TIME FOR A NEW DIRECTION IN MY ANGLING LIFE!
I’m cutting down on guide days to travel the world and do more fishing of my own
ASTRANGE old week – I wonder where angling is going at times. First was that record carp, and the captor being sent death threats.
I have to say to those responsible please, you aren’t doing yourselves or fishing any favours. Just look on the news, see what’s happening around the world and channel your energy into doing something about it, rather than making such a fuss about one fish!
Then a bloke got upset with me because I said I was going grayling fishing and was looking forward to eating a couple of them.
I have caught a number of large grayling in my time and returned them all.
That was from a river with low stocks of them, but when I am fishing a water with thousands of small grayling and the owners ask me to remove a few I must admit to putting a few in the freezer for a later date with the grill. I see nothing wrong in that – do you?
I had set aside a few days for a filming session with Fishing TV but things hadn’t gone to plan on another project they were working on, so I had to cancel.
To be honest I was glad. What with early mornings on guide days and my own private fishing and other angling commitments I was knackered, to say the least!
Guess what? Over those three days I never held a rod, which has to be some sort of record. Instead I went up the pub, got up late and spent time with Maggie, my wife – and it was delightful. On Sunday we had a family roast and I recharged the old batteries.
On the bank with Ray Cutler and my friend Bill Finch. We were at a stillwater, looking for a few carp.
I am writing a book with Bill, which I have mentioned here before, and without letting too much out the bag let’s just say Bill had his biggest-ever weight of carp and two personal bests on one of the finest fishing days of his life.
Thanks to Ray for helping me to fulfil Bill’s dreams before he becomes too ill to fish.
I look forward to many more such days together.
A guide day with Stephen Kettle, a sculptor who lives near London.
One of the nice things about my job is some of the interesting people I get to take out on the bank. Steve had caught a few barbel before, but hopefully after our day together he will have
learnt a few tricks to put a lot more on the bank. He also caught a personal-best chub of exactly 5lb, still a special fish for the Severn.
Steve showed me some of his work on his website and I felt humbled, for the skill he shows is out of this world.
I’m slowing down on my guiding days next year and will only be doing one a week. The reason? I am getting too old to do four days, and in any case I have too many fish of my own to catch, so if
anyone wants a trip next year get in quick!
It’s been a great time of my life and I have met some really nice people, but nothing stays the same and the next stage will be writing more books and travelling around the world.
There are still a few fish out there with my name on them!
Ray and I were back on the hunt for carp and had another great day, with lots of fish to just below 20lb, all commons. Ray caught his on his favourite frankfurter boilies, while mine fell to the new Nash Cray Key boilies.
Ray fished out into open water, while I went for a distance approach, but in the margins. I do like casting to a spot 50 yards down the bank where Ray is standing, waiting for the lead to hit the water before throwing in a couple of handfuls of broken boilies and pellets over the rig – that’s a great presentation.
By fishing like this you are well away from the area where your bait is but still in the margins, where the fish want to be a lot of the time. Ray and I talked about the old days of carp fishing and how catches have changed. Today we caught more in one session than we managed in a season 40 years ago!
I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. Fishing was never meant to be easy, but modern carping can be just that, which is why fewer people are going fishing nowadays. But what do I know?
We sat there in the sun with our flasks and sandwiches, enjoying the rest from long walks along the steep banks of the river. I am lucky in that I enjoy the river so much, but I love fishing stillwaters too. Gravel pits, farm ponds and canal all have their own special attractions.
This common of just under 20lb pulled my string!
My friend Bill Finch had his best day’s carping ever.
Ray took this one on a frankfurter boilie.