Tuesday 31 March 2020

If Only

This lock down is no Joke , Although I am fortunate that the Countryside and the Sea are both within a stroll from home.  I have huge sympathy for those in the cites , although I have to say that even in the best of times I could not be a city dweller. This was the view whilst out for  my allotted hour today .  A Glorious Spring day where the sunshine managed to warm you when you were out of the breeze, This is the view down the valley to the sea . There is a few hundred metres of fascinating pocket water to explore which I  have fished many many times ,  Sadly not by me for a little whilst yet 

The pool under the Gorse bushes is a lovely little spot, When the hawthorns are hatching or the stone flies are on there are usually rising fish 

Just a couple of hundred metres upstream is this long pool below  there are usually a few larger fish holding there .  Its a beautiful place with abundant wildlife .  I shared the Pool with a deer not so long ago .  

When  you turn around through 180 degrees this is the view , In my younger days I sea fished and caught cod from the marks on those rock scars . It is a lovely bit of coastline , I have many fond memories of it .  From rock pooling as a kid and fishing in the winter , To searching for the dinosaur footprints that appear from the cliff rocks once in a while . I have fished there with my Dad and my Grandad sadly now both departed ,.

Heading back up stream and inland today the sheltered places are showing further traces of spring , Primroses are out ,  The Gorse and Blackthorn are in full bloom .  The toads are spawning in the beck , the birds are singing .  But the anglers are not fishing .  

There was even a rising fish,  I watched this Pool for quite a while today ,  There was a few midges and a couple of upwings in the air at lunchtime and I am sure I saw a rise on the edge of the faster water .  I do hope so as I didnt otherwise see a sign of a fish.  I know they are there , I have known and fished this place for many years ,   the fish are waiting and so am I ....Whats the old expression Parting is such sweet Sorrow.... Or as Arnie said I`ll be back....

Sunday 22 March 2020

My first and best fishing buddy

I lost my Dad yesterday.  He was 91 years old and he had a good life . There was no defining illness at the end. Old age gradually just wore him down . However those simple words do nothing to describe him.  He was an honourable gentle man a good Dad and Grandad that I only felt I really got to know in the last few years of his life .   Truth is he and Mum were totally wrapped up in each other most of their lives. Sadly we lost Mum a few years ago. But since she passed away I have spent a lot more time with Dad and seen a different side of him .  Mum was lovely but  a bit of a prude, I knew Dad had a well hidden wicked rude sense of humour but have seen a lot more of it lately.  I guess what with me sent to boarding school age 11 then after school starting work I missed those teenage years with him . Marrying and kids then meant our lives naturally drifted apart. I think truth is like most people we both have faults but as you get older those faults don`t seem to matter anymore . These last few years has allowed me to connect with him again .  Seeing him every few days has made us closer.

He passed away with incredible dignity three weeks from the first call to get to his bedside.  On that first call our arrival at his bedside prompted a smile from him and a brief conversation and some surprise from his carers at his sudden recovery. There have been several calls to his bedside since and one evening I held his hand with the transparent skin every tendon and bone visible ,  but under my fingers the rock steady pulse told its own story.  One Day I was told there wasnt even time to go home first .  Dad left us just over a day later .He certainly wasn`t going to rush of.

 In life he taught me many lessons , I confess I didnt always listen but at the end of his life  he taught me a final one, that is not to be afraid of death he passed away without a complaint. I spent many hours with him through those last 21 days his only worry was for his family and wanting constant assurance that everyone was ok.  He knew he was dying we talked about it and when my time comes I hope I deal with it as well.  I missed the chance to see my Mum at the end I was half way up the motorway when my wife rang me and told me not to rush .  Sadly at the time when the call came I was hundreds of miles away .  Spending time at the end with Dad has given me a real sense of closure that was missing with Mum

He was my early fishing friend and mentor . Dads take their kids fishing that is how it should be. The sight of him bringing a fish home is my earliest memory and the spark that lit my lifetime passion .  He started me fishing and we went together often but like all kids  not as often as i would have liked.  Dad was a coarse angler and his favourite fish were the Roach and the Grayling.  We fished together often many years ago and it was on a stretch of a local river I watched him catch beautiful fish and teach me the same. He was a fine angler trotting a float with skill and delicacy .   He was also passionate about the well being of the fish and how they should be treated with respect ,  it is a lesson I hope I still remember every time I fish . 

Another lesson i could do with learning from him is that tackle doesn`t make an angler , patience , application and thinking tend to be much more productive .  A lesson that applies to many things .He told me he got his Millwards Featherlight match rod and Rapidex reel in his early twenties that would make them 70 years old , it was the only rod I saw him fish with. When I look at all the rods , reels and other stuff I have I am a little embarressed  the rod and reel are now amongst my most treasured possessions ,  next winter on his birthday I will take that rod and reel and go and catch a Grayling on it , I cant think of a better way to remember him .  Thanks Dad..

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Fly fishing In North Yorkshire and Dating agencies, a bit of a conundrum ?

Through my Blog One of the questions I get asked the most is, how do I get into a river fishing club?  Now obviously my area is North Yorkshire but the internet chatter I hear is that there are a lot of folks  all over the UK with a similar problem there are also a lot of clubs with the same problem which is ;  They are short of members but are very wary of open advertising as they don’t want to attract the wrong sort .  That "wrong sort " phrase sounds bloody awful to be truthful ,  but I would hope we know what it means I am in several clubs and they are a bit like an extended family days by a river are precious and I guess like myself you get a bit miffed if you meet someone fishing who is behaving in a way that pisses you of .  For me its ill manners, and that ultimate sin of jumping in the river in front of me.

A friend goes positively ape shit when he finds discarded litter and waste line.  Others hate hearing mobile phones.  People generally are strange and let’s be honest keen river fly anglers tend to be at the end of the normal spectrum anyway.   The situation was highlighted to me even more this year .  I left a pretty expensive club and looked around and was surprised that getting into a couple of others that a few years ago were pretty much closed shops was fairly easy.  Now I know through fishing and the blog I have a pretty good network of connections but yet there is still a load of people looking for clubs and clubs looking for people .  

Fishing clubs are just like people, some are once met you never want to be apart. Others are well let’s say relationships just run their course and others well best they really don’t get going at all.  
Truth is I do have the contact details for most of the Clubs around here and get many random emails asking if I can provide contact details for clubs other than the ones on my Web page. Trouble is those on my web page are the ones in the public domain. It is pretty Much like the dating game really isn’t it. Lots of people wanting to get into a relationship with clubs and lots of clubs wanting their patronage but they struggle to get together.  True there are clubs with waiting lists , by and large these seem to be split into two groups There are the clubs that offer angling that is so good that people will pay whatever to get  in, yes they are still there I am on the waiting list for one .  I expect to be on it a long time.  I recently joined one club after a near 9 year wait on the list.   Not expensive but wonderful.   Then in the middle there is a whole raft of clubs, associations and syndicates that offer decent fishing and at a price varying from reasonable value to eye wateringly expensive.  It is those at the expensive end that are particularly struggling, People now want decent value and many clubs just don`t offer it unless the member can fish the club water 20 or 30 times a year which for many is pretty unlikely.   But even for them I am sure there are people out there 

But if there is a fishing club out there that would like me to add their details on to the Fishing page then don’t be shy.  It gets a lot of hits your advert may be the start of a beautiful relationship with Mr or Mrs Right .  Some clubs really need to try something different there are many good fly fishing clubs out there and there are still many people wanting to be in them.  But despite the Interweb people are not connecting .  I just reviewed the stats for the blog and it had 53 hits in the last few days for people searching for fly fishing in the North Yorks Area.  A lump of them are potential members of clubs.  

Reasons to be cheerful part 3

One of my favourite Artists from the 70s was Ian Drury and the blockheads .And after a long driving session a few days ago when I explored m...