Ed­i­tor's let­ter

An­drew Fl­itcroft looks for­ward to a bright new sea­son – which be­gins with good news for salmon-fish­ers

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - CONTENTS -

An­drew Fl­itcroft has good news for salmon-fish­ers

THAT’S IT… I SNORED THROUGH The Queen’s Speech, the mince pies are fin­ished, the Christ­mas tree is blow­ing around like tum­ble­weed in the back­yard and if gout has any­thing to do with rich liv­ing, I’m due a bout. It’s time to think about my NYRS again. Be­tween you, me and the wife, they are a bit of a no-no in our house. We think about them for a day or two and then come to our senses. In all our mar­ried years we’ve never kept a New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion, at least not one re­quir­ing ex­ten­sive phys­i­cal ex­er­tion. I often think a new push­bike might swing it, but the best place for a MAMIL (mid­dle-aged man in Ly­cra) to ride a bike near me is Rut­land Wa­ter and how can I be ex­pected to cy­cle around Rut­land Wa­ter, with any de­gree of safety, when my legs are go­ing one way and my head look­ing the other? That ten-pounder I’ve been yearn­ing for is bound to be wav­ing at me with a mouth­ful of corixa. I also fear Ly­cra or Span­dex would cause my wife dis­tress. I’ve also won­dered how I’d strap a five-weight to it … the bike that is. I didn’t per­fect it in my youth with a cheap Shake­speare rod so I’m not sure my Sage and I would sur­vive a for­ward sum­m­er­sault now. That’s why my NYRS are al­ways fish­ing-re­lated. This year I want to catch more trout and I have two big in­cen­tives – I have two new rods to chris­ten. Buy­ing a new rod or a piece of kit is nor­mally a good an­ti­dote to the dour days of Fe­bru­ary when the long win­ter break has taken its toll, but these pur­chases were early lapses. Turns out, that’s a good thing be­cause the de­sire to use them has al­ready got me through the New Year. One is a Sage Dart, a 7ft 3wt beauty over which I had sleep­less nights af­ter cast­ing it at an au­tumn trade show. I rarely feel that com­pelled. I just had to buy it: it is the per­fect tool with which to make the ac­cu­rate casts needed to catch the tricky trout on my lo­cal stream. The other rod is al­most life-en­hanc­ing. It’s a Scott G2 9ft 5wt. I’ve al­ways wanted a Scott. Oh, what a lovely hand­crafted fin­ish. But the looks are not the rea­son, al­though it did make part­ing with the cash eas­ier. No, it’s the soft ac­tion that swung it and the fact that this model will soon be re­placed. This G2 is one of the only rods that will pro­tect my 7X tip­pet when that 6lb Cor­rib cae­nis-feeder heads for the hori­zon. See­ing a beau­ti­ful leop­ard-spot­ted giant in the net will be one 2019 wish ful­filled. This year I’ve been for­tu­nate enough to wan­gle an ear­lier week on the lough. I’ll try to re­hearse play­ing big fish on the G2 at Rut­land in early spring so that I’m ready when I’m on the big stage. An­other find was a spare of my favourite dry-fly reel. The orig­i­nal Wa­ter­works ULA Force with its fab­u­lous de­sign and low-in­er­tia drag has been my rock on still­wa­ters for the past 15 years – I chal­lenge you to name a bet­ter reel. Be­lieve me, to find a sec­ond-hand one has taken a long time – for it to be in mint con­di­tion was re­mark­able. So, Santa came early. What now? Well, given that I’ve blown my bud­get, I mustn’t get car­ried away. As my 2018 salmon sea­son didn’t get off to a good start and was only sal­vaged with a to­ken brace at last knock­ings, as I men­tioned ear­lier I’m go­ing to do more trout fish­ing this sea­son. I’m not talk­ing about trout in the flat­lands of Rut­land­shire; I’ll be tar­get­ing the wildest trout of north­ern Eng­land and the Bor­ders. I’m def­i­nitely think­ing Clyde. That bit where it snakes west from un­der the M74. And I don’t want any­one telling me it’s no good, be­cause in my dreams it’s bounc­ing with flotil­las of large dark olives and there’ll be fish ris­ing on ev­ery bend. I’ve flies to tie, but first threads and tin­sels need tam­ing and re­u­nit­ing with their bob­bins af­ter a sea­son’s bench­top chaos. Once I’ve picked the feath­ers out of that lot I’m ready to re­place my reels’ back­ing, some­thing I promised I’d do last year and didn’t. Buy­ing Gel Spun is so ex­pen­sive, and not very ex­cit­ing, but I might re­gret not get­ting that job done. And when my chores are com­plete, I’ll be as ready as ever for the start of the sea­son and the re­newed hope that brings. Please let it be a bet­ter year.

IT IS WITH GREAT sad­ness that I re­port that au­thor and fish­er­man Pe­ter O’reilly passed away on De­cem­ber 6. For many years, Pe­ter wrote the Ir­ish Fish­ing Re­ports in Trout & Salmon, which were hugely re­spected and fas­tid­i­ously re­searched. He also wrote sev­eral won­der­ful books about fish­ing in Ire­land that re­main as pop­u­lar and in­for­ma­tive to­day as they were when first pub­lished. The num­ber of UK an­glers that con­tinue to travel to Ire­land to en­joy its won­der­ful fish­eries are his legacy. The world of fly-fish­ing has lost one of its true gen­tle­men. Trib­utes to Pe­ter can be read on p72.

STOP PRESS

The En­vi­ron­ment Agency has an­nounced new byelaws that will end the killing of salmon in drift nets and coastal T&J nets on the north-east coast of Eng­land. The new byelaws will come into force on Jan­uary 1, 2019. This is an im­por­tant step in tack­ling the in­ter­na­tional de­cline in wild salmon num­bers, which are cur­rently among the low­est on record and are be­low sus­tain­able lev­els in many rivers. We will pub­lish full de­tails of the byelaws next month.

“The new byelaws will come into force on Jan­uary 1, 2019”

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