“Disturbed Waters” (kayaks/swimmers/dogs)

neilfly1

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Two of the rivers I tend to fish both lusually” have a decent run of sea trout, and given some rain, a reasonable run of salmon. Speaking to locals, many of whom don’t fish, they all tell me of walking the rivers in the past and seeing a LOT of salmon/sea trout in certain lies etc and frequently showing/jumping. All say that in the last 10 years that they have been out as much/more but maybe see about 10% of the fish they saw 10 years ago, with the last 3-4 years seeing a further significant decrease and many/of the known lies where they always, even on low water would see 3-5 salmon/sea trout they now maybe see a max a fish or two,usually none in them... all year!. All also say there has been a significant rise in kayaking, pple walking dogs and dogs regularly swimming very close to those lies, and “wild swimmers” as well as a huge increase in kids on rope swings and paddle boards etc

While I know all stocks are down in general, and that all rivers have their “ups and downs”, I have really begun to wonder how much of an impact the huge increase of pple amd dogs entering the river must be making. This last weekend, on a “quite stretch” 6 different dogs were swimming through the pools chasing balls thrown in by their owners- needless to say I bit my tongue and blanked!

gave up and went to the other river... where I generally avoid as there is often a handful of swimmers ... this time, 20-30 pple in the water amd a dozen or so kayaks amd half a dozen paddle orders, all within a half mile stretch... just above the tide

this surely has to have an impact on salmon/sea trout entering the river. Particularly if it’s tidal/just above the tide, it’s “best” for the swimmers, kayakers, rope swingers etc when the tide is in/rising, which I assume is when salmon and seatrout would also look to enter/run.

anyone have similar experience or views/opinions on this?
 

goosander

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My son who has caught many salmon was on a day out trip for white water rafting on the Tay, He could see the salmon just lying there as he passed over them.
Had paddle boarders pass on the river several times. I usually point out any hidden snags certainly when it is the young lassies as we do not want anyone injured. We must keep in with most water users in my view as shouting at them just turns more folk against the fishers.
Bob.
 

Rennie

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On my club water, there's a young girl who comes down with her horse and walks it up and down through the middle of one of our best pools.
It matters not one jot if your there fishing, she will walk the horse out right into the lay every time, belly deep on the horse and let it splash n thrash about.
As yet I've not said anything, but it's getting very close to words being exchanged.I think if she gets a good scare in the river it may cure the situation, she shows no consideration for others or the river at all.
I'll probably approach the club committee 1st.
Pedro.
 

Jockiescott

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The main problem on my river is the anglers themselves.

Over the years, I have seen pools decimated by anglers who can't cast. Or fish. Unless they can hurtle full length spey lines out of rods that are far too big for the river, they take it upon themselves to make the river suit the tackle.

I seen one pool in particular, destroyed literally overnight. I fished it on the Sunday evening and had fish up at the fly. Came home from work on the Monday evening and there wasn't a bit of cover left. That was 20 years ago and I haven't seen a fish rise to my fly, or touched a fish, in that same place in low water since.

A pool further down had about 12 different lies tight to the far bank but this was 'cleaned' on the same day. Those dozen or so lies went down to a couple.

On the stretch that I fish most, there was only one fishable lie left. It had overhanging branches and the fish lay under the cover. The way to fish it in low water, or indeed any water, was to cast across above the branches, let the current pull the flies under the branches and then gently work the fly out and away from the bank. Always the chance of a rise, if not a take.

I went to that pool 2 weeks ago and anglers have left the pool like a storm drain now too. Chainsaws have taken the cover right back to the banks. Most of them only fish with water on and just want to cast and stand like a garden gnome and let the fish hook themselves. My low water fishing is finished. That was the main reason I fished.

The fish are now lying in the very deepest of the deep pools. I could put on a sinking line and go down after them but that does away with the absolute thrill of seeing them on the surface. The swirl on the surface, the flash of the silvery flanks as the fish turns back to the depths, hopefully with your fly. Many times they don't even touch it but you stand there, breath held, heart missing a beat and goosebumps standing in end waiting in the line tightening. Which it doesn't a lot of the time. For me, nothing comes close to that in fishing. There would just be no comparison fishing a sinking line. Even I was hooking every other throw, I would find it completely tedious.

There are no wild swimmers, kayakers or paddle boarders on my river. Yes the odd person walking their dog, BUT the problem with the lack of fish in pools on my river is purely down to lack of suitable lies and this problem sits squarely at the feet of those fishing it.
 

Jockiescott

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Very similar with trout. Was out on a new stretch of river the other day with the sun out. Anywhere without tree cover had almost no rising fish, anywhere with shade from trees held rising fish. Tricky casting but better than easy casting to no fish !

Nail hit squarely on the head!
 

neilfly1

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My son who has caught many salmon was on a day out trip for white water rafting on the Tay, He could see the salmon just lying there as he passed over them.
Had paddle boarders pass on the river several times. I usually point out any hidden snags certainly when it is the young lassies as we do not want anyone injured. We must keep in with most water users in my view as shouting at them just turns more folk against the fishers.
Bob.
I’m not looking to shout at anyone, indeed why do I have any more right to be there than them reall?
my pondering more was if the increased activity, particularly on lower stretches near the tide would ”scare” off fish trying to run up the river as I assume it would?
if it did...would they just keep trying ?
 

Andrew B

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On my club water, there's a young girl who comes down with her horse and walks it up and down through the middle of one of our best pools.
It matters not one jot if your there fishing, she will walk the horse out right into the lay every time, belly deep on the horse and let it splash n thrash about.
As yet I've not said anything, but it's getting very close to words being exchanged.I think if she gets a good scare in the river it may cure the situation, she shows no consideration for others or the river at all.
I'll probably approach the club committee 1st.
Pedro.
Maybe go fishing in her stables. In all seriousness there’s no way she can be just unaware or oblivious of the general etiquette of not spoiling someone’s fishing? I’ve had it recently with a young crazy black Labrador and I was able to laugh it off, but when the owners start throwing balls I can usually sense when they’re doing it, to create a scene.
 

Andrew B

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The main problem on my river is the anglers themselves.

Over the years, I have seen pools decimated by anglers who can't cast. Or fish. Unless they can hurtle full length spey lines out of rods that are far too big for the river, they take it upon themselves to make the river suit the tackle.

I seen one pool in particular, destroyed literally overnight. I fished it on the Sunday evening and had fish up at the fly. Came home from work on the Monday evening and there wasn't a bit of cover left. That was 20 years ago and I haven't seen a fish rise to my fly, or touched a fish, in that same place in low water since.

A pool further down had about 12 different lies tight to the far bank but this was 'cleaned' on the same day. Those dozen or so lies went down to a couple.

On the stretch that I fish most, there was only one fishable lie left. It had overhanging branches and the fish lay under the cover. The way to fish it in low water, or indeed any water, was to cast across above the branches, let the current pull the flies under the branches and then gently work the fly out and away from the bank. Always the chance of a rise, if not a take.

I went to that pool 2 weeks ago and anglers have left the pool like a storm drain now too. Chainsaws have taken the cover right back to the banks. Most of them only fish with water on and just want to cast and stand like a garden gnome and let the fish hook themselves. My low water fishing is finished. That was the main reason I fished.

The fish are now lying in the very deepest of the deep pools. I could put on a sinking line and go down after them but that does away with the absolute thrill of seeing them on the surface. The swirl on the surface, the flash of the silvery flanks as the fish turns back to the depths, hopefully with your fly. Many times they don't even touch it but you stand there, breath held, heart missing a beat and goosebumps standing in end waiting in the line tightening. Which it doesn't a lot of the time. For me, nothing comes close to that in fishing. There would just be no comparison fishing a sinking line. Even I was hooking every other throw, I would find it completely tedious.

There are no wild swimmers, kayakers or paddle boarders on my river. Yes the odd person walking their dog, BUT the problem with the lack of fish in pools on my river is purely down to lack of suitable lies and this problem sits squarely at the feet of those fishing it.

Boy can I relate to this post. When you think about it, it’s no different from disturbing a Tern colony or nesting Curlews that love the peace n quiet?
I’ve fished the lovely river Dwyfor on the Llyn peninsular in Wales for twenty years and that was ten years too late compared to when it averaged two to three thousand sea trout a year, albeit even then it mentioned some man made pools in the woods, made by anglers thinking there’d created the most perfect series of trap like pools by using huge boulders and I must admit they do look great but the sea trout that have been doing this for millennia hate those pools and run past and wouldn’t you know it? They stop off at the first ancient section of river that’s quiet and unspoiled.

Given that story, one would of thought they’d learned their lesson but not so, and wether it was the flood squad or the anglers I can never get a straight story but after getting one of those big improvement grants, they set about changing the once prolific, primo lower section from the first sea pool up to below the other useless man made section.

Again large boulders were used to create more trap like pools as if to encourage the fish to lie up? One of the old top fly fishing rods on the river was an old man who would often tell me to watch him catch a salmon here on his fly and by God if he didn’t pull one out lol.
I can’t repeat the language used of what he thought as he fished his loomis rod through his once favourite run and catching nothing. “Why can’t they just leave things alone” he said.
I’ve actually wondered if it’s had an impact on the amount of fish that now want to run the river? As the large sea trout were often known for bombing up river on nothing, the smaller Sewin would often stack up on the lower section which used to be run on odds n even tickets it’s now empty.
Even on a natural river, the fish aren’t to be found all over the place, rather they find certain sections that their ancestors used so to overly disturb these fish by any means is tantamount to a kind of cruelty, albeit an unseen version.
 

Andrew B

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I think half of these opening posts on here are clickbait
Dunno thought it was a pretty valid point actually? Edisford Bridge on the Ribble is obviously a real public hot spot but has some tasty looking pools that fish seem to ignore even when quiet. I’m guessing Kirby Lonsdale is similar?
 

Jockiescott

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Boy can I relate to this post. When you think about it, it’s no different from disturbing a Tern colony or nesting Curlews that love the peace n quiet?
I’ve fished the lovely river Dwyfor on the Llyn peninsular in Wales for twenty years and that was ten years too late compared to when it averaged two to three thousand sea trout a year, albeit even then it mentioned some man made pools in the woods, made by anglers thinking there’d created the most perfect series of trap like pools by using huge boulders and I must admit they do look great but the sea trout that have been doing this for millennia hate those pools and run past and wouldn’t you know it? They stop off at the first ancient section of river that’s quiet and unspoiled.

Given that story, one would of thought they’d learned their lesson but not so, and wether it was the flood squad or the anglers I can never get a straight story but after getting one of those big improvement grants, they set about changing the once prolific, primo lower section from the first sea pool up to below the other useless man made section.

Again large boulders were used to create more trap like pools as if to encourage the fish to lie up? One of the old top fly fishing rods on the river was an old man who would often tell me to watch him catch a salmon here on his fly and by God if he didn’t pull one out lol.
I can’t repeat the language used of what he thought as he fished his loomis rod through his once favourite run and catching nothing. “Why can’t they just leave things alone” he said.
I’ve actually wondered if it’s had an impact on the amount of fish that now want to run the river? As the large sea trout were often known for bombing up river on nothing, the smaller Sewin would often stack up on the lower section which used to be run on odds n even tickets it’s now empty.
Even on a natural river, the fish aren’t to be found all over the place, rather they find certain sections that their ancestors used so to overly disturb these fish by any means is tantamount to a kind of cruelty, albeit an unseen version.

Don't even get me started on "River Enhancement". 🤦‍♂️

A section of the river further upstream from me had some 'improvements' carried out on it about 20 years ago. The river flowed through a bridge and carried on for about 800 to 1000 yards through streams and the odd deep gully before entering a huge pool that was almost like a horse shoe in shape.

Someone, I never did find out who was actually responsible for it, decided there should be groins added between the bridge and the big pool. Huge boulders were put in to push water here and there before it entered the pool. Within the space of about two years, the big pool had silted up and was gone. There wasn't one part of it any deeper than knee depth whereas in the past you'd have been in out of sight.

I completely agree with your old hand. "Why can they not just leave things alone".
 

iainmortimer

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I’m not looking to shout at anyone, indeed why do I have any more right to be there than them reall?
my pondering more was if the increased activity, particularly on lower stretches near the tide would ”scare” off fish trying to run up the river as I assume it would?
if it did...would they just keep trying ?
I wouldn't have thought so because if they are running up on the tide they will simply run at night when its quiet rather than not at all. However, sea-trout are known to want a good flow and with todays over abstraction and increased percentage of effluent from wastewater treatment plants as opposed to rain I suspect the issue may be more man made than people presence although clearly continued splashing through lies is going to scare the fish away and up to quieter lies. We all know how spooky sea trout are especially!
 

goosander

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On my club water, there's a young girl who comes down with her horse and walks it up and down through the middle of one of our best pools.
It matters not one jot if your there fishing, she will walk the horse out right into the lay every time, belly deep on the horse and let it splash n thrash about.
As yet I've not said anything, but it's getting very close to words being exchanged.I think if she gets a good scare in the river it may cure the situation, she shows no consideration for others or the river at all.
I'll probably approach the club committee 1st.
Pedro.
Have in the past built a number of all weather horse tracts and been surprised at the young girls who prefer there horses to everybody else. One of the saddest ones was a self made man who started a pluming company and built it up into one of the largest company's in the U.K. His wife got breast cancer and there was no hope for her. Asked him about his youngest daughter who had the horses and could not even say good morning to my men. He said that when she comes in she ignores every one until she has been to her horse including her mother. Sad.
Good luck with your problem.
Bob.
 

Jockiescott

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I wouldn't have thought so because if they are running up on the tide they will simply run at night when its quiet rather than not at all. However, sea-trout are known to want a good flow and with todays over abstraction and increased percentage of effluent from wastewater treatment plants as opposed to rain I suspect the issue may be more man made than people presence although clearly continued splashing through lies is going to scare the fish away and up to quieter lies. We all know how spooky sea trout are especially!

Over abstraction is something that many overlook when looking for reasons why fish aren't where they should be.

I have shown photos on the forum in the past water marks on trees on my river. Some are around 18 inches higher than the current levels.

My river this year, is the lowest I can ever remember it being. Parts of what we're once the riverbed are now clear of the water as islands.

On the stretch of river I fish most, in low water, there are about 3 streams in over 1 mile of river. The rest is gentle glides, punctuated by shallow, stoney, outflows from pools. After a spate, which is gone in the blink of an eye, it takes no time for algal sludge to form on the bottom due to the lack of flow and the nitrates in the water from slurry and fertiliser.

The river is in a sorry state.
 

goosander

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my pondering more was if the increased activity, particularly on lower stretches near the tide would ”scare” off fish trying to run up the river as I assume it would?
if it did...would they just keep trying ?
When the water is low the fish are still trying to get to there spawning grounds. They have 24 hours per day each day to the few we have.
Bob.
 

Tees88

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Man creates far more problems on rivers than they ever fix. We need to help nature and the rivers rather than hindering them. Removing trees & making access points for anglers does more harm then good. A tree canopy is vital for keeping pools cool, shade for both adult and small fish, plus many fly life depend on it too.

With regards to swimmers/dogs etc I doubt this would scare fish away, it might unsettle them for a short period of time, but it wouldn't account for them not being present.

Also rivers/pools naturally change over years. So what once was a fantastic pool, doesn't mean it always will be.
 

butter o mary

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Back in the day there were huge build ups of salmon in the lower Tay tidal reaches. Literally thousands of fish in the mid to late summer. At high tide there were water skiers galore for hours on end - every day. As soon as it was low tide we would still catch (on occasion!). It did not put the fish off at all. So what's so different now?
Lack of fish.
Nothing more than that.
It's just a lack of fish.
End of.
 

Andrew B

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Don't even get me started on "River Enhancement". 🤦‍♂️

A section of the river further upstream from me had some 'improvements' carried out on it about 20 years ago. The river flowed through a bridge and carried on for about 800 to 1000 yards through streams and the odd deep gully before entering a huge pool that was almost like a horse shoe in shape.

Someone, I never did find out who was actually responsible for it, decided there should be groins added between the bridge and the big pool. Huge boulders were put in to push water here and there before it entered the pool. Within the space of about two years, the big pool had silted up and was gone. There wasn't one part of it any deeper than knee depth whereas in the past you'd have been in out of sight.

I completely agree with your old hand. "Why can they not just leave things alone".
Yeah it’s really odd and if it worked out well, you can be sure someone would admit to doing it lol.
There’s a few places where the Ribble Trust who have done a magnificent job for fish easement in tearing down industrial weirs and making fish passes. They got one fish pass a bit wrong and there’s another high up my local river where in making a fish pass it destroyed a fine pool but that’s entirely understandable and their results were immediate.
But by and large I can’t think of many scenarios where groynes and changing flow and depth actually did much good.
Above post is bang on though re there being not as many fish full stop.
 

Auldghillie

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My son who has caught many salmon was on a day out trip for white water rafting on the Tay, He could see the salmon just lying there as he passed over them.
Had paddle boarders pass on the river several times. I usually point out any hidden snags certainly when it is the young lassies as we do not want anyone injured. We must keep in with most water users in my view as shouting at them just turns more folk against the fishers.
Bob.
These idiots got on the Tay by c 2 landowners allowing access across their land for entry to the upper river. They can use the river via the Navigation Act. Damn disgrace. Ruined some great beats for a bunch of Yuppies. Constant stream of jabbering idiots ruining the water.
 

Jockiescott

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Yeah it’s really odd and if it worked out well, you can be sure someone would admit to doing it lol.
There’s a few places where the Ribble Trust who have done a magnificent job for fish easement in tearing down industrial weirs and making fish passes. They got one fish pass a bit wrong and there’s another high up my local river where in making a fish pass it destroyed a fine pool but that’s entirely understandable and their results were immediate.
But by and large I can’t think of many scenarios where groynes and changing flow and depth actually did much good.
Above post is bang on though re there being not as many fish full stop.

There were quite a few attempts over the years to make a weir on my river more fish friendly. Nature made it most fish friendly of all when it washed the weir away in 2017.

I wrote a blog post about the weir a while ago if anyone is interested in reading it.

 

neilfly1

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When the water is low the fish are still trying to get to there spawning grounds. They have 24 hours per day each day to the few we have.
Bob.
For some reason I have always been under the impression that salmon weren’t active/run at night, not sure where I heard it.. or come to think of it, how anyone knows...?
 
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