We had a major dump of snow here on Friday that made getting out of the hamlet a challenge so not much got done until a rapid thaw set in late on Saturday. I had planned to do the monthly invert check which I kept puting off in the hope that the river level would rise to make kicking a tad easier. However, a foot of snow and then a near spate made this impossible until today when of course I had other priorities.
I nhave been asked to remind all members who have mot yet sent in fishing returns for last season to please get these in ASAP. They do help us to understand how the river fished and provide useful data on which we can base the future management of the fishery.
Talking of which I am still awaiting a detailed plan of the work that the Ribble Trust are considering below Horton, but the weather really has not been conducive to the detailed walkover hat the Trust were going to do prior to completing the plan. More on this in due course.
We seem to have missed the worst of the snow so far with just light flurries over the past few days. It’s pretty cold though so the Tarn is frozen and the resident swans are looking fairly miffed and stomping about on the ice.
I have just submitted the S30 application to the EA for our stock fish for the new season. This is an on-line process that seems to work really well and saves a lot of form filling and faffing around trying to remember or find reference numbers, addresses and other vital info. We plan to put in more brown trout this season and a batch will go in with the August stocking to over winter and hopefully provide some good early season sport in 2014.
Those of you who watched Ray Mears on Friday will have seen much of the Dales and a familiar face. As I reported several months ago PBA Ecology was asked to participate in this programme and Paul Bradley did a piece on the threat posed to fisheries by the presence of red signal crayfish. I think the message we wanted to get across came over loud and clear. Signal crayfish will wipe out a fishery and it’s people who are moving these creatures between water bodies either intentionally or by accident. Let’s pray that we can keep the damn things out of the Ribble especially as native crayfish seem to be making a return here.
All members should by now have received notice of the AGM which this year will be held on a Saturday morning to encourage more members to attend. The venue is the Crown at Horton so no excuses for not being able to find it. Formal business will be followed by a buffet lunch, time to chat and then a working party to get the fishery into shape for the new season.
Into a new year and the 135th of the club’s existence and 131st year since the establishment of the Horton fishery. Will we still be here in another hundred years and if so, what will the condition of our river be? There is scope for some optimism as the works that we are now discussing with the Ribble Trust should have a significantly beneficial impact on the river in the long term. Whatever befalls our species a member looking back on 2013 from 2113 may have good reason to be grateful for our efforts as they should be fishing a river replete with mixed habitat including hundreds of mature trees providing shade and homes for the descendants of our brown trout.
Still, someone once said that all all predictions are unreliable especially those that concern the future.
On Friday I was staggered to receive a generous gift in the form of a complete set of Anglers Evenings, the bound volumes containing the proceedings of the meetings of the club during its early years. The pleasure was compounded when I found that one of the volumes bears a book plate indicating that it had originally come from the library of J Artur Hutton the author of many renowned books on fly fishing and one of the early exponents of fish scale reading. His treatise on Salmon Scales is in the club library on loan from a member and its remakable how his own copy of V1 of AE should have ended up back with the club.
Cheers Michael, I shall treasure these volumes.
At long last its stopped raining, but high pressure murk is making the valley look dour and miserable. It will take many days of fine weather before the land shows any inclination to dry, but at least the sheep are looking a tad more cheerful now that the persistant wet has abated.