By Chris Taee, a Member of Meon Springs Fly Fishery and a regular on the Meon Beat
I’ve probably had more than my fare share of time on the catch and release waters at Meon Springs this year, which has been a lot of fun - even if it can get a touch frustrating at times.
Firstly, thanks to Brian Richardson for his advice to go small. I rapidly armed myself with plenty of barbless 18, 20 and 22 nymphs, which have been by far the most effective way of catching fish, rather than just practising my casting!
Picture attached of my fly box which might give some folk a bit of help when choosing types of fly to use. I think pretty much most all of these have caught fish.
Some of techniques:
The fifth annual Fishing For Forces (FFF) 'Cast and Blast' at Meon Springs was a great success raising £8640 for this fantastic charity.
TV host Chris Tarrant managed to squeeze every last penny out of the 60-strong group of FFF supporters at the lunch time auction.
Bill Bishop caught the largest fish at 6lb 12oz. The largest bag went to Paul Robinson with four fish well over 12lb.
Hank Di Mond was the best shot with 19 hit out of 20.
Next year's 'Cast and Blast' in aid of Fishing for Forces is Saturday 13 July 2019.
By Tim Richardson
This year's Three Fly Challenge - in aid of the Wild Trout Trust and in memory of Pasco James who used to work at Meon Springs - was another record breaker for orgamiser Neil Mundy. More than 40 anglers lined the banks of both Coombe and Whitewool Lakes to take part in the competition.
The rules are simple: you have just three flies (a dry, buzzer and nymph) and points are awarded depending on the size of fish landed and which fly is used.
This year, the event - held annually at Meon Springs and sponsored by John Lewis Fly Fishing Club and Sage - raised £7,250 for the charity. The funds were raised ion part by entry fees but also thanks to an auction and raffle during lunch in the Long Barn.
All the money raised is to be used supporting the new conservation officer at the WTT.
This year's Three Fly Challenge was won by Ron Wilder. The award for the biggest fish went to Mike Carter who landed an 11lb 1oz rainbow.
Next year's event - and the tenth Three Fly Challenge - is to be held on June 15 2019.
By Jamie Butler
As a dairy farmer, I often receive pity from people, who believe that we suffer a low milk price at the mercy of merciless milk buyers and supermarkets. Trust me, low milk prices are not the fault of the likes of Sainsbury's, Tesco, or Muller. It is more simple than that.
Like all industries, we suffer a low prices when supply exceeds demand. What bemuses me most is that dairy farmers own around two thirds of the world's processing capacity via co-operatives such as Arla Foods, New Zealand-based Fronterra and Dairy Farmers of America.
Yet, it appears that very little is done to resolve the core issue of milk market management. Is it that farmers just love producing milk? Is it that milk processors are worried about shortage of supply? Or competition? Is it that there are legal issues to balancing supply and demand?
Overproduction is not just an economic issue, it is an environmental and welfare one too. And it seems to me that proper milk supply management would benefit farmers, processors, the environment, the cows and the consumers of milk. I would love to hear any comments or views on this.
By Tim Richardson
This Saturday is the ninth annual 'Three Fly Challeng' held at Meon Springs in aid of the Wild Trout Trust and in memory of Pasco James.
The good news this year is that we have a record turnout with 46 anglers booked to come fishing.
Since the event is pegged - and people move each time they catch a fish to the next available peg - there could be a lot of movement on the banks as well as in the water.
The organisers also hope that with so many anglers here, they could top the record-breaking £7,000 raised last year - taking the total amount raised over the last eight years to more than £32,000.
The cash is used to fund a bursary for a new conservation officer to work on the rivers.