Monthly Archives: May 2017

  • Tuesday 31st May 2017 - A little fishing- at last.

    I have just returned from a quick tour of the south, where I collected a few more doves, a few boxes of books following successful bids at the Flydressers' Guild auction, and a van-full of carp fishing remainders. On Monday afternoon, having finished with book business earlier than expected, I did a little prospecting for somewhere to cast a fly without enduring the formality or expense of a day ticket. I found it in a little stretch of no-man's-water where the most exclusive of chalkstreams passes underneath a motorway bridge, and a quick walk revealed not only a pair of spawning (or at least, intertwined) sea-lampreys, but one or two mayflies and a few rising trout. Returning for my rod, I rose and hooked three nice half-pound brownies on dry flies in the fifty yards or so of water under the bridge. The third of them was clearly visible, hovering in the fast current in mid-river, and occasionally taking something from the surface. He proved to be bullet-proof as I bombarded him with the contents of my dry fly box - sometimes turning to glance at a fly but refusing all for about an hour until at last he succumbed to a #14 deer-hair Humpy. Maybe he was feeding on beetles.
    Next morning I had a hearty hotel breakfast before heading off to far more salubrious surroundings on the beautiful (though highly manicured) river Test. There, to my dismay, I found my hosts busy preparing a huge cooked breakfast - my second of the morning! There was little fly and few rising fish but I did eventually manage to deceive a fat rainbow with a nice CdC mayfly nicked from the late Terry Griffiths' flybox.  Without a net I had to play the fish to exhaustion before I could get a finger under a gill-cover and hoist him onto the bank. Earlier I had discovered the presence of a fish-smoker at the fishing hut, so I tapped him on the head (as an undesirable alien) and we ate him for lunch.

    The discerning motorway brown trout The discerning motorway brown trout

    Tim Benn with lunch Tim Benn with lunch

  • Friday 26th May 2017 - Ireland!

    Just back from our tour of Ireland. In Galway we had a day botanising on the Burren - finding wild gentians, mountain avens, lots and lots of beautiful plants. Next day I tackled the mighty Corrib, piloted and guided by my friend Philip White. The mayfly had started, but were patchy, and we caught a few smallish fish as well as tickling a few bigger ones. Then off to Kerry where Mrs Morgan and Mrs Lanigan-O'Keeffe continued plant-hunting while I experienced a day of pulling flies on Lough Currane. Conditions were great for fishing a team of flies, and I was gillied by the great Bob Priestley, but no-one was catching salmon or sea-trout. Next day we fished Lough Cloonaghlin - a beautiful mountain lough that must be marvellous when the sea-trout are up. As it was we were content with plenty of small trout and a great view of the pair of sea-eagles that inhabit the temperate-rain-forest island on the lough.

    Tea-break on Lough Currane Tea-break on Lough Currane

    Bob Priestley gillies on Cloonaghlin Bob Priestley gillies on Cloonaghlin

    Currane selfie Currane selfie

    Paul's flies for Currane Paul's flies for Currane

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