Creating possibilities

Creating possibilities

Viking Lars | Saturday, 27 February 2021

Not every river is as easy to walk as a well groomed Southern English chalkstream. I’ll venture a guess that most are more difficult. A lot of rivers are hard, if not impossible to wade as well. Depth, soft bottom, slippery rocks - even weed can be a problem. And even approaching some rivers can be a problem with boggy, marshy meadows surrounding the it.

For most this isn’t a big problem. Most of us are experienced in navigating these obstacles and even overcoming them when we fall in. I’ve been up to my hips in mud several times and that can be a bit unnerving since it’s really hard to get out. I’ve also marked a shinbone once or twice on sharp rocks in fast rivers, I’ve slipped on rocks along the coast etc. Just bring a wading staff - just do it! The best ones are strong, light weight, they fold into a nice sleeve you can hang on the vest, belt, pack - just make sure you can get to it when you need it.

But that’s not the essence of this FP - well, part of it. Because take into account all of the above and then add a disability. Having to use a cane, crotches, maybe having a prosthetic limb or even having to use (or worse, being confined to) a wheel chair and you’re basically unable to approach most rivers, lakes and streams.

On a lake, a boat might be a solution for some and a really good one, but it’s much more difficult along rivers and streams. I took a long walk by a river close to work the other day, discovering water that I’ve only ever fished once or twice and taking note that it’s actually very interesting water. But I was also very pleased to see two, large platforms built partially into the rivers.

One had access for wheel chairs, one was accessed via a short flight of stairs. These platforms provide an opportunity for people with any kind of disability to fish the river and I was quite pleased to see this. I’ve seen in a few other rivers around, but it’s not that common and I sincerely hope it spreads. I think it’s of great importance that as many as possible get opportunity to enjoy fishing. Both platforms had a bench set, so other people (you know, those “others” that don’t fish…) can enjoy the river too. I spotted a king fisher twice and who doesn’t enjoy that little, blue lightning?

Many put & takes are easily accessible, at least in Denmark and that’s is great, but I like the thought that even wild fisheries are available to all - even if a platform of course means restrictions.

I hope this becomes more common in Denmark and that it’s also (or will be) common in the rest of the world. Nature and rivers need more fiends.

Have a great weekend!
Lars

PoD: The large platform by River Varde. It’s a bleak day in February, but it was still a nice walk along the river, and in fact I’m sure that the first big, chrome spring salmon are already in the river. And while I didn’t see any of those unicorns, I saw a king fisher, and that’s just as good - at least this early.