On behalf of my family I would like to thank you both for a great visit to Les Rivets.

It´s a great venue/location, and we enjoyed our trip very much - thanks. I have enclosed the following "review" and pictures that you can put onto your facebook side and web-site. We are already looking forward to our trip booked in 2019 and are probably going to make a new booking for 2020 also (just need to discuss this with my family).  

Background

We were a family of 10 (four adults, five girls aged 13, 11, 9, 8 and 5, one boy aged 14) visiting from Norway in the third week of July. One fisherman. We have been to several places with the house/pool/lake combination in France over the past years, but this was our first visit to les Rivets.

Accommodation/location

The house was everything it states/looks like on the web site (better actually), and was ample/comfortable for the ten of us. It is well maintained, tidy and clean - and has plenty of space. The swimming pool was simply excellent, clean and large and certainly warm enough. The pool was the high point of the adventure according to the children and I think that some of the adults agreed. The gardens around the house were well-maintained, and picturesque. Certainly a nice location to relax in.

Lake/fishing

Upon arrival Adrian stated that they had very recently got a challenge with Poisson Chat and that there were a few snags laying about in parts of the lake that he had attempted to but still needed to remove. He also stated that in the proceeding week, two anglers had blanked. Nevertheless, he took me for a walk around and recommended (and his wife Jenny had prepared) using maize and fishing Tigernut over the top (which he had purchased in ready for me). We saw easily 100 carp up on the top on the dam end, and perhaps 15-20 in the shallows, so I was not put off by the previous weeks lack of action as obviously the fish were there in large numbers.

I decided to fish in the dam end, and following Adrian´s advice on where to place baits, I don’t think it even went an hour before I got the first run. That first evening I took 5 fish in 3 hours fishing, then 3-4 more in quick succession the next morning. It continued like that for most of the week.... I did try fishing different swims and tactics, but certainly swim 5 along the dam was the most productive (furthest from the house and humans - no real surprise there then....).

Although Adrian had indicated that he did not think the fish took "off the top", already when he walked me around Saturday afternoon we saw a couple of fish nose the surface in a way that suggested to me that maybe, just maybe... I had a lot of floaters with me from the previous weeks fishing at Etang Hirondelle so I decided to catapult out a few to see the response on Les Rivets. To my great surprise I managed to get them feeding off the top "immediately". With the lack of ducks to potentially spoil the show, I quickly ran back to the house and grabbed what I needed. I don’t think the controller float had been on the surface for more than 1 minute before I hooked the first one.... In three short floater sessions (2 hours or so in the middle of the day), I took 8x 20lb+ carp on the top, the biggest of which was a common of 27lbs. Amazing fun without the disturbance of other anglers or birds - just how it should be - angler vs carp!

At first, the carp took the hook-bait very readily off the top, but by the third time of trying (Wednesday) they seemed to have wised up to my tricks, and it took a few hours for them to slip up despite scoffing freebies all of the time. Just how on earth the carp "got wise" to the hook-bait in such a short space of time due to the capture of a few of their mates I don’t know, as it went from "super easy" to "difficult" so quickly - and they were still eating the freebies in the same manner (readily!). On that third day I had 20-30+ near-takes on the top where the fish turned at the last second, while on the first day it was 5 hooked from 5 approaching the bait - so it was a striking contrast! I also got three carp on slow sinking method (ala. Alain Blair) which even the wisest of carp fall too if the opportunity arises. All of this takes a bit more work than sitting on your bum behind rods, but is much more rewarding. 

I also set up a float rod and maggots/corn for the girls to play with and in a couple of short evening sessions they caught 20+ small carp 4oz-5lb, a similar number of quality roach and a number of chat. They were super happy with that catch and certainly the small carp and decent roach are entertaining for the children (important on a family holiday). 

On the carp rods the chat were not a major issue for me (some line bites and caught a couple - but largely I avoided them with tigers). I did loose a few carp to these mystical mid-water snags which appeared to be randomly placed in the lake which was a bit frustrating. Nevertheless, this did not spoil the fishing and despite only me fishing for the week (some of the others got to "play" in a carp or two on my rods), and that it was day-time fishing only (5.30am to 10 or so, then 5pm to 10pm or so - plus some mid-day floater action when we were not out visiting places), the total catch was:

Total: 36 carp

Mirror: 32 fish: 21lbs, 20 23 22 22 20 22 24 23 18 16 16 22 20 25 23 23 20 23 23 23 15 21 21 20 18 21 18 18 19 21 20

Common 4 fish: 22 27 25 19

Day trips

As for day trips we went to Bourges for a look around. It’s a very nice town that has some historical areas and buildings worth a look, and certainly the Cathedral was worth a visit. Both adults and children did Go Karting at Joigny (madeinkart.com) which was about an hour away and well run/sensibly priced and great fun (nice track). We also visited the market and the chateau at Saint Fargeau. We also went to the "midnight show" at Saint Fargeau which was 600+ actors and 50+ horseriders acting out major historical events such from the French revolution and the second world war +++ - some impressive 3d light effects on the Chateau although without a French translator (my wife) you might struggle to follow the show properly... We also went to the local lake for a swim/lunch. 

Overall verdict.

Overall we were super happy with the holiday, hosts and venue. We have already booked for 2019, and will be making another booking for 2020 - so that says it all really. Its rare to find a venue with a decent sized pool, decent sized house, and such a nice lake with great head of carp to yourself. A 9 acres lake and 300 carp to yourself is luxury! For an overall family package I think you will struggle to beat this. 

Pros: Lots of them! Large, high quality and well-kept house and pool. Very private and great surroundings, massive lake to yourself with great head of growing carp. Lots of opportunity to stalk or move about etc. Welcoming and helpful hosts.

Cons: None really! If I was being "very picky" I could have said that the chat and snags presented some minor issues but Adrian is addressing this, and to be honest, I enjoyed my fishing immensely - the catch speaks for itself. The fridge could have been a bit cooler and the 3/4g connection/mobile coverage around the house/garden is shocking - but hey ho that’s rural France in a nutshell.

Kevin and Family