Salvation in County Durham

Shooting Times & Country|June 17, 2020

Salvation in County Durham
Emerging, slowly, from the deprivations of lockdown, now is the time to savour the beauty we are lucky to have all around us

Most of you know that I am very fond of running water, especially the sort that is able to provide a good home for trout. I am more or less certain almost all of you know that I am also very fond of red wine, particularly when I can find an excuse for drinking it at lunchtime.

Perhaps the best excuse for doing this is when I find myself sitting by running water after spending the morning trying to catch a few trout. Then, more often than not, I tell myself — especially if I have succeeded in what I set out to do — that, in truth, I do not need an excuse to fill my scratched old metal beaker because it is my solemn and sacred duty first to fill it then to raise it high in pious recognition of everything that fishing and running water have given me over the years.

And I am delighted to tell you that, since we fishers were given our sport back halfway through May, I have done my duty half-a-dozen times; I have filled my metal beaker, toasted trout and the rivers where they live, then I have proceeded to empty it with slow and thankful reverence.

I am very fond of running water but, at the time of writing, there is a problem with it — namely that there is little of it left. Here in Cumbria we have had no appreciable rain for three months, the ground is baked hard, the grass is struggling to grow and it is difficult to believe that the recent winter was one of the wettest on record.

My favourite river is Yorkshire’s River Wharfe; it is lower than it was in July of 2018 towards the end of a savage drought. My local river is Cumbria’s Eden, which is appreciably lower than the Wharfe.


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June 17, 2020