Monday, 23 December 2013

Santa delivers the goods

I have to confess November had me worried. Day after day of beautiful weather. Blue skies. Warm days. Gorgeous autumnal foliage that just went on and on. But, and this was the worry, not a drop of rain. And as November stretched into December, little seemed to be changing. 
Rain is my obsession. From mid-October to mid-March I basically can't get enough of it. At Nether Wallop Mill the bedroom at the top of the mill building has a huge slate roof that resonates like a kettle drum when the downpours come. Some nights it so loud it wakes me up and when it does I smile and drift back to sleep safe in the knowledge that my chalkstreams are receiving their life enhancing moisture. 

For these are not normal rivers; the water that flows through them has, as they say on the X Factor, been on a journey. The rain that splashes from the heavens tonight will not appear in the river for six months, in between seeping thousands of feet into the chalk layers beneath southern England to reappear at the surface maybe a hundred miles from where it originally fell as the purest, most perfect water for trout and the ecosystem around which the chalkstream valleys revolve. So when I see a dry November I worry not for today but for the summer to come.

I am sure that over the Christmas holidays you will look out the window and curse the vile, wet weather. The dog won't get that walk and nor, more importantly will you but at least be happy for me and the chalkstreams. The past few weeks have wiped out the deficit and every little bit from now on is the icing on the cake. Maybe I should believe in Santa Claus after all?

If you have read this far today, and my other Blogs and Newsletters in the past year, please may I offer a sincere and heartfelt thank you. There will be more to come in 2014 but for now, from us all at Fishing Breaks, have a truly wonderful Christmas  

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Things of great beauty

It is one of those ironies that despite inventing modern day fly fishing many of the great innovations happening in our sport are now born outside the British Isles; even our brand names are acquiring foreign owners with 2013 at watershed year in that respect seeing House of Hardy bought by an American conglomerate and Farlow's a wealthy Russian.

Abel hemostat  
Is any of that bad? I am not sure, but when I see the beautiful, tactile hemostats recently launched by Abel reels of west coast USA I don't really care who made them, I just want one and actually I now do. I was lucky enough to see a prototype about a year ago, got my foot in the door and commissioned a small production run just for Fishing Breaks. As it turns out mine were the first ever out of the factory, which was a saga in itself - you have to admire the guys at Abel who close on Fridays during the summer as it is surfing season ... well I guess if your factory was on the Californian Big Sur, you might do the same as well ....

As I write my hemostats are currently in a warehouse at Heathrow awaiting customs release now I have paid a Chancellor's ransom in import duty but I am sure they will be here in plenty of time as our Feedback draw prizes for 2014. If you can't wait that long, or don't fancy your chances in the draw, here is the link to Abel. I don't think the hemostats will be in UK stores until spring of next year.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Life of a Chalkstream

Just a quick post to let you all know that the 2010 River Test Only Fly will be shown tomorrow (10.30pm) on Sky Discovery Shed channel. The 30 minute show presented by Game Fishers' Diary host Rae Borras follows the trials and tribulations of the teams. This show was previously only available to subscribers via OnLine TV. For more details of the 2014 One Fly visit the Fishing Breaks website