The following report has been edited and is available in full on request to the Club Chairman by members of Ross on Wye Angling Club.
Salmon Report 2016
The salmon season closed on Monday 17th October with a final flurry of fish over the last weekend. The final few fish falling to Ray Morris, Richard Woodhouse and Jon Daniels (2).
The Club has had an excellent season the best since the 1980’s with a total of 44 fish being recorded. That’s 24 more than last year. Of the salmon caught 28 (64%) were caught on fly and the remaining 16 (36%) using spinning methods. The River overall has had a very good year with close to 1700 salmon for the season, the best since salmon catches did a nose dive in the back end of the last century. Our total compares favourably with our near neighbour beats of Goodrich Court downstream, who had 49 and 7 taken on the beat upstream of us at Backney. Our 5 year average rises from 6 to 15 using the stats from Wye and Usk.
The first salmon for many years at 12lb was taken by Robert Leather from the Cubberley bank on the 25th April approaching the water from that side. The Club boat was launched end of May after being refurbished by Ray Morris and was used to cross the river. He caught the first fish off the Weirend Crib for many years on a flying C weighing 15lb and losing another from the same bank later that week.
This year we recruited 5 new salmon anglers from the waiting list that we had taking the salmon membership to nominal 28 anglers. The Club Committee will consider member numbers for next year carefully with a view to holding or slight raising that number in view of the fact that again several, I believe 4 salmon members did not fish. The Club now has a healthy waiting list some of whom will gain membership depending on the number of current members who elect to remain.
This year whilst not a very wet year was good in terms of water. First couple of weeks water high but falling and the first fish did not come until 18th March after that water was a good height for about ten days until we had a muddy flood at the start of April with no really suitable water until the 18th April, although one was caught during the high water on 11th April. May was mainly OK with suitable water for most of the month. A small spate came end of May start of June. Through most of June the water went up and down between 0.45 metre and 0.6 metre with an algae bloom for some of the period. July came and for once the water was fairly good but fell away to low level at the end of the month. Most of August river was low with a bump around the 23rd. There was another brief bump of water in early Sept and late Sept around 28th rest of the time and up to the end of the season the water was low and mainly clear.
The salmon members have again had the benefit of a texting service which updates them on river height and conditions and catches other members have made and also what salmon are being caught upstream and downstream of our beats. Straw polls indicate that this service is appreciated by most members especially those who live at some distance. This service will continue in 2017 along with other info provided on the Club Website.
I’ve tried to record salmon that have been lost where this info has been available and also salmon caught by members fishing for coarse fish. One notable fish that got away was lost by Jon Daniels fishing on Benhall which stripped 100 yards of 29lb breaking strain braid from his reel before snapping it like cotton. Elwyn Jarrett needs a mention as one of the most unfortunate members losing 3 fish in one week during late May. Not many returning kelts were recorded this season and fewer reports of sea trout.
Members taking fish were Jon Daniels (14) including our biggest of the year at 20lb, Matt Cooper (8), Ray Morris (8), Richard Woodhouse (5), Darren Bell (3), Jason Newton (2), Robert Leather, Roy Jacobs, Steve Boswell and Neil Cleghorn all had 1 salmon each. There have been some notable performances by new members this year but Matt Cooper stands out as being the best with his 8 fish. Matt travels from Devon to take advantage of our water and Ray Morris returns to our waters having retired from a gillies post further down the River.
Roy Jacobs had a salmon of 8lb or so whilst fishing for perch in October with a Rapala but this fish will not show in the season’s statistics.
Looking through the returns and text messages it would seem that 4 of the salmon members did not fish at all. However I’m sure that not all members are recording their sessions at the hut. I have tried this year to offer alternatives to recording the fishing effort of the book at the salmon hut, I’m not aware of anyone taking these up.
24 Salmon came from Weirend beat and 20 from Benhall beat.
Salmon have been caught at the following heights of the Environment Agency gauge at Ross. We have recorded many fish at lower heights which would indicate our water is worth fishing when hitherto we would not have bothered.
On the Ross gauge
0.2 -0.4 metres 17 salmon.
0.4 – 0.5 metres 9 salmon
0.5 – 0.6 metres 17 salmon
0.6 – 0.7 metres 1 salmon
0.7 -0.8 metres 0 salmon
0.8 -1.0 metres 0 salmon
I thought this year I would mention which flies have been successful in the hope that next year anglers need not agonise for too long over the choice of fly. So where I’m aware the following have scored.
Bann Special 5, Tyne Toucan 4, Monkey 3, Willie Gunn 3, Snaelda 1, Yellow Belly tube 1, Black Dart 1, Tummel monkey 1, Monroe Killer 1.
This year we’ve had a new salmon boat to enable us to cross the river to our fishing on the Cubberley Bank along with the boat that Terry Gibson has given on permanent loan. This means that in 2017 members will again have full access to our fishing on that bank. This will be the first time for some years that we have again had access, our last boat was swept away in a winter flood.
Salmon members have been involved in salmon specific work parties during the year keeping and providing new access points for all Club member, step repairs etc. Special mention must be made of Darren Bell who with a work party cleared Hom Stream for fishing on May Bank Holiday w/e. Jon Daniels and Richard Woodhouse who have worked tirelessly on various projects especially work on the Cubberley Bank and Ray Morris who has done sterling work with the boats and access work on Cubberley also. Because of this and more work being undertaken over this winter the fishery infrastructure will be improved for future years.
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