If you require some extra content for your blog or site please do get in touch today. Tailoring a piece for your site by working within a framework of a brief or provide something from a more slanted perspective. I also enjoy a challenge and my rates are very resonable.
Below are some examples of recent work for a game fishing holiday and guide company Alba game fishing https://albagamefishing.com/
Fishing has always been there. Sometimes on the back-burner but nevertheless, still there simmering away for when I next need a hit. For us all life is a roller coaster of love and loss. Ive suffered the pain of loss many times now during the course of my fifty three years. Cancer (my dad), suicide(my friend couldn’t handle lock down), overdose’s (17yrs old), heart attack(30yrs old)etc etc and on and on. Relationships have broken down, jobs have been lost. My cure. My solace. My constant has been fishing. My bolt hole is a river. Serenity in the arms of natures softly spoken language gives me my inner peace.
When In twenty eleven I wrote my first book – Terminal Chancer. It was both a cathartic process and also a message about pursuing what you truly love doing. Getting your life balance right seemed key. We can lose focus chasing trophies and forget its the process thats more important than the prise.
We seem to live in an age of the worried well, self help and middle class guilt. The great outdoors has been unveiled and re-branded like its a new thing. From wild swimming to forest bathing its all been supposedly just invented. Who knew! The outside can be quite relaxing!
The cure is balance. The cure is pace. When I have fished a beat from top to bottom methodically, I feel cleansed. Sounds over the top and a touch dramatic but its completely true. Ive walked and watched. Ive seen and Ive heard. Ive felt and Ive tasted. My eyes have widened and my head has emptied. Cast and step all the way into mother natures circuit board.
Finding a place to think is hard. Our senses are bombarded by other peoples news, sales pitches, thoughts and ideas the moment you open your eyes. Radio, TV, signage and the advertisers little miracle – our mobile phones. Keep scrolling and don’t you dare die. All this has led to the new phrase of the digital detox. Imagine that 20 years ago.
The river is my ashram, my church and my rehab. All I need is time. Its important you engineer enough for the stuff that matters. The phrase find what you love and let it slowly kill you sums it up really. It is a quote from the singer Richard Samet “Kinky” Friedman.
Below is a letter which features Kinkys quote, supposedly written by Charles Bukowski
Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain from you your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you, and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.
Falsely yours, Henry Charles Bukowski”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Check the levels and take your head to the river.
& This on fishing the river spey
Spey – Reggae Got Soul
Having spent a while thinking of a trip to the river spey. I say a while. What I really mean is twenty years. My thought process for a change is a foot race between Triggers brain and a tortoise in cement slippers. On my home river the mighty river ribble I can flog my guts out fifty to one hundred times a year and maybe get four or five salmon in a season.
So when opportunity knocked and I was unexpectedly offered a place on the spey for a week in April I had a choice to make. Choose life. Choose to engineer a gap in time. Choose to juggle family and work life. Choose to think big picture. Choose to break the wheel. Choose to hit reset. Choose to exit the membrane of the grind.
Tackle in the car. Six hour drive. Glorious scenery, palpable excitement, radio football commentary, playlist inspiring a cocktail of pleasant day dreams. What a drive. Man I loved it. I arrive at the Mash Tun in Aberlour. My friends and fellow members of the escape committee are outside and beaming with broad smiles. We walk to the bridge and within seconds we see fresh salmon leaping. Plural. Fact. I cant believe it. On the ribble if I see five salmon in a season I pinch myself. Here Ive already seen double figures.
Our cottage was up the road in Archestown. Perfect in every way. Lovely rooms, parking, massive kitchen diner etc. You get the picture. I have booked half a rod – which means I share a rod with a mate. Mainly to keep the cost down but also I don’t really want to fish for eight hours a day. Eight hours a day for five days….Id be demented. Swapping every hour allows us both to stay fresh.
Ok – so bare with me. This is true. On my second cast with a fly on the river spey. I catch a gleaming fresh run atlantic salmon. As Roy Ayers sang Everybody Loves The Sunshine. Elated I sit out the rest of the day and have a few beers and sagely advise my much maligned friend. While I do this I also admire the landscape of this stunning river. The whole area is bathed in a special spring light that makes everything seem a touch brighter. From a world mechanised to mother nature luminous.
Our beat was split into two sections. Lower and higher. Our ghillie Davey rotated us each session. This worked superbly well. We covered the water worth fishing rather than wandering blindly. I’m a dab hand at wandering blindly. For the week we managed seven salmon to eighteen pounds. Ate out every night, had a few beers, lots of excitement and plenty of laughs.
I’m not sure why it took me twenty years to grasp this nettle. Don’t make my mistake. Its a special place. Speyside is the perfect re-set button. Life can be like being trapped in a washing machine on spin cycle. In the wise words of The Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin – I’m so glad we made it. You will be too.
Salmon Flies – Zeros to Heros
Salmon Flies – Zeros to Hero’s
Everyone has an opinion. Ive seen the most dog eared twisted and gnarled flies catch fish. Anglers lovingly grooming some tatty charred remains – Ben Gunn castaway that looks as though it has been fired out of a cannon. Desperately trying to get it back into shape so it can repeat that sublime magic trick. Hook a salmon.
Under-dressed, overdressed, too big, too small. Too heavy, too light, too long too short. Wrong materials, old patterns, new patterns. Hitched, un-hitched, rapala knot, lucky and unlucky. Slow movement, fast movement. And all these observations every time you open your fly box. Your poor heads processing speed like the wheel of death buffering your live stream. If you are like me then picking out a winner is a tough gig. I catch so few salmon that experimentation is a high risk occupation. So I tend to go for flies that have done the business. The fish with an element of confidence ploy.
The shear amount of salmon fly patterns should give you a clue. Books so thick that you could use then to stand on to change a light bulb, full of variants and variations. Pot bellied pig, red francis, cascade, atomic cascade, turbo stoats tail, pig francis, cascading pig. Who knows. Not me. Right place? Right time? Maybe.
Most of us rotate the squad like Pep Guardiola on a European night. Most of our big guns get a run out during a session. The squad is punctuated by some new signing hot prospect. A hot shot that has rewritten the record books on the continent. A hot shot recommended by the scouts on a distant forum or caught your eye on Ebay. Another must have sure thing that will muster a fish like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat. These new signings don’t have long to make an impact. Alan Shearer is in your fly box, is nearly back to full fitness and he wants his place back. With each empty cast you remind yourself of Shearers glory days. Not long now until you bring the new lad off and put on the tried and tested war horse.
My Alan Shearer is a street fighting Stoats Tail that looks like its been chewed by an escalator. Size twelve hook, tatty black hackle, silver wrapping now flapping with a hint of a clipped yellow stump. I think I may of found it in a tree. Those type of found flies are my favourites. Lost by an unlucky angler and found by a lucky one. Or so I would like to imagine. I start and finish every session with it. Now most of the time I use it on the dropper with a lightly dressed Willie Gunn on point. Are they better than anything else in the box? Who knows. Certainly not me. But when you do manage to perform the magic trick and actually hook an Atlantic Salmon. The fly that cracks the code is one that stays in the memory every time the box is opened.
Like when you bought a record – it makes an indelible mark on the memory.