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Fishing post Covid 19 – how to keep it safe

A new and safer way to fish – Post Covid

Slowly we seem to be emerging from one of the worst pandemics in history and following a period of lockdown, we are no doubt all itching to stretch our wings, get into the great outdoors, breathe in the fresh air, and fish in beautiful locations. Fishing in Scotland, seems to be the perfect Staycation, and we have seen a rise in UK originating enquiries for this year.

Covid 19, coronavirus, safe fishing, isolated fishing, H&S procedures, safety
Latest Covid 19 cases June 2020

I’m certain that despite the collective urgency and desire to get out on the water, people will still need reassurance that everything remains safe and risk free. This article outlines the procedures we at Alba have set in place, and hopefully gives guests confidence to book and enjoy a fishing experience with us, stress free.

Firstly let me give you a bit of background. I am something of an obsessive. I’m the guy that uses a bit of loo roll to open the public bathroom door, rather than risk touching a germ ridden surface like that with bare hands. Just before Covid took hold, I went to Stockholm to see Simple Minds and my friend laughed at me for brining 6 pack of Milton anti-bacterial wipes and every time him or I touched a door handle or taxi door, out came the wipes! One of my clients from Hong Kong, a financial wizard and fishing regular, sent me 100 masks, and during Covid, the one or two times I’ve gone out, I’ve been masked and gloved. You might laugh at this, but I have a 4 year old boy at home. My number one priority is to keep him safe.

So the transition to added diligence and hygiene during Covid seemed pretty normal to me.

I want to ensure that when clients come to fish with us post Covid, its a nice relaxing experience, and that they know we are on the ball with keeping it safe!

fishing guide, fly fishing, trout, Scotland, High Five
High Five – We’ll be cutting out these for a while

I began to plan early how we would deal with emerging from Coronavirus and starting to run trips again. It was vital to ensure guests were safe and reassured and equally I need to protect my team.

Most of our Fishing guides have now completed a training course by the World Health Organisation on ” Infection Prevention and Control for Novel Coronavirus (Covid 19)

Covid training, fishing guide, safety, Coronavirus
Our team have all completed this course

I also spoke with one of our advisors and he had recently written additional rules for the local Angling Club, as follows:

EXTRA CORONAVIRUS RULES

These rules are to help ensure that not only you, but also other anglers, gillies and walkers, are protected as far as possible. They will apply to all past and future bookings made through FishPal.

1. Social Distancing. Always keep at least 2 metres away from ALL other people on the river (unless in your own household). In particular do not shake hands with anyone.

2. Do not share cars, boats, huts, tackle, nets, crockery, food etc with anyone else (unless in your own household).

3. No longer expect any ghillie to shake your hand, set up your equipment, make you cups of tea, or drive you round the beat. Do not hand any tip directly to the ghillie. Leave it where it can easily be found.

4. Bring your own food and drink and do not share.

5. Bring your own hand sanitiser and wipes and use regularly during the day, especially if you have to use any WC provided by the fishery (try to avoid if you can). Wash your hands regularly wherever possible.

6. Wear gloves when touching doors, gates, styles, fences or any equipment that is not your own.

In addition you must use your own common sense at all times to reduce the risk of cross infection. If in doubt, don’t do it!

Most of this I agree with, however Ive always been uneasy with the Government directive of 2metres. I mean that’s just over 6ft and if you are 6ft downwind of someone sneezing or coughing, your bang in the firing line.

So that led me to come up with this:

Alba Game Fishing Rules – fishing with Guests Post Covid – 19 (Coronavirus)

  1. When meeting greeting and saying goodbye to guests all handshakes, fist pumps and High fives suspended.
  2. When on the water, maintain a distance of 5 meters – be mindful of wind direction and strength.
  3. All fishing gear, i.e. rod handles, lines and reels, nets, will be cleaned thoroughly prior to the trip and will have not been used prior to your day for a period of minimum 5 days. All this will be done wearing the appropriate PPE, i.e. disposable gloves and face mask.
  4. If on a day involving casting tuition, the instructor will avoid hands-on demonstrations, and instead instruct demonstrate any casting techniques with a second rod which doesn’t leave his hand.
  5. We have suspended delivering fishing lunches until deemed to be safe to do so. Please bring your own food and drinks.
  6. Guests should make their own way to the fishing spot. We will provide each coordinates and in some cases meet in an easy location and you can follow the guide to the fishing hut from there.
  7. Guides will have disposable gloves and face masks at the ready, should they be needed for opening gates etc.
  8. Alba Game fishing has copious supplies of hand sanitiser gel, which complies with the requirements as set out by the World Health Organisation.
  9. Guides will no longer make cups of coffee, tea or drive guests around the beat.
  10. Guests are welcome to tip guides by leaving the tip in a place where the guide can pick it up without close contact.
  11. We will avoid sharing boats and if boats are required to transfer guests to the opposite bank, this will be done one at a time.
  12. Any guests who is unwell, has a fever, or a cough, or has been in contact with anyone in the previous 30 days showing symptoms like that, should refrain from going ahead with the trip. Alba Game Fishing will gladly re-schedule the trip to an alternative date.
  13. Stories, jokes, anecdotes and laughter still permitted – albeit, 5 metres apart
River Tay, Salmon Fishing, Fly Fishing, Spey Casting, Scone Palace, Best Beats, Tactics, Atlantic Salmon, Spin Casting,
The Lower River Tay – plenty of space to isolate

The Best Fishing staycations in Scotland

We have taken the time to select a number of fishing packages which lend themselves to open space, freedom, a chance to relax away from crowds and enjoy stunning scenery and memorable fishing. Please take a look at our new page here.