In a year where the weather has affected many of our days fishing we thought we would share with you personal fishing highlights from members of the FishPal team.
The year started with water companies across southern and eastern England bringing in hosepipe bans. Two unusually dry winters had left groundwater supplies and rivers as low as in the drought year of 1976. The driest spring for over a century was eclipsed by the wettest recorded April to June in a dramatic turnaround, never recorded before. Forecasters had predicted the best month to book a holiday this year was to be September as we might have one week of an unseasonable heatwave. It never came, more flooding and rain arrived in its place !
In a year when the weather has dominated as many front pages as the Olympics, Paralympics and the Queens Diamond Jubilee, angling has also been in the news. The movie premier of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen told a story about a visionary sheik, whose passion was the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing, and how he believed it could enrich the lives of his people. This resulted in a rise in the number of people interested in taking up the sport of salmon fishing. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend in June coincided with another spectacular event, the reported capture of a 50 inch long salmon on the magnificent stretch of the River Dee on Balmoral Estate.
Gary Paterson: I am fortunate that I’m the person all images at FishPal are sent to, so I get to see a lot of fabulous picture during the year of anglers with salmon, trout and grayling of all sizes. Two weeks ago Donnie Maciver, FishHebrides manager, sent his latest photographs of 2012, showing young anglers who had fished the Hebrides during the year. It’s great to see so many young anglers wishing to take up fishing. The work the Hebrides are doing to encourage this is inspiring.
Gail Tunnah: I think my memorable moment is Jamie’s 10lb trout from Finsbay Fishing. When he and his friends arrived we were in the middle of a drought and I warned them to bring their golf clubs! We had bright blue skies and heat and no water for months. His face when he landed it was captured on camera and the fact he returned the fish just made it even better. Still great debate as to whether it was a brownie or a sea trout which had got up and stuck in the loch, if we could have got scales it would have been ideal. However the pleasure the lads got from the fish when conditions were against them was lovely to see.
On a sadder note 2012 will be remembered for the loss of two stalwarts of the Tweed, Kenny Jack and Oliver Purvis. I’m sure there were others who have died through the year but those two I certainly remember in my thoughts of 2012.
Mark Cockburn: I was fishing Harlaw Resivour in Edinburgh one evening in the summer this year and a local lad just up the bank said ‘hello’ to me and told me that this was his first day ever fishing, having had a rod and line given to him as a birthdays present.
He was 14 years old and was clearly excited about the prospect of taking up fishing. He hadn’t a clue how to put a line out so I proceeded to give him a lesson on casting. He didn’t have a clue about types of flies to use etc so again I gave hime a quick lesson and gave him a selection of flies from my box.
Incredibility despite thrashing the water to a foam he hooked and landed a fish of about 3lb which I netted for him. To see the look on his face as the fish was landed was a memory that will stay with me forever. Needless to say that as of that moment he was going to have fishing in his blood forever. Oh and I didn’t mange to catch a thing that night!!
Anne Woodcock: Over the last three years I have made many friends through the sport of angling and it is often their successes and support that inspires me, two examples immediately come to mind.
Tina Cummings was the first lady to catch a Dee salmon in 2012 (opening day), a great achievement as she had only recently taken up fishing. Alison Brown, co-owner of Chatton Trout Fishery, has given un-ending support and encouragement, helping me to run the Chatton Ladies Fishing Club we started together this year. We have a minimum of 15 ladies attending our monthly events. Next year we are launching a junior club, salmon classes and fly tying workshops for women at the fishery.
The highlight of 2012, for me personally, was when Sky Sports Tight Lines filmed the Ladies Fishing Club fishing the river Derwent for wild brown trout in September. I am so proud of the girls – they have achieved so much in such a short time.