Is fishing dying of old age?

SOS

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Last night i attended my local fishing associations AGM,and as the room filled up i said to my mate that there was not much hope for the future as the average age of those attending was probably over 60,with only 1 or 2 under 30.OK older folks are more likely to attend an AGM than the younger generation,but things look rather bleak for the future.
I dont know what the answer would be to get more youngsters to take up fishing but if things continue as they are fishing will be a thing of the past.
Each club, association,And most river beats need income to keep them going but as the oldies die off with no one to replace them makes it very difficult.
Last year my club increased its subs by £20 and has had to do the same again this year to compensate for the loss of members but increasing the subs can only be a temporary measure as the more you increase them the more likely you are to lose members.
 

MikeCC

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Happens with a lot of hobbies and pastimes, fishing is not unique. My local gliding club have the same issue, typically youngsters come through at an early age but quickly stall once into teens when education(college/uni) starts. Thereafter careers take precedence, followed by marriage...kids etc which ultimately leads to lack of time and perhaps lack of cash flow. Once the kids are up and away and self sufficient(typically once into your 50’s) then one has the capacity to get back into the hobby, hence what probably seems like a generation gap between the youngsters and the old codgers down the river.
 
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ozzyian

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'Last year my club increased its subs by £20 and has had to do the same again this year to compensate for the loss of members '


Yes, it seems that rent price for waters fished decreases at a slower rate than the decline in demand due to bad value:)
 
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wormo

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I dont think fishing is , I do though think salmon fishing is
theres plenty younger anglers inti trout, coarse and sea fishing
the cost of salmon fishing is a big issue to any young lad or lass over 16 and add that to a growing society of anti blood sports which puts many people off and also the fact that salmon and sea trout are In a steep decline it doesn't help as not many sub 16 year olds are going to have the patience to stand about for hours catching nothing
I'm my opinion you dont start fishing for salmon you grow into it through different methods , spinning for mackerel, worming for trout/perch , learning to cast a fly at a fishery for stockies then graduate from there , at least that's what I did and so did most of my fishing friends , to skip out that then I think you are a less learned angler
I just hope there will be enough salmon left for our younger generation to enjoy
 

alan

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SOS.
I too was at that meeting last night and I said exactly the same to my mate. It was like a rehearsal for last of the summer wine.
I don't know the answer to this problem. But years ago I taught a lot of kids to fish, supplied them with the tackle etc. I still fish with two of them thirty years on. I stopped when I was told I'd have to be checked out to see if I was safe with kids. I told them to poke it and never taught another kid. Bloody shame, but that how it is today.
Alan
 

squimp

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I’d say fishing participation is almost certainly on an accelerating downward curve.

Rod licence sales are down by around 400,000 over the past 8 years.

Some sectors are doing better/worse than others; salmon fishing obviously being one of the worst affected.

If it wasn’t for the growth in carp fishing (now seemingly slowing) and the development of heavily stocked commercial fisheries the participation would have collapsed.

Factor in the reduction in government grant-in-aid funding to the EA; and angling/fisheries has a major problem whichever way you look at it.
 

budge

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From what I've seen on the river bank, salmon angling is definitely dying of old age. It doesn't seem to be as bad with coarse angling since the advent of commercial fisheries. Cost wise as I've said in a previous post, salmon angling doesn't need to cost a fortune. Part of the problem with youngsters is they want instant success without the effort. When I tell them I had 2 salmon in 35 trips last year they think I'm mad.

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MCXFisher

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Your hunch on rising average age of salmon anglers is correct and evidenced by the EA's data from England, which shows an increasing age of those anglers with salmon and migratory trout licences.
 

Jockiescott

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I can only speak for my own river where costs are much lower, in general, than Scottish rivers.

It really depends on what you call young. I agree there's not too many kids on our banks but every year there seems to be a lot of new faces in their 30s and 40s.

Quite a lot of these people spend a lot of time fishing on stocked lakes and then join an angling club on a river.

As far as I am aware, my club has a full membership of 800+ members with an ever growing waiting list waiting to get on.
 

SOS

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I get the bit about kids starting on still water trout ponds,but our club has three of them,but you very seldom see any kids fishing them.
Our club used to have a 1000 members with sometimes up to a 10 year waiting list,now you would be lucky if there were 650 members.
With about 25 miles of river fishing on 4 different rivers one of them being one of the best Brown trout rivers in the country plus the three stocked fisheries,as well as exchange tickets for other rivers,this is still not enough to maintain membership let alone increase it.And even with the new increase in subs an adult ticket is only £250 a year so the cost is or should not be an issue for most people.
 

offshore

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Happens with a lot of hobbies and pastimes, fishing is not unique. My local gliding club have the same issue, typically youngsters come through at an early age but quickly stall once into teens when education(college/uni) starts. Thereafter careers take precedence, followed by marriage...kids etc which ultimately leads to lack of time and perhaps lack of cash flow. Once the kids are up and away and self sufficient(typically once into your 50’s) then one has the capacity to get back into the hobby, hence what probably seems like a generation gap between the youngsters and the old codgers down the river.
I would say your reply is totally accurate for tennis, but only partly applicable to game fishing.

Bywell are currently advertising days in February for £67 a day plus VAT, when only 1 fish was reported caught for the whole of last February, for six roads daily (5 year average of three fish).

The sport is trying to sell snake oil in many cases, and is populated by many people just doing it out of habit (not on fundamentals).

I see Dilston has just gone full C&R. If you like it or not, the prize of bringing a fresh fish back for the family has now gone in most places; it will inevitably only exacerbate the decline.
 

david1982mk2

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Happens with a lot of hobbies and pastimes, fishing is not unique. My local gliding club have the same issue, typically youngsters come through at an early age but quickly stall once into teens when education(college/uni) starts. Thereafter careers take precedence, followed by marriage...kids etc which ultimately leads to lack of time and perhaps lack of cash flow. Once the kids are up and away and self sufficient(typically once into your 50’s) then one has the capacity to get back into the hobby, hence what probably seems like a generation gap between the youngsters and the old codgers down the river.
Its a good point. Gliding and salmon fishing are both expensive and pretty time consuming. Understandable why the youth drift away from it compared to trout fishing.

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marty31

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who can blame the decline in young salmon fishers, theres next to no fish, even if you get one, its most likely mandatory C and R even if it is released, the banks are lined with know alls that will invent some problem either with the time its out the water or the net its landed with or maybe how its handled, or even a photo is now shunned upon, all this cost and hassle for nothing when theres all those nice juicy computer games to play, in the warm house, with the added bonus of none of the listed hassle
 

Wee Porters

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I dont think fishing is , I do though think salmon fishing is
theres plenty younger anglers inti trout, coarse and sea fishing
the cost of salmon fishing is a big issue to any young lad or lass over 16 and add that to a growing society of anti blood sports which puts many people off and also the fact that salmon and sea trout are In a steep decline it doesn't help as not many sub 16 year olds are going to have the patience to stand about for hours catching nothing
I'm my opinion you dont start fishing for salmon you grow into it through different methods , spinning for mackerel, worming for trout/perch , learning to cast a fly at a fishery for stockies then graduate from there , at least that's what I did and so did most of my fishing friends , to skip out that then I think you are a less learned angler
I just hope there will be enough salmon left for our younger generation to enjoy
Reading the OP I took it to be an association beat on a river so not specifically salmon fishing. When I started fishing [over 40 years ago] it was a case of buying your boys club ticket and heading to the water with your mates, parents and grandparents. You learned off them, starting off worming for trout then spinning a mepps and then progressing to fly fishing, [I actually started fly fishing with a small intrepid reel, a double taper fly line of unknown weight and a 5.5ft spinning rod]. I caught many wee trout on small spiders etc and an interest was borne. As we grew older and gained more experience we learned watercraft and upped our target species to sea trout and salmon, it was a natural progression which was the way of things in those days. So yes I agree that you don't just start salmon fishing as a kid, but for us the journey started by joining our local association on the Nith and learning from trout upwards [I certainly wouldn't say any of us were less learned anglers because we didn't fish a pond for stockies, in fact I'd like to think the education we got from the older generation on the riverbank gave us a better apprenticeship].

Also totally agree with you when you say the product is no longer there nowadays in sufficient numbers to keep kids interested, sea trout and salmon numbers have crashed and there's certainly not the same number of brown trout in my local river either, also eels are nearly non existent. No, it's a big ask for a kid to spend hours and days on a river for no reward.

That said it's not just a fishing problem, there's just not the kids playing different sports either nowadays, unless of course we class fitba on the Xbox as participating in sport, lol.
 

Aled

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My club (Llandeilo) dropped the price of an under 16's ticket to £1 per season....when I was in my teens it was £10 a season....despite the decrease in price there were still more children fishing in the 1980's than there are now, I don't think its all about the price of fishing. No idea what we can do about it to be honest. I've got 2 children, don't know whether they will fish later on in life...but I do think my nephew will.
Cheers
Aled
 

Grassy_Knollington

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I see Dilston has just gone full C&R. If you like it or not, the prize of bringing a fresh fish back for the family has now gone in most places; it will inevitably only exacerbate the decline.
I wonder if Hexham Anglers have done the same? Be hilarious if they haven’t. Let your fish go only to see it caught & chapped further up the pool on the other bank:lol:

I’d buy tickets to that.

Just more Turkeys voting for Christmas and that’s probably being unfair to the Turkeys.

It’s clubs like Hexham, Haltwhistle and others that get young folk fishing. I doubt there’s many 20 somethings booking on Dilston.

The only reason I was able to Salmon fish as a teenager was that my Dad took me. When he was a kid my grandad worked 6 days a week, didn’t fish and money was tight.

Dad cycled a couple of miles and fished an estuary for ST or rivers & a loch for whatever he could get. I don’t think he started Salmon fishing until the early 70s, when he was in his mid 20s. He didn’t have the money or transport before then.

There’s not many places where you can walk to good fishing and as a youngster that’s really what you need. Unless you’ve got a family friend or a group of parents who can shuttle you back and forth, how can you even get out? Are you going to sit on a bus or in a bus stop in your waders with your fishing bag & rods, on your own for 2 hours each way?
 

Rrrr

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If other day beats dont go the same way as dilston for the season then have dilston just commited commercial suicide ? I cant see people buying into all the new rules when they can fish other beats without the restrictions.

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Rrrr

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I wonder if Hexham Anglers have done the same? Be hilarious if they haven’t. Let your fish go only to see it caught & chapped further up the pool on the other bank

I’d buy tickets to that.

Just more Turkeys voting for Christmas and that’s probably being unfair to the Turkeys.

It’s clubs like Hexham, Haltwhistle and others that get young folk fishing. I doubt there’s many 20 somethings booking on Dilston.

The only reason I was able to Salmon fish as a teenager was that my Dad took me. When he was a kid my grandad worked 6 days a week, didn’t fish and money was tight.

Dad cycled a couple of miles and fished an estuary for ST or rivers & a loch for whatever he could get. I don’t think he started Salmon fishing until the early 70s, when he was in his mid 20s. He didn’t have the money or transport before then.

There’s not many places where you can walk to good fishing and as a youngster that’s really what you need. Unless you’ve got a family friend or a group of parents who can shuttle you back and forth, how can you even get out? Are you going to sit on a bus or in a bus stop in your waders with your fishing bag & rods, on your own for 2 hours each way?
Thats the main problem, parents arent going to drop their kids off on the banks of a roaring river to go fishing alone or with a couple of mates these days. Unless you have a family member that fishes for salmon then its hard to get into.
Its much easier to get into commercial coarse fishing for kids as its alot cheaper and in a way its safer with a small lake wity 18inch deep margins, same goes for stillwater trout fishing. Plus you actualy catch fish which keeps kids intrested.

Also my dad would cycle to the tyne at ovingham from newcastle with his mates in the early 60s and fish for coarse fish all day rather than go to school, you just wouldnt get away with that these days as the school would be on the phone at ten past nine when you didnt show up

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Grassy_Knollington

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If other day beats dont go the same way as dilston for the season then have dilston just commited commercial suicide ? I cant see people buying into all the new rules when they can fish other beats without the restrictions.

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I think there’s a group of owners who have bought into the idea. Based on what was reported here, as well as the letter I saw in huts last year; some more beats will confirm it and some have been putting pressure on clubs / syndicates to do the same. I hope they resist. At least Dilston are being up front. I suspect there are more Fishpal beats that need updating.

It’s desperate stuff and it just further narrows the playing field. I spoke with someone this year who’d had a springer from dilston. They’d been Salmon fishing for 4 years drove for 100s of miles to get to the river, had all the gear and in Aug had been out 2-3 times all year. There’s not that many folk in those circumstances and, if that’s who you target, you’re going to struggle.

WRT young people. Saw 3 or 4 young teenagers walking through Haltwhistle to the river last August, every one with a spinning rod. Unless they live somewhere like that and can fish using all methods, then you have pretty much no chance of getting into Salmon fishing unless your parents or a relative take you - and you probably never did.
 

Rrrr

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I think there’s a group of owners who have bought into the idea. Based on what was reported here, as well as the letter I saw in huts last year; some more beats will confirm it and some have been putting pressure on clubs / syndicates to do the same. I hope they resist. At least Dilston are being up front. I suspect there are more Fishpal beats that need updating.

It’s desperate stuff and it just further narrows the playing field. I spoke with someone this year who’d had a springer from dilston. They’d been Salmon fishing for 4 years drove for 100s of miles to get to the river, had all the gear and in Aug had been out 2-3 times all year. There’s not that many folk in those circumstances and, if that’s who you target, you’re going to struggle.

WRT young people. Saw 3 or 4 young teenagers walking through Haltwhistle to the river last August, every one with a spinning rod. Unless they live somewhere like that and can fish using all methods, then you have pretty much no chance of getting into Salmon fishing unless your parents or a relative take you - and you probably never did.
Yea, i agree theyve been up front about it and seem to be the first to let people know where they stand rather than wait for the bookings to come in and then spring it on anglers. Other beats will follow suit i rekon or at least make a few rules to stay in line with others even if they have no intention of enforcing them.
On some of the bigger beats i cant see a ghille making a guest change a fly due to being a trebble as their tip will be gone.

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goosander

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If I wanted nowadays to go on a river I would go birdwatching. Salmon fishing is almost finished. That is the way I see it after almost 60 years fishing. The local still waters still have fishers on them but not as many as a number of years ago. When our fishing clubs need a hand to get the boats in/out the water or do any other work it is only the old yins that are there. From what I have seen it would appear that a lot of the younger members just want to pay and fish and that is all there is to there fishing. Sad.
Bob.
 

doubletaper

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Cost & Snobbery?

I started out fishing a local mere for Gudgeon when about seven years old & the vast majority of the kids in my street did some form of angling back then (60's ). Probably because it was very cheap to fish, no Xboxes/Playstations etc, two stations only on TV, and you was probably safer peddling a mile or two with your mates back then as well ? We used to fish the Teith & the Tynes not so long ago & now tickets have doubled and the runs of fish have probably halved. Like some of you have said we're also having more restrictions placed on us which makes it less attractive to travel hundreds of miles to catch neut, went to my AGM the other week and we we're all seeing who had the best walking stick :lol:. Took my kids fishing and there still at it but mainly on commercials and Trout reservoirs, Yep salmon fishing is now for Dinosaurs.........Like me :eek:hwell:
 

Aled

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Here in Wales angling associations really did offer good value for money angling, and those who had the drive and enthusiasm to set them up (ours was founded in 1893) really did look towards the future of the club to offer the next generation an opportunity to fish good water at an affordable price. I know that I and many of my friends really did benefit from this. Personally I am very grateful to them. At the moment though, are there many anglers coming behind us to 1. Go fishing and 2. take over the running of these clubs after we are too old to do so? No idea at the moment.
Cheers
Aled
 

offshore

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As stated above, unless family members take them, I dont suppose Salmon fishing has ever been a practical starting point for youngsters.

The decline is more about people in their thirties, forties and fifties wanting to give it a go. Looking at the fundamentals, it doesnt seem like a sensible thing to do, on balance.
 
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