By Writing the Eagle
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“Fishing is not a sport for old people”, insists Romain Barron. With his partner Neïla Serrano, Romain has opened a brand new fishing store in the town center of L’Aigle. The couple is aware of the clichés that weigh on this sport and in particular the most tenacious, namely that fishing is an essentially static activity.
Yet there are many different types of fishing (coarse, fly, predator, carp or sea), and some practices require long walks in the rivers.
“A huge element of attractiveness”
Fishing is therefore for everyone and the enthusiasm around this sport proves it.
There is a real fashion phenomenon among young people
To be convinced of this, just take a walk in the evening along the Risle or look at the number of young people, even very young people, to cross the door of the Maison de la Pêche this afternoon. This is also evidenced by the thousands of subscribers of influencers specializing in fishing on social networks.
As in other areas of activity, enthusiasts share content (photo, video and text) on Instagram, Facebook or even TikTok about this sport. Contacted by brands, they also receive free fishing equipment, which they test and promote to their subscribers.
Recruit young people with the fishing festival on June 5, 2022
On the occasion of the fishing festival, the Association approved for fishing and the protection of aquatic environments (AAPPMA) of Haut-Iton is planning a series of activities on June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The goal is to introduce people to the different fishing methods and to offer activities for everyone, from the age of 10”, explains Jean-Marc Bonnouvrier, president of the association. “We are trying to recruit more young people.” At the moment the club has 50 minors, aged 12 to 18.
On the program: a mini fishing competition in the morning, a workshop to discover small animals with Antoine François, a line repair workshop, a workshop for making lures and flies by the Maison de la pêche de L’Aigle, and worm, cork, lure, heron, fly and crayfish fishing workshops.
The festival committee of Saint-Ouen-sur-Iton also participates in the event.
The sport fishing market is therefore doing well in France. With an economic impact of two billion euros per year, the sector has around one and a half million followers in France, according to the National Federation of Fishing in France (FNPF). In the Orne, they are nearly 9,000 enthusiasts to practice this sport, according to the Departmental Federation.
A figure that does not surprise Romain Barron, since Normandy is one of the “richest regions for fishing”, he assures.
The Risle is for example full of wild trout and the Touques is considered the number 1 river in France for sea trout.
Coming for the opening of the shop, the mayor of L’Aigle Philippe Van-Hoorne, confirms: “fishing is a huge element of attractiveness”. The elected official knows the sector well, since he explains “fishing every weekend”.
It is thus the richness of the territory in terms of fishing, which pushed the couple to leave Paris and change their lives to settle in L’Aigle and open a shop.
Raising awareness of biodiversity
And by a happy coincidence, it is in the former premises of Monsieur Bobo, a gunsmith who also sold fishing equipment. “Several customers have told us about it, they say that the decoration looks a lot like the old shop,” says Neïla. “It brings back memories for them. »
Previously, Romain worked in events, as a manager and musician, and Neïla was a painter. And in the couple, fishing has been Romain’s passion since childhood.
I like the relationship with nature, the silence, the fish… it’s a kind of natural yoga.
In the shop, Romain and Neïla offer fishing equipment, as well as handmade lures and flies, directly on the store floor by Romain. But more than just a place of sale, they want to make the Maison de la Pêche a real place of advice for those who would like to start the practice or improve their skills. “For example, we explain to you which rod, which weight to take”, explains Romain.
The couple would also like to take advantage of their shop to raise awareness of biodiversity. An essential element in this activity. “To know where and how to fish, you have to understand how living things work,” insists Romain. “It is an activity connected to nature. And we see it during pollution in the rivers for example, the fishermen are the first to see them. »
With their shop, the couple want to promote a responsible fishing approach and raise awareness of good practices, and why not “work with schools”, adds Neïla. One thing is certain, with the Maison de la Pêche Romain and Neïla are like fish in water.
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