AN EX­CEL­LENT WEEK ON THE RIVER EWE

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Letters -

Dur­ing a re­cent trip to the River Ewe on the west coast of Scot­land I was for­tu­nate enough to land fish of 7 lb, 9 lb and 16 lb. I was fish­ing with my friend, Dun­can Raynor, who caught salmon of 10 lb, 12 lb and 13 lb. Dun­can is an ex­cel­lent fly-tyer and we used his flies. My fish took a Black Mon­key, Sil­ver Ex­e­cu­tioner vari­ant and a fly called a Bap­tist (named af­ter a dog that got into trou­ble for drown­ing lambs) while his fish fell for a small Avatar, tiny red-head Cas­cade and a Mi­cro Cone­head Garry Dog. I took the photo be­low us­ing a Nikon wa­ter­proof point-and-shoot cam­era, which I think shows just how good even cheap com­pact cam­eras are these days. Keith Hersel­man, Devon

Se­condly, this coun­try used to have a dread­ful record of dump­ing hu­man waste at sea, a filthy prac­tice that was halted only be­cause of a Euro­pean di­rec­tive. Well do I re­mem­ber from my stu­dent days the dredger that used to chug its merry way down the Clyde trans­port­ing Glas­gow’s or­dure out to sea. It was given a ver­nac­u­lar if good-hu­moured so­bri­quet by the un­in­hib­ited cit­i­zens of that great city which is un­re­peat­able in po­lite so­ci­ety. Reg­u­larly, too, were peo­ple taken ill all around the United King­dom as a re­sult of eat­ing pol­luted shell­fish. Only as a re­sult of Euro­pean in­ter­ven­tion are our beaches cleaner for chil­dren and our coastal wa­ters cleaner for inshore fish, in­clud­ing mi­gra­tory fish like sea-trout. Thirdly, it is un­de­ni­able that only an­other ex­cel­lent Euro­pean di­rec­tive forced the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and its pur­blind civil ser­vice to adopt its re­cent mea­sures for the pro­tec­tion of salmon. I had hoped un­til Brexit that sooner or later they would en­force ac­tion against salmon farms and the poi­sons they use. It has of­ten seemed to me that when it comes to deal­ing with our coastal en­vi­ron­ment, com­mon sense only be­gins at Calais. It is well known that the water of the Seine be­low Paris is cleaner than the water of the natural in­flow into the city, such is the ex­cel­lence of French water pu­rifi­ca­tion prac­tices. I think Jon Beer is to be com­pli­mented for be­ing brave enough to write as he did. For many rea­sons he is un­de­serv­ing of the vex­a­tious op­pro­brium heaped upon him by your un­in­formed cor­re­spon­dents. Don­ald Ma­cleod, Ed­in­burgh

I READ with great in­ter­est Mr Jeb­son’s let­ter lam­bast­ing Jon Beer for men­tion­ing the prob­lems that will af­flict our river­ine en­vi­ron­ment and thus our shared pas­sion af­ter Brexit. I imag­ine him not as a re­flec­tive-type, pon­der­ing the best way to de­ceive our quarry but, to quote Jeremy Pax­man, as a “red-faced in­di­vid­ual sit­ting in his Range Rover”. His con­cern for the en­vi­ron­ment slightly less than his con­cern to tell you where he is fish­ing next and what it costs. The Euro­pean Water Frame­work Di­rec­tive will be af­fected when we leave the Euro­pean Union and all that could im­ply. Only the un­think­ing would deny this and only the ig­no­rant and ar­ro­gant would wish to deny any de­bate. Maybe Mr Jeb­son should pon­der the fol­low­ing words of Amer­ica’s found­ing fa­thers, “When you find your­self on the side of the ma­jor­ity, it is time to pause and re­flect.” Keith Miller, Ripon, North York­shire

Keith’s 7 lb salmon, which took a Sil­ver Ex­e­cu­tioner vari­ant on the River Ewe.

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