Allan Liddle says that Scotland has never been a better place to catch a trophy trout
Finally after months of perpetual darkness and frozen temperatures, spring is just around the corner and time is upon us to once more don our waders, pull on our waterproofs and dust down our fishing tackle.
Ok perhaps not perpetual darkness, and certainly not months of endless frozen temperatures, but at least we are heading towards the start of another season with all the hope and expectation it brings.
I was present at the opening of the mighty River Spey with piper and dignitaries in presence, speeches made and an offering of Aberlour Single Malt poured (sadly too far from the shore for me to reach with my cup). This year it’s a season full of anticipation given the good returns on the river last year, although fair to say the ‘Back End’ was slightly disappointing.
The timing has also coincided with the announcement from the Scottish Government that their Fishery Review will not produce the vast amount of changes many feared and it has been moved into the realms of a review and correspondence exercise. We live in hope that something positive will have come from all the effort and time entered into the exercise and a greater appreciation of the value our sporting angling has to all of Scotland which is, sadly much under-rated and under-sold as the fantastic tourist destination it is.
Not so long ago adverts appeared in all angling related and country style publications with a vast array of holiday destinations to choose from throughout the width and breadth of our wee country. Tourist boards also helped publicise the quality and variety on offer to the visiting angler and whilst you can still find some details in these various publications and outlets, sadly it’s a mere fraction of what it used to be.
Not that the internet has taken over and pages of websites denoting what delights anglers can expect either, yes there’s lots to browse through, but even here it way down on information from before. And I’m talking reasonably recently as well not some through back to ‘yesteryear.’
The thing is that the advertising might have dropped, but the abundance and quality on offer hasn’t. Yes migratory fishing isn’t a patch on ‘what it used to be’ but it’s still on offer, and if waters like the Spey can continue to ‘recover’ then maybe it’s not all doom and gloom, well not yet anyway.
Wild trout fishing is still alive and well and available, offering the same World Class opportunities and variety as it’s always done. The fact that many anglers are being very selective on the fish they retain and thankfully are putting larger fish back, means that we are seeing what our waters truly can offer. Hopefully this trend continues and the ‘Three Pound Wild Trophy Trout of a Lifetime’ might become a lot more commonplace. Digital photos and carefully released fish please folks; these trout really are far too valuable to be caught much more than once.
So as the evenings lengthen and the magical 15th of March rolls round we live in hope of everything the forthcoming season has to offer is good, one thing for sure I’ll be out as often as possible to enjoy it all I can. The one great thing about fishing is the fact the more you put in the better the rewards, not just in terms of fish caught, but in terms of the satisfaction being out there, doing something you love ultimately brings.