le Boat’s base at Jarnac, is priced from £829 per boat. Transport to and from the base is not included.
Le Boat (02392 801125, www.leboat.co.uk)