I DID not intend to enter into further angling correspondence, but I, and members of my family, have been approached by several people who insisted I should continue.
The main reason given was the further restrictions on worm fishing. They said, ever since the beginning of the Angling Association, that worm fishing has been considered the poor relation by the fly angling fraternity. Past members told me they gave up angling because they no longer felt they had a realistic chance of catching a River Cree salmon as they could not compete with able-bodied anglers who wade down the centre of the river to the exclusion of everyone else. They abide by the rules, taking one step each cast, but three anglers using breast-waders, double-handed fly rods and floating lines can completely occupy a pool all day as they follow one another downstream.
Fly anglers can fish from March 1 until October 14 at any height of water. With the new restrictions, worm fishermen can only enjoy their sport for four months, from June 1 until the end of September. During their four months, bait anglers are restricted to fishing when the river is above the spinning marks, yet they pay the same fee as anyone else.
In the 2011 season, I saw one juvenile fishing the town stretch for salmon; in 2010, I saw two. In the past juveniles could fish safely from the bank.
In fact, I remember one spate on the Brewery Pool in the 1980s when 18 anglers, most of them juveniles, fished happily side by side, some youngsters catching their first salmon.
Committee members would prefer if I carried out this conversation with them, but I think the best way of reaching everyone is through the pages of The Gazette.
Legerwood, Newton Stewart.