At the risk of boring you all, I'm going to add a picture of the fish I caught this morning - it was so beautiful! And a couple of pounds heavier than the previous one!
I think I am starting to get the balance right: one hour at the office, one hour on the river, and one hour in the garden. Then lunch - then start again.
Actually the fish were the winners last week. Luke and I took a day off on Wednesday and had a look at the Talybont lakes. The wind dropped away to a very light easterly and the lakes were almost flat calm. Fish were rising to something invisible on Llyn Penrhaeadr and Conach, and were almost impossible to catch. Luke's single fly approach fooled a handful, but I was completely skunked!
I've just been looking at my diary for the coming weeks. Unfortunately we will not be having a stand at the Scottish Game Fair this year. Sales continue to fall as costs rise, and the fair organisers, while bemoaning the deterioration of Fisherman's Row, refuse to make any allowances for high quality trade stands, many of whom travel hundreds of miles to be there. So, most of the serious angling trade stands have, like ourselves, reluctantly decided that we can't afford to subsidise them any more. We will be at the CLA Game Fair this year, but it is very likely to be for the last time. Apparently organisations like the Salmon & Trout Association and the National Gamekeepers Association will not be there because of the cost of taking a stand. The short-sighted CLA, in excluding these important countryside organisations, are excluding the very people who made the event a success in the past (many of them my customers!), causing further decline in my business, and hastening their own inevitable demise.
Incidentally, the first year that I did a number of game fairs was 1991, so this is my 25th year of them. The first Falconry Fair was that year, and we have attended every one since. This year our takings were exactly the same as they were in 1991!
Later that day...
I'm not going to keep on adding pictures of fish as I catch them, but I'd better finish the story. I went out for an hour after dinner and caught these two - another nine and a seven.