Spring 2021

Deep roots never doubt that spring will come

Leo Tolstoy. “Spring is the time of plans and projects”

And so we emerged from the dark of winter. Hope on our lips searching for light.

During lock down I had somehow managed to overdose on club memberships and now found myself a paid up member of five angling clubs and associations. I had started to write three new books – each very different to the other. Each one had stalled after a few chapters due a lack of focus. I tell myself that the ideas obviously were not fully formed but I know the truth – as my school report always told me – I remain easily distracted. One of these distractions had been born from necessity. Finding stock to sell during lock down was impossible so I took the opportunity to create my own. I started to create my own abstract art. Making the frames (usually 6ft x 4ft) and stretching the canvases then spending the winter weeks joyfully painting them to a selection of music while trying not to freeze in my unit in Clitheroe. I love the process as you get to see the results far quicker than writing a book (which from seed to deed can take me two years). The gratification of selling a painting is both thrilling and uplifting.

In short, my head was like a washing machine on spin cycle. At the same time the salmon season had arrived & could give me shelter from the storm.

“Energy and motion made visible – memories arrested in space” .

Jackson Pollock

April – Journeys to the river Eden and hit it & quit it sessions on the Ribble

Memories arrested in space.

So far spring has seen me fish the Eden three times = 15 hrs( yet to see a fish ) and the Ribble at Balderstone x 2, Low Moor x 5 & Mid Ribble x 4 all on the fly in a series of hit it and quit it sessions on decent water (yet to see a fish, but I thought id seen one but it could have been a duck landing). Maybe next lift will be the one….either way I’ll enjoy trying.

We live in circles, we live in cycles

In April while fishing a mid ribble beat we were visited by an Osprey. It flew overhead and headed off upstream. What a joy to see. The ribble wildlife seems to be flourishing. Common sandpipers, Oyster catchers, Lapwings, Egrets, Kingfishers are all present and add to the charm of being out. Their presence amplified by our recent lock-down. The fresh air seems sweeter !

On Sunday 23rd of May – our beat at Low Moor registered its first springer of the season. It was caught on the fly by a mate of mine and was 13lb and was sea liced.

Buoyed by this news I was out of bed by 4.30am and on the river by 5 for a pre work hit and run. I fished my favourite pools and was home for 7am. One of the reasons I love spring fishing is this feature. You can fish before and after work.

That evening I returned to the same beat. Great water – height, colour etc etc felt like I would get a pull any minute – 3 other rods all felt the same too. The excitement was tangible. Its been a long time coming, the chance of a spring fish and now that the water has arrived and a few fish have been landed. Those optimistic feelings are finally warranted. I gave it until dusk & Id received a distress call from home that my wife urgently needed a bottle of wine. So that was that

I fished on wednesday night – again down at Ribblesdale Anglers beat – Low Moor. Same dance – perfect water but no signs of life – 3 rods that evening and four during the day all reporting the same thing. “felt fishy” is the watchword of the salmon angler and its always worth another 50 casts!

I shall update this page with every trip I make – hopefully with reports of some fish.

Blinded by optimism and damned by time – The Terminal Chancer reluctantly straddles both the worlds of responsibility and self indulgence. He Strives to exit the membrane of the everyday grind so he can inhabit his own exclusive world – one where he can happily fish for Atlantic salmon. Is that too much to ask for?

Current Playlist

Jenny Lewis – On The Line

Jane Weaver – Flock

Peter Tosh – Legalize It

Rob St John – Surface Tension

Chip Wickham – Blue to Red

A Certain Ratio – Loco & Good Together

The Fall – Take it down to the wire (live at Clitheroe Castle

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