Friday, August 13, 2010

To stock or not?

Recent outings have been based around the Rivers Wye & Irfon mostly fishing the 'French Nymphing' style, last weekend I choose a more gently flowing stretch of the upper River Wye and after seeing a few fish rising I opted for the Duo approach fishing a caddis for the dry with a tungsten beadhead nymph below.

I started connecting with quality fish immediately but here's the problem (and the reason for this post) the majority of the fish were stocked fish and of a really poor quality with little fight in them due to the lack of properly formed fins.

A couple of the stocked fish suffering from deformed fins

I have fished this bit of water many times but never encountered such a glut of 'stockies' in fact this is normally a very productive area with lots of natural fish to catch (I once caught 50+ fish here including Grayling, Trout & Dace!). I did manage to also hook a few of the natural residents but felt they were struggling to compete for the offerings.

My point really is: what is the purpose of introducing so many of these large stock fish to a relatively healthy river when they are obviously going to be competing for most of the natural food normally taken by the wild population.

Small...but beautifully formed wild Brown Trout

The enjoyment level from an angling point of view is very short lived and you end up trying to find ways not to catch them...with an eventual exit from the river in frustration. Fortunately the stocked fish do not seem to stray to far from the place they were introduced so I will now target the areas well away and get back to nature.