Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Just seen another astonishing post on the Fly Fishing Forum from S. Marsh Smith which I read open mouthed in amzement I must admit;

See below;

"What we have to remember, and to explain to new comers to the Wye, is that the once "Premier League" Wye was relegated out of the league altogether when the salmon declined to the nadir of 2002. The come back has been steady but slow but gone are many of the experienced fishers, with exception of a few such as Barby, Washinton and others including possibly myself. 

So the Wye is no ,longer a premiers salmon river and is relegated to a the second or third, perhaps the fourth division. the comeback slow and steady he says but its debatable now and in the future.

There are too few left to remember what was noted earlier, that in the good old days, the Wye was primarily a salmon river. There wasn't the opportunity to fish for barbel except in a few places and often only as a favour. It was hallowed ground.

There are I can assure him plenty left who remember what the river was and there is much documentation to show its previous stature.  As for opportunities in the past to fish for barbel is true simply for the reason that there were non present. An illegally introduced invasive species that has contributed to the Wye's decline.  The Wye was not hallowed ground outside the salmon season, or indeed much of it inside it and much of its coarse fishing was free for the asking.

Newcomers will see things as they are now and, not knowing what it used to be like, will not feel the loss and perhaps enjoy a degree of optimism as at least catches are improving for nearly all species. 

Really!!  What other species apart from the barbel are increasing. I wouldn't really expect him to know of course as he doesn't get out much to speak to ordinary anglers, never mind coarse fisherman.  Please do tell which ones are on the increase.

However, it falls on those who can remember the past to see what can be done to improve matters. We know there will be limited help from elsewhere and now, finally to get to the point of my starting the thread........

As a group, we Wye anglers and owners, guides, ghillies, associations, trusts and so on seem to be committed to punching as far below our weight as we can. We have problems agreeing in many areas; we seldom agree to disagree and this is a gift to those who would have the river used for other things. Salmon angling should bring in a lot of money to the rural economy, via visiting anglers and by giving employment. We should be noticed by government and statutory bodies and attract more investment. Sadly a lot of time is spent in turning people away.

This is extraordinary.  Since when did he or the Wye Foundation ever engage with other ordinary anglers, ever agree to disagree, ever agree to engage in any way whatsoever  As for attracting investment just how much do you need. well we now need £500,000 plus to fund a wages bill never mind all the other expenses with heaven knows how many millions already spent

So my plea for 2018 is to ask everyone to value the benefit of a more united front. Can we agree to disagree on some of the dividing areas and put right some of the bad things that affect is all and reclaim the lost ground?

This is a bit late in the day in my opinion with the current regime in place .  Too many have been disenfranchised by the Foundation and by one or two of its personel in particular. Suddenly asking someone to trust and work for you after a decade and a half of complete rejection takes some nerve.  Think again as your shaft of realism has come far to late for many and smacks of sheer hypocrisy.


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