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Montevideo, August 18th 2022 - 08:44 UTC



Hooked on Falklands Fishing. Trout established with Chile's help.

Wednesday, January 3rd 2001 - 20:00 UTC
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Falklands trout fishing, popular with Islanders and tourists alike, owes its origins to Chile. Sixty years ago neither brown trout nor sea trout existed. They were established only in 1940 with a small batch imported from Chile, which later sent 30,000 more as a gift, augmented by another 35,000 imported from Britain. Now it is a thriving pastime, internationally renowned, a mecca for keen anglers, including royalty. The Duke of Edinburgh has enjoyed fishing its rivers.

I previously knew nothing about trout-fishing nor why it is so popular among millions world-wide. I do now, thanks to a new book, published by the Falkland Islands Tourist Board, price £6.99. "Fishing for Falklands Sea Trout" by an international expert, Peter Lapsley, proved a fascinating read for me, a layman for whom it unravelled the mysteries of fly fishing and traced the history of Falklands trout.

One remarkable statistic is that the biggest of 19 sea trout, caught in one "extraordinary day's fishing" by Alison Faulkner in 1992, weighed 22 pounds 12 and a half ounces, two-and- a- half ounces heavier than the United Kingdom record. In the early days, distribution of the imported Chilean and British trout fry was "makeshift.....transported in milk churns, carried in panniers on horseback and in water butts on board the inter- island mail steamer, RMS Fitzroy ".

Peter Lapsley's 45 years' experience of trout fishing, in which he became a nationally qualified instructor and ran a trout fishery in England, has produced many magazine articles and several books including the famous "Fly Fishing with J.R. Hartley". His latest book encapsulates that experience in very readable form, combining valuable fishing advice with an admirable description of the Falkland Islands themselves which he knows well from his several visits and from family connections over many years. His father was the late Air Marshal Sir John Lapsley.

Though primarily a text book on trout fishing, it incorporates a useful mini-guide book on the Falkland Islands themselves -- its geography, climate, culture, maritime and military history, transport, accommodation, and its wildlife. The narrative is enlivened by his love of the Islands: "There is something magical about sitting on a beach surrounded by penguins that show no fear but occasionally peck at your shoelaces out of idle curiosity, about being confronted by an eagle-like striated caracara, one of nature's great show-offs, demanding to have its photograph taken, about sitting on a low cliff with sea lions playing in the sea only yards away... and to watch flightless steamer ducks, kelp geese, crested ducks, oyster catchers and night herons all feeding on a single stretch of shore

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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