Thursday, 30 October 2008

Big Fish Bonanza

I thought October was supposed to be a quiet month! In true "Harry & Paul" style perhaps their idea of a new 13 month ... "Augtember" ... is not such a bad one! If you didn't see their recent series then you won't know what the hell I am on about so I shall move on!

It has been a busy few weeks and although it has been cold we have enjoyed some glorious fine, dry days such as this one when I guided Tim Watson and Tony Kaye on the River Test. My Saturday date with the Avon fell through at the last minute as my guest for the day, Tom Steele, had some serious work issues to sort prior to his flight to India in search of Mahseer. I can't wait to hear his report when he returns and hopefully will post some details here. From what I can gather he is hoping to target these incredible fish on fly.

From one big fish ... to several others, but this time much closer to home. We have been having a real bonanza with Freds specimen sized Trout stocked into Exe Valley Fishery, the glorious base for our fly fishing courses. During the weekend and early this week we got 3 first time fly fishers into Trout exceeding 8lbs ...

The first lucky angler was David Atkinson who fished with Neil during a 2 day course over the weekend resulting in this 8lb 5oz specimen which took a Damsel fished deep.

Next up was Jonathan Maxted who has to be one of the most naturally gifted casters I have ever looked after. A whizz with the fly rod his efforts came to fruition when this superbly conditioned 9lb fish took a slowly fished Hares Ear. I haven't fished this pattern in anger with my guests for a long time but recently with the fish turning their attention to Hoglouse/Water Slaters (kinda like an underwater woodlouse!) it has been extremely effective.

Top fish of the week so far though is this 9lb 3oz Rainbow caught by John Denton who visited with his brother in law Len and his niece Robin to enjoy a 2 day course with Neil. The fish fell to a Buzzer under an Indicator and put up a tremendous scrap. There is no better way to hook people than a few fish and on her last day 18 year old Robin hooked up no less than six Trout and Dad had to dig deep for a fly fishing kit at the end of the day! You have to treat yourself sometimes though and so he also splashed out on a Hardy Demon for himself ... a rod I have been raving about all year.

Big fish have been plentiful on Exe Valley Fishery recently but the big news dominating the papers and our screens seems to be all this nonsense regarding Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross. OK, so the guys pushed things too far although watching the interview with Georgina Baillie it looks like she can handle herself. Andrew Sachs is an old man and yes the messages may have been offensive, but this great man is also a performer that starred in perhaps the greatest comedy show ever and his interview says that he accepts the apologies ... so if he can move on why can't everybody else? Fawlty Towers pushed boundaries did it not? I am not condoning what Brand and Ross said for one moment but based on their reaction, neither are they. Both are in my view talented guys and to be placed under the public spot light for something like this seems a little over the top. What a shame that as a nation we so often build people up just to knock them down.

Cynical types may say that this story is a great diversion based on the recent bad press that many politicians are receiving. If anyone should be placed under the spotlight for regular bouts of insane stupidity it is that lot!

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