Wednesday 15th November 2017

Wednesday 15th November 2017

George Wallace

Wednesday 15th November:

On this day in 1577 Francis Drake set sail in his ship "Pelican" to circumnavigate the globe. He returned to England in September 1580, having renamed his ship "Golden Hind" during the voyage.

On a less dramatic note, our beautiful River Dee is looking fantastic. At 1130 this morning the level at Dukes, below Bangor old bridge, was 21" above normal (11" on the gauge at Manley Hall) and running clear.

Some of our members have had excellent fishing in the last week, with good catches of grayling on both fly and bait, including several fish over 2 lbs, some good brown trout and a few sea-trout, including a couple of tagged fish. All carefully returned. Numbers of salmon have also been seen, mostly very coloured now, and Rob managed to hook one on his grayling fly. It must have been a good fish because he never even saw it and it spat the fly out after only a few minutes.

Our Landlord at Groves Farm tells me that he had a meeting with a government fisheries officer to discuss improving access for migratory fish above Overton weir. There is a fish ladder on the right bank which is a handy place for illegal netting, so an improvement would be very welcome. I know this has been in the official mind for some time, hoping to return the river to the state Nature intended. Since I always like to be helpful, I suggested a quick phone call to 617 Squadron might provide a solution to the weir?

Your Committee has written to our Welsh Assembly member, Ken Skates, concerning NRW's desire to introduce compulsory catch and release of salmon throughout the Season, explaining that we feel it would contribute virtually nothing to the number of salmon reaching the spawing grounds, while causing many salmon anglers either to give up or to change from a salmon licence to trout and coarse fishing, thus reducing the revenue so deperately needed by NRW for their various projects. A surprising number of our members do not start salmon fishing until 1st of June when they are allowed, at present, to keep a salmon. Even then virtually all the salmon caught are released, which may seem odd until we consider human nature - we know and appreciate the situation and participate gladly but we are supposed to be free men and women and we like the freedom to choose for ourselves, rather than have a blanket ban imposed from above for extremely dubious reasons.

We have also written to our Member of Parliament, Susan Elan Jones, with concerns over sewage pollution in what is supposed to be one of the cleanest rivers in Europe. I had a most helpful meeting with Susan and she is considering how best to proceed; perhaps via a Parliamentary question.

Derek has sent out membership renewal reminders, so please make his life easier by responding quickly.