Saturday, 15 October 2011

Way Back When

Yesterdays angling trip was a little flat.My new fishing buddy was supposed to meet me around 08.00 as we had decided the previous week.Thursday night saw me tackling up with two Pike rods one for him and one for me.Friday morning I jump out of bed a quick shower and some toast and I'm off down the river for first light.It had turned a good deal colder overnight and I sat and watched the mist rising like a procession of spirits on there way to who knows where.

Anyway about an hour later Edwards daughter turned up and said her farther was feeling under the weather with a cold and could not fish.Nice of here to come down and tell me though,it does seem everyone has a rotten cold at the moment.Hopefully another time as I want to help catch him a Pike or two.I've got a few holiday days to take off in November so fingers crossed and all that.

I blanked yesterday and by mid morning the sun was belting down as it is today.The river seemed lifeless and in need of a drop of rain.The day passed by in a haze really and my mind drifted back to how and when I started to fish.My first rod and reel was bought back in 1980 from Woolworth's aged ten I was then.Black and White Shakespeare,snap lock reel seat and a rubber stopper at the butt end that hid a deep maroon colour glass rod.At ten feet long it was the bollocks.Chuck in a few sundry items and I was finally good to go.

No one in my family has ever fished and they assumed within a couple of weeks that I would get bored,and tuck the tackle away.I've never been blessed I suppose with what you would call an even temperament,suffering fools not.No patience either,liable to walk out of a bank Que rather than waste five precious minutes of my life.But here I still am today fishing 31 years later and if you asked me why I could not tell you.

I started out on the Regents Canal in Hackney.Here is a little photo(not mine) of how she looks in Haggerston now.I've spent a fair amount of time in my old manor over the last three months or so and the area has undergone a huge transformation.I can't believe a one bedroom apartment in Dalston Square will cost you £365,000.

Back in my day it was mostly large estates.Our was the Kingshold(big up the Well Street Massive).You had The Holly Street,Frampton Park,Kingsmead,Pembury etc. etc.But near these ran the Regents Canal.And I have a confession(I feel like an alcoholic here)......My name is Monty Dalrymple and I did not catch a fish for two years.No honestly I did not,not even a humble Gudgeon.You see I had no one to show me,no one fished or was interested in fishing.I went without fail most weeks come wind,rain or shine.Wrapped up in multi layers,five pairs of socks to try and keep my feet warm.We have all been cold over the years,but Christ did the wind whip down the Regents in the winter.I did not know how to shot a float properly,I can still see in my minds eye me trying to impale a gentile on a size 8 hook.

But I never gave up,kept going much to my Mothers dismay,she hated her fridge being used for bait.Until one day when and old boy came along the path and stopped and told me and I still hear these words today"You need to shot your float down son and plumb the depth".He may as well asked me to explain quantum physics.He said he lived close and would be back shortly and sure enough he was.He spent some time with me and off he went just like that.And that day I caught a Roach about six inches long.I was a fisherman at last and did not stop talking about it all night.Next weekend I caught eight small Perch,yes eight.I still smile now for when I told my Dad I had eight and the look on his face said......Of course you did son.I never got the chance to really thank that old boy for what he gave me,a gift.The gift of time and without him I may have well jacked it all in.That's why I always try and offer help to kids when fishing,though seldom see any these days.But will the anglers of today and there constant want,need,must have the best swim info on fishing forums still be around in 31 years time,maybe, maybe not.Try and fail but keep trying.What is the point if every thing about angling is so desperately easy.

Of course I expect he may be long gone now from this earth,though if he isn't I would assume he would be nearing 90 or so.I would like to think he was still walking along the toe path offering a few sage words when needed.But I walked not three weeks ago from Haggerston down to Colombia Road flower market on a bright Sunday and saw not a soul fishing.So he may always remain a very cherished memory.And I,unbeknown to him owe that man a huge debt of gratitude.Thank you.

Below we have my mate Yessling Ying with a Salmon of 10.7 he caught last week while fishing for Roach.Caught on a trotted Tare no less and landed on a 2lbs bottom.I have had to obscure his face as he serves with the finest regiment in the world.And is based at Creden Hill,in the lovely county of Hereford shire.Cracking fish mate,beats slotting the Taliban does it not?Or knowing you as I do then maybe not and I'll see you in a few weeks.

That's about it,lovely warm weather down in the tropical south.I'm off to West Ham later as we play Blackpool.So what ever you do,do it well.Perch next week at some stage for me,as Chez Monty has an abundance of worms.

Be Lucky.

Monty D


  1. nice mate great story.

  2. Monts, yam knows oi'm a plumber, yam does. And it was on worm not tare, but for any concerned onlookers I do actually hold a salmon rod licence and not a coarse one, so all's fair and legal.

  3. Brilliant recollections Monty, reminds me of being taken fishing 50 odd years ago by my Gran (the only angler in our family).
    Memories that stay forever.

    Congrats on yesterday another good performance by the way.



  4. Gent's,

    Cheers.As for West Ham yesterday.....Blackpool were poor Phil,we have Southampton away on Tuesday night and Brighton away the following Monday.Both will be harder.

    It's now time to walk down to the Dukes Head and have a cupla pints of Youngs Special.

  5. Great result Yessling, a rare feat that.

    My first 6 sessions in the winter of 1974 at a small lake in Anglesy were also cold grey blanks like you describe. Were it not for gullible perch come the spring...

  6. Yessling, plumber my arse. How was Libya? We heard you boys have at last sorted things out over there.