His face is familiar to Le Mouching readers, and for good reason, since he participated in several films with Cyril. Here comes Grégoire Ribert ‘s interview.
Hi Grégoire, can you introduce yourself please?
My name is Grégoire Ribert, I was born in 1978 in Compiègne in the Oise and I left for the Limousin after my baccalaureate. I am a guide since 2005, I live in Argentat-sur-Dordogne where I guide a good part of the year when I am not abroad.
When and how did you start fishing? I mean fly fishing?
I couldn’t tell you exactly when I first held a rod in my hands.
I grew up with a river (The Aisne) at the edge of my garden, my father was a fisherman and he always took me with him as far as I remember, wherever we went on vacation we fished, either sea or mountain… Some take the TV with us, as we were concerned it was the rods. He me the vir and we always tried to fish together when possible, until he died.
As for the fly, it was in ’95, I fell in the basement, among all the fishing gear we had, on a rod and a Mitchell spring reel… curiosity prevailed and my vision of fishing definitely changed!
Can you tell us about your first fish?
My first fish, no sorry , I don’t remember!
But I remember my first “big” fish “a big perch”. I was knee-high to a grasshopper and I had seen a lot of big perches under the pontoon. At that time , I was not yet allowed to fish with anything but a small boner… I remember asking my father for a throw and a tin fish to waddle it, I him doing so several times… When I saw the excitement caused in the bench by the shards of the fish, I myself had the eyes that shone and when this big perch gobbled the fish I felt like the king of the world…
Since then, I have a lot of memories, but the feeling I felt that day would never forget.
What is your favourite species and why?
I enjoy fishing all the fish, from white fish to sea fish as long as it is fly and that not going to be easy!
In should admit that I have a soft spot for salmonids and pike. Trout is a fabulous and wild fish. Grayling is beautiful and its fishing is even more so, a grayling bank can be attacked and almost impregnable… As for the pike, it will always make me dream, its surface attacks are impressive and it is one of the very first fish I caught with fly, being native of an area where we find mainly rivers of second categories.
Let’s talk about your job now. Is it a kid’s dream that has come true?
My childhood dream was to work in nature, to run the world like the great naturalists and adventurers of the past. When I was at the University, I came across a commercial for the “BPJEPS Recreational Fishing” to become my lifelong fishing guide. I then remembered the fishing hunting catalog of Jet Tour which was used as a bedside book when I was younger and it made something go off! Maybe I could combine my passion and my desire for adventure! There, everything was chained together, The stars aligned if we can say that. One of the very first fishing guides, JP Coudoux, not to mention him, took me under his wing, he introduced me to his network and his friends, including Olivier Lauzanne and Anthony Auboiron from the travel agency «Planet FLY Fishing» which included the greatest French fly fishing guides. And for 15 years now I have been guiding in France and abroad.
How can you explain a day or stay with you go?
Well, I guess.
Give us the will to discover fishing in Corrèze, Slovenia and Swedish Lapland!!
In this question you ask me to talk about the three places I’m in love with! It’s going to be long…
Corrèze… how can I say… I passed by chance and stayed there! I found Eden, a large garden of water and nature. I came to Limoges to do the bio school, a choice decided on an IGN map according to its geographical location, almost equal distance Paris/Toulouse, sea/mountain (Atlantic/ central massif), the limousin is also very watered so for a fisherman it was a real plus. For fishing I crossed the limousin long and wide. It was my wife who really made me discover the Corrèze, despite the fact that part of my family is from there. She convinced me to do a summer season when I was a student, on the banks of the Dordogne «waiter at the camping du Saulou» near Argentat and there, it was the revelation. I knew the Dordogne which is majestic and fishy but I discovered the people, the climate, the great lakes. Corrèze is more than 5,000 km of rivers and 4,000 ha of water…
Regarding Slovenia, it is also a heartfelt story, my first fishing trip as a guide! I discovered this country before it joined Europe, JP Coudoux had taken me there to introduce me to his contacts and tour the country to show me at the time some of his spots. A revelation for a nature-loving fisherman. Magnificent national parks, a fabulous country in terms of geology. The waters are crystal clear, we could even, in places, forget that there is water, if we did not see fish! In addition, people are nice, the kitchen is to fall on the ground, there are also very good wines and fishing is fabulous. You can fish dry, in nymphs, trout, grayling, on the Sava basin you can even cross huchons. And from France, it is accessible by car… As a friend who does not support the plane often tells me!!
And Swedish Lapland, for me it is the Far North!
Imagine! After a stopover in Stockholm, a domestic flight,they take you in a helicopter to a camp at 30 minutes flight… There, a few huts, a giant sauna, no running water, dry toilets, reindeer and moose that don’t even pay attention to you and a big river with trout, pike and thousands of grayling!… You don’t have to do it that way…. but in any case, it is a wild region with many beautiful rivers and very very fishy. An obligatory passage for all anglers lovers of nature and wide open spaces!
Can you show us your favourite fly and why?
It is a fly that I tie and use to fish trout throughout the season on the Dordogne, rather along the border and in size #10 or #12. It mimics an emergent ephemeral fat like we do find in my region.
What are your next projects?
I always got full of plans!
With two other guide friends we have set up the Jp Coudoux Company, which is a group of guides with a qualitative charter of work and respect for the environment. The goal is to share our knowledge on the level of rivers and accommodation abroad to offer a wider range of destinations and quality of service. We are now seven guides and we have more and more exclusive destinations across Europe and the world. With my friends, I continue to develop this project, find new spots to satisfy the fishermen. Destination research is part of our job.
Always film projects with Cyril.
I’m getting more and more flies.
With the recent events and the obligation not to go out, I took the opportunity to take an interest in everything else. I really like knives and I started making them!
What do you do when you are not working?
In season it is non-stop fishing, clients or not I am at the water’s edge, I am a full time guide. So out of season, I enjoy my family!
Can you tell us the other side of the film in Slovenia with Marc Boesch and Cyril?
The film in Slovenia was for me and I think for Marc and Cyril also a real moment of pleasure. The fishing companies welcomed us beautifully, we were able to fish stretches that were usually closed to fishing. Marc and I usually come to Slovenia or other countries to guide and when we guide, we do not fish. The only time we fish is for recognition and when it’s good, we don’t linger! We have to see as many spots as possible. We were able to take our time and fish together. After we had to stall, we do not all have the same rhythm of life and the same character. And if it looks like a holiday, we were still at work!… We wanted to take each of the Slovenian species, show to the maximum the sublime beauty of this country, of these rivers and highlight the sympathy and friendship that binds us to our Slovenian friends.
We could not go to Slovenia without having dinner at the Hvala Hotel in Kobarid with our mutual friend Ales. He’s a wonderful person we’ve known for years, and the hotel restaurant is a family business that his father owned before him, and he also has his sister, his wife, his brother-in-law, and now his son. An obligatory passage and an excellent table.
What is your bedside book?
I really like the translations made by Gallmeister, from American novels like John Gierach, “Even Brook trout get the blues” “The view from Rat Lake.” There’s a whole series of them. If you like fishing, you’re sure to hang!
What kind of music do you listen to?
I am very open about music, I love music, it is an inseparable thing of my life. I vary the styles according to my activities and times of the day. But I have a weakness for reggae! From morning to evening we can find a piece that will perfectly accompany the present moment.
Thank you and looking forward to meeting you by the water.
You can contact him through his website: www.argentat-guide-peche.com