Fly Fishing Could Be Costing The NHS

December 18, 1998

(Does the fly matter? The CRACKPOT study in evidence based trout fishing)

Ineffective trout fishing flies may be costing the NHS valuable resources, say a team of researchers from Oxford in this week's issue of the BMJ. In a study conducted on the River Kennet in Berkshire Julian Britton from the John Radcliffe Hospital and colleagues from the Radcliffe Infirmary and Wadham College in Oxford, find that doctors are poor predictors of which fly to use when fishing. They extrapolate this finding and suggest that doctors who fish trout as a hobby may be spending uncessarily lengthy periods of their leisure time on the river rather than reading Department of Health circulars and composing letters of helpful advice to Mr Dobson.

The authors concede that their study may be regarded as nothing more than a fishing expedition as it is not based on an agreed hypothesis and conclude that their findings call for the urgent funding of a definitive, large multiriver trial.


Mr BJ Britton, Consultant Surgeon, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford


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