|A 53lb monster from Palm Springs... dream or nightmare?|
On picking up the latest copy of Total Flyfisher, I was surprised to see another article about stillwater salmon fishing at Palm Springs in Rutland... a subject which I’m pretty sure had been covered by a virtually identical at least once in the last year! Repetition in the fly fishing media, however prevalent it may be, isn’t the point of this post, though. The point is it actually got me thinking – how do I really feel about the idea of catching the king of fish from a tiny pond about an acre in size?
The first point that would spring to the mind of a lot of people is that it’s artificial sport with farmed fish – a contrived shell of traditional salmon fishing as we know it. But that said, many people including myself often indulge in fishing for stocked rainbows on waters of a similar size, which one could argue is no different. Plus, one can’t rationally be against it on the grounds of not agreeing with salmon farming practices (which by the way are despicable – why the Scottish government allow it I will never know) as these fish are farmed and grown on entirely in freshwater. However, although I accept that ethically there’s no massively different argument against Palm Springs, there’s something about it which to me seems distasteful. For a start, there is my original perception of the salmon – a wild, free fish with a spectacular lifecycle, the pursuit of which takes the angler to beautiful, clear fast flowing rivers. This is the polar opposite – a small bowl full of hemmed in fish (better than a farm cage I suppose) swimming round and round in circles endlessly until they get snagged on some gaudy lure. And then there’s fish themselves! Take the brute above for example, all 53lbs of it. It’s hard to even begin to believe that this is the same species as the silver bullets that grace our rivers, in fact it looks more like an enormous deformed spotty carp... whatever happened to natural selection eh. To some, the chance to hook such a monster is probably a dream come true... to me it’s the stuff of nightmares.
Some people might want to give this a go (it’s £120 a pop if you’re curious/insane) and wrestle with a big salmon – something indeed many might not have the opportunity to do in the traditional manner for one reason or another, and that’s their call. In fact I’m sure it’d be an enjoyable novelty for about an hour, but you can count me out!