Etang De Brigueuil - by Steve Briggs
It was a cold wet spring morning when I pulled in to the supermarket car park to meet up with Paul and Carmen Armfield. “Don’t worry” Paul said “I’m going to take you somewhere you’re really going to like!” A few miles down the road and we were pulling in to the car park at etang de Brigueuil (High Mill lake) to meet with owners Andy and Tracy. To me the owners very much make up part of the whole fishing atmosphere and we couldn’t have been made more welcome – in fact all of the messages I received from previous anglers were full of praise for the lake and for Andy and Tracy and after spending time at Brigueuil I can only agree with them.
At just over 20 acres Brigueuil is a decent size with about ten single and double swims. We were booked in to the luxurious Chalet Swim at the dam end of the lake and as we walked past the large laurel hedges and caught our first sight of the Chalet Paul just looked around and smiled! The Chalet itself has two double bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom and having gone there with Joan I just knew that she would enjoy all of that (I wasn’t wrong). But the Chalet overlooks the swim, which covers a great area of the lake and much of the dam wall. Indeed on the last few days leading up to our trip the Chalet swim had produced a run of fish up to 57lb! Looking around at the pictures of past captures it’s clear that the lake holds many good fish, including several 50’s and lots of back-up 40’s – the lake record currently stands at 63lb but the fish are growing fast and I wouldn’t expect that to stand for too long. During the winter Paul Armfield himself spent just a few days on the banks of Brigueuil and managed three 50’s up to 59lb so there is plenty of quality fishing to be had.
But while the Chalet swim is undoubtedly the most comfortable swim on the lake it is certainly not the only productive swim and as I soon found out, all of the swims produce well. My first action came quite quickly after getting the rods out with a nice scaly 31lb 8oz mirror and besides the big fish there are also some very nice looking fish in Brigueuil, including some cracking zip linears! Some of the other swims looked so good that for a couple of nights I dragged myself from the Chalet and fished swim 8 up at the shallows end and I really enjoyed that – and caught from there too! By the way there are showers and toilets onsite too as well as freezers to store bait in. Various methods and tactics will work at Brigueuil, my approach was to use a snowman set up with fairly basic rigs and keeping the baiting tight. But Stuart and Clare Heather, who did very well fishing from the cabin while I was there by using a straight boilie approach and spreading boilies around the area with a throwing stick. Other people have done well using small pop ups, so various methods will certainly do the job!
Many lakes these days pride themselves on the food packages they provide and I’ve experienced some good ones over the years but I really think that the food that Tracy provides is the best I’ve come across. I can eat like the best of them but I struggled most nights to finish everything - and puddings were just superb - raspberry cheesecake to die for!
We really enjoyed our time at Brigueuil and cant wait to go back. It amazes me that somewhere so good has remained under the radar for so long! But then I guess that is the case with all of the Armfield Angling venues, they were all fairly unknown to me before I went there and all have proven to be top venues. Somehow Paul and Carmen find these wonderful places and I’m just pleased that they let me know about them. Etang de Brigueuil has all the comforts if you want them but it is very much a proper carp lake with plenty of good fish on offer. I really enjoyed the fishing at Brigueuil and the food, comfort and especially the hospitality only made the whole experience even better. What a great place!