That's the bad news but the better news is that it will not last forever and our fishing WILL return to normal eventually. This is more than can be said for some sectors of the farming industry who have lost everything. The paramount news is that in unaffected areas, for example the Northern Highlands of Scotland, trout fishing is more or less going on as normal. There are some disinfective measures in place which I am sure you will respect - we are the lucky ones and we want to keep it that way - but other than these its business as usual. All we ask is that you keep yourself up to date on the availability of fishing and check with fishing permit providers before you go

May is perhaps THE best month for taking up the challenge of our bigger wild trout. It's now that the sun takes a warming grip on our stillwaters, in turn bringing about the first major daphnia blooms of the season. For such a tiny, nay minute, species, daphnia have the most amazing effect on trout. Fish busily munch their way through tons of the stuff in May, swimming along like basking sharks, mouths akimbo. When it comes to inspiring trout to feed, daphnia can be just as good as the first mayfly or sedge hatches. Abundance is definitely the key and the tiny invertebrates stir up the fish no end.

I always believe that in May you have the chance of hooking a really big trout by catching him off guard as he gulps obsessively on daphnia. And there is no need for great distance casting athleticism either. Almost invariably the larger trout are caught well inshore in some cases only yards from the bank. Having overwintered, the fish are still close in and will have pocketed themselves around a convenient source of food and safety. The arrival of daphnia adds to their reluctance to leave the shallows and bank fishing is normally all that is required to catch them. You should linger around weed beds, rocky outcrops, reefs, burn mouths, overhanging banks and bushes, islands and skerries - for all these places normally harbour fish.

Concentrate your efforts in the shallow (warmer) water rather than casting a long line into the wide blue yonder. Distance casting in May often serves only to 'line' trout and put them down. If fishing a deep loch I will use a floating or intermediate line together with a team of two flies. More often than not it's a bushy fly like the Soldier Palmer, Golden Olive Bumble, Zulu or Bibio on the top dropper and a fly with 'flash' such as the Butcher series, Silver Invicta or the Dunkeld on the point. One or two flies is normally quite sufficient for May loch style fishing and make sure droppers are well spaced (approx 6ft) so as to look unrelated.

During this month, waters which previously have been only sporadically `on song' suddenly erupt with fish life as trout enjoy the daphnia abundance. However it's not always extremely obvious what's happening as the principal activity takes place sub surface but have faith, action is there all right! Additional wet flies like the Black Ke He, Kate McLaren, Claret Bumble and Hares Ear Nymph (size 10`s) will all produce fish on floating lines; but if you want real excitement fish a dry fly like a Dry Greenwell or an Adams on the top dropper with a wet on the point. This will often bringing in the largest fish if the day.

Apart from the spark of daphnia the trout's menu further ignites in May to include insects like the cow dung fly, hawthorn fly, mayfly and the more prolific olive and sedge hatches. Around waters in agricultural settings, hatches of the cow dung (a very underrated fly perhaps because of its unsavoury origins!) are probably the most influential in bringing fish on the take. Those Golden Olive Bumbles work wonders during May, especially at cow dung time, but do bear in mind the daphnia factor and that trying to exactly match the hatch of any emerging insect is not always necessary.

Remember, wild trout remain opportunistic feeders and will have a go at anything which does not seem a threat and appears before them in considerable number. Size is not critical. On the one hand they will take daphnia and on the other they will at this time of the year happily engulf small frogs. The frog breeding season is in late April/ early May and trout of not much bigger than a pound will happily consume an unfortunate frog or two as an excellent protein supplement to their diet. I have often caught fish full of frog bones at this time of year whilst thinking I was succeeding in delicately matching a hatch, so do not get too carried away with exact representations!

The only real let down with May fishing can be the weather. Conditions during this month are volatile to say the least with very cold slicing winds, showers of sleet one minute and hard brassy hot sunshine the next. However remember the daphnia. Those trout will definitely be feeding somewhere. Arm yourself with floating line, long loch rod and traditional patterns, think about fishing dry fly as much as wet (even when it appears freezing) and to be safe bring the neoprene and the sun tan lotion, for you never know what can happen next