Review and Preview
It is so hard to know whether one should feel optimism or pessimism as the new season opens.
Last season finished with such a whimper with a very disappointing autumn run, but conversely the spring was pretty good. Clearly the collapse of the Morphie Dyke has helped to get fish up the river, which has the advantage of spreading them out, but also reducing the disease problem often associated with stress caused by too many fish being cooped up below the Dyke. The summer was as usual very water dependent, and whilst there were pockets of grilse coming through, it was not a vintage. Obviously in river nets, operated below Kinnaber not subject to the moratorium as are the sea nets, take their toll, but on that front there is potentially good news.
With financial support from the Trust and from the Board's own reserves, coupled with greatly increased levies on North Esk proprietors, these nets should cease operating at the end of August 2018. The deal has not yet been completed, but there is a willingness on both sides to see it happen.
Overall, last year we were 10% up on the previous, but still below the 5 year average. If as many do, you believe in five year rotations, we should be in for a good year. We have never been so booked up as we are, so clearly many of you are optimistic! Tight lines, and I look forward to seeing you at Stracathro this year.