The weight and size vary considerably also, the British record being 17lb. 12oz. Of the various types of trout - Speckled, Rainbow, brown, Sea and brook, I am better acquainted with Rainbow and Brook Trout.
Trout are still to be found in the River Thames but their numbers are decreasing day by day
because of river pollution. By far the best places for trout fishing are in North Wales and
in Scotland where the water is pure and clean and the districts practically uninhabited. Trout
thrive in water which is well churned up by stones and rocks which allow plenty of oxygen to be
infused into the water. I spent my Summer holiday camping by the side of the River Edew, which
is a tributary or the Wye which, as you know, flows through South Wales into the Severn. The
Edew at our camping site was only about twelve feet across, in some pools six feet deep and
less than six inches in the rapids. The river bottom is mostly slabs of slate and small pebbles
and it was free from weeds and crystal clear. After heavy rain however, the water becomes muddy
brown in colour and in catching trout the technique consists in variations according to the
colour of the water.
I do not wish to dwell too long on worms because when the water is clear and really sparkling, the drop minnow is my favourite way or trout fishing. The minnow is the favourite food of any big trout, but cannot be found in the mountain streams - one has to go to a lowland river where they are found in abundance.
A minnow trap is necessary and this is easily manufactured. All one needs is a corked wine bottle with a hole in the bottom and some soaked bread inside to act as bait; the bottle is then held by a length of string from the river bank, and in a matter of minutes enough minnows can be caught for a day's Fishing. At least that was my experience on the River Wye. The minnow is killed by piercing the tiny head with a needle, the line is then threaded through the fish with a weight inside and also a hook with only the bared point showing.
Very cautiously the minnow is cast into the river with about a foot of line to spare and then
gently pulled up and down near the bank to give the poor trout the idea that the minnow is
living and soon you will get a bite. When you do get a bite let the spare line go and wait about
fifteen seconds and then strike! Pull in the fish with as little noise as possible so as not to
disturb the remaining fish. (If you have been fishing before breakfast, gut the fish you have
just caught, fry it in butter and taste that goodness!)
Finally a word about hazards to the less enlightened. You can never be a trout fisherman unless you have at times fallen headlong into the water, been stung by wasps, chased by a swarm of bees (as my brother was), or bitten by red ants (as I was). Nevertheless there is lots of fun and I would recommend trout fishing to any friend of mine.
Peter Bell 1.G