Photograph by Steve Barnett

Friday, 29 August 2014

2 Willows Old and New

This is still relevant to dry fly fishing.  Willows, particularly Crack Willow, Salix fragilis, is a native to the British Isles and, as such, life around these parts has evolved to take advantage of its bounty.  The result is that many hundreds of species rely on the Willow for food and shelter.  Your faithful blogger also relies on the willow for the extra joy its beauty can bestow on the riverside scene.  One of the lovelier aspects of these willows is the way some of them reach out across the water in the quest for light.  Shaded on the land side, some young willows are forced to grow outwards over the river reaching for the sun.  As they get older they also get heavier and that makes some of them lean over even more making beautiful arches over and by the river. 
An arch in miniature

So heavy it broke under its own weight but it has stayed attached

This one got too heavy, broke off and was carried away during a winter storm
2 Willows Old and New in the one picture
There in the distance is a big, old, dark and heavy willow arch, but look here in the left foreground...  A young willow is already leaning over the river in its quest for sunlight.  A couple of hundred years from now it will likely be just like that big, old, dark and heavy example.  Ready to come down into the river and make it's final contribution to the health of the river, by causing the gravel to be scoured and cleaned thanks to a diverted water flow and so making perfect habitat... Maybe for spawning trout or grayling?

Regular Rod

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