Surviving Lockdown.

March 30, 2020 at 1:32 pm

My worst fears were realised this week, when the UK Government imposed a lockdown on the population, with a very basic message, STAY AT HOME.

With advice to only go out for essentials like food and medication, plus one exercise session a day, the question being asked is can I go fishing, or shooting? As we know both of these are very good exercise. Government advice is not totally clear on either aspect, but what is clear is that unessential travel is now restricted to two miles, with the police able to impose fines, so a short drive with fishing tackle, or rifles in the back of the car could take some explaining. The minimum, if stopped by the police will be a request to turn round and go home, a repeat offence will attract a fine, or possibly the confiscation of any firearms, or withdrawal of your firearms license?

Ok, what if I can walk to my shooting permission, is that an offence? All of my shooting permissions are a solitary affair on many acres of open land, one of them a scenic walk from home down green lanes and public footpaths to reach on foot. Living in an urban environment, more people than ever will be seeking out new places to walk and most country paths are too narrow to allow social distancing when passing, so for safety’s sake we have to assume that every body is carrying the Corvid-19 virus. For this reason I will not take the chance of getting infected and stay put. Following such a wet winter, when my rifles remained in the gun safe, I had been counting the days to the dryer weather, but unless I get a callout from one of my landowners to deal with rabbits, or a fox, they will stay in the safe, until boredom drives me yet again to strip and oil them ready for use.

The river fishing season is over in the UK, but not on ponds and lakes, but as with the above, more people are out taking walks and with two public lakes only minutes walk away from my home, I will resist the temptation to load up the fishing trolley. Being a successful angler, I often attract curious onlookers, even the occasional gallery of the “caught anything” brigade and the thought of someone coughing the virus over my shoulder does not bare thinking about. So thinking of sneaking out for a few hours fishing? Forget about it. Stay home and safe.

Trout fishing season begins next week and a lone wolf expedition with the fly rod appeals, but fly fishermen are a very sociable bunch, eager to compare flies and talk of that big trout lying beneath a tree, so once again, the easiest way to avoid contact and possible infection is not to go.

The latest information on the coronavirus is that Government measures to restrict movement and infection will last for at least six months, so that’s the the trout season finished for this year. Good job that I was too busy to sit down at the fly tying vice before the season started. A friend had secured a half rod on the river Test this year and I was feeling guilty about not having fulfilled his request for a few of my deadly Black Devil nymphs for the early season. Sorry Peter, next year.

With many World Wide followers of this blog, these UK restrictions my sound severe, or not severe enough, depending where your country, or state is in the cycle of infection, but no one is yet immune to this potentially killer bug. I will keep posting, delving into the archive and putting up points of interest and maybe strip a rifle or two. In the meantime Stay Safe.