Fly fishing in the Massif Central
The Massif Central in France is an extensive mountain range that occupies a significant portion of the country’s center. Here, you can fish for Atlantic brown trout, Mediterranean brown trout (zebra trout), as well as grayling. The prime months for fly fishing are at the beginning of the season.
Our fly fishing trips in the Massif Central
WHY FLY FISHING IN THE MASSIF CENTRAL
The Massif Central in France is an extensive mountain range with moderate elevations and diverse landscapes, including plateaus, mountains, and valleys. These mountains contribute to three major river basins: the Rhône River, the Garonne River, and the Loire River. The rivers flowing into the Rhône River are home to Mediterranean-origin brown trout, characterized by their lateral stripes, also known as zebra trout. On the other hand, the tributaries of the Loire and Garonne rivers harbor Atlantic-origin brown trout.
One of the greatest assets for the angler in this region is the ability to switch between basins, scenes, and trout varieties within just a few kilometers of radius.
In addition to this, you can enjoy stunning volcanic landscapes, such as those in the Auvergne Volcanoes National Park, beautiful villages with medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and an authentic atmosphere. You’ll also have the opportunity to taste their famous cheeses or traditional dishes, such as Périgord truffles, and visit basilicas, abbeys, and castles.
WHERE TO FLY FISH IN THE MASSIF CENTRAL
- Cantal: The Cantal department boasts 6,300 kilometers of rivers inhabited by first-category trout. It is a preferred destination for French fly fishers during the months of March, April, and May, offering excellent fishing without snow in its mountains. One of its iconic locations is the Truyère River, with its tributaries such as the Cantal River and the Aveyron River, descending from an ancient volcano called Plomb du Cantal. Other trout-rich rivers in the department include La Maronne, Bertrande, Doire, Suma, Grande Rhue, Santorini, Little Rhue, Veronne, Alagnon, Allanche, Siana, L’Arcuil, Cereza, Jordanne, Autre, Goul, Rance, Moulègre, Célé, and Ressègue, Truyère, Epie, Brezon, Siniq, and Le Bès.
- Lozère: The Lozère department is located between the Massif Central and the Mediterranean. With rivers belonging to the Adour-Garonne, Rhône-Mediterranean, and Loire-Atlantique basins, this department allows a quick change in climate, scenery, and trout type. Atlantic brown trout inhabit the Atlantic basins, while Mediterranean brown trout or zebra trout inhabit the Mediterranean basins. The department has over 2,800 km of classified trout rivers in the first category. Some of the most beautiful rivers are located in the Cévennes National Park. The fishing season begins on March 11 and ends on September 17. The grayling season starts on May 20 and ends on September 17. Famous rivers for trout fishing include Truyère, Tarn, Jonte, parcel, Gardens of the Cevennes, Colaña, Chapeauroux, Bès, Altier, and Allier.
- Aveyron: Some areas in the northern part of Aveyron are also associated with the Massif Central. Beautiful rivers can be found in the Aubrac Regional Natural Park. This department, with its landscapes of mid-mountains and fields, part of the Occitanie region, is known for its picturesque rural scenery, the Millau Viaduct, and its famous Roquefort cheese. The brown trout fishing season is allowed from the second Saturday in March to the third Sunday in September, while rainbow trout season extends from the second Saturday in March to December 31. Some of the best rivers include the Viaur River, La Dourbie River near Nant (no trout killing), Lot River downstream from Entraygues, and Tarn River in Saint-Rome-de-Tarn.
- Haute-Loire: This department, with parts included in the Massif Central, is characterized by its mountainous landscapes and volcanoes. Many anglers consider this the best department for fly fishing in the Massif Central. Many trout rivers in Haute-Loire originate in this Auvergne department. The trout fishing season in Haute-Loire runs from March 11 to September 17, both for brown trout and rainbow trout. Some notable rivers for trout fishing are Le Borne River, La Gagne River, L’Allie River, La Loire River, La Sumène River, and Le Lignon River.
- Puy-de-Dôme: This area includes the famous Puy de Sancy, the highest mountain in the Massif Central. Here, the trout fishing season begins on March 11 and ends on September 17, and the grayling fishing season starts on May 20 and also ends on September 17.