Friday, 5 November 2010

What would we do without information super fishing?

Yesterday, I took some time out from a busy day working on our new website, sat down and finally set up a facebook page which you can see here. It really set me thinking. What would we anglers do without the Internet? It has changed our lives.

This season I have frequently used the network of web cameras set up by the clever guys at Farson Digital. There are around 24 of them in England now, spying on rivers such as the Exe, Tamar & Lyn in the South right up to the Tees, Wear and Tyne in the North. See the cameras here. If you fish in Scotland then there are a further ten cameras set on famous venues such as the Tweed, Spey and Deveron. Just recently I visited this latter river for a week, but probably spent at least a month before that regularly checking the water height and condition! For guiding purposes the cameras have proved invaluable as the live stream refreshes every ten seconds, allowing me to ascertain the exact state of the river. In the past I would have to make a few telephone calls or just take a chance.

This weekend I am off to the Anton River in Hampshire with a bunch of guys. I gave David Burton a shout through Twitter, within seconds he had replied and a few emails later the day was arranged. I even downloaded a PDF map from the guys at Famous Fishing who offer the finest chalkstream fishing available ... take a look at the website!

(Above) The Anton. A traditional chalkstream in beautiful English countryside. Far removed from today's technology and yet more readily available because of it.

While in the process of arranging this trip I decided to check out Davids recent Twitter posts and clicked on a link to this site. Its a little off the wall, but then with a name like Fat Guy Fly Fishing you may expect that! There are just so many blogs out there now offering viewpoints, tackle advice, tactical thoughts and inspiration that its amazing that we ever manage to go fishing. During the last couple if years I have neglected my own blog and really regret it. One guy who certainly hasn't is Henry Gilbey who surely has THE lure fishing resource online now. There is a whole community on their discussing fish, tactics, tackle ... the problem of lure addiction and of course, metal!

I was looking at Henrys blog last night when Skype came to life and my great friend Chappie Chapman appeared ....all the way from Christchurch, New Zealand. We chatted away for well over an hour, about fishing of course and began hatching a plan for a trip. I showed him a copy of Adventure Fishing over the webcam built into my laptop while chowing on my dinner and at the same time dropped a line to James Dawkins who had just sent me a direct message from Twitter to say he was off to Alderney.

So I guess you could say I spent an evening virtually fishing. And that set me thinking about something else. Would our great sport be as advanced as it is now if the Internet had never been invented?


  1. I totally agree Nick. The internet is a fishing life line (floating WF #6)

    The increase in fishing sites online has demystified so much of the sport. It has opened it up and made specialist knowledge more accessible.

    Two things stand out for me:

    The first is a new generation of high quality, self published sites that really showcase the energy and excitement of fishing. They blow away stuffy preconceptions and celebrate freedom, creativity and fun.

    You mentioned Fat Guy Fly Fishing above, and Henry's great site, but you can add so many to this list...,,,

    ...and the list could go on and on.

    I've just spent 15 minutes looking at those while getting the URLs, which is kind of my second point, in that reading these great sites is a substitute for fishing. It fills that gap when you can't get out, when the season's over or when you're stuck at work on a rainy day.

    If I had 2 gripes about fishing web sites it would be that we have more than our fair share of horrendous, totally awful, unusable, never updated sites out there. And there's also still a holding back of information on where to fish. Local knowledge of venues and good spots is kept under wraps far too much.

    I'm not sure these will change any time soon, but I'm more than happy with all my favourites.

    Keep up the good work


  2. Some great sites there and I agree, surfing the web whenever we have chance is a great way to get a fishing fix when time does not allow. I know what you mean about fishing spots but when sea fishing in particular some people spend a great deal of time learning about a particular area, when and how to fish it.