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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


12/04/2017 - Back to the Past with a Change of Direction

Tench fishing with a MK1V Avon

Some men in their 40th year buy a sports car, or high power motor bike, even a hairpiece, often to impress some young blond maiden no doubt, these images leap to mind when you hear the words "midlife crisis" I’m going through a similar pattern of life in my 80th year as I switch to completely using tackle of my youth except when pike fishing, sadly a lot of the rods and reels, first used by my grandfather were lost in a house fire, thankfully some rods and reels were safe from the ravages of the fire at a girl friend’s house. I’ve never lost my love for fine things guns; reels cane rods and accessories which I still admire for their workmanship standing proud in the rod rack or displayed in cabinets.What has bought on this change of heart you might ask, first and foremost is Colin Culley, Mark Sarul and other members of TFF, then watching Brendan Ince fishing for chub with a Walker MK1V Avon seeing the admiration in his eyes as he played the chub to the waiting net, it made me realise what I was missing from my angling.

I started life as an angler with cane rods centre pin and Mitchell reels, I plan to end my life whenever it may be by fishing with gear I started out with some 70 odd years ago. I suppose what also made a lot of difference was a visit last August for 3 days at a piscatorial paradise, yes these places still exist, in this case it was the London Anglers Association water on the River Beult where you could watch a red tipped float and catch “Goer roach” a fish over 8” making me realise what I was missing. On this occasion I had to use a sliding float as my longest rod was a Milwards 12 foot swimaster, the depth over the edge of the water lilies was around 12 to 14 feet, I’ve now purchased an 18 foot 4 piece rod similar to what I used in the early 50’s, this will be used on my next visit, then should I hook a good fish on the new rod, I can give some line then hopefully land the adversary. I could of course fish with my pole with its whalebone tip and elastic, though I have hooked and landed good fish on the pole in the past, I always considered myself extremely lucky. These days I find handling a pole all day rather difficult especially if it’s windy, thankfully I never went down the road of carbon poles.For my 80th birthday my children have had a centre pin reel made for me suitable engraved, to match the reel I’ve .treated myself to an Andrew Davies Kennet Perfection. Colin knowing of my love for the chub, called me to say he had an early birthday present of an Abbey Avon rod, the same as he uses for chub, hopefully Colin and myself will fish the River Thames at Tadpole Bridge on my octogenarian birthday. Tadpole Bridge has a nice ring about it as my granddaughter Morgen calls me granddad Tadpole from the day I showed her the tadpoles in my pond when she was about 2 years of age. I have a dozen or more bamboo rods and several centre pin, but as I say you cannot have too many beautiful things to admire.

Tench caught on opening day of the season

My type of stillwater

Roach fishing on the River Beult this pole is ideal

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Martin James Fishing
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