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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


12/09/2015 - Big Brown Trout also Albert Casts A Good Line

Monday 7th September last night I watched a young hedgehog feeding in one of the food bowls, so first thing this morning I put another hedgehog house making a total of 4 spread around the back and front garden, no fishing today the second leg of the milk race was being held in the Ribble Valley there was no way I wanted to take the car out of the garage, during the morning I walked from home to Chatburn for a paper some 2 miles. After dinner I caught a bus into town then after shopping and visiting the library I walked the 4 and a bit miles back home not bad for someone not far off his 79th birthday. The rest of the day was spent reading and cooking tea.

Tuesday 8th September I started the day calling into Crossroad Care office to pass over a cheque I’d been sent for features in Countryman’s Weekly, two weeks ago Crossroads got another cheque from Coarse Angling Today magazine. After doing some shopping in town, I then headed off to the river, having walked both beats about 2 miles I headed off to the top beat again for a brew and put together an outfit for chub fishing, the plan was to float fish so once again my Lone Angler float rod these are certainly good for the job of casting then having hooked a good fish in bringing the said fish to the net, it’s also handled a fresh silver salmon about 8lbs, I matched the rod with a centre pin reel, 6lb bs line with a cork on quill float taking 7 AA egg shaped shot bunched two feet from a size 10 hook with an AA shot a foot from the hook. Baits were cheese flavoured bread flake and sweet corn. Having got everything sorted I put the kettle on for a brew, then got a call from my friend Albert Procter saying he had a few hours free and was thinking off coming across to do some fly fishing, I said “Come across and I will spend some time guiding you” An hour or so later Albert arrived after a brew and sorting out Albert’s rod and reel then putting on some fresh tippet to his leader I tied on a Dunkeld pattern we were ready to go. Arriving on the river we were greeted by a strong cold downstream wind which certainly put the fish down and stopped any fly life hatching off. Having spent some time helping Albert with his casting, we went further downstream suggesting Albert fish the straight run at the end of the pool for trout, while I fished towards the far bank for chub. I made 4 casts catching 4 big trout, one a big cock brown trout weighing 4lbs plus, then decided that was enough so went back to helping Albert. Sadly he hooked a trout but it got off. I must say if there had been some fly life with feeding fish Albert would certainly caught a few, his casting was a pleasure to watch, yes like all of us he made a few duff casts, but credit where credit is due he’d taken notice of what I said and put it into practise. With a cold wind we headed off for a brew and a long chat before we headed off home.

Wednesday 9th September God Save Queen, what great service this lady has given the country, it was nice hearing Bill Speakman of Glorious Gloucester’s Regiment on the radio today discussing the battle at the Imjin River where he won his Victoria Cross Which was awarded by King George V1 for his gallantry in that battle, sadly the King had passed away before he could present the award. Our Queen presented the award in her first ever investiture. I got quite choked up listening to Bill now age of 91 also red coated Chelsea Pensioner. It was around 1000hrs when I got on the river, once again I had the river to myself, after walking both beats I made a brew then sat reading the paper before walking the beat again to see if any fish were rising, I didn’t see any trout just one salmon in the weir pool. I chose not to fish but done some small fencing repairs caused by cattle. I got back home at 1600hrs after reading a few chapters of a Tom Clancy novel Locked On. Keeping an eye on the clock as I had to be at the Ribble Valley’s Mayors Parlour for the AGM of Crossroad Care which would start at 1830hrs It was nice to see the AGM so well supported with the Right Worshipful the Mayor of the Ribble Valley taking the chair. At 2030 hrs the meeting over so I headed off home.

Thursday 10th September the weather was nice today with sunshine and a light breeze, it was just after 0700hrs when I arrived on the bank of the River Ribble today, as I walked upstream on the bottom beat I fired 3 shots to disperse 5 cormorants, in the tail of the weir pool were 2 salmon, what we need is a foot of extra water to get the salmon moving. I spent about an hour in the wood checking my mink and squirrel traps, then dropping a tree in the water’s edge roping it down firmly so it wouldn’t get swept away, in a few weeks’ time I reckon it will be a good chub holding area. Back at the cabin I made a brew with two slices of toast, breakfast over I grabbed a couple of large bin liners then walked downstream from the top of the top beat collecting rubbish which included lots of beer and soft drink cans and bottles, three empty vodka bottles, plastic bottles, fast food containers, I despair at the amount of rubbish I collect dumped by morons. Today I got a paperback book in the post Titled The Life and Times of Bill Quinlan compiled by Bob Buteux, it’s a delightful read one I can recommend, Bob was one of life’s gentlemen who was also a great angler. I found I had lots of stale bread left over in a dustbin in my garage, so spent about two hours soaking and mashing the bread, before bagging I added two handfuls of broken cheese dumbells into each bag, before putting the bags in the freezer ready for use when I go chub fishing.

Friday 11th September visited the doctors for blood tests also checked my MBI which was described as perfect along with blood pressure etc, an appointment was made for me to see the diabetic nurse at the end of the month. It was around 1100hrs when I got on the river just one member fishing who had caught some nice grayling. After walking both beats I decided to make up some PVA bags with the last of my 6mm Caviar pellets, I found these a good attractor for both roach and chub, these pellets will be sorely missed though I’m hoping to get the roach switched onto cheese pellets cut into two pieces, the chub certainly like them. On the way home I called in the supermarket collecting a dozen large uncut sandwich loaves for making up flavoured mashed bread, though some of the loaves will be put in large zipper plastic bags which have been liberally coated with Cheese, Ocean Pride or Sausage sizzle before storing in the freezer until needed. Back home I sat down with a mug of tea and finished reading The Life and Times of Bill Quinlan which I highly recommended. Tomorrow my team of army personal and civilians should have competed in the Dragon Boat Rally, sadly postponed at the last minute through other teams not honouring their promise to compete in fact The Lone Angler team were the only one who signed up and paid their entrance fees and going through a training regime. The e-mail below to Colonel Philip Naylor OBE the regional organiser for the ABF in the North West it sums up my thoughts on the subject but rest assured every penny so far raised on the Just Giving page is safe in the hands of the ABF The soldiers Charity

Dear Philip now I’m back home I have been able to think about the shock announcement regarding Dragon Boat Race, shock I suppose is an understatement. I fail to see how so many teams could suddenly drop out of the contest, leaving just three teams, with the amount of money raised with more to come, I feel the event should have gone ahead. I feel a fraudster having set up a Just Giving page where so many people have contributed with many more to come from around the UK also the USA UAE and Australia, my team Captain Sgt Major Tam Miller, along with PC Mark Hyde and Dave Hurst have worked hard on my behalf to ensure we had a full team of fit personnel even to working out in a gym and doing other exercises. Prince Albert Angling Society who have been a great supporter of the ABF had committed £500-00 once I had completed the event, in the past they have donated £850-00 to my other three past events. Mike O’Neill of Lone Angler supported us by supplying T-shirts also donations on the Just Giving page. With Military personal in the team it’s quite possible the next date chosen some of the team could be away on other duties. Kind regards Martin James MBE


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Martin James Fishing
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