Joy and Sorrow
Life is full of delight. Our first grandchild arrived at the end of December, fractionally short of the 11 lbs of a full 2 MSW salmon. He's a lovely chap, albeit pink rather than silver in colour, and although fathered by my non-fishing son, I very much hope to be allowed to introduce him to the joys of angling as soon as he's ready. Hopefully I shall have 2 students in the 2021 season as my sometime trout-nymphing daughter is due to produce her first child in early May. And in between the salmon-catching HMCX gets married in late April. So the positive side of the equation is unbounded joy all round, even if it has managed to diminish my thinking about fishing.
Death is always a shock, even if it has been long anticipated. My step father in law had suffered progressively worsening health over the past 3 years, and by February it was evident that he was entering the final phase. He was admitted to hospital and died peacefully just after Easter at the age of 85 with his family at the bedside. Now there is much to do and organise, leaving even less time to think about fishing. Amidst the sadness we have to accept that death is as much a part of life as birth, so faced with its inevitability, let us smile, strive to be happy and enjoy our fishing as much and for as long as possible.
Despite those worthy sentiments I cannot avoid maudlin thoughts of the family's fishermen who have gone before me: my grandfather who suffered a stroke whilst spring fishing on the Exe at 83, but fell backwards onto the bank, denying him the death in the river he would have chosen; my father who introduced me to the sport that would captivate me and taught me to live every day to the maximum as he had since D-Day; my original father in law whose dedication to the River Rye and the pursuit of its trout made Bill Shankly seem half-hearted; and his eldest son, my brother in law, forever 26, whose ashes blended with his father's in the Rye. They all contributed to my life and fishing in many different ways, and their enjoyment of the sport, enthusiasm, wisdom and good company makes it easy for me to remember them with grateful smiles.
Sorting the Kit
|The Great Fishing Chest|
|MCX Dark V2|
State of the Rivers
With the wet winter salmon have been running into the Ouse system since before Christmas, and in growing numbers over the past month. More than 400 passed through the Tanfield counter over Easter. Everywhere the land is very damp, which sustains the flow; causes levels to fall very slowly in the dry weeks; and extends the periods in which the salmon can run, bringing them further upstream.
Whereas for the last 3 cold very dry springs it was hardly worth wetting a line, this year I am as optimistic as ever and can't wait to get out. Amidst life and death my enthusiasm for my 61st season shines as strongly as ever, with the added excitement this year of spending Just One Week in Norway on the Gaula in July.
Hopefully I shall have something substantial to write about before long. If you're out on the water, tight lines, and remember in cold water to fish the fly more slowly and a foot or so deeper than later in the year.