Today, I ‘m the lucky one offering you an interview with a French emblematic figure of fly fishing, he is known both as an editor and a guide. He is a forerunner for fishing in the Balkans and the first French guide to offer stays there, a great lover of the grayling fish, I named Thierry Millot..
First Prerequisite Thierry, can you introduce yourself?
I live in Langeac, located on the banks of the Haut Allier in the Haute Loire department, 60 years this year and for 20 years I have been working as a fishing guide instructor.
How did you start fly-fishing?
Thanks to an uncle, having a fishing tackle shop with whom I spent part of my adolescence “at the store” and a neighbor who made me catch my first fly fish.
Can you tell us about your first fish?
Summer 1972, one afternoon on Ance in Auvergne, my neighbor whom I accompanied lend me his fly rod for the time to burn a cigarette, an awkward throw, a drift, a snatch with a grayling at the end … it was gone for a life of a fly fisher.
It seems to me that you were in the entertainment Industry before being a fishing guide. Can you tell us about this period because you have wandered all over Europe during festivals?
It should be noted that intermittent worker is a status and not a profession … yes I have been for ten years location manager for artists roadshow such as Etienne Daho, Les Innocents or Césaria Evora. Hundreds of concerts in France and in Europe. My job was to organize, manage, all the parameters allowing the good human, technical, logistic progress of these concerts.
Was this first job that pushed you to go fishing in Croatia or Bosnia at the end of the 90s (knowing that war remnants were still very present)?
Even if my skills acquired mount facilitated the task to organize fishing trips. It is simply the curiosity and the fact that I was already guiding in Slovenia, neighboring country, which led me to go and spot the Croatian and Bosnian rivers almost unknown to the fly fishermen at that time.
You also offer Swedish Lapland and Wales as other destinations. Why should we drag our waders there?
Simply because these are destinations with strong fishery potential, within beautiful rivers and typical lakes, quality terroirs where we can enjoy warm welcoming, local gastronomy, and natural sites.
And regarding the central massif?
The most beautiful concentration of river in France with at least 1800 miles of brown trout and grayling river by department, in Auvergne, Lozère or Ardèche alone: 6 departments = 112000 miles of 1st category river!
How was your love for Mister Thymallus born?
There is no explanation for falling in love at first sight … but the chance of having lived and learned fly fishing on a river populated by Grayling.
Should you go fishing with only one fly. Which one you take (nymph or dry)?
We are found of anecdotes; do you have one for our readers?
20 years of guidance at the rate of 25/30 weeks per year! there are hundreds of sharing moments, emotions, or singular moments like: The endless days of Lapland, the glow worms illuminating the return blow of the evening elsewhere, and everywhere these rivers bubbling with activity or strangely calm , the emotion in front of the beauty of a capture, the evenings to remake the world of fishing around a drink after a tasty meal and a beautiful day of fishing.
What are your next projects?
What did you do during the quarantine?
Tie flies, write articles for magazine “pêche mouche”, prepare the season to receive local fishermen from the end of May and those coming from all over the country from June to December.
In mouching, we are fans of music and reading. Can you offer us a selection of books that you have enjoyed reading lately, as well as the artists that you like to listen to?
Regarding music especially reggae like: Sugar Minott, Horace Andy, Black Uhuru or Gregory Isaacs!
And as far as reading is concerned: Sylvain Tesson « la panthère des neiges », Nastassja Martin « croire aux fauves », Jean Rodier « en remontant les ruisseaux ».