Public Ourthe

River: Ourthe
Locality: Barrage of Nisramont - Maboge (The Hérou)
Length of the course: 15 km
Average width: 15-25 m
Average depth: 0,50 m - 2 m
Fish: Trouts, graylings, chubs, barbels, pikes, perchs,...
Type of river: River in undergrowth.
Nature of the grounds: Pebbles and large rocky units.
Licences: Public (Waloon areas’s permit, available in the Post offices in Wallonia.
Wading authorized: From the 1st of June; Catch and Release: No, too bad!
Insects : Classic mayflies, caddis, some stoneflies,...


The stretch begins 500 m after the dam, from the bridge cross the Ourthe. On the left bank, two km along, you can easily see a bunch of chalets, harming a little bit the poetry of this place. But since the river belongs as much to fishermen as to these noisy « two legs », try to forget, if you can. For years ago, this part of the river has been ruined by a pollution to chlorine, which devastated the river almost three km along. All life there has been burnt. But we’ve been able, at this time, to observe the amazing quantity of fish of this stretch, while previously it was underestimated by most of the flyfishermen. Meanwhile, the nature has brilliantly reconstituted. The river is fourty m wide, and the depth is accordingly weake (40 cm).

Around the emerging rocks, some deeper pools are found. This is "Cresse Sainte Marguerite". After "Tibiéwé" and its double S full of promises, the river flows trough a wilder valley and comes now under the rock of « Le Hérou », 1.400 m high. The Ourthe is hence large only a fifteen meters and the depth has increased. Rocky units are multiplied in the middle of the flow, and fish spots are numerous. The paradise of the Flyfisherman is there!
Another curve and you reache to "Les Ondes". The valley is somewhat less spectacular than in"Le Hérou », but the valley has again earned some charms. Pools succeed to rocky @thresholds. Then the river starts a great loop which bring her back, two km futher, at a distance of 300m of its starting point. Come then the long pools of the "Maison du Juge". Graylings are numerous there, trouts are less disturbed, and fishermen happy. But the river leaves gently the valley of the Hérou, and the sky appears more largely. And the "Cheslé", which succeeds, give to the Ourthe an alluvial plain that will no longer leave her. The Ourthe becomes a plain river. The whole stretch is absolutely marvelous. But don’t be deceaved! The beauty, unique in Belgium, and the potential fishing quality of this place, make this area as certainly the most fished of Belgium. Fishes who survive to fishermen (if only it was reserved for Catch and Release) have seen so much baits of all sorts they can be qualified as particularly educated. The hatches that occur there, as well as the relative ease with which it ‘s possible to see, underwater, some very beautiful fishes, give sometimes to the flyfisherman the feeling that fishing there is easy. But the cloch turns, it ‘s necessary to struggle, and splendors of the scenery are often the angler’s main reward.