Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A proper June Weed Cut
The pond is crystal clear and completely free of carp following a winter with the otter. Roach and rudd abound and will no doubt tempt Billy the bittern to return in the winter months but the biggest fish in the pond are the bream, there are plenty of one to two year old fish mucking about in the margins but a troop of senior fish that must be pushing double figures regularly patrol, I have only ever found one dead on the bank, a fish of around eight pound done for by dear old Tarka, so maybe they don’t taste very nice, although we once fished for carp on the Saone in the summer near Macon and a neighbouring “pecheur” took a bin bag full of the things home after a night on the bank. They would not be my bottom feeder of first choice, I will always carry a torch for Tinca Tinca but boring as they may be Bream seem to do well in this pond.
A report by the Institute of Fishery Management has called for fishery owners and managers to lay off Cormorants as their numbers are dwindling. A bizarre request as numbers of cormorants on inland waterways needed to dwindle. Graculus is not on his uppers, and can still be found in numbers in places far from the sea where he really shouldn’t be.
Bonkers! too much Noggin the Nog.
Further ruminations while swishing a scythe:
“Wild” is a much used word on the river bank these days. Many anglers have been wild at the weed running the river this past week, for which I apologise, but more often than not it is used to describe a small Brown Trout that has been plucked from the river and returned with gentle hands. Like “Organic”, “fat free” and “The Duchess of Cambridge” it is often uttered with great reverence and can impart a warm glow on the orator. It is a small fish I have caught so it must be wild.
Now on some bodies of water you could be reasonably confident in the statement that the small fish that gulped your fly was wild, whatever wild is?
On some lakes and rivers a self sustaining population of Brown Trout could confidently be termed as wild. a Scottish Loch full of four year old four ounce fish or a wild welsh river with no history of stocking. It’s a tough life and they have retained a genetic purity that some may covet, and others consider an evolutional hindrance. An island not far from these shores was inhabited by a small population of homo sapiens that for hundreds of years bore one of two surnames before everyone got fed up with marrying their cousin and hit the bright lights and exotic arcades of the mainland. History suggests that quests for genetic purity are not the way to go. A side on view of myself hints at distant origins somewhere around Easter Island, particularly if the statues on the hill looking out to sea are anything to go. A match up with a paramour from the island displaying a similar profile as my own would have resulted in an extended run in Dr Who for the generations to come.
A Chalkstream to a Brown Trout is akin to a high end grow bag for tomatoes, conditions are perfect for their culture. Chalkstreams have been stocked with fertile fish for over a hundred years and the genetic line of the native fish that flipped a fin when Jove was a lad was mixed up decades ago, if it’s genetic purity you are seeking to preserve, it probably disappeared around the time that the white horse was walking about on Wembley.
If however “wild” means brown trout getting jiggy despite their source of genes then there are wild fish in the chalkstreams, their lineage may be a complicated soup, but fish do spawn and fry are present. If a few fingerlings sought refuge from a stock pond, or were stocked deliberately in numbers, some would cash in their chips early in the piece. Others would adapt and survive through to a sexual maturity and spawn, a process that some would term “natural selection” These fish could be described as stocked fish that have gone on to spawn, but are they Wild? Filthy genes, undoubtedly, but in a perfect habitat for Brown trout reproduction they have been stocked, been subject to natural selection before reaching maturity and spawning.
If it pops out of the gravel, no matter what its lineage, it’s a wild fish, if it has been hatchery raised, stocked at a young age and survived through to sexual maturity it’s a stockie. But I am buggered if anyone could tell the difference by visual inspection alone. So if preserving genetic purity is taken out of the equation, does it really matter if both go on and reproduce, where's the harm in stocking fingerling Brown Trout and would "The Brown Trout Habitat Preservation Trust" be a more preferable moniker for The Wild Trout Trust.
My head's a whirl