The countdown has started - and in my case it is down to 21 days until I can go and fish my beloved Teifi once again. On the upper Teifi the fishing season kicks off on the third day of March.
The winter months have been ones of reminiscing and dreaming about fishing for wild brown trout and come the day one will be itching to be out there experiencing the real thing.
The opening day of the fishing season always fills me with excitement akin to the excitement I felt at the prospect the Sunday School Trip in those bygone days.
I always ensure I have completed the necessary paperwork well beforehand and also that have a valid licence in my pocket.
In recent years I have taken advantage of the excellent service of the Environment Agency by having a direct debit scheme which takes out the necessity of travelling to the post office.
I honestly regret the day the EA moved licence selling away from the local tackle shop.
There is nothing particularly exciting in a post office and although the EA has probably gained a better accounting system, the anglers have lost much, much, more.
The tackle shop was the centre of the community in many a village. Catch statistics were far more accurate there than the current published figures.
I also believe that poaching prevention has lost an important grapevine with the withdrawing of permits' selling in tackle shops.
Anyone going out fishing without a licence is a fool as the catch statistics of the EA bailiffs is pretty impressive and the courts are at last hitting the culprits hard. The fines today average around pounds 100, about five times the cost of a licence - poor financial management in my book. …