La Loue |

La Loue

Country: France
Type: River

Distance from
Paris: 440 km
Geneve: 154 km
Lyon: 230 km

The Loue is recognised as being one of the best rivers in Europe for fly-fishing. The river is well-known for so called Zebra Trout and a nice population of large grayling.

The Loue is recognised as being one of the best rivers in Europe for fly-fishing.


The Loue is a river in eastern France, a left tributary of the Doubs, which it joins downstream of Dole.

Its source is a karst spring in the Jura mountains near Ouhans, which at least partly receives its water from the Doubs. This connection with the Doubs was only discovered in 1901 when a spillage from the Pernod factory into the Doubs was transmitted into the Loue.

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The Upper Loue

As soon as it rises, the River Loue sends its turbulent water into a deep canyon, and one has to travel to the village of Lods before the water becomes calm once again. It is the upstream section, in the Noailles Gorges, that the river is at its wildest and most beautiful.

The Loue then carries on as far as the village of Ornans, where it widens out, and over the next few kilometres, it seems to change after every bend, offering a succession of fishing spots abundant in trout.

The Lower Loue

Just below Ornans, the meanders of the Loue are still rather rapid, and the private fishing spots, such as the famous La Piquette, are dotted along the next few kilometres of the river. The most interesting sections downstream of here are to be found above Arc et Senans.

The highlight of these stretches of river, which are managed by four angling associations, are the beautiful grayling. You will also find lovely great trout that you will be able to sight fish with nymphs.


La Loue holds large graylings but what makes the fishery special is the so-called Zebra Trout. Some other species can be caught on the fly like chub or barbel.

La Truite Zébrée

The trout from La Loue have special coloration. They are striped with three or four vertical dark blotches. This characteristic inspired the local name for this fish, la truite zébrée, or the zebra trout.

How to fish

Dry fly fishing is effective when the water level is low. Most nymphing techniques are used with great success as well.

If you target large graylings we recommend to try Tungsten Jig patterns or Disco Czech Nymphs. Some pools are really deep, and heavy flies are necessary to reach the fish's feeding zone.

Practical Info

There is not much information about fly fishing in the area in English. You will have to refresh your knowledge of French...

Fédération Départementale de Pêche et de Protection du Milieu Aquatique du Doubs (French only)

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