Monday, 16 May 2011

A sad week

In the last few days I have been saddened by the news that two friends from the world of fishing have passed away.

The first is Micheal Edwards CEO of Orvis UK. Throughout my years at Wild Trout Trust, Michael was very supportive of our conservation work is so many different ways. He always listened with a generous ear to my cunning plans and differing ways of getting support from Orvis (and there were many!). I don’t actually ever think I heard him say no. Since my departure from WTT I kept in fairly regular contact with Michael and he was always interested how I was getting on at ERT in what he described as the Frozen North! Indeed in my last mail to him I threatened him that I would visit to the Orvis stand at this year’s CLA!

I have really good memories of Michael both at events such as the WTT Awards the CLA and once or twice in the shooting field.

The second loss has been that of Fred French MBE. Fred really was one of anglings grandees with involvement in many, if not of all of the bodies that have represented fishermen over the last few decades. I first met Fred through his NAFAC days when he used to 'ride shotgun' with his great pal, Terry Mansbridge. Both of these guys approached all of the issues facing fisheries with an infectious mix of professionalism, enthusiasm, pragmatism and good humor.

On my arrival at ERT Fred was one of the first to phone me and wish me all the best from his HQ in Ambleside. Like me Fred was a 'blow-in' from the South. Many of you reading this may have been on Freds 'distribution list' for what has been termed the 'World Wide French Web'. This can best be described as a sort of information service of emails and announcements of relevance to the fisheries world. Sometimes you could get several of these mails a day! However, on at least two recent occasions mails from Fred alerted me to very important issues and initiatives I knew nothing about. I used to also love Freds'commentary' that accompanied some of the mails - there wasn't much that he hadn't seen or heard of before and he did have a habit of telling it like it was!

I last mailed Fred about 10 days ago and he said things weren't great. Soon after the mails stopped appearing and towards the back end of last week I started to worry. A email on arrival at my desk this morning confirmed my worst fears.

At sad times like this,cliches tend to get overused. However, I can put my hand on heart and say both the passing of Micheal and Fred will leave a large gap in the world of fisheries and angling. However, I feel the richer for having the honor of their company over many years. The next time I catch a wild trout on the Eden I will raise my cap (and later a glass) to the honour of two great men.

But most importantly at this sad time, our thoughts must go to their families.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Something for the Weekend?

We still have good availability left on many beats for the Wild Trout Weekender on the 18th /19th June and the Wild Trout evening on the 17th June.

We have some fantastic beats on offer and two great speakers on the Friday evening. Unlike the rest of the country we actually have some water coming down the river and it’s even raining as I write this.

Trout fishing this season has been on the whole quite good but the bright weather and cold wind over the last week or two has made things a little tricky. Hatches have been all over the place. However those anglers that are prepared to work for their fish and ring in the changes have been rewarded, in some cases with some very big browns, reported in excess of 3lbs......roll-on June!

We owe it to the Eden to put on a good show and raise a few quid!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I know you got Sole....

Question it felt free?!

See below from Vermont - I look forward to seeing similar announcements in the UK from our own 'angling and fisheries officials'.

As an aside, I had an interesting conversation the other day with an angler who is very switched on to this issue. He fishes with different sets of waders when abroad and thoroughly cleans them before returning home. Despite this and two weeks after his return he found that some leeches had hitch-hiked on his boots all the way from the Southern Hemisphere.......

Vermonts Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry today took an extra step to prepare for the upcoming season: He took the Clean Angling Pledge. He also urged anglers to look at the extensive information on VT Fish and Wildlife’s website designed to help anglers modify their existing footgear.

Administered by the Montana-based Invasive Species Action Network, the Clean Angling Pledge is a simple, yet effective way to remind anglers of the important role they play in the fight against the spread of aquatic nuisance species. An angler who takes the pledge promises to inspect, clean and dry their equipment after each use.

Berry’s pledge comes the same week that Vermont is poised to become the second U.S. state to ban the use of felt-soled wading boots and waders in all waters. Vermont’s ban, established last year by the Vermont Legislature, begins April 1, 2011. Maryland’s ban began March 22.

“It’s important to note that simply making the switch from felt to a rubber-soled boots does not absolve an angler, hunter or trapper from still having to clean their gear,” Berry said. “Rubber-soled boots are easier to clean than felt, but we have to remain vigilant to protect our resources.”

Taking the pledge, said Berry, takes only a few minutes, and he’s urging all Vermont anglers to log on to and join him. A link to the pledge can also be found on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s Website.

“Vermont Fish & Wildlife takes this issue very seriously,” Berry said. “We have a strict cleaning protocol in place for our employees that mandates a very through and complete cleaning of their gear after each use. This pledge helps remind anglers to develop their own cleaning routine for all of their gear, too.”

The three key components of the pledge are:

• INSPECT: Take a close look at your equipment (including boots, waders, boats and trailers) for any rocks, mud, plants, moss or other materials. Physically remove it.

• CLEAN: Thoroughly clean your equipment with water and a brush to remove any attached materials.

• DRY: Completely dry your equipment in the sun.

Bob Wiltshire, executive director of the Invasive Species Action Network, said he’s happy Berry is helping get out the message of the Clean Angling Pledge.

“We’re pleased that Commissioner Berry recognizes the importance of taking personal responsibility for protecting our waters. By simply cleaning our gear to after every use each one of us helps to prevent spreading invaders. None of us wants to be the person responsible for introducing a new invader and following the Clean Angling Pledge helps protect our waters.”

Source: Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife