Sunday, June 15, 2014
With my left foot, Thierry Henry would be complete
A second film titled “Brown Trout feeding frenzy II” portrayed our hero laid dormant under a bed of weed stuffed and sated and was panned by the critics.
This weekend, the beginning and end of the ides of June a significant number of Mayfly continue to crash and die on the river. There were concerns from some quarters over this year’s mayfly hatch following the floods of last winter but these have proved groundless and this has been one of the heaviest mayfly hatches in recent memory.
We have several juvenile grass snakes in our garden pond which sits six feet from the kitchen window, and they currently slurp their way through a surfeit of tadpoles, and a visiting angler caught sight of a thirty inch adult on the river bank last weekend. This valley is riddled with snakes, harmless I know, but the briefest glimpse never fails to give me a start. There is something shifty about a snake that both man and animals detect (see Walt Disney’s interpretation of Kipling’s Jungle Book, “Trust In me, trust in me, close your eyes and trust in me”) although the best dog I ever had didn’t bat an eye at a basilisk, his nemesis was Mrs Tiggywinkle who would send this puritanical black hound doolally as he bayed mournfully for many minutes at the curled up spikey form laid before him.
An incident that sent me reaching for a mongoose occurred several years ago while grading some trout in a tin bath. With the pond netted up and the selection process of which Trout goes where well under way (Think Elle McPherson in The UK’s next top model with a bath full of fish) I leaned over the tin bath and hand sorted my way through their flapping only for a large grass snake to rear from the bath and flip over the side of the bath causing me to squeal like Yvette Fielding on a Ghost Train.
Although the event is highly unlikely to be repeated, each time I kneel to grade fish in a tin bath a small voice at the back of my head cries “see the snakes”
If you are in the south of England and are fortunate enough to be able to walk alongside a chalk stream, do so this summer, because they are currently in particularly good shape, as a direct result of good groundwater flow. Warnings are writ large in the travails of the rivers Chess, Beane and Misbourne, three groundwater rivers that have suffered greatly through depleted groundwater flow. Those consulting on how we in the south satisfy an increasing requirement for water should keep that at the front of their minds when deciding on a course of action for supplying the next generation with water.
I could now bang on about cricket and match fixing in the IPL and County game, but I won't, it's a tad depressing, but in both sports money corrupts,
which is why I'm glad this pure soul employed in this industry doesn't have any,
No, hang on, that's not quite right, let me re-word that last sentence and get back to you,
Currently there are two tomes available at bookshops throughout the land regarding life on the chalk streams.
A collection of his published pieces over the past few years it covers many aspects of chalkstream life, from funny fishing stories to serious pieces on the challenges that these precious rivers face. The whole thing bounces along nicely and is well worth a read.
The second is penned by a fishing agent who claims to have discovered a chalkstream then set about righting a hundred years of neglect,
Which is quite a claim
But then again that is what Fishing agents do.