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Fly Fishing for Allis Shad

Shad are migratory fish from Clupeidae family (close to herring), which come up the river to spawn.

There are only a few handful fishermen waiting with impatience for their return each year starting from mid-April. The large shad also called Allis Shad (alosa alosa), started to run in numbers in many streams of Brittany since 2000, probably due to climate change.

Their fishing which is very close to salmon fishing, swinging wet flies/nymphs is practiced mainly on the Aulne river in Chateaulin (29) and on the Blavet in Inzinzac-Lochrist (56). It is also possible to sight fish for them on the lower part of certain smaller rivers. I offer my fly fishing guide service in Brittany on the best spots of Brittany rivers depending on the season, conditions and runs.


Allis Shad Fly fishing

Season: Mid-April to end of June

For Shad fishing, we usually swing flies with streamers or large nymphs using bright colors such as orange, yellow, chartreuse green and pink. Depending on the season, it will be necessary to adapt your tackle and lines to fish more or less deep with intermediate to very fast sinking tips. On the Aulne and Blavet, we regularly use 9 to 10 feet rod for 7 to 8 weight for the beginning of the season but also switch rods (short two hander) that can quickly cover areas where they are. However we will switch to 6 weight rods for the last part of the season when water levels drop and the current slows down. The technique is to present our shad fly at the "right level" and at the right speed depending on water levels, flow rates, water temperature and fish activity. It is necessary to be very concentrated during the drift of the fly to not miss the takes and set the hook at the right moment. An intense fishing. In small river, we generally sight fish for them by presenting small nymphs with orange head which will be retrieved by saccade in front of the spotted fishes.

Migratory fish

Hard takes

Strong fighters

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