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The Joy of Fishing

As secretary of my angling club I manage our website; one of my greatest pleasures is adding pictures like these. Two junior anglers holding one of their catch, before carefully returning them to the river: you can see in their faces the pleasure these little fish have in given them. Both pictures were taken on the banks of our River Clwyd and both of the anglers are junior members of the club, and whose dads have taught them how to fish: both had their success fishing with artificial flies. It looks as though these two will be fishermen for the rest of their days, but that’s not all. There is far more to fishing than just catching fish. Look what you can see in the photographs: the beautiful countryside of the Vale of Clwyd. There are usually crows in flight above them as well as the majestic buzzard, gliding gently in the sky above, its eyes peeled for carrion. Often they fly a bit too close to the crows, who will then mob the buzzard until it concedes defeat and flies off to search elsewhere. We can, if we are lucky, sometimes see the beautiful red kite, circling above, looking for its next meal. The little dipper is a regular visitor, settling on the rocks prior to simply walking into and then under the water to seek out the many little invertebrates that hide among the stones. If you are really lucky a flash of iridescent blue as that fellow fisherman, the kingfisher, rushes by. Boy, are we lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Most of these delights will be go unnoticed by these young chaps, but as they spend longer by and in the river, there appreciation of our countryside will grow, and I hope, like many of us, they will become guardians of our rivers and adjacent countryside. Will work to enhance the quality of the in river habitat and well as the riverbanks and the little side streams that join the river as its waters travel towards the sea.
It’s sad that the reports of loss of fish in our rivers, especially the salmon and sea trout or sewin, create little public outcry, few seem concerned that the fish stocks are dropping and even fewer consider the implications to and for our environment. The salmonids have been running up our little river for thousands and thousands of years, they used to be so abundant that they were considered paupers food. Our rivers were clean and our seas unpolluted and fished in a sustainable manner. They are even catching sand eels and krill to turn into fish food for the fish farms, yet these little creatures are the bottom of the food chain. The mighty whales live on krill and the beautiful puffin relies on sand eels to feed its young: is the world going mad, or have I just become a cynical old codger?
In the new year, the angling clubs whose members fish in the Vale, will be holding “Try fishing days”, which are quite free and at which young and old will be given instruction in fishing methods, and with luck catch a fish. Fishing is one pastime that keeps youngsters and “oldsters” for that matter, in touch with the outdoors and our environment; keeps them away from their computers: helps to keep them off the street and brings the opportunity of a lifetime’s joy.
Christmas is now upon us, so I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous Christmas and New Year, and to the anglers among you “Tight lines. And, oh yes, my grateful thanks to you all for taking the time to read my ramblings, which I hope you enjoy as much as I enjoy the writing.