24 April 2008

The rain that fell yesterday morning didn't amount to much and by mid day the sun was out giving us a very pleasant afternoon. So, the river is still pretty low, but should rise as we have another wet start this morning with plenty of rain forecast for the next few days.

I took the opportunity of the fine weather to put up the new signs down at the football field.  There is now a notice by the metal stile over the upstream wall which tells all and sundry that this is not a public footpath.  I also fixed a Private fishing notice just downstream from New Inn bridge.  This is invisible from the road, but in full view to anyone on the river bank itself.

Making these signs I thought would be the task of a few moments.  Wrong!  There is clearly an art to effective stencilling and it took me umpteen attempts to get something that looked in any way presentable and not a like a dogs breakfast.  I now have it cracked.  Clearly the trick is to stipple on the paint using an almost dry brush.  Too much paint results in most of it creeping under the stencil so you just end up with an amorphous blob.  Fortunately aluminium is a very forgiving medium and it's very easy to wipe off the results of incompetence.

I had a very interesting note from a regular correspondent in response to the fishery maps I posted up a couple of days ago.  Here is the gist of some of it.

“You must be aware that in the 50s the river was diverted considerably at
Studfold. There were two or three really big deep pools with a good potential
for salmon. The diversion started about where you have put the name Hunt and
finished where you call it the pipe pool. From then on to what was called Crag
Hill Pool was called East Wind Reach for obvious reasons. Before it was dredged
out the bottom was mainly of slates and very dangerous to wade on the other hand
the built up wall to the north and the slates gave good cover for many large
fish. There was another huge deep pool about where the bridge went over the
river at Crag Hill. The dredging continued until just below the tay bridge. It
levelled out the river bed all the way from just above the Penny Bridge right up
to the Tay Bridge with the exception of the pool at the bottom of East Wind
Reach which we managed to plead for. The rivers board used a caterpillar dredger
and it could run along this length of river bed which it levelled. In these works
nearly all the fish were killed and their habitats were destroyed. For several
years it was a waste of time fishing that length. Nature of course heals and now
I expect very few people remember the devastation caused years ago.”

Fascinating stuff.  I had not realised that the river was dredged to quite this extent.  I know that it was diverted away from the main road to alleviate flooding problems, but the extent of the engineering work is a surprise.


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