March Fishing Report
Although numbers caught in March were slightly behind those of last year, it has been a good month.
In all, we had fourteen springers, but this only tells part of the story.
If the reports are to be believed another twenty-eight were lost. Now, the interpretation of losing a fish is very subjective, and can range from the briefest pull to the one which parts company at the net, but it does seem a high number. Although we have had some frost, the river has not been unduly cold, and the fish have been running hard. Perhaps this is why so many fish fell off; they were snatching and coming short. An angler, though in David Morrison's party played a fish for over 30 minutes, and was finally broken. Witnesses agree it was well over 20 lbs.
Fish may have been lost, but records were gained. Scott Tracy caught his first salmon ever on the 25th, and Mr Ferguson caught his first on the fly on 18th, only to go back into the water and then catch his second. Mr Jones caught his first ever springer.
The debate regarding the regulations rumbles on. There seems to be an unholy alliance of owners who are worried by their income dropping, anglers who think they have the right to kill what they catch, and some river managers who resent being told by Government scientists that their rivers are not as good as they think they are. Amongst the squeals of "I will lose tenants and money", amongst the anguished cries of "It's not fair", amongst the moans of "It's my right to kill",amongst the arrogance of "I know better", precious little mention is made of the salmon themselves. No-one can claim that the runs are as strong as they were ten years ago (apart perhaps from some spring runs on certain rivers), so can we stop the wingeing and celebrate that at last the Scottish Government have given some protection to our salmon? We should celebrate, not moan.
I leave you with one thought. A recent blog by a Tweed owner suggests that the recent reduced salmon runs on his river could be due to the removal of the nets! He suggests that too many fish may have ascended the river in recent years, and the resultant over cutting of redds has harmed present runs. Mmmm.