31 December 2012

The final day of a somewhat damp year has so far kept with the trend and is miserably wet.  I had planned to do the monthly invert check last week, but river conditions once again made this task to dangerous to attempt.  The forecast promises a drier start to the new year so I may switch the timing of the checks to early in the month thus giving a few weeks to complete them rather than a few days.

I have almost finished re-building the club website so this should go live before the end of January.  As I mentioned before, it would be nice to get some more recent photos onto the main gallery on the site so all offerings will be gratefully received and credited on the site.  I have expanded the content to include a very brief synopsis of the history of the club, but this will require some revision once I have access to the manuscript minutes books that have now emerged from hiding.

It won’t be long before thoughts start turning to the new season and we should see some major improvements in habitat and access along the fishery over the year.  More on this after our initial survey on 10 January.


23 December 2012

Well. that’s it.  Past the shortest day and heading up towards summer.  The river is full of fresh clean water and trout are spawning up at Drain Mires. Despite levels being too high to permit safe invert sampling over the past couple of days we have had no severe spates so the trout redds mostly remain undisturbed.

The archive is now safely back in club hands after going AWOL for a few years.  Once we have looked at what’s in the boxes the material will go to Jean M so that she can fill in gaps in the official club history and bring the record further into the 20th Century.  By all accounts the manuscript minute books going back to the founding of the club are in one of the boxes so we should be able to discern the minds of past Council members when various key decisions about the club and its assets were considered (or maybe not).

We are also moving on plans with the Ribble Trust for further habitat work and will be taking their projects officer for a walk up the river early in January.  The aim is to identify where money can be best spent in improving conditions for trout and begin talking to landowners.

Finally, I have been sent a revised edition of the club history so shall be replacing the version on the member’s website just after the new year.  If any of you are in the process of downloading the old version you may wish to complete your downloads before 7 January when I plan to remove the existing files and upload the new version.

Here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a fulfilling and prosperous new year.


9 December 2012

We had the first real snowfall of the winter on Thursday and ended the afternoon with around 3 inches of the stuff.  Towards nightfall the precipitation turned to rain which made the roads more than a little interesting to drive.  Indeed for a while Horton was cut off from the south because of stranded wagons on Sherwood Brow and a general call went out for 4×4’s to get children off the stranded school bus and up the valley to their homes.

After a warm night last night and steady rain most snow has now gone and we have a glorious sunny day with just a breath of westerly breeze.

I had a productive talk with the new projects office at the Ribble Trust last week and am delighted with plans for habitat improvement that he is formulating.  It seems likely that we are about to move to a new understanding with the Trust that should benefit us all.  There is no shortage of money available and my aim will be to ensure that this is wisely spent on providing our wild brownies with a river that will be regarded as the finest salmonid habitat in England.  The first step will be the thorough survey of the river between Helwith Bridge and Nanny Carr that we have had planned for some time.  With the RRT project officer involved in this survey we should be able to turn identified projects into real actions very swiftly.


2 December 2012

Its been a cold bright end to the week and this theme is likely to continue into next week.  Just right for spawning brown trout that are now making their way up river to the gravels.  Fingers crossed for a good breeding season.

From time to time I have written about the existance of tin boxes that are believed to contain a fair amount of archive material relating to the history of the club over the past fifty years or so.  My pleas for information regarding the whereabouts of these boxes has largely been met with silence so imagine my surprise when i got an email in the week telling me that the boxes had been located.  We still don’t have access to them so remain ignorant of their content, but we do now know where hey are.  If, as is supposed, they do contain information about the club history then our official historian may be able to advance the written club history beyond its present finish point at the end of the 1920’s.

Speaking of the history, I have now finished uploading the chapters containing the history itself and will now put up a large amount of material that David M wrote which deals with his personal reminiscences of visiting and fishing at Horton from the late 1930’s onwards.

Finally, its now been over six years since I put together the main club website and although this has been augmented from time to time it’s beginning to look out of date and could do with a re-design.  I have begun this work (75% complete) using the same content management system that we use for the members only site.  This will provide greater flexibility in handling different media and make the task of updating far simpler.  What I now need is good quality photos of the fishery in JPG format that I can edit to a size appropriate for the web.  So come on members, don’t be shy, it’s time to get your pictures of the fishery before the great British (world) public.  Either email low res. images about 500px by 450px or let me have high res images on cd or memory stick.  I will ensure that you get the credit!