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Friday August 29th 2014 (9 weeks ago)
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I F***ing Love Fish Science!

Published: Friday August 29th 2014 (9 weeks ago)
Updated: Friday August 29th 2014, 7:54AMMore about: Coastal fishing | Denmark | Sea trout |
by Martin Joergensen

Scientific reports about fish and environment might not seem to be the most exciting to us anglers, but the work done by scientists is extremely important in keeping and eye on and improving our fishing waters.

As many of you know I fish for sea run brown trout – called seatrout here in our region. I live in the part of Denmark with the densest human population and probably the worst conditions for these fish – namely in the capital Copenhagen on the island Sealand (AKA Zealand).

Thanks to intense agriculture, large inhabited areas, colossal water consumption and cultivation of the landscape for farming, drainage, development and much else, the streams, which are ever so important to the seatrout, are few and far apart – and on top of that often very low in water.
The island has no mountains and very little elevation and the streams often have very little fall and require quite a lot of water to maintain a good bottom and water quality suitable for trout to spawn in.
While other parts of the country have larger streams and even rivers able to maintain very good salmon populations, many of our running waters can barely uphold a decent brown trout population and lag severely in good spawning grounds and sufficient water for the sea run fish.
I have known this for many years based on my own experience combined with knowledge from my years as a biology student at the University of Copenhagen.

But now I fortunately have the facts and numbers to support it.
I say fortunately, because facts and numbers are exactly what's needed to emphasize the problem and to call out to politicians and authorities to do something about it.
It's an established fact that recreational anglers – locals and tourists – are worth a lot of money. This has been concluded again and again by reports made all over the world, including one made here in Denmark a few years back. Fish caught on rods by anglers are worth a lot of money per kilo or pound. Anglers buy gear, food, gas and more, sleep in hotels, cabins and B&B's, rent boats, buy licenses and contribute on many levels to the local communities where they fish. They are at the same time “low pressure tourists”, who need few facilities, and actually prefer undisturbed nature and untouched environments.

It makes very good sense to have an attractive fishing and a nice environment. People travel to find these things and many are willing to pay a lot of money for a quality experience.
I just downloaded a newly released report on the sea trout streams here on Zealand. The report is called “The sea trout populations on Zealand, part 1” and tells the sad story of most of the streams here. The report is published by the organization Fishing Zealand, which was established a few years ago to help analyzing and improving fishing here.

The report is in Danish, so only a few GFF readers will be able to read it, and even fewer might actually want to, because most anglers honestly find such reports boring. Well, they might be, but they are also very important in the documentation of the current conditions and in forming a base for recommended actions to improve the situation.

The graph

This report is sad reading for me in particular, because the single worst region of the six covered in the report is the one were I fish the most. In the graph you see here the six regions are shown with their seatrout spawning population in percent of the potential, and in the bottom you sea my favorite fishing waters, Western Zealand, with only a fifth of the potential fish spawning due to lack of spawning streams, bad conditions in existing streams, blocked streams, lack of water, streams passing through lakes full of predators and all kinds of misery.
Only one area has a spawning population that matches the potential, and the other five are all lower than 50%, which is really unsatisfactory.

This is of course very sad, but the report is at the same time uplifting because it clearly shows and documents that there's a problem. It's the first part of two, and the second part will focus on possible solutions for this situation as well as on another part of the problems that the seatrout face: unsustainable fisheries management. It will hopefully focus on the commercial fishing for these trout, which are caught in nets by a few fishers – legal and illegal – who are very likely making surprisingly little money from ruining a potentially very rich recreational fishing. The second part will be out late 2015.





Summer casting party

Published: Thursday June 19th 2014 (5 months ago)
Updated: Friday June 20th 2014, 9:03AMMore about: Casting | Fly tying materials | Rods |
by Martin Joergensen

Sunshine, lots of fly rods, a large grass lawn, good company and sausages on the barbecue. What´s not to like?

The Copenhagen Fly Casting Club has been arranging a small summer get together the the last few years, inviting members and non-members to meet and try rods, chat and have a beer and a sausage from the barbecue.

Casting and chatting party

Copenhagen Fly Casting Club should indicate the scope: casting, and sure enough there was lots of casting on the large lawn. And there were rods to try. Several vendors had each their small stand with a selection of rods, which you could try – and buy if you wanted.
The weather was perfect and the attendance good. I manged to chat to a lot of people – old friends and and new. And I cast a couple of rods and had an appointment with one particular Echo Glass rod and Silja Longhurst from Baltic Fly Fisher, the northern European distributor of Echo rods.

I tried the rod, liked the rod and bought the rod. I'm working on a large article on fiberglass rods for the site, and owning and fishing with one is one of my ways to get acquainted with glass. The local pond roach have a surprise waiting for them as soon as I get the chance to go. The glass rods are very slow and fairly heavy compared to modern carbon fiber rods, but fun to cast and fish like a cane rod albeit at a very different price level.

I also chatted to Peter Norsker of Norsker Rods, and Danish rod builder whose rods are exquisitely built and a real pleasure to handle and cast.

Flies and materials

A talk with Danish angler Jesper Fohrman was particularly intriguing, not least because Jesper's company FishMadMan has some really interesting materials and flies and a whole new perspective on salmon and steelhead fishing with large and “noisy” dry flies.
I knew Jesper by name but had never met him, so it was good to put a face to the name and we had long talk about flies and fishing
FishMadMan has both some very interesting and different flies as well as some pretty nice materials like their hand dyed, striped Zebra Goat or their Bug-Foam with an iridescent shell, which they integrate in some of their very funky Ska Opper flies. Jesper gave me a couple of sample flies, and the Wake Monster Tube Caddis is something to behold. Talk about a salmon fly that breaks with tradition!

Altogether a great little event, and kudos to those who took the time to set it up and those who made sure that an ample supply of warm sausages were ready. Both my dog and I appreciated that.

Dinner




Kiss the Water

Published: Friday May 30th 2014 (5 months ago)
Updated: Friday May 30th 2014, 3:54PM
by Martin Joergensen

Buy a great video and support Project Healing Waters

If you buy the fantastic video about Scottish salmon fly-tyer Megan Boyd today and pay a little extra you will not only get a great video experience, but also support Project Healing Waters, a charity that is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans. During the month of May the people behind Kiss the Water have been cooperating with Healing Waters and every dollar paid over the video price has been donated to the project. Find and buy the video here - as a streamed video or as a DVD (US only).

Most salmon fly tyers have heard of Megan Boyd, the legendary Scottish lady who sat in her Scottish highland cabin and tied some of the best salmon flies available. She is one of those people who has had an immense impact, but who very few people met or actually knew.
US film maker Eric Steel didn't know her either, but upon seeing her obituary in New York Times in December 2001 an interest was stirred in him, and 10 years later he set out on a journey to get to know her better. The video is the result of that journey.

The video is a portrait of Boyd with a row of interviews with people who knew her and who tell about her life and character. Some are from the area where she lived and worked all her life, some are her customers some are fly-anglers and tyers influenced by her work and style.

We will return with a full review and an interview with the filmmaker Eric Steele.