The basin of Nives rivers, exceptional inheritance of the Basque Country
Constituted by almost 200 kilometer of banks classified as trout and salmon rivers, and with courses of a large variety, Basques Nives will fill the fishermen whatever their level or their physical capacities. The softness of the climate and regular pluviometry make it possible to practice trout or salmon fishing from March to September without much risk of melting snow or severe drought.
Big Nive, powerful "big Nive" is formed by the addition of water of the "Laurhibar", and Nive of "Béhérobie" and of those "of Arnéguy", meeting downstream from "St Jean Pied of Port" to the place known as "three water". Low, upstream with the village of "Saint Martin d' Arrossa" it is still reinforced by water of the "Nive de Baïgorry", then those of Bastan at the village of Bidarray. Its course is rather fast, until the outlet of the "Pas de Roland " near the village of "Itxassou", then it settle down to Bayonne where it meets Adour.
The fish are there can be fewer, but reach consequent average sizes, without speaking about sea trout and the salmons which can be captured there.
Nive of Aldudes and Baïgorry, Splendid mid limestone river, running within a wild framework of a great beauty. The limit upstream is being the Spannish border upstream of the small village of Urrepel, that of the downstream finishes at the entry of Saint Étienne de Baïgorry where it takes the name of Nive de Baïgorry.
The access to its banks is rather easy most of the time, but can appear difficult in the boxed sectors where the progression will be conditioned by the water level, and often exuberant vegetation. Constituting the continuity of the "Nive of Aldudes", the "Nive of Baïgorry" ends downstream by confusing its water with those of "big Nive" of the village of "Ossès". The courses offered here are more accessible bus more urban, and the widened river. Fishing in the village of "Saint Étienne de Baïgorry" has a particular charm, with in overhang of the river the castle of Etchauz, or the Roman bridge.
Nive of Béhérobie, It is with the place says "source of Nive" that the torrent leaves literally among large blocks rocks, until approximately 2 km downstream “Nive of Béhérobie” runs there in its most wild sector. Then joining the road near "the Inn of the sources of Nive" its course is easily accessible since the small road which skirts it to the village of " Saint Michel ". River is full of fish, and the activity of trout is particularly regular there. The spectacular course of the gorges of Sousignaté, is to be privileged if you are a sportsman and amateur of peace.
Nive of Arnéguy, Taking its source in Spain towards the pass of "Roncevaux", it starts to offer a French bank a few kilometers upstream Spanish village of "Valcarlos" at the hamlet of "Gaïnecoleta". It acts there, until "Arnéguy" of a very sporting and wild stretch. It joins large Nive at the place called "three water" downstream from "St Jean Pied de Port". According to the scientific fishing practiced here, it would be the more full of fish Nive.
Laurhibar river, descending from heights of Iraty, in very wooded gorges, the creek settle down while emerging upstream of the village of "Mendive". This superb mid limestone river probably offers largest trout of the basin with Nive de Baïgorry. Its course less tumultuous than other Nives, on the other hand offers deep holes in rather great number.
Bastan, splendid torrent running within an imposing wild framework, it descends of a valley steep sided in Spain and joins big Nive in "Bidarray". It running on a rock pink sandstone bottom. Very well populated with trout, it has the reputation to be difficult to fish.
Rio Iraty (Irati in Spain), very wild river in its French part, in addition to being populated of a trout population of Mediterranean stock (striped with dark bands), it also acts of the river which Ernest Hemingway in the years 1920 attended (see its book "the sun also rises" chapter 11, 12 and 13).