Static Accounts!

I managed a second trip out after work the other day however this time it was a much chillier affair. Even though the temp was hovering around the 7 degree point the wind chill brought it down significantly. Consequently the spot I chose for the assault was a poor decision as it is quite exposed as it is wide.

It is was exposed and low.

It is was exposed and low.

I checked a few likely runs for some risers however the place appeared barren. I walked up to a long bend that is usually a good place to pick up some trout however it was being whipped up by the chilly wind, no self respecting olive would be seen ascending in that water.

I walked down the river a distance and spotted two risers under a bridge.

Under the bridge.

Under the bridge.

I have spotted trout under this bridge before and just like then they proved to be incredibly spooky not even letting me get one cast at them before disappearing. It feels strange casting for trout as the noise of buses and cars thunder above you.

I walked further down and rearranged the floral tributes that had been left for Daniel Marchbank the angler who drowned in the Vet School. Some of the flowers had fallen over in the wind. I have stayed away from this spot even whilst being out for my run and this was the first time I had taken a walk down.

Flowers for Daniel Marchbank

Flowers for Daniel Marchbank

I decided to not walk any further downstream at this point as quite frankly the mood had been taken from me. Like I say I have ran through the Vet School a few times since the boy drowned and I have not seen anyone fish the pool. I suspect folk will stay away until the flowers are gone as a mark of respect. The association is in negotiation for some kind of danger sign to be erected at the pool however at the moment the flowers do just as well.

The Sandy Pool

The Sandy Pool

A chap sat on the opposite bank with a pram next to him, it was an older man so I suspected it was not his child. I looked at the opposite side of the pool where olives tend to gather resulting in rising trout in front of the island however there were none. You can walk up the pool from the island maybe a quarter of the way before you feel the dip of the pool drop off starting. In the above picture you can see the ledges on the right which you can walk out on. They can be slippy and one juts out slightly further than the others. Pretty much the only time I would wade them is the depth you can see now. On the day that Daniel drowned it was maybe a few inches over that with the color of snowmelt which would have meant seeing the ledges would be impossible. I always wondered why this is such a sandy pool, is it because a lot of people come to this pool and just over time the vegetation has worn away?

I walked up the river and had another stab at the trout under the bridge however my heart was not really in it. I had a tight timescale to keep and I knew the trout were not going to respond in the hour or so I was there.

A budding tree leaf...

A budding tree leaf…

Thankfully it looks like we are heading towards proper Spring weather at last. I always find it amazing at this time of year as one moment the trees are bare and the next everything is green. I had tied up a few flies the other night and was disappointed that I never had the chance to properly cover a rising trout.

I suppose that is “spring” for you!


I really enjoy reading your comments - say something!

  1. James · April 10, 2013

    It seems strange that there’s a need for negotiation before a danger sign can be erected at the Vet School. Is it that someone doesn’t want it to happen, or doesn’t want to pay for it? If the University has an objection, are deaths on campus not more objectionable?

  2. Alistair · April 10, 2013

    Money is not the issue. It is a mixture of placement, wording, who will maintain it etc. Additionally, it is not just anglers that have got into trouble there has been a dog walker and a drunk student. Do we put it at up at the bridge or at the pool itself ? Do we put them up at the other Sandy pool as well which to me always looks more dangerous or just where poor folk have ended up after falling in ?

  3. James · April 10, 2013

    I think the responsibility for the matter should lie with the University, full stop. They allow members of the public onto their land which contains a very significant hazard for the unwary, inebriated or just plain unfortunate. The stretches of deep water at the Vet School are dangerous, but not visibly so. How long before someone tries to sue the pants off the the University because an accident occurs? I’m sure they could be encouraged to see the benefits of placing a sign encouraging the public to behave safely on private land.

  4. Ron · April 10, 2013

    While still locked into the arse-end of a Canadian winter, it was refreshing to see the open water, the greenery and the tree buds. thanks as always Alistair.

  5. Alistair · April 10, 2013

    Hay James, I knew something had been sorted out. Bottom line is we are paying for it and the Vet School designs it etc.

  6. James · April 10, 2013

    Well that sounds like a reasonable compromise. Hopefully it will help prevent any more horrible things happening on the river. Going to be a busy day at the Vet School tomorrow – the annual rodeo is on. Guaranteed herds of dogs in the water.

  7. amanda kerr · April 10, 2013

    Thanks for helping with the sign issue. Daniel was my younger brother and I have also been onto the vet school about this issue.our family would be more than willing to fundraise for signage.

  8. Lynda Mackin · April 10, 2013

    If the area belongs to the university and they allow general public access to use the area, then surely there must have been a risk assessment done of the area and also what measures should be put in place to warn people of the dangers! The person responsible for health and safety should be carrying out an investigation and putting these measures in place.

    However, should there be an issue for funding of signage at all areas involved and the upkeep of funding, I would also be willing to help raise the money required.

  9. Alistair · April 10, 2013

    Amanda and Lynda, there is no need to fund-raise as the association will pay for the signs. Please accept my condolences at this very sad time. I have read a lot about Daniel and it seems he was a decent and good guy, someone who would have been pleasure to meet on the riverbank for a chat about fishing.

    If there is anything you would like clarified please do not hesitate to contact the association at