For this episode, we are in search of wild commons, around two dams in the Saône river. One is in the heart of Lyon and the other one in a wild environment, with fishing both from the bank and the boat. Hi Everybody welcome in the heart of Lyon. We are here on the River Saône, a river famous amongst many generations of anglers. We are here with Thierry for two days to catch carp from this urban environment. It’s the end of June, temperatures are high with an alert for a heatwave a few days ago and temperatures registered yesterday of 39 degrees. We arrived yesterday evening and started to fishing this morning. The water temperature taken from the surface with the echo sounder is around 26 degrees and the air pressure just over 1020 hectopascals. We definitely haven’t got the best conditions for a big hit. Nevertheless, after prebaiting a swim for several days I’m hopeful. There are promising features, a big plateau, weed, lilies… This area is a safe zone for fish and a natural food hotspot. Fingers crossed, let’s go and catch some wild river carp. Here’s a small common caught between 5 and 6, one on the bank from three runs this morning. I hope we will see more and also some bigger fish from the Saône as the session unfolds. For prebaiting, I concentrate on boilies and avoid particles to avoid drawing too much attention from other species in the river which just becomes counter productive. I mixed different sizes of boilies between 20 and 30mm during the last few days of baiting. about using baits that big and whether they are too large. Not in our experience, big carp eat baits this size with ease. My boilie is a blend of vegetable meals, peanut meal, tiger nut flour and soya flour, the final bait around 38% protein and 8% fat. In spite of the extreme heat, prebaiting with 20 and 30mm boilies has had the desired result. We notice carp here are feeding mainly during the day, which is quite unusual. I am going to reposition the rods, the afternoon has been quiet because of the temperature… It was a gruelling day. You must keep drinking water when it is this hot, but… we can also allow ourselves a few beers. After a quiet afternoon and after moving 2 rods to deeper water depth I was hopeful that we would get a chance after I discovered some little plateaux found with the echo sounder. They are one of the features of this part of the river. Banks are uniform for this stretch of the Saône through the centre of Lyon. But whatever it looks like on the bank we are looking for a big variation of the river bed and obstacles where fish patrol and will feed at the key parts of the day – evening and early morning. I found an impressive feature here, a plateau with weed at the top, and big gullies which drop from 6 to 18 feet meters. There is also a bridge stack a little further downstream where I had a take from a catfish. There have been no carp so far but fingers crossed we will try reposition rods for this evening, and hope for some action. The heat also stimulates the catfish activity, and that obviously disturbs carp activity, unsettling them. To limit the catfish action, I am forced to stop the prebaiting and to bait more lightly with just a few handfuls of boilies and PVA tape to group free baits around the rig. During this session, the most prolific depths are proving to be the margins alongside the weedbeds in less than six feet of water and gullies between 9 and 15 feet. The low flow of the Saone river at less than 500 cubic meters per second is not ideal for a hit, but it offers rods to be fished at lots of different distances from the margins, to the middle of the river. After more catfish, this pretty carp has come from shallower water and also from a rod with less bait around it, to keep the catfish away. I’m really pleased with this one, and another little one like it that I’m going to show the camera. It’s a typical fish you will find along the 400km of the Saône strong and muscular. In the city the river is busy during the day, with movement of large barges, tourist boats and jetskis. The turbulence of the water helps keep carp active. The most productive areas for rigs tend to be anywhere the river is slowed, from the margins close to weedbeds, in the slacks behind bridge supports or where there are variations of depth like large plateau or gullies. After 2.5 days of intense heat between 38 and 40 degrees, it is time to pack up. Despite tough conditions, we managed to adapt our approach to catch some carp and also several catfish. Hopes are higher for the next trip and the next venue which we hope will be cooler. We arrived quite late yesterday around 8 pm and as we are on a national holiday there are plenty of other anglers around. The nice surprise was to get a run with a catfish and quickly another one 2 hours later where the carp sadly weeded itself. Three hours later I had a fierce take and connected to a very powerful carp. A really wild carp caught on a snowman rig at 3am. With low flow I prefer more visible rigs. We are on a sector where naturally the flow is slower because the river is wider. We are oppposite a wide plateau 60 meters from the bank and which drops from six feet on top to 18 feet around it. The plateau is large and heavily weeded. The first time I fished this swim was last May and conditions were very different with less vegetation around. In the height of the summer the weed and lilies are thick with the bottom a mix of silt and large stones. The weed makes presentation more difficult. I prebaited once before the fishing at the base of the drop off around the plateau around 9-10 feet where the bottom is cleaner. It’s still necessary to feel the lead along the river bed to make sure we are fishing effectively. Here are elements which characterize this sector. Elements that we can find somewhere else on the Soâne river which is very rich and diversified. Every time it is possible I use markers or my GPS to make sure I place my rig correctly. There’s always a 0.70mm Snag leader to prevent losses, knotted with a double grinner or with a Peixet to the reel line. What we can say about today is that it has been a little disappointing after the flying start last night. I expected much more this morning but nothing happened, it was extremely quiet. I waited until the hottest part of the day around midday and then repositioned rods to try and create a chance. I switched to snowman rigs on all the rods because that had been successful the night before. Snowmen are easier for carp to find over a weedy bottom. I moved 3 of the 4 rods, leaving the one that had produced but with more bait around it. Fingers crossed and we will see how it goes tomorrow. Last night was restless. Not so prolific as we would have liked with the capture of 3 catfish, 2 small ones and one bigger. Catfish have settled in the swim and being the middle of July with high temperatures is not helping me for the carp. I was happy to catch a small common, but it’s time to move to try our luck somewhere else with the little time remaining. Here is the small common, with a little luck in 10 years, it should weigh 7 or 8 kilos. Go back to join your friends… Fish are not really present here, so it is time again to move to another sector for the few hours left we have remaining. We have finally settled in a new area, this time fishing from the boat. The swim is not accessible from the bank at all. The river here seems very interesting and promising. We have two acres of lilies, no doubt carp will be here! Although we haven’t prebaited I am confident we will catch some fish. Two rigs have large boilies of 32 mm and 2 other are rigged with Snowmen positioned along the drop off. It’s a shame I can’t fish at the top of the plateau, there is just too much weed and with winds of 70km/hour. It wasn’t easy to position the rods at all! Fingers crossed ! Let’s go, she is probably already in the weed. And…well…I broke, it was a good carp, my braid has gone through despite its breaking strain. Well.. what a shame, time to retackle, with a long snag leader, a new rig, and replace the rod. Here is a typical pretty common from the Saône. A very long and dark fish. I am really pleased, because we have worked hard for this one! We spent a long time to get the boat to this area… very satisfying. We’ve come to the end of the fourth episode of Destination H2O on the Saône. I hope you have enjoyed it and we will see you soon for episode #5 in a totally different environment in the South of France where we will be tackling lakes and gravel pits.