Tougher trout, please

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Letters -

I read with great in­ter­est Stan Headley`s ar­ti­cle on Pits­ford Wa­ter in the Septem­ber is­sue. In par­tic­u­lar, his part­ing com­ments in the last para­graph about “olden times when we would go out with float­ing lines and … wet-flies, pull like good uns and catch fish after fish”. Those days do seem to have passed. As re­cently as four sea­sons ago on my lo­cal reser­voir, I can re­call fast-pulling Boo­bies and large deer-hair Sedges and there were no short­age of rain­bow trout ready to fol­low and take on the sur­face. It was al­most so easy catch­ing them that it felt like cheat­ing. I can also re­mem­ber large splashy fry-feed­ers in the mar­gins late in the sea­son. Then, the early sea­son pro­duced a good quan­tity of over-win­tered fish in great fight­ing con­di­tion, which had grown-on since their stocking in the pre­vi­ous sea­son(s). None of the above now oc­curs at my lo­cal reser­voir, de­spite con­tin­ued good sea­sonal num­bers of newly stocked fish. So what has hap­pened? I don`t be­lieve the slight rise in av­er­age wa­ter tem­per­a­tures can be solely to blame for the re­cent de­cline in the char­ac­ter­is­tics of stocked rain­bow trout, which now seem to dis­ap­pear within the first 90 days of be­ing stocked. There re­main plenty of deep ar­eas where the fish can go to wait out the high­est tem­per­a­tures in July and Au­gust. One would ex­pect them to re­turn to the mar­gins in the au­tumn to feed be­fore the win­ter, but they don`t. So, please, could some­body come up with some an­swers that will in­form fish­ery man­agers and fish-breed­ers how to pro­duce more ro­bust strains of rain­bow trout with the fight­ing in­stincts of those we used to know? Mike Free­man, Corn­wall

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