We are sorry to bring you the sad news of the death of Dr Derek Mills, who died on the 29th of January, 2018. Derek was involved with salmon research from 1953 and was in charge of the Salmon Research Laboratory at Contin. He then became a senior lecturer and fellow in the Institute of Ecology and Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh. During his thirty years at the University he held a number of extra-mural appointments and served as consultant biologist to the Salmon & Trout Association. He set up the Scottish branch of the Institute of Fisheries Management and was its first chairman. He was a committee member of the Tweed River Purification Board and a trustee of the Tweed Foundation and Cromarty Firth Fisheries Trust, as well as being a River Tweed Commissioner. He served on the honorary Scientific Advisory Panel of the Atlantic Salmon Trust for over thirty years and was its chairman for ten. Derek also wrote many interesting articles on fish and fishing, not least in Waterlog magazine, and wrote two books for the Medlar Press - Saving Scotland's Salmon and Salmon in Trust. Derek passed away peacefully on Monday, January 29, 2018.
We have been exhibiting our books for many years at the British Fly Fair International in Stafford, and this year's event was bigger and better than ever. On the Medlar stand we had the pleasure of officially launching The Blacker Trilogy, with the able assistance of the whole team - Hermann Dietrich-Troeltsch (who was the man behind the project and who spent over twenty years of his life on it!), Andrew Herd (whose extraordinary research and writing skills will be familiar to most Medlar readers), and the incredible Alberto Calzolari, who demonstrated his wonderful tying skills by dressing Blacker salmon flies in the hand! I was completely bamboozled just watching him! Andrew also gave a fascinating illustrated talk on William Blacker and his life and times on both days of the show.
Above: Andrew Herd, Alberto Calzolari and Hermann Dietrich-Troeltsch and (right) Alberto demonstrating his magic . . .
And that was just the Medlar input. There were over 80 other exhibitors this year and a huge selection of fly tying materials. Apart from Alberto, there were over 50 international fly tyers from across the globe, a Fly Tying in Focus Theatre with live demonstrations, and a Fly Fair Forum with thought provoking talks and presentations. And if you needed a bit of help, there was a Fly Tying Clinic for those with queries. All in all, a great start to the new fishing season. The show is always a great place to meet up with old friends, talk about new projects with Medlar authors and get close to the experts. Thanks to Steve Cooper and his team for organising such a great show.
For more details on The Blacker Trilogy click here.