Paul's Diary

  • Tuesday 6th July 2011

    I'm just home from a successful trip to the Northern Ireland and Scottish Game Fairs with the Taxidermist. Only a little sport - I foiled the tackle-grabbing rocks at Isle of Whithorn by float-fishing a strip of mackerel, though I had to catch a mackerel first. Then had lots of fun as smallish pollack, coalfish and mackerel fought over the bait. In Perth I rowed the ancient Archivist around a beautiful small loch, catching several of his very nice trout.
    I made use of the trip, apart from selling loads of books to the canny Scots, to deliver a few de luxe Kelsons, and to renew old friendships. Last call was on the not-so-ancient Mr Grayling, who claims that he wants to retire. I helped him on his way by relieving him of a few more boxes of books. We probably arrived home carrying slightly more weight than when we left.
    Heavy rain this morning, but will it be enough for me to give a trial to the great assortment of plugs and spoons that I bought with my Scone takings? I'm booked on a boat-trip out of Aberystwyth tomorrow, but the forecast is rough. No matter, river, lake or sea - I'll be out somewhere tomorrow!

  • Thursday 22nd June 2011

    A frantic week - mainly because I've been trying to go fishing every evening, as well as loading up for the Irish and Scottish Game Fairs. On Monday we braved torrential rain in the hills to catch a few trout on sedges. The resultant flood has enabled me to catch some of the nicest sea-trout I've had in a while - three three-pounders on Tuesday and a silver four-pounder last night. Off now for the overnight ferry from Liverpool.

  • Sunday 19th June 2011

    We drove home from the BFFI in glorious sunshine. Everything went brilliantly - Jan chauffeured Terry Griffiths to Stafford by Friday afternoon, Marvin Nolte was already there, and the De Luxe copies of The Essential Kelson were delivered from the bookbinders on Friday evening. We formed a chain-gang, feeding Terry and Marvin with books to be signed, while some of the subscribers to the book hung over us like vultures, waiting to grab their copy. The slip-cases and leather bindings are superb, the mounted salmon flies look wonderful, and the whole book is a great success. On Saturday we sold loads, and today I spent the day renewing old friendships.
    We stayed in in a good farmhouse B&B, had a couple of good meals, and last night had a drink or two or three with Dominic and Jo.

    Tomorrow we can start sending out the pre-ordered Kelsons and I can start repacking the van for Northern Ireland. It doesn't seem as though we've had enough rain here to affect the river much so I may give the sea-trout a miss and try for an evening on the big sedges in the hills.
  • Monday 13th June 2011

    Paul's float

    The cool damp weather hasn't been damp enough to lift the water levels. So, despite my neighbour, Richard Noel, catching a sixteen-pound sea-trout on Monday night, I haven't felt inspired to spend much time on the river.
    Instead I've concentrated on book ideas. One, which I've confirmed this week, is to include one of Paul Cook's hand-made (and signed) fishing floats in a mount in the front of the de luxe version of "Mole" Pledger's forthcoming book, While My Float's Still Cocked. Here's a mock-up of what it will look like. I think it will work beautifully.
    Terry Griffiths has finished placing Marvin's flies in the mounts for the de luxe Essential Kelson. I haven't seen them yet, but apparently they look stunning.
    It's great being a creative director. I just sit here having ideas and the real artists plug away and produce masterpieces.
    Busy loading up for the BFFI this weekend - the binders are promising copies for Friday - so fingers crossed!

  • Monday 6th June 2011

    I did get away on Friday afternoon, taking the small inflateable down the river at low tide. It's the time for spider-crabs and I spent a fruitless half-hour trying to snare one with a plug wound tight to the end-ring of my rod. Neither fish nor fowl moved as I trolled lures and flies around the reefs all evening; then around 9pm I tried a drift across the river mouth casting a fly loch-style ahead of the boat. I picked up a four-pounder immediately, then several follows and a smaller fish, then, at 10 o'clock when I should have catching the last of the tide to get back up the river, I hooked another good one. I had intended trying for mullet at high water, but they were not there in numbers, so I motored home, very pleased with myself.
    The barbel fishers bought a few books. I'd have preferred them to have bought more, but at least I got home in time to cut the first of the season's cucumbers to eat with Danish sea-trout gravlax and spicy pheasant breasts. I don't know why I don't just stay at home.

  • Friday 3rd June 2011

    The fish have been getting their revenge the past few days. A couple of short blank sessions on the river, then I hooked two very good sea-trout in successive casts; big solid fish, fresh off the tide. Both of them threw the hooks after being played to the net.
    A pleasant afternoon in Machynlleth led to a visit to the lakes where thick cloud obscured all and a cold wind suppressed any hatches. The lads picked up one or two, but despite fishing on into the dark, the big sedges never materialised. There's always something to see on the way back. Last time, a suicidal rabbit ran under the car, en route for a pie. This time, three young badgers playing in the lane slowed us down.
    Last evening was warm and there was a big tide topping at 9pm. A good day for bass; the Dysynni would have been full of mullet; I almost went to night-fish for sea-trout; the sedge would certainly be on the lake. After a day of bookwork and gardening; in the end I went to bed.
    A glorious day today, and another good tide. If I can get loaded up for the Barbel Society show at the weekend I'll go somewhere tonight. But where?

  • Saturday 28th May 2011

    Busy with books all day, I have been sneaking out for an hour most evenings. Consequently we are subsisting on an invalid's diet of trout, half-grown rabbits and salad from the garden.
    The drought has broken and I'm starting to hear of the odd sea-trout in the river. During a couple of dusk excursions all I've caught have been smolts, sometimes one every cast.
    A more productive dusk was spent at Gwyddior last Sunday. Despite a cold rough day (no trout, just perch, in Coch-hwyad) we picked up a few in Gwyddior, including another margin tadpoler. Then, in the dusk, there was a good rise to big sedges in the mare's tail beds. In another week's time the growth would have made it impossible, but we were just about able to cast our big muddlers among the stems, provoking slashing rises and lots of excitement. Here is Duncan's photo of one of Luke's trout.Sedge-time trout

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