This time of year is the time when the trade bombards the angler with every new product conceivable – and usually at a vastly inflated price.
Times, however, are changing and anglers are being now presented with new ranges which are much more sensibly priced and very much more affordable.
We have, for the last two decades, been ripped of by vastly overpriced goods, much of which has come from America.
I am sure that a chill wind will soon blow over the States as high quality goods come in from Italy and the European countries as they search for new markets.
I recently bought a rod which will become my main sea trout rod, made in Italy by a company I had not come across before, but was to become more aware of when a friend from the Midlands called.
He is a very keen coarse angler, and he took me to his car where he had all his tackle stored – and his coarse rods, reels etc, were all of the same make.
It would appear this company now wishes to make inroads into the game angling scene – and from my brief use of my rod at the end of the season, they will be welcomed by many angler friends.
The North Esk has had a welcome run of spring salmon late in the week, and as I was on the river on Friday, it was a cheering sight after what must have been the poorest first month for a long time.
I watched fish on many points on the river, although I was unable to do much fishing due to a trapped nerve in my neck and a very painful arm, but I was delighted to be there when my friend Barbara Anderson from Edzell landed a fine 10lb sparkling fish from the “Meetings of the Waters”.
The Meeting of the Waters is a common name for a pool on Scottish rivers, but in North Tayside, it is recognised as where the West Water meets the main stream of The North Esk.
Incidentally, in my many years on our riverbanks, I have never seen the mouth of the Westie so wide and inviting to fish moving upstream.
I am more than sure that the Westie is now holding early salmon and will be very well worth a try.
Last week, fishing behind the Edzell Golf Course on the Westie, local angler Bill Paton took and landed a Rainbow trout of around three pounds.
The fish was not in superb condition and was certainly not of the steelhead variety.
It must have been in the river for a large part of its life, and when I saw the fish the same day, it was not like any other rainbow which I have seen from the river.
Where it and others caught in the Westie come from is a mystery which leads to my latest quest.
Do any of you anglers have any notion where this fish came from? Let me know on 01356 622753.
Tight Lines, Bill Balfour