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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


06/06/2015 - Wind, Rain, High Water on the Ribble This week

casting the fly

Monday 1st June what a horrid day wet and windy, the river had about 2 feet of extra water with a nice peaty colour, it was looking good for salmon fishing, my friend Mike Duxbury had a fresh 14lb fish on a tube fly that was well deserved, I’d had a few casts but with my planter fasciitis has returned making walking very painful, I stumble along the river bank like a drunk, even falling down the bank at one time which isn’t good when your carrying expensive fishing rods. I also had a call from my doctor to say my 1 kidney had deteriorated so the tablets will be uprated in the hope this will help. It seems old age isn’t being kind to me, but I will press on. I still plan to spend a week on the river Wye during the first week of the new coarse fishing season living in a riverside caravan, no doubt my friends will help get me along the bank if need be, otherwise they want get any food. With the weather getting worse with strong gale force winds I headed for home at 1400hrs, Around 1430hrs I got a very pleasant surprise when my friend Ray Badger Walker turned up, as he walked into my study he said “What a great selection of books this is a Red Letter Day” The next two hours were spent drinking tea and talking about old friends no longer around such a Denys Watkins - Pitchford MBE known to most people simply as BB, Richard Walker, Bernard Venables MBE Lea MacNally and others thankfully many still with us.


Tuesday 2nd June gale force winds with rain showers, river today had 7 feet on the gauge the colour of mud. After walking the two beats I made a mug of tea then sat reading the paper, afterwards I decided to return home. After lunch I sorted out a chub, barbel and float rod then went through my tackle cupboard sorting out weights floats line shots hooks etc. Unlike other seasons when I’ve had to spend quite some time sorting out bait, this year it’s different I’ve let Lone Angler sort the bait as have several of my friends, I can assure you I doubt if you will find better paste baits.


Wednesday 3rd June my river had about 2 feet of extra water today with a peaty colour looking like a good whisky, ideal conditions for salmon and sea trout, weather was quite kind south easterly wind 10mph, bright sunshine with some cloud. I started off the day by feeding one of my favourite chub swims with some sausage sizzle baits, giving the fish a chance to get confident in picking up the bait in readiness for the start of the season, when of course the bait will have a hook in it. I then walked both beats as I did so I found a lamb in a bad condition, it was just lying on the bank barely able to move occasionally opening its eyes. I immediately called the shepherd who arrived within ten minutes. Moving on down river I was greeted by 2 oyster catchers with their two young putting on an excellent flying display, I have been protecting the nest as best I could including putting in 4 mink traps around the nesting site. After checking out my mink traps in the wood and erecting more barbed wire I moved on downriver to the bottom of the bottom beat, as I stood looking across the river I started feeling feint and dizzy with some pains in my chest. I quietly sat down on the grass, I then must have fell asleep waking up a while later. After several minutes I got to my feet then walked slowly back upstream to the car park. After a long break with a mug of tea I moved back to the top beat. As my friend David and myself sat outside the cabin in the warm sunshine we watched a crow diving and twisting into a buzzard, within five minutes a second buzzard join in the aerial fight, it was more reminiscent of a World War 2 dogfight. After chatting with one of the salmon anglers for a while, I then walked back to my car then headed off home.


Thursday 4th June after a very cold dawn the weather warmed up quite nicely by 0900hrs with conditions looking quite good for fly fishing with a light southerly wind, having checked members permits then having a word with two of my bailiffs. One member lost a salmon another member had after a mug of tea I spent a couple of hours planting water crowfoot, then another hour digging out grass in a quiet bay, with no fish moving I went off for lunch. During the afternoon session my mate Mike joined me we fished for about three hours, the only way we could catch was targeting the occasional single fish that would rise for an emerges. I had 2 nice brown trout Mike had a nice out of season grayling. Pic casting the fly, Pic The end result being returned. That was our lot for the day.


Friday 5th June A quiet day on the river, I spent most of the day raking out grass growing in the water’s edge, also planting more water crowfoot, I’m pleased with my habitat work over the past few years, also I’m seeing the results with more fly life and most interesting more bullheads since I built small sanctuaries for them. Waging war on the predators has also paid off, I've trapped 98 mink in five years, killed numerous grey squirrels rats etc., allowing more ground nesting birds also sand martins kingfishers also to survive, not to mention the number of birds that now don’t get their nests ripped apart in the trees and hedgerows. I had an early day getting home at 1500hrs the end of another interesting week




The end result being returned

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Martin James Fishing
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