Decreasing angler numbers a bad thing?

T_James

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From a business perspective it's a resounding yes, but there could be some benefits to less anglers. I can think of two of the top of my head.

1) Less angling pressure on waterways
2) Tackle becoming less throwaway with more repairing and an emphasis bespoke services

Just a thought......
 

Mies

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I usually fish the larger West of Ireland loughs but there was a stocked fishery about 20 minutes away from me. Great place to get a bit of pre-season practice or try out a new rod, line or whatever. It closed at the end of last year. Sad really. It was very well managed and held fighting fit browns and rainbows.
I spoke with the owner and he said it was simply no longer viable. The last few times I visited, I had the whole place to myself.
A young guy fished it on one ocassion I was there and complained that he had to wait ten minutes to get a bite :rolleyes: Says it all really.
 

PaulD

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I started fly fishing in 1968 after an industrious career of drowning worms in streams. I started because locally (Stithians) a reservoir had been built and trout had been stocked . . . rainbow trout, far more exotic than the native browns in the local streams. This was the time when still water fly fishing was beginning to grow at a pace. New reservoirs were being built and establishments like Two Lakes were beginning to hit the news. At Stithians I could spend the day on the bank, walk maybe 7 miles and perhaps, meet another angler. Early 70s I was at Art College in the Midlands and 'discovered' the likes of Ravensthorpe and Pitsford and shockingly, lots of people fly fishing! Strangely, I also found places like Packington and Church Hill at Mursley, much, much smaller but very busy. Packington is now closed, I believe Church Hill still operates but they both reflect what's happened to trout fishing.

Progressively. fly fishing from the 60s onwards became increasingly available, both physically and financially but I do believe we have seen the 'hey-day' of our sport. I do know from my GAIA activities and friendships that a lot of work is going in to the encouragement and development of young anglers. In the spring and summer terms I spend 2 nights per week,for 10 weeks, coaching 9 to 13 year old school children and they reveal huge enthusiasm for the sport. But, and it's a big BUT, we have a lot of competition from other activities that are out there to appeal.

As far as the fishing is concerned, we've probably had too many fisheries, many have closed, and quality, irrespective of how you define quality, often failed. Perhaps lesser numbers of anglers might promote a more refined focus upon the quality of the environment and fishing.
 
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sean freeman

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I usually fish the larger West of Ireland loughs but there was a stocked fishery about 20 minutes away from me. Great place to get a bit of pre-season practice or try out a new rod, line or whatever. It closed at the end of last year. Sad really. It was very well managed and held fighting fit browns and rainbows.
I spoke with the owner and he said it was simply no longer viable. The last few times I visited, I had the whole place to myself.
A young guy fished it on one ocassion I was there and complained that he had to wait ten minutes to get a bite :rolleyes: Says it all really.
Where was it Mies? There are two in Waterford that I like to fish when I’m over outside the trout season. Full of hard fighting rainbows and browns. Summer sedge fishing is mega there too.
 

pentlandflyman

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Are numbers declining or is it just fly fishing on stocked waters ? fly fishing on rivers has certainly got more popular and other forms of fishing seem to be getting more popular as well like sea fishing and lure fishing, coarse fishing seems as popular as ever. Fly fishing on rivers compared to stocked fisheries is far cheaper with a season ticket costing the same as one day on a fishery and you can fish the sea for free and lure fishing is either free or pretty cheap compared with fly fishing. Times are hard and not many can afford the costs associated with fly fishing stocked waters anymore, they have priced the common man out as have the tackle manufacturers and they are now paying for it, treating fly tackle like fashion or football with new ranges every season that you have to have, people have had enough of it.
 

mike fox

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"Decreasing angler numbers". Where is the evidence? We can't go by the number of rod licence sales in England and Wales because people are able to travel further and wider where they are not required and the age threshold has increased from 12 to 16. We can't go by the numbers of anglers on fisheries because there are many more fisheries available so anglers are more widely spread out. We can't go by the amount of high street tackle shops closing down because more people are buying off the internet. We can't go by the demise of clubs because many more commercial fisheries offering day tickets are available. We can't go by the decreasing numbers of competitive angling because more people prefer the less demanding pleasure fishing nowadays. We can't go by the decreasing sales of magazines and other literature because of the availability of information on the internet. We can't go by fewer manufacturers making new equipment because there is so much second hand and hand me downs being passed about. We can't go by the fewer youngsters coming into the sport because fly fishing has generally always been an older persons sport. We can't go by the lack of support for the Angling Trust and Environment Agency because most people are not interested in the politics of the sport, they just want to go fishing.
So, where is the evidence and who's got it and where did it come from?
 

mike fox

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All the 'oldies' are dying off, and I don't see a lot of evidence of youngster filling the void.

Absolutely, no scientific evidence to back that up - just my gut feeling!

From an entirely selfish point of view it is a good thing in the short term

Long term, probably not.


Douglas
I began fly fishing at the age of 45 and so filled a deceased void. That must make me a youngster?
 

Juneau

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From a business perspective it's a resounding yes, but there could be some benefits to less anglers. I can think of two of the top of my head.

Fewer customers? That's a brilliant business strategy. I wonder why more businesses don't wish for fewer people coming through their doors.
 

Mies

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Where was it Mies? There are two in Waterford that I like to fish when I’m over outside the trout season. Full of hard fighting rainbows and browns. Summer sedge fishing is mega there too.

Curragh Springs in Kildare, Sean.
 

anzac

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All the 'oldies' are dying off, and I don't see a lot of evidence of youngster filling the void. ...
I started fly fishing in my twenties when I an Army posting had me in a great fishing area. Another posting and life in general (work, children, etc.) intervened and decades passed before my interest was rekindled when I introduced my grandsons to the sport.

With that, I'm an example of a 'youngster' who dropped out when life got in the way and returned to the sport later in life to replace an 'oldster' -- and will in turn be replaced by one of today's youngsters when I drop off.
 

T_James

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1) Lure angling definitely seems to be gaining popularity - particularly for perch
2) Carp fishing has probably hit a peak in the UK - although it's gaining in popularity in many other locations
 

jaybeegee

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I belong to a club with fishing on a beautiful stretch of dales river and while it is not easy fishing, it is stuffed with wild trout and a fair head of grayling. Fifteen years ago there was a waiting list for membership, but there has been a twenty percent or so drop in members and applications are now accepted immediately, sadly we have only two junior members. From a purely selfish point of view it is good to often have the river to oneself, but, whatever the reason for the decline, and it certainly is not the quality of fishing it’s a tragedy: who is going to look after the river when the old blokes can’t do it anymore?
B
 

sewinbasher

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I think that this is typical of many clubs, decreasing membership may result in less pressure on waters but the same trend will mean that the clubs that rent a lot of their fishing may not be able to pay for it and start a downward spiral of giving up water and/or increasing subs that will inevitably result in clubs folding.
 

vital

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To say angling numbers are not declining is like being a global warming denier, or even being a member of the flat earth society. It is a simple fact that fly fishing is not attracting youngsters at the rate the old practitioners are dying out [literally]. Stillwater fisheries have closed or converted to attract the Carp brigade, angling clubs and societies are nearly all reporting falling memberships, tackle shops continue to close, and not entirely as a result of on-line retailers, who also confirm a fall in individual customer numbers and have to market harder to maintain viable turnover levels. To anyone who thinks falling angling numbers might be a good thing I would say short termism in this is a recipe for disaster, with all that we will face in the future we really need to increase numbers and so have a bigger voice in political, economic, and environmental matters, at the same time promoting a sport/pastime that has genuine therapeutical properties.
 

original cormorant

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"Decreasing angler numbers". Where is the evidence? We can't go by the number of rod licence sales in England and Wales because people are able to travel further and wider where they are not required and the age threshold has increased from 12 to 16. We can't go by the numbers of anglers on fisheries because there are many more fisheries available so anglers are more widely spread out. We can't go by the amount of high street tackle shops closing down because more people are buying off the internet. We can't go by the demise of clubs because many more commercial fisheries offering day tickets are available. We can't go by the decreasing numbers of competitive angling because more people prefer the less demanding pleasure fishing nowadays. We can't go by the decreasing sales of magazines and other literature because of the availability of information on the internet. We can't go by fewer manufacturers making new equipment because there is so much second hand and hand me downs being passed about. We can't go by the fewer youngsters coming into the sport because fly fishing has generally always been an older persons sport. We can't go by the lack of support for the Angling Trust and Environment Agency because most people are not interested in the politics of the sport, they just want to go fishing.
So, where is the evidence and who's got it and where did it come from?


Without refuting each point you make - which I - could you seems to be a climate change denyer.
 

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