The river is really waking up, I’ve pushed on with my monthly sampling of entomological data through a bleak winter, managing to cover two sites alone (buddy Nick has been elsewhere with his new job and it’s a long way from London / Copenhagen to the Little River Avon). I don’t know why I’d not thought of an obvious solution sooner, perhaps not wanting to drag a lad reluctantly out to look at a few bugs … but as my 9-year-old son Jack volunteered himself, I made the most of it.
He was showing an interest on getting out in the fresh air with his ‘old man’ on Saturday morning and what a turn up for the books it’s proven … he’s already established himself and is an enthusiastic and competent new recruit and budding entomologist; good eyes and nimble fingers, perfect for spotting and separating bugs … he learns fast, the mind of an inquisitive boy is perfectly suited to investigating the strange going’s on at the bottom of the river bed. A little enthusiasm goes a long way with a task that needs doing monthly (year in year out) and I’m pleased he’s taken an interest. The timing was good, as the onset of March has seen an abundant sampling set with large numbers of bugs in the net; this bodes well for this seasons fish stocks and shows the river is in good health. I can now look forward to sampling through the spring and summer with a new side kick – hopefully his enthusiasm will hold up through the winter but I’m not too worried, even is he’d rather stay inside during the few cold months, it’s good to know there’s a little back up available for the odd outing when the sun shines.
For more information on the Riverfly Partnership Angler’s Monitoring Initiative please see here www.riverflies.org .
Excuse the picture quality, they’re taken from my mobile phone:
Tight Lines, Splash & Son