The river Elorn


The river Elorn rises but a stone’s throw from my home in the moorlands of the Monts d’Arrée (Commana). It is a coastal river, some 42 km long and drains the communities of Sizun, Landivisiau, Landerneau and empties through a long estuary (14 km) into the roadstead of Brest.
We can divide its S-shaped fluvial course into three sections:

  • The upper flows, some 15 km long, from the sources to the town of Sizun. It feeds Drennec Lake, located about 5 km from the source and exits as a tailwater below the dam, then flowing towards Sizun. The reaches above the lake are very hard to fish with fly tackle, the tailwater between the dam and Sizun is quite interesting but is is of modest size (4 to 6 meters wide) and flowing under a green canopy. It caters mostly to experienced casters using short rods, with a lot of sidearm and roll casting. All sizes and age groups of trout (wild brown trout) are present with occasional 12-inch fish. Hatches are manifold and frequent. Most of the fishing is done blind casting and casting to individual rises. I prefer guiding during the early season (April/May) when water levels a sufficient to be able to reach the fish.
  •  The middle section, located between Sizun and Landivisiau and 11 km long, is varied with a series of alternating characteristics like riffles, pools and deeper channels and is home to great trout. The river is somewhat wider than the section above Sizun, meandering and with some deeper pools and cut banks, home to some very pretty fish. I really love this portion of the river, fishing it from May to the end of the season, especially when fishing is already closed on the lower river.
  • The lower river, some 16 km long and stretching between Landivisiau and Landerneau, is the widest section of the Elorn, yet it remains a river of modest size: it rarely exceeds 10 meters in width. It is the realm of beautiful trout that coexist with salmon. It is by far the best stretch to fly fish and you can resort to longer rods, 7’6” to 10’, depending on the method used (dry fly, wet fly, nymph or streamer fishing, sight fishing, etc…).
    Its specific profile allows me to guide two anglers simultaneously, one fishing from the one bank, the second fishing from the other.

It really represents the very best wild brown trout fishing in western France, which is the result of admirable water management and environment protection done by the AAPPMA of the Elorn.

It is not my preferred river in Brittany but definitely one that I know best as I live in the river valley and fish it often. The knowledge of productive water is quintessential and allows me to guide my clients to some very pretty fish pushing 18 inches. Alas, as it often goes with fishing for wild trout, it is not necessarily the angler that remains the victor at the end of the day, fortunately!

The fishery at the lower section has only limited access as some days are closed to fishing. Only on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and holidays will you be able to fish. The closures were implemented to reduce fishing pressure and while resting the fish. They virtually guarantee good quality fishing and fish rising freely all day long as long as there are hatches going.

The Elorn is a great trout stream as it is fed by many tributaries all along its course, 16 in total, increasing the total watershed to 250 km. Those feeder streams are home to many baby trout just as they are to Atlantic salmon fry and parr. Some of the tributaries are fishable with fly tackle in their lower reaches, too. The river management takes great care of these streams and the free circulation of salmonids, also closely monitoring the water quality.

As a tailwater, a stretch of water located right below a dam, the river is fed by the clean, cool waters emanating from Drennec Lake. This has a number of advantages: constant cool water flows all year long and constant water levels that benefit the river, especially during hot summers. During the peak of summer, the Elorn river valley is a haven of freshness with fish staying active when humans and other fish elsewhere are suffocating! In my opinion, the Elorn remains one of the rare rivers to fish in the height of summer during the day.
Caracteristic coldwater weedbeds abound (water starwort, ranunculus) and mosses (fontinalis) and serve as food storage for the fish with a great variety of aquatic insect species present (ephemeroptera, trichoptera and plecoptera). The weedbeds also protect the fish from predation and filter the water, as the regained clear waters of the Elorn can attest, only a short period after a flood.

The Elorn also has a healthy run of Atlantic salmon I also offer guided fishing for in spring and during the late season and especially during the 100% fly-fishing overtime until late October.

The river Elorn | Photo gallery