The Creuse
Limoges, France


Idyllic fishing for game and coarse fish.

The Creuse, part of the Limousin region in the central France is known to some as ‘the green heart of France’ because of its countryside. Others calls is ‘the green and blue land’ because of its green fields and woods that cover rolling hills and the blue of the sky and reflected in its many rivers and lakes. Small, stone-built villages stand as if time has somehow been ignored.
The pace of life here is slower and the stresses of our modern existence are easily forgotten. Predominantly rural, (there are 400,000 cows and only 130,000 inhabitants!) there are however, châteaux, medieval churches, art galleries, prehistoric remains and, if you are suffering from culture overload, a casino to visit. Wildlife abounds: deer, boar, falcons, rabbits and, of course, fish.
Fishing, along with hunting, is one of the most popular activities in the region. The majority of the rivers and streams have their beginnings in the Massif Central, the biggest mountainous region in France.
The water is clear and pure; so much so that in the Middle Ages tapestry weavers from northern Europe established the world famous Aubusson tapestry in the area. There are lakes, both natural and managed, of all sizes from a few hundred square metres to over 1000 hectares

To put this in numbers it looks like this:

* 3400 kilometres of trout rivers and streams
* 48 hectares of ‘1st category’ man-made lakes
* 2600 hectares of municipal and private ponds (1600 ponds)
* 400 kilometres of ‘2nd class’ rivers
* 15 hydroelectric dams covering 1400 hectares

It all means there’s a huge variety of fish to go at including pike, zander, carp, tench, trout, roach, barbel, bleak, gudgeon and minnows.

Some these find themselves in the kitchens of some of the best restaurants in the area, or you can

There is excellent carp fishing at Chenerailles.

try some of the internationally famous Limousin beef and other local specialities: Pâté de Pomme de Terre (sour cream and potato pie), Potée Limousin (beef and vegetable soup, a meal in itself), Le Fondu Creusois (fondu made traditionally with the leftover chesse and chips), Clafoutis aux Cerises (cherry flan), Le Creusois (hazlenut cake), Boudin aux Châtaignes (black sausage with chestnuts. The area is famous for its chestnuts), fresh trout and pike, cider made with Limousin apples, chestnut liqueur….

But let’s get back to fishing. There are many options for the keen angler who wants to try his luck in the area. For example, there are over 40 fishing gîtes (rural holiday cottages) either on or near rivers or lakes that have been adapted to meet your fishing needs.

Prices start at 105€ for a weekend or 185€ for the week. Or spend the weekend with a fishing guide and be pampered in a two star hotel on the banks of the River Creuse. If you like both horses and fishing, combine these two pleasures in a weekend break where you ride to your favourite fishing spots.

The River Creuse – no angler could resist!

These are some of the fishing activities the guides can organise for you:

* Spinning for zander and pike from a boat
* Evening fishing in the Creuse gorges
* Family fishing at Courtille
* Visiting the trout spawning grounds
* Night fishing for carp at Chenerailles
* Evening match fishing on Gouzon Reservoir
* Fly fishing at the Rigole du Diable

There are fishing schools where novices can be initiated into the art or more experienced anglers can improve their methods.
There are five fishing guides who can show you the best places to fish and the best methods to apply.
They’ll help you obtain you licence, show you where to get your bait and even provide you with accommodation. During summer there are even fishing competitions for all ages and all competences.

The Departmental Fishing Federation and the Creuse Tourist Board have combined to develop the fishing.
Rivers and lakes have been cleaned up and are regularly inspected. Fines for water pollution are steep and rigorously applied.
The area has also one of the biggest agricultural schools in Europe. Fish production has

Fishing mid river at Pontarion.

been on the curriculum for a number of years and recently they created a nationally recognised qualification a Professional Diploma in ‘Youth and Sport Education, Pleasure Fishing Speciality’. The students learn how to lead groups of youngsters or adults and share their knowledge of the area’s fishing.

Perhaps while you are passionately serious about fishing the rest of the family is less than enthusiastic. Well, don’t worry there’s plenty for them to do here.
There are the obvious country pursuits of walking, horse riding, cycling both on and off road, swimming, canoeing, tennis and many others.
There are organised events in summer: guided walks, tree climbing, astronomy, water-skiing and wind surfing, art and music festivals, local produce tasting, learn to sculpt stone or make pottery. And all year long there are markets and fairs, exhibitions, historic monuments to visits and antique shops to explore.

How to find out more

For some excellent accomodation in the area CLICK HERE

For more information or help in booking your holidays or weekend breaks, contact:

Le Comité Départmental du Tourisme de la Creuse
(The Creuse Tourist Board)
43, place Bonnyaud BP 243
23005 Guéret Cedex

Telephone: 0033(0) 5 55 51 93 23


Fax: 0033(0) 5 55 51 05 20



For more angling holidays see our Fisheries section