Monday, 31 August 2009

I will try harder!

Thanks to all of you who have been reminding me that I do have a blog. Yes, I know, I know ... my posting has been pitiful! This year has been a weird one. After all "the news" keep on telling us there is recession and lets face it, the weather has hardly been memorable. But a lot of the fishing has been and the shop has had its busiest year ever. Granted this year I have struggled to get a days Salmon fishing in and tomorrow I really would have liked to fish the final of the Lexus European Championships which I qualified into earlier this year ... but if I am not out fishing for pleasure or in a match then that means I am out somewhere teaching, guiding, or running the shop ... a pass time, call it work if you will ... that I find as much pleasure from as I do my own fishing. All be it I must find a little more time for myself at the waters edge and also my young lad Chester who is fast approaching 3. He can already spin, I wonder how long before I can get him into the fly?! So what's been happening. Well I am not going to upload every single fish we have caught or the many videos that I have taken with my new Pentax Optio W60, I know you don't have all day! Instead lets have a look at some of the most recent stuff.

Back in early August I spent a fun morning in the company of Ben Fogle as we put together a slot for his BBC show "Country Tracks". It was all about fly fishing from kayaks and a big shout out must go to AS Watersports in Exeter who provided the boats on the day. I have my own Wilderness kayak, but it is looking a little tired now so sometime soon I will be paying a visit to AS myself. As for the programme, look out on the blog or for one of my newsletters which will provide the transmission date.

Paddling out to fish off Orcombe Point was a joy after spending a week piecing the shop back together after our time away at the CLA gamefair. The show was hard work and the weather was not kind but we were pleased with how the stand turned out, plus we had some great fun working alongside Aardvark McLeod. Many thanks to all who supported us at this event and while I am on the subject Pete has asked me to remind you about my hosted trip to Los Roques running in February 2010. Yo can see the results of my last trip here and gain further details about the next here.

Catching up with old friends and making some new ones is always a big part of the CLA but for me this year an evening spent in the company of Sam MacDonald was a highlight. Sam was on the 2009 trip to Los Roques and had returned home with a ton of material, all ready to begin sculpting some awesome pieces of artwork. During our meeting over some beers and a bit of barbecue we struck a deal and I am now the proud owner of one of the stunning Bonefish he created. You can see some of the highly original work inspired by his trip here.

Before we talk fish I must add another update regarding web cameras. Originally I reported on the Exebridge Camera, but now it is also possible to keep track of how the River Barle, River Mole, River Torridge, River Taw and River Camel are doing. Click the links to see the cameras. I have already found this service invaluable when guiding. Many more cameras are planned for the future, so watch this space!

OK, so a few fish then. This week I have been out and about all over. Its great these days as I am not just on the lake teaching, or going after Wild Browns .... instead there are Sea Trout to be caught and some of our specimen Grayling. Lets hope for some decent weather and then the Bass should show up! That said we know there is a good crop of Salmon in the lower reaches of the River Exe so a little water would not hurt and along with that I wouldn't mind a decent late summers day to bring the Carp up once more. Don't want much do I!

Here is Jim Parrot with his first ever night caught Sea Trout. I love the quiet as we slowly made our way down river, I remain fairly silent allowing my guests to drink in the atmosphere and concentrate. Then the silence is broken ... Jim hisses ... "that was a take". "Great" .... I say. We continue down Sandmartin Pool on our own exclusive stretch of the river Mole and then "Whoa ... I'm in" How I love those words! A big splash heralds the start of an action packed few minutes. Will the hook hold? Will we get snagged? Will Jim faint with excitement!? There is nothing quite like night time Sea Trout fishing and thankfully all went well. The result, this nice little Peal of around 1 1/2lbs. Jim's smiles says it all really!

Back in the daylight and it is pleasing to see how many young fly fishers we keep on attracting into the sport. For a long time I have said that the game angling press and plenty of tackle manufacturers in the fly trade continue to miss this obvious sector of our sport. James is into surfing, is just setting up his own business after graduating and is in his early 20s. But he also has a lust for fly fishing after an initial introduction many years ago by his grandfather. With just 5 trips under his belt and the last when he was in his teens, getting into a few river fish would be a big ask. I need not of worried as a bit of casting on the lake soon had James tuned up and ready. Then he went on to cast sublimely throughout the day bagging this specimen Grayling and a fine Trout amongst several others.

And if you are new to fishing, trying to get back into fishing or even thinking about fishing for the first time ..... under 30.... wondering if its cool or not? Check this out on Henry Gilbeys site here and find some Bolivian Gold. True Adventure fishing.

There is a new month ahead of us ... I will see if I can manage more than one blog post, but I am not promising ... after all there are fish to be caught. There is also a new vehicle that I have become obsessed with .... but more of that another time.

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