Wor­ried for our reser­voirs

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - NEWS & VIEWS -

I’VE re­cently re­turned from an an­nual three- day trip to Rut­land reser­voir trout fish­ing with some great friends. Once again I had a fab­u­lous time; the fish­ing was hard although one of us, Paul Wil­son, did man­age a fine 8lb 1oz brownie. The rea­sons for my let­ter are two-fold. First, I be­lieve for the first time in many years coarse an­glers sig­nif­i­cantly out­num­bered the trout an­glers on each of the three days spent at Rut­land. De­spite the best ef­forts of the friendly staff I feel that trout fish­ing in this en­vi­ron­ment is un­sus­tain­able. When run­ning a busi­ness, why cater for trout an­glers when the cost of stock­ing fish has in­creased so sig­nif­i­cantly and coarse an­glers pay­ing sim­i­lar fees will put back their catch and are queu­ing up to en­ter the fish­ery? I fear many more reser­voirs are head­ing the way of Chew Val­ley and Blag­don, which seem to have their days num­bered as trout fish­eries. The se­cond point is that I’ve been ex­tremely lucky to have been taught by two gen­er­a­tions about a plethora of trout fish­ing top­ics from fly-ty­ing and cook­ing your catch to read­ing the wa­ter. As a 28 year old I rarely see any­body un­der dou­ble my age fly-fish­ing, par­tic­u­larly on the reser­voirs. As a sea, coarse and game fish­er­man I think this is due to a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors in­clud­ing that fly-fish­ing doesn’t ex­cel at at­tract­ing the un­der 40s. For ex­am­ple, when com­par­ing it to al­ter­na­tive fish­ing types I be­lieve fly-fish­ing strug­gles due to poor ac­ces­si­bil­ity, rel­a­tively high ex­pen­di­ture and the skill level re­quired to be suc­cess­ful. Don’t get me wrong I’m rais­ing these points as I love it but I’m sig­nif­i­cantly con­cerned about the fu­ture of UK reser­voir trout fish­ing. As my wife is ex­pect­ing our first child, I’m ex­cited to even­tu­ally in­tro­duce him/her to fly-fish­ing as I was. How­ever, I’m ex­tremely con­cerned due to the poor up­take of fly-fish­ing by the younger gen­er­a­tions. I may be stripped of this op­por­tu­nity. If any­body has any ideas on im­prov­ing the out­look for our much-loved and treasured sport by in­creas­ing up­take and pro­tect­ing fly-fish­ing lo­ca­tions, I sug­gest you make your­selves heard sooner rather than later. Trout fish­ing in the UK (par­tic­u­larly reser­voir fish­ing) is un­der threat like never be­fore. Fur­ther­more, it’s all of our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to pro­tect the sport, which we’ve spent many an hour ex­cit­edly fig­ure-of-eight­ing a nymph across a per­fect wind lane for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to en­joy. Oliver Pur­dom, by email

Ed­i­tor’ s re­ply: We share your con­cerns, and en­cour­age ev­ery­one to fly-fish more of­ten so that we are part of our wa­ters’ fu­ture plans.

Useitor­los­ethechance­to­catch­fish­like this–Oliver’sfriendPaulwith­hisRut­land brown.

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