Worried for our reservoirs
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.