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Articles about NotairesBridget’s Fact Finding Tour
Sep 2009 by Bridget Keep
2009 LAKE VISITS
by Bridget Keep
I had been looking forward to my latest visit to France for weeks despite the fact there would be no time to fish! It’s simply not possible in any one trip to get around all our venues but we make several each year and another is planned for middle of September again this year to cover a few more in depth. I was to visit a few existing venues, refreshing my knowledge (it’s surprising just how much they can change physically in fact quite dramatically, over the seasons) and we would be checking out several new ones for coming on stream in 2010. These are usually already vetted and checked for the most part but still need our opinion as to how and where they fit in with our other venues. This info really does help us to assist in anglers finding the right choice of venue for their needs and it is often very subjective. Talking about a venue from just pictures and video really still is not enough, you have to have actually been there!!
I have set out a few of my more personal thoughts and initial impressions of the venues below which just adds yet another perspective to the venues as seen on line and in the videos we make. For this trip Fran and I headed off and travelled on the Portsmouth to Caen overnight ferry which arrives in Caen around 6.30 and gets us off to an early start.
Our only disappointment really was leaving Linda behind on this occasion to hold the fort with bookings. Linda is the life and soul of any trip (easily understood when she insists on playing her 80’s music CD for doing house work to) It’s not so much the music you understand, but the dance moves she has adopted to go with it. The miles simply fly past!
This trip however the more sober and reticent Fran and I were happy to listen to just culture, rather than culture club! I digress however, so let’s get a move on and tell you about the lakes.
A long drive stretched forward as we wended our way over to Central France for our first look at Notaires lakes. Trying to fit in so many visits we decided to make the journey even though it would mean arriving really late... thankfully Chris the owner said were ok with waiting up to let us into the gite. But we were three quarters through the journey when stomachs rumbling we stopped off for a bite to eat. Big mistake as eating in the evening in France is a long affair, they take their time to enjoy and refresh and all we wanted was to eat & move on. Needless to say over an hour later we were back on track and poor Chris had an even longer wait!
Out here there is no nuisance lighting from towns and cities and the night time sky is something to behold. Stargazing is best enjoyed sitting out with a glass of wine in the quiet stillness of the night but we were desperately tired and after a quick handshake and bag unload we were shown into the lovely gite... promising an early start to take a look around and make better introductions, my head hit the pillow and I’m sure I didn’t move once until the shrill of the alarm. I struggled to get up... but the snooze button didn’t last long and so the day began. Stepping outside I could see Chris feeding the Llamas in the distance past the huge stone barn. The array of animals is wonderful– coming here is like staying at a petting Zoo. So for anyone with Kids beware – show them this venue and they won’t rest until you have booked.
We spent a while with the animals, met with Brendon and Seamus, two friendly alpacas, then with pregnant Llamas and baby rabbits duly cuddled and petted we turned our attention to the fishing lakes.
Notaires consists of 2 lakes and a 1 acre stock pond. The two acre lake sits naturally beside the accommodation and so is booked exclusively as a package. The stock pond is free for anyone to dabble in and sits just off the end of the two acre lake, but further away from the gite.
The large lake at Notaires - looking towards the gite over the hill in the distance
A large Oak tree rests between the gite and the lake with swing chairs hanging from its branches invitingly, You can immediately see how relaxing this place would be. There are features to fish to and overhanging branches on the castable far bank appear to be a holding place.
Even as we walked around carp were showing. Although a good stock of carp is already present a further stocking is ordered this winter to hopefully ensure good catch rates at this idyllic family venue.
Could it get any better? Well yes it can, just a 300m walk across the field and into the dip we look out on a stunning self contained 10 acre lake that looks like carp heaven! This is Alder lake.
With its’ own facilities toilet and kitchen at one end, the lake is simply beautiful. It was stocked 3 years ago with 150 carp to 39lb. Only 2 carp were lost afterwards to their knowledge and they have hardly been touched since. With mature trees and features this will be one to watch. I can’t wait for our field testers to report their catches and opinions here.
So all in all, Notaires offers many angling options, It’s clearly wonderful for kids and families, great for larger family groups who can book the whole complex and superb for bivvy only groups on the larger Alder lake.
By now I was enjoying this trip! Two venues visited already and two lakes offering options just a little different from the norm. Next on our agenda was another new lake Villefond.