Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Fisherman's Companion by John Buckland

Down to the South Coast for a couple of days, no fishing, far too cold for me, but I found a wonderful book in one of my favourite old book shops, The Fisherman's Companion by John Buckland. This book was published in 1990 and is truly a joy to behold. Although a book on fly fishing through the ages, I am sure almost every fisherman will find pleasure in reading this book.

As a point of record, the largest salmon ever caught in the United Kingdom, was caught by Miss Georgina W Ballantine on the River Tay, Glendelvine, in Perthshire Scotland, on the 7 October 1922. The fish weighed 64 lb. This record has stood for over 93 years and in my opinion will never be equalled, let alone bettered. 

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Fishing knots

To tie the knot first double 8-12" of line into a loop and pass it through the eye of the hook, lure or swivel. Tie a very loose overhand knot using the doubled loop and the doubled section of line leading back to the fishing rod. Pass the object to be tied through the remaining loop of the overhand knot and slide the loop up onto the line just above the eye of the hook. Moisten the knot to lessen the friction and pull on the tag and standing ends evenly to snug the knot down. Trim the free end of the line to a length of about 3mm.

The Palomar knot

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Not long to wait I hope

Pictured above is a lake belonging to one of the fishing clubs I am privileged to be a member. It truly is a beautiful lake and very well stocked with Carp, Barbel, Tench, Bream and Roach. Although to date, I have yet to catch a Tench at this oasis of calm. This winter has been very mild, but one of the wettest since records have been kept. Consequently, being a fair weather fisherman, I have not made a visit in months. Hopefully with the coming Spring, I will be wetting a line in the near future.

Recently my Wife treated me to another Chris Yates book, Out Of The Blue, which is certainly up to the maestro's very high standard and I recommend it highly. One thing is for sure, enjoyment can be had from fishing, even when away from the lake, river, canal or sea.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Wonderful autumnal day on a great lake.

Out for some R and R today at my clubs lakes, and what a fantastic autumnal day, not a cloud in the sky and some great fishing. The fish below is a Common Carp some call the Common Golden Carp which are actually not that common. The landing net ls a an 18" to give you an idea of the size of the fish. This was the first fish of the day, the last fish I caught was the second largest carp I have ever caught, defiantly double figures, but a minnow compared to what the carp experts catch. I need to get out more especially on days like today.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Giant river perch fishing with Graeme Pullen

I discovered Graeme and his son Mike a few months ago, what a breath of fresh air and what fun these guys are to watch. Graeme loves to clown around and is very self effacing, but make no mistake he is an expert fisherman. Check after all the years he has been fishing, yet still has total enthusiasm and wonder. The two perch he catches are life time best for many, and many never come close to catching a perch of this size, I doubt I ever will, enjoy. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Matt Hayes and Mick Brown one of the best partnerships in fishing film making.

Ever wonder why people fall in love with fishing? This short video clearly demonstrates why. Out in the great outdoors far away from the madding crowd, mobile phones and noise. Matt and Mick have made many great fishing films, this a short extract from a new series in the pipeline. Spring is upon us and time to check the gear out methinks. 

Fisherman's Country from Matt Hayes on Vimeo.

A short video of Orchard Lakes in Hampshire

This is the lake complex I started fishing seriously and have enjoyed many wonderful times. Great fishing, very friendly and knowledgeable staff and every thing you could possible need. A small but well stocked tackle shop and the cafe serves excellent food including very tasty cheeseburgers. This place is an oasis of calm and tranquillity, in a world where the older I get, the less I understand.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Chris Yates book 'How to fish' is on the way.

I'm getting excited, my beloved Wife has bought me a little present. A used hard back copy of the book 'How to fish' by Chris Yates, is on the way to me. I have read this book many times, courtesy of the local Library, but soon I will own this little masterpiece. Many will know Chris is a highly accomplished fisherman, but as a writer, on all things fishing, he has no peers.

Chris can write about a days fishing, where he catches no fish, but can make the read more exciting, than catching a record breaking leviathan. Chris captures the true essence of the sport, the thrill is in the hunt, with the added bonus of a fish sliding over the landing net. The great joy and mystery of fishing, has little to do with catching fish. No-one understands this better than Chris in my opinion.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Passion For Angling

Here we go again, it seems I have been granted another Spring. As said before, I am a fair weather fisherman. Not for me ice forming on the carbon fibre rod and four layers of clothing. Give me the warm sun on my face, and the fragrance of spring wild flowers, ducklings following mum, across a flat calm lake or slowly meandering river. Angling is magic, and you can see the magic, or you can feel the magic, or it will never make sense. It makes sense to me. This to me is magic.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Lake District my favourite place on earth.

Every year, it seems like forever, I travel up to the Lake District with my wife. We absolutely adore the place, come rain or shine, it's paradise on earth to us. As stated before on this blog, I am a fair weather fisherman. That being said, we usually visit the lakes during the summer. I don't know why, but I have never taken any fishing tackle in the past, this summer I intend to rectify that situation.

I am told there is lots of free fishing in the area, and good fishing to be had on some lakes for a very modest fee. Roll on the warm weather. Over the last year or so, my wife has become a dab hand on the landing net, and helps carry my gear, now that is what I call loyalty. What more could a man want, the Lakes, some good fishing and great company. Just add some great grub and some cool beer, I can live with that. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Orchard Lakes paradise on earth for me

"Situated within 56 acres of farmland in the New Forest national park, our well established lakes have grown from strength to strength throughout the years to become one of the most prolific fisheries in the south.

Orchard Lakes has something for everyone as the lakes are stocked with 12 different species of fish over 5 lakes. We offer everything from match fishing, with bags of fish weighing in at over 300lb, to species hunting with large carp, bream and tench to be caught. Please feel free to explore our website and don't hesitate to contact us!"

I only took up fishing around five years ago. I had chucked a line out as a kid, but when I say I took it up, I mean seriously. I played golf for around fifty years, then my hands went south with Dupuytren's contracture, no more golf. I had also played drums since a kid, goodbye drumming. So I took up fishing, there is nothing I like more than being outside on a nice day, and fishing gives me an excuse to be out there.

If you are holidaying in the New Forest and into fishing, I highly recommend this place. Very good facilities, great fishing, good grub, a well stocked tackle shop and most importantly, highly knowledgeable and very friendly staff. If you are a kid or over 60 years of age £7.00 per day, a good day out and great value.

Orchard lakes can be found here. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

My Wife and I are active gongoozlers !

No gongoozlerling is not some deviant sexual practice, or a fad diet. It is a term for people that like watching narrow boat activity on canals and we love it. My fishing club has fishing rights on a stretch of the Grand Union Canal. When I am not fishing we often walk along the canal. It's always on very level ground and the walk suits a couple of old geriatrics like us. Try it sometime, join the gongoozlers, you could do worse.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Fair weather fisherman indeed !

The UK winter is upon us. These days I read about fishing, I get tackle ready for the big day, good grief, I even dream about fishing. But, I am finding too many excuses not to get out on a river or lake. This has got to change. This blog was set up as a sanctuary from the cold hard world, it's rapidly becoming a place of hibernation and a cop-out for making little if any effort. Stand by for some serious action soon, if only with a camera and a hot flask of soup and a hip flask full of whiskey.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Keith Arthur has he lost the plot ?

Let me get one thing straight, I have a huge respect and admiration for Keith Arthur. If I lived my life again, I doubt that I could ever achieve what this man has done in the world of fishing. He is a true star, and highly accomplished. Today (Tuesday the 22nd. of October 2013) Keith is saying keep away from the poor quality junk, that goes under the name of fishing tackle, in the Angling Times. The problem with this story is, the Angling Times is awash with adverts for cheap junk fishing tackle. He concluded the article with "I still use rods and reels more than twenty years old, and that's value" So do I Keith, and they were not made in some sweat shop on the other side of the world. Good gear never come cheap.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

I have to get out more for sure.

After describing myself as a fair weather fisherman, and going through a truly awful winter and spring, the summer has arrived. Record breaking high temperatures, and too hot to go fishing, thems the breaks. Today the weather has cooled down and I spent a wonderful afternoon fishing on one of my clubs lakes. Fishing with luncheon meat and bread for baits, I was targeting carp. The session started slow, but mattered not a jot. The lakes had never looked better, the smell of wild flowers, water lilies in abundance, and dragon flies sunbathing on the end of my rod.

The first fish was a common carp, around 8 to 10lbs in stunning condition, not a mark or blemish I could see. Over the next few hours around half a dozen small carp. A good but nothing exceptional bag, but the day was very memorable. I phoned my wife to tell her my arrival time home, and made one last cast. Within seconds, line was running off the spool, clearly a strong and powerful fish. After a short but hard fight, a personnel best barbel went over the side of the landing net. Around five pounds, no leviathan but my best to-date and in stunning un-marked condition. I have to get out more for sure.

The Barbel    Barbus Barbus

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Spring is here at last !

After what seems like the longest Winter I can remember, Spring has finally arrived. Last Friday 26th of April, I had a short afternoon session, on the match lake at Orchards Farm Fishery in Hampshire. The weather looked changeable, but I took a chance and left my waterproofs in the car, big mistake. My wife dropped me off at the lakes, and went shopping with the car. Before I had a chance to set up a rod, the heavens opened up, not only rain but a hail storm covered me and the gear with ice. Not the best start to an afternoons fishing at one of my favourite places on the South Coast. Fortunately the fishing was better than the weather, half a dozen small Barbel and three Carp around the 3lb mark. That put a smile on my face, but not for long. My Wife was 45 minutes late in picking me up, by which time the rain had returned and soaked me again. Next time we only have one car between us, she will be getting a bus to the shops. I indulge her needs most of the time, but I have my limits !

Another day another trip to reconnoitre the River Gade

 The River Gade on May the first 2013

A Grey Heron hunts for fish on the Gade

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Mitchell fishing reels.

I am the first to admit I am a has been, a relic from the past, a lover of things from a time gone by. These fishing reels are from a time gone by. The original company is long gone. These reels were made decades ago, and they are as reliable and perfect as the day they were made. Made in a time products were made to a standard, rather than a price. Built by craftsmen rather than virtual slaves in a far off country. I use these reels and they have never let me down, when I do not catch fish, It is down to my lack of skill, and fate.

The Mitchell fishing reel museum is here

"This site is dedicated to the millions of men, women and children-at-heart with precious memories of the most beloved fishing reel ever made beginning with The Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel. The positive impact these reels had on our lives by helping to bring families together will live on." Wallace Carney, Website Administrator, Author & Historian

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Fair weather fisherman.

I love fishing, I love being outside in quiet tranquillity, as close as I can get to nature. Due to exceptionally bad weather of late, I have done very little fishing. I’m an optimist by and large and I sense the weather is turning. Spring must be upon us soon and I will return to the water and tempt a fish or two onto my hook. I enjoy planning my trips the night before I set out. Rods, tackle and bait carefully prepared. I make a point of never checking my mail in the morning, most of it is junk mail or electricity bills or the like. One thing is imperative for peace and spiritual healing, never take a mobile phone on a fishing trip. I detest the bloody things at the best of times, they make creative thinking impossible in my opinion.

So, any day now I will be out on my favourite lake, full of hope and expectancy. Fishing can never be predicted, the same goes for the game of golf I played for close on fifty years. Win or catch or lose and fail is not overly important, it’s trying that counts and being there, holding in your mind, that special moment, when time stands still, and you are glad to be alive.