Not so much a blog this time as practically an entire magazine’s worth of ramblings. This is the longest blog I’ve ever written but you’ve got to admit, says he smugly, it’s a bloody good read – and it’s free! If anything’s out of date already I do apologise but it was written a couple of weeks ago before I disappeared off on my latest one-man carbon footprint crusade. If you count somewhere like St Lucia as a country then I’m now up to 17 countries since February…!
Anyway, I’m back and haven’t you been busy in my absence, posting all manner of comments and snipes at each other. Look, all I ask is you don’t make your individual spats with each other too personal or I’ll simply have to remove the comment facility and I really don’t want to do that. So, back to the update. Getting twitchy yet? Ready for the off? All eager for the ‘glorious’ 16th?
When I was younger the 1st of June was a very special day. It was the day when the fishing season began here in Yorkshire. We had what was called ‘the stolen fortnight’. Mind you, there was no closed season fishing on stillwaters back then. They remained shut for 93 days. Well, 93 days plus the most of November, December, January, February and the first half of March because pikers apart, very few people ventured out in the winter at all.
Two things changed that, the creation of proper winter clothing and the birth of the Angling Times Winter Leagues. But I digress. Let’s roll forward to June 1st again. June 1st wasn’t exactly the day that the rivers opened up to angling, it was the day when river anglers were allowed to use keepnets again. You see, we were allowed to fish the rivers from March 28th (or some similar date, can’t remember exactly) onwards under the guise of any method trout fishing.
That’s right we could run a stick float through or cast out a leger using maggots for bait with total impunity, catching chub, dace, barbel, roach and anything else that swam, and so we did. We didn’t actually catch many trout, in fact we seldom caught trout if truth be told, but we could fish for them.
All that ended when the National closed seasons were re-aligned. But what do I think about it now? Were we so bad? Did we damage fish stocks? Did we cause havoc in the countryside?
Any havoc we caused was done on June 16th and the days following because this is when ‘savvy’ anglers would fish the gravels below Boroughbridge and Asenby, below the weir at Newby Hall and countless other similar hot spots where fish had gathered to spawn or to clean-off afterwards and cram hundred pound plus bags of chub and barbel into keepnets. And these were the days before knotless mesh, remember.
PC Gone Mad
It goes back to what I said in the last blog about this emotive subject. It’s not the concept of a closed season that’s wrong, it’s the implementation and structure of it. Show me a man who thinks it is immoral or unjust or simply not politically correct to fish for chub and barbel on 15th March and I’ll show you an idiot who should not be allowed a say on the matter because he is not prepared to accept plain facts and truth.
Which brings me round to my recent activities on the riverbank. I’ve been out exploring some of the tiny rivers and streams that abound in these parts and if I were granted another lifetime I doubt I could thoroughly explore them all. You see, it’s no good having a brisk walk along a bit of river, sky-lining everything in sight, and then deciding you know all about its secrets. Nor will you find many fish in the areas they’ll be inhabiting in a couple of months time.
What you can get a handle on, as the fish shoal up ready for spawning, is an idea of the population, sizes, numbers, species and so on. And boy, will you have your eyes opened occasionally.
Because I’ve been going a bit ‘off-piste’ I’m not exactly hoping to find what many regard today as specimens. If I can find a 5lb barbel or a 3lb chub in a stream that I can virtually jump across, that’s a right result in my book. Far more worthy than a Trent double, that’s for sure.
Well, a hot day spent tramping several small rivulets with Matt Brown revealed interesting fish populations, providing you weren’t hoping to see anything between 3oz and 2lb in weight. We saw smatterings of fingerlings and minnows and we saw plenty of fish of 2lb upwards but practically nothing in between.
The streams were low and crystal clear, offering excellent visibility and I’m pretty much convinced there’s a serious lack of intermediate fish. The dearth of roach and dace was a great concern. We found chub and barbel congregating in shallow streamy water making half-hearted attempts to spawn but if we’re being completely honest it was more a case of chasing and practising. The real orgy will happen in a few days time, providing the temperatures hold up, but it was rather disconcerting to see canoeists paddling through and over the chosen spawning grounds scattering all before them.
Sadly we witnessed this on two different streams.
Canoeists have been active on my local River Dearne, too, in the past week. Surely the Angling Trust should be opening up some kind of dialogue with the British Canoe Union because ploughing through the spawning grounds is the kind of thing only a moron would do. Perhaps they’re simply ignorant or care nothing for the consequences of their actions. I doubt very much they had the landowners’ permission to be on these waters (careful there – neither had we!) but the sooner canoes are licensed and have to display an easily visible registration number so that miscreants can be reported the better.
But what about us being on the bank, is that so wrong, too?
James B Earley sums it up nicely.
Alone I sit by the fishing hole.
Didn’t bring, didn’t need no fishing pole.
Just want to catch a breath of air,
And reconcile, distraught, despair.
For in my slumber, though wide awake,
Passion’s pride fueled my mistake.
And now, so alone am I by the fishing hole,
Didn’t bring, didn’t need no fishing pole.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer an alternative view on anglers’ closed season activities you might take a look here. But please, don’t go there if you’re easily offended.
It made me smile, anyway.
And If You Can’t Wait For The Inglorious 16th…
…you can always go to Europe and fish. Here’s Ade Kidell fishing with Frans Vogels, a customer of ours, in Holland. Frans’ web site features a number of our Barbel Days and Ways images.
Kind of like the Trent with knobs on – oh that’s right, it already has some of those!
Which reminds me. I really should take up Nico’s invitation…
Matt and I walked a long way along the tiniest stream which was screaming out for a nice stock of wild trout. Mostly it was less than 2 feet deep, paved with ranunculus sprouting from a hard packed clean gravel bottom and at a pinch I reckon I could damn near jump it. In the first half mile we didn’t see a single fish of consequence. It was as if it was devoid of life and then I spotted what I was looking for, a coral pink triangle.
“Look down here!”, said Matt, pointing 5 yards downstream to an area I couldn’t see for vegetation, “There are two more..”
Two rapidly became five, and then six, plus a couple of chub. Yet nowhere else in the entire length of river did we spot a single sign of a fish. It was weird. The biggest barbel we could see may have gone 4lb, though if you were to catch it a shock could be on the cards. It wouldn’t surprise me if it went 6lb on the bank, but you can never be sure. Crystal clear water can be so deceiving.
Genuine virgins of any kind are rare creatures in these parts but there’s nothing quite so certain that these fish have never seen a hook before. I might introduce one of them to my camera in a few weeks time. Just the one, mind, and then they will be left alone to get on with their peaceful, idylic lives.
On another stream we discovered some quality chub. I put them at 3lb, Matt disagreed and reckoned they were at least a pound bigger, if not more. And then I spotted a barbel under the weed adjacent. It was a good six inches longer than the chub – at least. Then I spotted another in a nearby depression. Well, I say I spotted it, I saw a forked tail sticking out as the weeds wafted sideways. These were definitely good fish but it showed just how well camouflaged a barbel is, even from less than 10 feet away.
One species that was showing in abundance were bream, even in the shallowest water. Indeed they could be found in water that barely covered their backs. It was interesting to notice how these river bream behaved differently to their stillwater cousins in an adjacent pit, despite the river and pit being joined through a culvert. The bream in the pit were really getting it on with the old sexy dancing!
I had hoped to discover some big carp in the pit but no such luck. The only carp we saw were in the river and they were not of a size I’d get out of bed for in a hurry. Saying that, should I decide to venture down here for a breaming session they’d offer great excitement on light quivertip tactics. I might even do that.
I shall definitely be contacting the lake owner to see if I can gain permission to have a day on the bream. They ain’t monsters, perhaps running 3 to 5lb, but they’d be great sport providing you caught them in a feeding mood.
And of course we were able to tempt a few chub onto the surface for our free offerings of crust. Chub are voracious surface feeders, if lacking in elegance and can be caught quite easily when they’re in the mood.
But beyond the fish themselves, the most interesting discoveries were the deep holes created beneath overhanging bushes. The river (or stream, if you like) would run in a long glide that you could stride across easily in waders and then suddenly there would be a black hole under a canopy of vegetation. Very interesting!
A Carpy Interlude
You might be wondering why we weren’t fishing on such a gorgeous day. Well, to tell the truth I’d been out the previous day to Alderfen Fisheries for a dabble on the carp lake. Friday’s never a good day because the weekend campers arrive from lunchtime onwards and they all like to have a walk round the lake before selecting a pitch for the weekend. All the magazine experts tell them to do this but what it achieves on a small water is to announce their arrival as they take turns to skyline every fish in the lake.
The Dave Mason, “I see no ships!” analogy couldn’t be more apt as they stand there on every promontory, peering out over the water, a cupped hand shading their eyes, looking for ships, err, sorry, I mean carp…
I’d gone there with one rod but most of the anglers who were fishing before I arrived were sunbathing. On days like this carp are simply suckers for a floater, aren’t they? Well, they are, if they aren’t hell bent on having sex with anything that moves faster than walking pace, ripping up reed beds as they go. No, it proved a far harder day than I was expecting but you’ll hear no complaints from me.
I turned up at 10.00am and joined fishery owner, Dave Walker, for a coffee. Then I had a creep round the lake with nothing but a bag of bait and a catapult. A bit of stealth and care will get you within feet of unsuspecting fish and using what bit of ripple and drift to put free offerings near them takes a little patience but it sure as hell doesn’t spook them.
By the time I’d teased three or four groups of fish into feeding it was almost lunchtime and I still hadn’t tied on a hook. But I was having fan and that’s what matters. The fish here aren’t huge but that’s not an issue.
So I went and fetched my rod and a net. I’d settled in to a spit between two adjoining bays. “Do me a favour,” Asked Big Dave, “Don’t fish between swims as it encourages others to do it and they’ll bash the reeds down. Stick to the proper pegs, will you?” And of course I was quite happy to do so.
Another half an hour spent feeding had two different groups taking mixers, albeit cautiously. Unfortunately the marauding groups of spawners would come racing through the swims at regular intervals and causing great confusion as my fish were tempted to join in the chase.
It soon became apparent that I was pretty rusty on the old floaters game and I missed a couple of easy chances. I was still fuming when an angler came walking round the lake and stopped for a chat. Turned out it was Sean Meagan who has contributed numerous barbel articles to the Fishing Magic web site but I’m seldom the chattiest guy in the world when my head’s in floater mode. There are some things that demand your undivided attention, especially when you’ve just missed your first two chances.
Anyway, Sean decided to fish on the opposite side of the bay which was quite fortuitous because he’s hardly got set up when I struck into my first fish, a spirited common. Sean nipped round and did the honours with the pictures – thanks mate!
After that I started to enjoy a little more success, at least in the striking department, but I still managed to drop three fish off before landing another two.
With teatime approaching I headed back to the car. This was only ever going to be a short session. An angler who had obviously struggled peered up from his static rods, “Av yer add owt?”
“Err, yes, I’ve had a few.” Says I.
He looked somewhat disappointed to hear that. Not so much jealous as realising he’d just wasted a day, sitting behind static indicators, guarding his legered sweeties…
It’s horses for courses, obviously, but floaters are the key to fantastic fishing on some waters. The downside is you can’t sit behind a bank of rods and expect the fish to come to you. Seek and ye shall find. Seek and destroy is the watchword.
“What, you mean there’s only four in the whole lake?”
“Well I’ve had half of them and lost one on my first go!”
It took me back a few years – well, ten at least. The venue was Tyram Hall and a certain Casper the ghost carp. I’d seen pictures of this fish and really fancied catching it. It was one of four ghosts in the lake and the odds of catching one were not good based on the stocking level.
Anyway, my first ever session on the lake was shared with Brian Skoyles (now he’s a bit of a whizz on the old floaters) and I had two fish that first night. And guess who had a ghostie, on cue? That’s right, lucky old Bob.
I never did get a chance with Casper but I did photograph it for someone else – grrr….
Apparently the old girl is still around and is in the mid-thirties. Maybe I’ll wait until she makes the big four-oh before I venture back for a dabble.
Dream on, Bob!
Angling Can Be A Risky Business
Whenever I set off on an over-nighter Sue will ask, “Are you sure you’ll be okay? Is it safe where you’re going?”
I always reassure her that everything will be okay, but how safe are we when we fish, especially when we night fish alone?
I’ve slept out in a desert, on the side of a mountain, in a jungle and on several occasions I’ve fished in the presence of an armed guard. I’ve woken to find leopard prints not 20 yards from my tent, heard wild boar that were just as close and then there’s the hippos and crocodiles in Africa. I’ve cowered with our guides as a bunch of marauding wild elephants created mayhem in the bush close to camp but the only place I’ve ever seriously felt genuinely concerned for my own safety was on one occasion on the banks of the River Trent and that was in broad daylight.
A tattooed skinhead came very close to having a heavy screw-tipped bankstick wrapped round his head that day. I was just hoping I could get in a really good first shot and that the sound of a crunching skull would give his two mates second thoughts…
Fortunately incidents like this are all too rare. And if you’re wondering whether I would have actually followed through, don’t waste your time. There are times when you have little choice and backing down isn’t an option.
Fortunately my opponent realised this.
Generally speaking I’ll fish anywhere at night and not give a second thought for my safety, and why should I? Well, there have been incidents where anglers have been attacked, mostly by other anglers it has to be said, and by comparison the saboteurs are pussies.
A nasty one occurred quite recently when an anglers’ bivvy was set alight when he was fast asleep inside it. A match angler was attacked by travellers on the River Cam. Then there was the guy who was going about his authorised cormorant shoot who was attacked, presumably by a birder. A trawl round Google reveals quite a few similar incidents.
I don’t think it’s going to change my habits but it does make you think, eh?
Well Done Blackpool
Hats off to the Tangerines who are trading trips to Plymouth and Peterborough for away days at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the Emirates. Talk about living the dream.
It’s only a few weeks since Doncaster played at Blackpool and a win would have put us in the pound seats for the last play-off place, not them. You might argue that it could have gone either way but blow that. Some of us are happy enough with where we are today and a season in the Premiership could have been a huge risk to our stability.
It will be interesting to see how things pan out at Bloomfield Road. For a start the race is now on to build a new stand and make it a four-sided ground. Currently the away end houses just 1300 fans. Not exactly a lot when Wigan, Blackburn or Bolton visit the seaside but can you imagine the problems when they play a Manchester or Merseyside team?
A smart move might be to hang on to the existing squad and sign no-one. A whole season of up-against-the-odds cup ties every single week with sadly but one inevitable outcome. But relegation and 90 million quid in the bank isn’t to be sniffed at. The players would be a whole lot more experienced come the following May, that’s for sure and the club would have received enough money in revenew and parachute payments to secure it for years to come.
Let’s be honest, Blackpool started out 2009/10 as favourites for relegation and who on earth are they going to be able to sign this summer? The average crowd this season was 8,611 and the maximum capacity is just 9,491 (according to Football365.com). Strikes me they won’t be in the race for James Milner anytime soon but you can still expect a queue of agents wanting to see Ian Holloway and the subsequent arrival of several journeymen on ridiculous wages.
On the other hand he could gamble on a number of up-and-coming prospects from the lower divisions which by comparison would come relatively cheap and stand him in good stead for the following season. It’s a fascinating conundrum to face as Holloway gets to play Fantasy Football Manager in real life.
I just hope they don’t gamble everything on maintaining their newly acquired Premier League place. Others have tried it before and found it to be something of a poisoned chalice. The list includes teams like Bradford, Barnsley, Oxford, Luton, Leicester, Leeds, Charlton, Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottm Forest and Derby County and all have sad stories to tell.
It could be you!
Err, no thanks, can I get back to you on that later?
Just a thought. Didn’t Leeds boss Simon Grayson walk out on Blackpool a year or so ago to further his career with a BIG club?
Cover Star And Associated Rubbish
There, I’ve gone and done it again! Oh well, if you don’t blow your own trumpet, sometimes nobody else will.
I love the way Barbel Fishing World sets itself up as the focal point for all the really experienced barbel anglers yet it studiously goes out of its way to ignore the best barbel DVDs ever made (I do realise, by the way, that my comment may involve a little poetic license – but please be my guest – feel free to discuss…).
However, if you’re still consumed by the ‘best headtorch’ debate, I will understand…
I note there’s a thread on BFW urging anglers not to pre-bait rivers in the run-up to the start of the season. Isn’t this the site that recently ran a thread (instigated by you know who) about ‘piling it in’. And didn’t all the experts rally round and say they barely use a couple of kilos of bait in a whole season?
So what’s the problem?
I’ll tell you. Right now, barbel are shoaling on the gravels to spawn – see pictures above for a clue – now do you closed season defenders propose to throw bait at them on the gravels and do you then intend to fish there on opening day? Because I cannot imagine anything quite so ridiculous.
On the other hand, if you’re going to bait up the areas which produced last autumn you’re wasting your time, money and effort. They clearly are busy elsewhere doing the old jiggy-jiggy routine.
Ah, but is anyone seriously concerned? Or is this just a case of trying to appear holier than the next man? And does it apply to all rivers? For instance, how many kilos of bait would you have to ‘pile’ in the Trent, The Wye or the Severn to have any impact on the chances of hundreds of anglers who’ll be out there on opening day thrashing the water to foam in a blaze of ‘Glory, glory it’s the 16th’?
And probably catching very little, either – but what a great ready-made excuse…
Of course, it wouldn’t be an issue were there no closed season, would there?
I’ll bet that’s ruffled a few feathers! 😉
At least we’re going down well in the low countries. Here’s a review of our DVD on the web site, Barbeel. Click the image and it’ll take you to the site. if you then click on the Google ‘translate’ button at the top of the page (if one comes up on your computer – it does on my operating system – Vista) you’ll be able to read the review in a funny kind of English.
If You Missed St Patrick’s Day…
It’s frightening how time flies when you start thinking back but an email arrived out of the blue the other day from Tony Davies Patrick. I first met Tony in Canada on the St Lawrence River around 15 years ago. What a trip that was! I’d flown over with Chris Ball, carp historian, racconteur and all-round good fun guy. We joined up with Tony and Bernie Haines for a week of madcap carping in which we paired off as teams and ran competitions to see who could catch the biggest, the smallest, the longest, shortest, most, different species, you name it. The list of categories was endless and flexible.
Then our paths went in different directions and I didn’t see him again until 2003 at a Yorkshire Carp Study Group meeting where he gave a slide show. It was a decent night based on the fact that I didn’t arrive home until the following morning, and then only for long enough to pick up my tackle and head off down to the Idle for a bit of roach fishing.
Anyway, Tony’s a man who’s been there and done it, big style, almost everywhere and anywhere in the world. I smile when I see folk proudly showing off comizo barbel that would barely fit in my deep fat frier. Tony was catching them to over 30lb ten years ago. He’s also one of the finest photographers and videographers around. Check out his site and have a look at some of the stuff he’s done.
It Ain’t Over Till Its Over Folks
Football fans tickle me. They complain endlessly about ticketing arrangements, scrabble to get them, even paying over the odds, yet three-quarters of the way through games they’re getting itchy feet and readying to leave.
I watched England beat Mexico the other night; Mexico doing a passable immitation of Donny Rovers – 66% of the possession, most completed passes, most shots on goal, corners, did all the entertaining and then got caught with sucker punches and a rather dodgy goal.
Remember all that fuss about Terri Henry? And Maradonna? What about Peter Crouch then? Not only did it go in off his arm but he was offside as well!
As the clock ticked away I couldn’t help but notice the folk on the far side heading up the steps towards the exit. It started around 75 minutes in and I thought they were perhaps nipping out for a pee or something (the Cockney excuse for ‘beer’ goes straight through me and lager’s worse!) but no, they were definitely leaving because no-one ever came back.
By 80 minutes it was a stream of folk and by 85 they were actually queing to get up the steps. At full time the stadium was half empty.
Do you remember that night when Manchester United beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final? They were losing at full time only for Bayern to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory during ‘Fergie Time’.
I wonder, how many who claim, ‘I was there!’ had actually left the stadium and were on the bus back to their hotel when it happened? A lot more than own up to it, I’ll gamble.
Anyway, who cares? Well, I do actually because it gives me an opportunity to throw in a bit of music by one of the nicest musicians I’ve ever met, that son of Mansfield, Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Alvin Lee. He’s ‘Goin’ Home…’ too.
Barbel Hunters Forum
A pingback alerted me to a barbel forum that I didn’t realise existed this week, Barbel Hunters. Could do with a few more posters mind, but then again, it would appear that all fishing forums seem to be on the wane lately. Is it just malaise after the bitter winter, the closed season, or just folk giving up on those who know everything and insist they’re right all the time?
Hang on, isn’t that me?!!!!
Classic Deja Vu Moment
I had to take Sue to the hospital recently for a check-up. One of those scares you get now and then but thankfully everything was clear – nothing to worry about, fortunately. Some ain’t so lucky, so it was a pretty nervous Bob who hung around in the waiting area for what seemed like a couple of hours. Doesn’t help when you’ve been here before…
Anyway, I killed time leafing through the magazine rack. Saga’s a favourite in these places, as is the RSPB Magazine, but joy of joys I came across an issue of Classic Rock magazine. The cover strap announced ‘200 Best Albums of All Time’. Hmmm, this’ll be interesting – and so it was.
As ever the memories come flooding back and the tunes fill your head. All the old favourites were in, Pet Sounds, Sargeant Pepper and so on. What I found odd was that there was no Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters or even Coldplay. And then the penny dropped.
Turning to the cover I saw the date was 1996. I hate to sound like a bad comedian telling ancient jokes but I swear this is true. The magazine in the waiting room was 14 years old.
World Cup Fishing Planner
Scotland fans look away now! For those who are keen on the beautiful game here are the dates for your diary if you’re hoping to follow England all the way through to the final. By the way we are in Group C and two teams go through to the next round:
Sat 12th June: Group C – England vs USA (19.30 kick-off)
Fri 18th June: Group C – England vs Algeria (19.30 kick-off)
Wed 23rd June: Group C – England vs Slovenia (19.30 kick-off)
Not much to get excited about there, eh? Which means it’ll be a disaster if we don’t get through.
England should win the group easily and go through to the round of 16. If so we play again on Saturday 26th June at 19.30.
If we finish runners-up England will play on Sunday 27th at 15.00.
After the group of 16 things start to get tasty as we’ll no doubt be facing the prospect of a proper football team, maybe one of the 7 that are currently ranked higher than England. What do FIFA know, eh?
This will be the quarter finals and they’re played on 2nd and 3rd July.
The semi-finals take place on Tuesday and Wednesday 6th and 7th July with the final itself being held on Sunday 11th July (all games kick-off at 19.30).
I’ll ignore the third and fourth place play-off game on the 10th as this is for LOSERS only!
So you can now see that I still can’t plan my June fishing trips with any certainty, can I? Perhaps it will be a blessing if we crash and burn. The thing is I can take glorious failure. I can handle triumph. What I don’t want is lots of promise and raised expectations followed by huff, puff and miserable excuses. First round or final – take your pick Fabio, what’s it going to be?
And who’ll be the first MP to claim it was all achieved under a Con-Dem Government? What’s the betting our new leaders will be there to bask in the glory when we reach the latter stages? All at our expense, of course.
For the record, England will definitely NOT be playing on the following dates:
June 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30.
July: 1, 4, 5, 8, 9.
So you can still go fishing. However, some of the good teams will be!
The only days that are completely free of competitive games are Weds 30th June plus the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th and 9th July. No excuse at all for not fishing on those days, is there?
Steve Pope’s latest blog features a picture of his garden thermometer (right). I blinked when I saw it, and then rushed to the window to see if I was the victim of some wicked prank. Had he nicked mine? Stranger angling wind-ups have been perpetrated in the past, but no, mine was still there, smiling back at me from the front of the summer house.
Summer house! – how the other half live, eh?
I ask you, does the man copy everything I do?
What is clear though is that it definitely must be grim up north because the temperature reading on mine (left) was miles lower than his. Mind you, anglers do have a nasty habit of exaggerating things, especially those southerners, don’t you think?
Links To Other Sites
So far I’ve refrained from devoting a space on this site to links, preferring to highlight them in my blog, but numerous sites have been in touch recently asking if I’d be kind enough to swap links and, well, let’s just say that’s work in progress and shortly I’ll be adding a tab at the top of the browser so you can find other good sites.
If you happen to be the owner of an interesting web site, not necessarily an angling site, feel free to contact me through the normal site channels rather than through comments beneath this post. Thanks.
Better Than Christmas?
Oh well, that brings me to the end of another blog. It may be a little while before I get enough time to do justice to another one, what with the World Cup and the rivers open so can I wish all regular readers the best of luck for the coming river season. I suspect a very interesting one lies ahead.
Whatever you do, try and enjoy it. It may never be better than this in the rest of your lifetime. Smell the flowers, bathe in the sunshine and laugh at the rain. There is no such thing as a bad days fishing, some are just better than others, that’s all.
PS: Almost Forgot…
Bet you thought I’d run out of Bob T-shirts, didn’t you?
No such luck yet!
This one says it all. Steve Pope filled half a page in the Angling Times this week and another few paragraphs in his blog with a message to angling’s moaners (I think he was pointing the finger at forum posters…). Far too verbose, Steve, I can sum it up in 13 letters.
To those who’ve moaned and whittered away the closed season by blathering on about nothing but their own importance on the fishing forums, the season is about to open, so this is for you…
I’d almost decided to wrap this blog and press the publish button but inspiration can come from anywhere and in this case it was the fabulous This Is Fly web site, a web based angling magazine that is just so hip! Honestly, check it out and if you’re a rock fan, go to page 12 where you’ll find the latest mix tape containing tracks by Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, Steve Miller Band, 38 Special, Ram Jam and the Outlaws. I love the Outlaws track and there’s a great article about goliath tiger fish, too. It’s already up to issue 22 and one day, when I get a chance I’ll have trawl through the back issues. Kind of a job for next winter, I reckon, but surely worth the effort.
And then it struck me, if TIF is out then so must be issue 11 of Catch magazine. Now Catch is the daddy of all web based fishing magazines, rammed full of articles and films plus some of the most spectacular photography you’ll find anywhere. True blow-away stuff and as I flicked through the pages, what do I find but an article about taming mahseer on the fly in Inda. Having done a bit of that I can tell you it’s fly fishing in the extreme. But then, I’ve yet to fish for bones on the flats.
Just so much to do and so little time.
One thing’s certain, if this site doesn’t inspire you I’ve some terrible news I must break to you, you’re actually dead.
Sometimes I’m just too good to you lot!
Unfortunately (for you) I now need to go away and fish for a while.
…err, sorry, not quite gone yet.
Go on then. Do you remember I mentioned the rather unfortunate spelling error in the Barbel Society Conference programme? Well check out the Collingham and District web site – they’ve actually got a link to the BARBELL Society web site!
I know barbel are pretty thick but some of these spellings are begining to make them look intelligent. It’s barbel folks, is that okay? B – A – R – B – E – L…. BARBEL. Keep practising and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
Oh the heck with it, just before you go, here’s a fishing video to make you giggle…
Right, that’s it folks, Elvis has finally left the building.