AN EXCELLENT WEEK ON THE RIVER EWE
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.