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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


10/05/2015 - Big Trout on an Olive Pattern

My big trout caught off the top on an Olive


Monday 4th May no chance of fishing today the river was up about 3 feet dirty and brown, though I didn’t expect to catch I had to have a couple of hours casting various fly patterns in hope. I then spent some time walking the bank collecting litter, then sitting outside the cabin enjoying the sunshine, my tree swim looked good for chub with a big area of scum and twigs etc. creating a good roof for the fish to rest up. If it had been the open season a chunk of Lone Angler cheese paste would no doubt have interested a good chub. Not being able to fish to me was a lost day, hopefully tomorrow conditions will be better.

Tuesday 5th May another wet dismal day with strong gusting wind, not a day for fly fishing, the river had two feet on at 0900hrs this morning by noon it had come up another eighteen inches. Hopefully the extra water might bring some salmon and sea trout into the river. My friend David Hurst wanted some new wellington boots, I wanted a new starting pistol so we paid a visit to Skipton where we also had lunch which I paid for as the moths fluttered from the wallet. Leaving David in Clitheroe I then walked both beats of the river hoping to spot a salmon but no signs of fish. On my way home I called in the library to collect some books I’d ordered, back home I checked the hedgehog houses, to find a resident in one of them which was a pleasant surprise.

Wednesday 6th April it was a wind and rain swept river bank today, the weir pool looked like a giant boiling cauldron, even though I sat watching the pool for about an hour no salmon were seen, walking across the meadow several swallows and sand martins were hawking close to the grass surface in their search for insects. I felt quite sorry for the birds today in the awful weather more reminiscent of winter. I spent a couple of hours walking the river bank in the heavy rain and being buffeted by the gale force wind, I fired 4 shots from my starting pistol at 2 cormorants then the weapon seized up, I called the shop and t was agreed they would return my money so another trip to Skipton, I do get angry at much of the poor quality of goods offered for sale these days. About noon I made my way to the cabin for lunch where I spent about an hour reading the paper and watching the rain falling, it really was a dismal day so after another walk along the top beat I decided to go off home.

Thursday 7th May a brighter day a light shower in the morning also a warm south westerly wind, sadly with so much water it wasn’t suitable for fly fishing, though it did look good for chub. I’ve noticed the post about Lone Angler rods, and the quote from Ian Jones “Awesome rods, time for a flood water rod” Ian and everyone else I can only say I have 2 standard barbel rods also the flood version, though I will never use the latter rod for that type of barbel fishing, I will say “It makes a great bass and pike fishing rod”, I have the 13 foot float rod also chub rods, I cannot fault them except to say I would like to see the chub rod in a softer version between 11.5 feet and 12 feet. I will continue to dream. I noticed the toad spawn I gathered from the river has hatched out in my pond where it’s a lot safer, also I now have residents in two of the hedgehog houses which is nice to know as these poor mammals are becoming an endangered species.

Friday 8th May Today I will join in celebrating the 70th Anniversary ending World War 2 over the Germans and their allies, my plan was to enjoy some time on my river, and in the woods hopefully recollecting some of the memories from 70 years ago as a 7 year old. I was on the river today at 0800hrs, parking up I got the rifle from the back of the vehicle then took a walk across the fields to a nearby wood in the hope of getting a rabbit or two, I was in luck three rabbits were quietly eating grass just in front of a hedgerow, dropping down on my chest I quietly focused on my quarry at about twenty yards, breathing in then out I held my breath then gently squeezed the trigger, the rabbit rolled over, probably not knowing what happened, it was a clean head shot, a medium size buck which I paunched then hung in the shade while I continued my walk. Walking back across the fields I met the shepherd who said “Can you get me a rabbit? I haven’t had one for some time so I handed it over. Back at the cabin I put together a 4 weight Thomas and Thomas 9 foot fly rod matched with a floating line to which I tied on a 12 foot tapered leader with a 3lb tippet, then pulled on my waders, fifteen minutes later as I sat on the bank of the Ribble, I heard the sound of a Hurricane above the clouds going through its paces, no doubt getting ready for the fly past on Saturday. I though back to what I was doing May 8th 1945 I was up early to check my snares, finding I’d got two rabbits, I got 2 shilling old money from a neighbour for one of them. As I sat day dreaming a good trout took an Olive, I tied on an imitation, creeping then into position I made a long cast up and across the river so the fly would drift downstream under a horse chestnut tree a fish swirled, I set the hook after a fight lasting some ten minutes or more I netted a good brown trout as it went into the net I said "Yes that’s for Granddad" as I would have said when I caught an eel back in those far off days, I estimated it 4lb plus see pic IMG 0908. In the next hour I caught five more nice trout. About 1400hrs I made my way across the field to the cabin, after putting my gear away in the car, I put the kettle on for a brew then pulled off my waders then made myself presentable. Driving into town the sky clouded over light rain was falling then within fifteen minutes it was heavy rain, still we can’t have everything. At local War Memorial to took part in a small celebration including a two minute silence. Back home I had a shower then some tea, I rarely watch TV being a Radio 4 listener most of the time but this evening was different on BBC 2 TV at 2000hrs had a programme showing the highlights of VE Day parade from the Cenotaph which was very moving. Tomorrow Saturday 9th of May at 2030hrs BBC TV 1 have a 70th anniversary party from Horse Guards Parade A party to remember. With all the rain I doubt if I will be able to fish my river for a few days. Just received the news of the new Lone Angler bait range, once I’ve given them a field test I will write a report.




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Martin James Fishing
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