I have had a long fascination with obituaries. These tales of the lives of notables bring together strange bedfellows including the rich, brave famous and infamous. Last week my eye was drawn to one obit of some interest to the well heeled of our fly-fishing brethren. On October 18 Anne Voss Bark passed away bringing to an end a long life during the greater part of which she provided a home for many fishermen on the Tamar and its tributaries. Since 1961 Anne and her husband had kept the Arundell Arms at Lifton, a haven of peace and much good fishing banter. Not content with simply running the hotel Anne took fishing lessons and became an accomplished angler once netting three salmon n quick succession on the Lyd. But her greatest joy was night fishing for sea trout.
So the angling world loses another fixture in its firmament.
Closer to home, I did the monthly invert check at New Inn yesterday morning and found a river in rude health with plenty of heptagenia and gammarus. I had planned to sample at Turn Dub this morning, but heavy overnight rain has put a halt to that. I didn’t fancy ending up at Preston after a stumble.
Next year’s Tarn fish have now been ordered and the S30 consent will be done this week. So all systems go for next March.
Its been a quiet week both on the river and weatherwise. We have had some rain, but nowhere near enough to cause the river to spate. Our brown trout are now beginning to think about spawning and will be moving up to the spawning gravels in Gayle and Cam becks.
I’m hoping for one of the best breeding seasons in recent years as the fish I have seen look in cracking form after a cool summer with plenty of food. The work the the Ribble Trust are doing on Gayle beck should begin to help as the new fences will be keeping stock off the river bank and already vegetation is recovering to provide overhanging shelter. The new willows are taking well and when the spates do come they should begin to slow up erosion and silt pollution of the gravels lower down the river.
We have much to do this closed season with the survey of the entire fishery to complete stiles to be built and the webcam to upgrade. The Tarn is not forgotten as stocking plans for next season have been agreed . Now fish need to be ordered and consents obtained from the EA. In the blink of an eye we shall be into the new fishing season. My eleventh as keeper. Where does time go?
We all met here yesterday morning for the last fishing Council meeting of the year and this was a lively and productive event. I’ll let the details arrive with members by the proper channels, but a radical approach to next year’s AGM is planned that will enable far more members to attend as well as offering more than just a dry business meeting.
Stocking the Tarn will see some minor adjustment to ensure that this adapts to member’s changing fishing habits and continues to provide top class still water fishing.
Keeping with the Tarn we are exploring the possibility of taking a thorough look at waht’s going on under the surface. Its been many years since we sent divers down to look at the bottom and with a couple of scuba enthusiasts now in the club we have the opportunity to take a look under the surface.
We plan a thorough survey of the fishery this closed season to identfy tasks to be done and to provide a basis for a management plan that will inform the Club’s habitat work for the next five years. A start has already been made as some Council members went down to Parkers wood to look at a site for a new metal stile to ease access over a tricky wall just above Horton beck. Discussions will be had with the farmer and hopefully the stile will be in place early next season if not before.
The Tarn webcam and all its associated equipment will be upgraded this closed season so we should enjoy uninterupted access to views of the Tarn next season.
Despite best intentions (path to hell and all that) I’m late this week because of visitors over the weekend who left yesterday afternoon.
There was just enough water at the end of October to justify a final fling for salmon although judging by the few fish attempting Stainforth foss yesterday there would have been few fish to go for. The foss looked stunning in autumn sunshine. Plenty of water and brilliant hues on the trees surrounding the lower pool. We stood watching the falls for quite a while and only saw two fish, both very dark.
I put up Chapter 9 of the club history on AV earlier this afternoon. Again this was delayed due to the need to play mine host over the weekend. We are now reaching the point where the full record of club activities runs out so once again I would appeal to any member past or present who knows the whereabouts of material that would shed light on what the club was up to in the middle years of the last century. As I have said before there is a tin box containing much material that went missing about ten years ago. To track this down would be brilliant.
We are discussing the possibility of promoting a major study of the river and its trout population which will inform our management plan for the next few years. If this does come to fruition then we can expect a major scientific study that will provide a firm basis for how we manage and develop the fishery in future. The aim is to look at how we can ensure that the river can support an optimum population of brown and sea trout leading to wonderful fishing and a river that’s regarded as the finest brown trot habitat in the north of England.