My wife Barbara and I have holidayed 4 weeks every year at Hirondelle since it opened, and at Boufettieres before that.
During that time we have come to know Glen and Linda very well and have come to appreciate their kindness and unstinting help especially when Barbara was taken into intensive care with Sepsis a few years ago. At the time I had my leg in plaster with a ruptured achilles tendon and would not have been able to cope without them. I must also mention Anthony who translated all the medical terms for us and liaised with the hospital Although people come to Hirondelle for the magnificent fishing, the overall experience of “living the life” for a few weeks every year has always come first with us.
For 20 years we lived on a farm in North Cornwall so we were always surrounded by nature but Hirondelle was always different, with it’s own “eco-climate” and abundance of wild life, that is hard to find, even in rural areas of the U.K today.
The accomodation was always first class and each visit we noticed small improvements and additions which were always beneficial but didn’t detract from the overall homeliness that is a trademark of Glen and Linda.
We saw Hirondelle before Glen and Linda wove their magic and it was a mess, having been left by the previous owner somewhere in the middle of the last century. The lake was virtually unfishable and the cottage was not somewhere you would choose to stay if you had a choice.
Outside had the evidence of years of chicken farming as well as the smell. Only somebody with the foresight of the Millers could have envisaged what could be achieved. The transformation is almost unbelievable and it is a testament to the hard work that Glen and Linda have put in over the intervening years.
The lake now must be one of the finest in France with a head of fish to rival even the well-known giants further south. The mixture of fish is perfect with roach, gudgeon and crucian carp for the youngsters, and carp up to 60lbs for the more experienced angler. Not to forget the sturgeon and pike.
Barbara and I have been lucky enough to catch many fish from the smallest to the largest and no one can take away the fact that the first carp over 50lb was caught by Barbara. But that is not boasting as we have never been overly impressed with size but enjoy every fish on it’s merits.
This last 2 weeks of the season are probably the last time we will holiday here as Barbara’s health (Parkinson’s disease) and my heart problems (as well as our age) will make it hard to do the packing, travelling and driving needed to reach this idyllic place.
BUT we went out with a bang.
My first fish of the trip was over 40 lbs and despite the inclement weather we went on to catch 4 more over 40 lbs, plus a mirror of over 51 lbs and a lake record Common of 50 lbs 10 oz. We also caught 6 fish over 30 lbs and some originals up to 28 lbs. I also had a lake record sturgeon of 36 lbs 5 oz. We only fished afternoons as we had other things to do and places to see.
Many other fish were caught but one of the most satisfying was a crucian carp of 4 lbs. This is now an endangered species in UK and was much appreciated by myself and Glen, being coarse anglers at heart.
All the fish we caught were re-weighed by Glen and Linda and verified by them.
It is with much regret that we say goodbye to this chapter in our lives but perhaps God willing if our health improves we may make a “comeback” one day.
For now we say THANK YOU to Glen and Linda and to all the other people we have met and corresponded with over the years.
God speed and tight lines.