Good morning from a mild and dry Foxford. The weeks seem to be flying by. Thankfully its been a mild winter so far but no doubt we will pay for that yet. I had to go away last weekend and did not get out fishing. I was talking to a friend who did manage a session after pike and he said it was enjoyable, not a lot of fish to report but he had fun. I’m Looking forward to a day out.
On a more disturbing note I had a message from an angling friend of ours in the North of Ireland who told me that a lot of their rivers stock of Salmon and trout are dying because of UDN. This is sad as most of these fish will not have yet spawned. I know that this particular gentleman and his friends do a lot of work to help their river and fish and this is devastating for them. They are hoping that the weather stays mild for another few weeks until the fish get a chance to spawn. UDN gets worse in cold water. Hopefully it will not be a total disaster. The following paragraph is “borrowed” from Wikipedia.
Ulcerative dermal necrosis (UDN) is a chronic dermatological disease of cold-water salmonid fish that had a severe impact on north Atlantic Salmon and sea trout stocks in the late 1960s and 1970s–1980. Despite much investigation, the cause of UDN has not been determined. The onset of symptoms occurs after migration into freshwater. Affected fish develop severe skin lesions which begin on the head and back, and near the tail. Lesions become infected with overgrowths of oomycetes, such as Saprolegnia, giving the affected areas a slimy blue-grey appearance. The most severely affected fish frequently die before spawning. Although the worst effects of the disease were seen in the 1970s and 1980, even now large numbers of salmon will succumb to the disease after spawning. This is thought be due in part to their weak post-spawning condition, and lack of food for several months whilst in the river
I remember as a boy in the 70s along the river seeing lots of diseased fish, something I hope we don’t see again.
Its pretty quiet in the shop at this time of year. We open for three days a week during which we mostly sell fresh fish. When not busy serving the multitudes, we spend a bit of time tidying and preparing the tackle shop for the next season. For the past few weeks, we have been sorting old tackle that’s been lying in the store, some of it for many years. Most of it is rubbish, broken rods and reels, rusty hooks, leaky waders, I’m sure you can imagine. Once in a while whilst doing a job like this one stumbles on a little “Find”. Todays find for me was a box full of old spoons, treasures from the past. Im guessing these spoons have been lying around for as long as I have been on the planet and who they belonged to is a mystery, probably my uncle. The nice thing about them is that they are perfect and will work as well as they did fifty years ago. The fish have not changed, baits have.
The spoons I found cannot be bought today, they are no longer made.
The main reason for their disappearance from the angling world is that one bait suddenly became popular, “The Flying C”. A wonderful spinner, it’s extremely effective along with been relatively cheap. It didn’t take long for it to take over as a spinner. Its my belief that the popularity of the flying C is what Killed the Spoon. It is still possible to buy some spoons and I would say that in the future some of the old ones may make a comeback but for now my little find is Priceless. It makes tidying the store almost worth doing, well at least every twenty five years..