No two seasons are the same and 2020 has certainly turned out to be very different due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Just as our members were getting ready to fish after the season start, the lockdown in Wales and in the UK came into effect, and fishing was no longer allowed. This was obviously the right decision by the Welsh Government as safety must always take first priority.
Our members could only speculate about the number of fish running the river Usk this year but towards the end of April and the beginning of May another problem in the form of poaching became apparent. Luckily some of our local members were able to walk to the river from home (allowed under the restrictions but not fishing) and took on the responsibility of regularly patrolling the river. Several incidents were reported and fines were issued to poachers by the police.
The Welsh Government then reduced the restrictions slightly at the end of May allowing local people to drive to the river and fish, if living within a distance of 5 miles. This made fishing possible for a small number of our members. Unfortunately, most ISCA members living further away or in England have not been able to fish. However from the 6th July, this restriction will be removed so that all our members are able to fish.
The few ISCA members who have been able to fish made it possible to have more people keeping an eye on the river, thereby providing a further deterrent to the poaching menace. The questions were how many fish would be in the river and how good would the fishing be?
Despite very hot weather at the end of May and the beginning of June reducing river levels, the effort put in on the river did show that some fish had run the river. Furthermore, the numbers were estimated to be bigger than the very poor 2019 season.
One of our members, Mike caught 5 salmon on the fly and also managed to catch a 6 Ibs beautiful silver seatrout. Mike also caught the first salmon from the river Usk this year, resulting in him receiving a bottle of Champagne from the Wye and Usk foundation… 😊
Another member caught 3 salmon, three members caught 2 salmon each and two caught one salmon each and I managed to catch 4 salmon, resulting in a total of about 20 salmon all caught on the fly and safely returned. All salmon have been between 10 Ibs and 18 Ibs and in good condition, seemingly having found good feeding grounds whilst at sea.
With the hope of good luck for the remainder of the season for all our members and that the Usk salmon may continue to run the river for many more years to come.
Stay safe and healthy.
The first Salmon caught on the river Usk in 2020