For anyone considering a week’s fishing in one of the most tranquil, scenic and “wow factor” places, look no further than the BelleVue lake and lodge @ Etang Marolles!
We had an amazing week, making the most of the superb facilities and comfort offered by the lodge (it’s more like a house!) as well as catching some of the stunning resident carp (& Martin the sturgeon twice!). The fish were all immaculate, without doubt the most beautiful colour Commons I’ve ever caught. The quality of the stock isn’t just their size, but also their pristine condition and hard-fighting nature… had some absolute melt down runs that certainly get your heart rate going!
Special mention must be given to Dave and Caroline, who were there on the ground to welcome us and assist in anything we needed during our stay, as well as Georgie and Darren (the new owners) who were simply awesome in assisting us from afar ahead of our trip, in light of all the disruption this year due to Covid-19. As the travel restrictions kicked in, Georgie contacted us immediately to reassure us that we’d be looked after and not to worry about losing our booking if we weren’t able to travel.
Receiving such support and reassurance from Georgie really was overwhelming, as it was clear that her and Darren’s priorities were their anglers, and not just the business or money. I think its fair to say that showing us that level of understanding and offering us whatever flexibility we need is something that will see us return to BelleVue for many years to come.
We subsequently didn’t travel in August, but Georgie went above and beyond to accommodate our booking… We were offered dates later in the year, or advised that if we still couldn’t travel in 2020, then our monies would be rolled over to 2021… What an amazing attitude to have as new owners, and not something they needed to do – all this was at a cost to their business during an already difficult time, so a massive thank you for showing us such understanding Georgie and Darren! We ended up taking a week offered in October and it was superb!
On arrival, Caroline warmly greeted us and gave us a run through of the lodge and facilities, and later that evening Dave came and introduced himself. Over the coming week we got to know them well – they are a wonderful couple and had it not been for all the social distancing, am sure we’d have shared a bottle of wine or two most evenings … and a big thanks to Dave who helped unsnag me on several occasions and spent time offering me his advice and guidance … patience of a saint that man!
Fishing wise, If you enjoy being at one with nature, the surreal feeling of walking round a magical lake at dawn that’s shrouded in mist and glistening cobwebs, and the opportunity to angle for some cracking carp away from the crowds, you must give this a go! BelleVue has a real aura about it… The sense of anticipation and excitement is all around.
For anglers who enjoy the stealthy approach to baiting up and pre-baiting multiple spots to keep their options open, BelleVue lends itself perfectly. Being able to walk round the whole and access all features meant I was able to bait up very accurately and with minimal noise in any nook and cranny that took my fancy.. This was particularly successful along the bramble margin behind the island… I’ll never forget the sight one morning of walking along that margin, having baited up late the night before, only to see the Carp absolutely tearing up the bottom, muddying the water as they troughed up and down! My rig was only in ~20mins and it went off!
We can’t recommend BelleVue enough, and with Georgie and Darren as new owners, am sure they will continue to take the Etang Marolles complex forward, building on the already-great achievements of Dave and Caroline for years to come!