I've been lucky really as my living quarters are above my garage area and as a consequence I've not had any water in my house. Yes it's been inconvenient as I've needed waders to get out of my home but spare a thought for those poor soles that have had their homes flooded throughout. Many of my neighbours have had to scrap most of their downstairs furniture and possessions. Indeed as I write the clean up operation is underway and there are skipfulls of flood damaged items like three piece suites, fridges, stereo systems, cookers and the like all destined for the scrap heap.

The time really has come to remove the river close season altogether in my opinion. The usual three month lay off is being extended every year with high water levels and on the Severn this year we'll be lucky if we get six months fishing out of the whole year and that includes sessions when the water is still higher than we'd like.

A lot of anglers have voted in favour of keeping a close season. Various reasons have been put forward but very few, if any in my opinion, are justified. If anglers want a break then fine. If water owners want to close certain sections at certain times then fine again. All I know is that there are a lot of anglers being robbed of a chance of river sport on rivers like the Severn and until the rules are changed it will get worse.

Consider the amount of day ticket revenue currently being lost each year. A lot of clubs will end up not being able to pay rent to water owners and in turn give up the waters. A lot of anglers have already turned their backs on our rivers. Unless we see changes in our outdated laws more will follow and we'll end up with a nation of anglers on carp lakes. That will be a sad day but it's one I can see coming.

No matches to report on for yours truly this week, as I'm midway through our company trade shows at present. We've had a great response from retailers to our new 2001 products and I'll tell you all about what's available in the shops from January next week. Star of the show has been the new M.A.P. Matchtek pole. I've spent a lot of time developing this with Leeda and judging by orders so far we will need to reassess our build programme as we are going to run out of all initial stocks. Makes all the hard work worthwhile though!