The Franco-Italian Trout of La Roya in France: Breil sur Roya

Copyright J. Yesavage 2003/4/5

This area is about 1-1.5 hours from Nice. You take the Autoroute towards Italy and cross the border into Vintimille, but do not go into that town, rather just take the National Highway north towards the Col de Tende. The Center of operations is the town of Breil (sur Roya). Licenses may be had at the newstand (Tabac) on the main road. The license in this town is only good from the area from the Itralian Border up a little way past Breil and in the hamlet of La Brigue. The "No-Kill" area is right in town above the second bridge at the end of town as you go north. Will have to check the regulations for open days, but as of this writing (2005) was open all week. There are ?three other f ishing associations on the stream (not sure on ?Fontan, Saorge and Tende) with other local licenses. In France you need a National photo ID Card, a stamp for the Department and usually a stramp for the local town. This licensing affair can run you a good 80$ for the year but a 30$ on is available for 15 day periods.

 Fish in the Roya are Browns which take the "Mediterranean" color.

 Bigger brother, taken in fast water using Western (USA) nymphing techniques Tan/white wool indicator- very much scared of red; straight right angle drop of 1.5 meter of 6x to nymph (bead head phesant tail); split shot attached to bend of nymph hook].

 Fish from La Brigue area with prominant red spotting. Lavensa is the name of the small creek. Same permit as for Breil.... but this year (2005) a new stamp is required! Gotcha.

 The "No Kill" Honey Hole full of Browns with flyfishing Ph.D.s

One will not starve in this area and there is a good hidden resto on Rue Pasteur (I think) in the old town where you eat well for less than $10. They also have inexpensive rooms (04 94 04 4150). Resto revised in 2005 now with tablecloths... same waitress... cuisine somewhat more upscale... lunch on Sunday is $17 and more of a big deal....



Well I can see I have not edited this for a while, but the section on the Italian border has opened for no kill. Above are the regulations... basically you can get a 15 euro pass for the day at the tobacco store in Breil on the small plaza. If you cannot read French, good luck. This is a very dangerous area to fish... as they underline, very steep canyon, it floods when power dams open up, etc. etc.......

These fish see a lot of fishermen, but they are plentiful and the young ones are not too smart. They have not seen much of Western nymphing (strike indicator) techniques (see what is in the lip of the one above). The local guide is also the game warden, works evenings and weekends as a guide, and can fill you in on the details. The local association also keeps a web page full of detail and pictures of trophies etc.... Latest rules from 2004 suggest the "No Kill" is open all week. Rules were very confusing in the past and was only open on wekends and Weds (I think). License is obtain in the news/tobacco store "Tabac" in Breil. There seems to be a second shop that opened in 2005. The main Tabac on the road also has local flies... suggest buying a couple as they are sparsely tied and unusual colors.

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