As we go to press this week, we remember all those who have been affected by the dreaded Corona Virus and our thoughts are with the families and friends that have been so sadly affected by this horrible disease. As a fishing community, we must continue to do as our governments are telling us and that is to stay home, stay safe and in doing so protect our amazing NHS staff and key workers who we can't thank enough for all that they are doing for us right now.
It's now week 6 of lock down and as far as our rivers are concerned, for more or less the whole of the lock down period we have had no rain and our rivers are all on their bare bones. Those who are taking their daily walks down by a river have been reporting seeing fish in many pools and well spread out up and down the rivers which is good news. From the conversations I am having with anglers it would appear that our fly boxes, reels, lines and every other bit of kit is in perfect order, all cleaned or sorted in anticipation of being allowed back fishing soon - here's hoping that this is the case.
Thursday Facebook live with Mark and Tom.
For my part, I continue to spend much of my time speaking to those who can ultimately influence fishing coming out of lock down on a phased basis with restrictions and conditions in place. Some of this help I am offering is right down to the practicalities of how fishing would work in practice on a beat and how we can maintain safe distancing instructions but still be allowed to fish. My discussions with the Scottish Government and MSP's and MP's are all to try and help them see a way of realising that fishing can take place, it can be safe, it most certainly is very good for both your physical and mental health but understandably, not going straight back to where we were before lock down so with conditions in place.
The good news is that I am really pleased with the responses I am getting and the will to try and make this all happen with the overriding condition being of course that we are seeing the statistics from the medical experts showing enough improvement for a partial release from lock down to happen.
You might want to write to your local MP and MSP yourself asking for their support and help in addressing the reintroduction of fishing when it is safe to do so. One such angler and FishPal customer Charles Drummond has done just that and I have attached a link to the letter he sent which you could always use yourself. It's very much non political and simply sets out the background and benefits of us being able to get back out fishing.
Sir Gareth Edwards is a guest on the FishPal live sessions.
I will continue to bring all updates to my weekly Facebook live slot on a Thursday at 11am to keep you all as up to date as I possibly can with ongoing developments. Most of all, stay safe, stay at home and let's all do our bit to continue to help our amazing NHS and key workers out there.
Telephone 01573 470612
30th April 2020
A new design has been added to Fishing Mugs. The vintage salmon prawn fly dates back to the 1920/30's and was mainly used in Autumn on the Tweed and Tay - read more.
The David Miller collection consists of designs depicting classic salmon flies of a bygone era. Each one is individually hand printed to ensure the colours remain sharp, vibrant and clear. They are microwave and dishwasher friendly - read more.
David and his team are able to offer a bespoke service which includes personalising mugs for larger orders. They are the perfect fishing gift.
Instructor Olly Shepherd with Tom checking his grayling equipment in February.
Lockdown has given me the opportunity to examine my fishing kit and look at what I use and what I don't. During the last few weeks I've been cleaning and checking my leaders for any damage. They have a general life span of two years.
I've been tying new flies and looking at my existing flies, bodys/wings/eyes and hooks if they are needle sharp.
I have lines that don't feel right when casting on the rod. I've been speaking with tackle shops, watching YouTube videos and asking questions on forums to get up to speed on lines.
There are some excellent rods on the market, using the latest technology, making casting and fishing enjoyable. I use the following two rods, a LTS X1 with an LTS line and a Vision 13 ft with a Rio Scandi head and tips. Costs for both approx £300.
Finally, the equipment I no longer use, I've put together for a friend who has recently taken up fishing. If we all did this maybe it would encourage more to fishing.
If your fishing has been cancelled due to the current lockdown email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have had new fishing added by many owners on to the system.
Hywel Morgan is a guest on Monday 4th May.
Every day during lockdown FishPal are hosting a mid morning live on Facebook at 11am. Guests until Tuesday 11th May are Eoin Fairgrieve, Paul Procter, Allan Liddle, Matthew Wright, Lucinda Ewing, Hywel Morgan, Peter Cockwill, Simon Barnes, John Bailey and Sir Gareth Edwards.
Questions include when they started fishing, top tips for others starting in the sport. Highlights of their career, favourite places to fish, fly choice, conservation and much more. They share fishing stories and answer questions from anglers joining them in the live stream. Please tune in Monday to Friday at 11am on the FishPal Facebook page.
Every Thursday at 11am Mark Cockburn hosts a question and answer session, with a weekly update on the work FishPal have been doing that week, including answering anglers questions during the live feed.
Paul Procter joins Allan Liddle on Friday 1st May.
If you would like to watch them again please visit FishPal's Youtube channel where we will get them uploaded, meantime they are still available on the Facebook page.
It is turning out to be one of the driest Aprils on record, as there has been very little rainfall across much of Scotland in the past few weeks. This has led to river levels dropping away nicely with a few fish showing in many of the pools on some beats. Water heights are now perfect for many beats on the middle and lower river but unfortunately, the lockdown continues.
I am sure you will agree that our NHS workers have been doing a sterling job in the face of such adversity in recent weeks. It is therefore great news that the Newtyle Beat is offering a free day's salmon fishing for our NHS heroes - read more.
We received over 180 entries to the Lockdown Fly Tying Competition and the standard was exceptionally high. Thank you to Caledonia Fly Company, TwinPeakes Fly Fishing, Loop Tackle, FishPal and Fishing TV for your generous support.
The winner of the salmon fly is Ranald Hutton, with a salmon fly called NHS Warrior.
The winner of the trout fly is Craig Duncan with a wallywing March Brown.
We asked FishPal Facebook followers to decide the Fishing TV winner which was won by Michael Reynolds for a dry fly he created especially for the competition.
I like Tom's idea of sorting out the equipment he no longer uses and passing it on. There are also plenty of youth groups within our angling clubs who would love to have more equipment. Let's all make an effort to get the next generation started, they are the custodians of the future.