Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Joyeux Noel!

It's come around quick again, or is it just me who seems to think this year has flown by? Maybe it is Old Father Time, who is slowly drawing me towards his net. I cannot believe I'll be forty five next year. Mentally, well I guess that I'm around eighteen still.

I was out last Saturday, but another blank ensued. All week promising myself that the lure gear will get a rest, but it's never thus. What it is that has so enthralled me most of this current season, to fish this way. Much more accomplished anglers than I, have said it can be a real ball breaker in the winter. That maybe try a canal or two, check out a few lakes and pits.

The summer and autumn I thought that i'd cracked it. Every one a coconut, crashed and burned so far this winter with just the odd fish. I'll be out for a morning session tomorrow, in truth today was penciled in, alas a mixture of various wines were consumed late into the night. Rendering me utterly useless this morning.

I'll keep trying though, because that jolt through the body when you get a hook up is totally addictive at present. Finding the fish has been hugely problematic, but tomorrow, well a hunch that I will drop on a few is niggling away at me. For one thing those Perch are not where they were in the past.

Over the last few years I've always added a carol at Christmas time and our house, well it would not be the same without  Nat King Cole.

So as always, this is Monty Dalrymple, from high up on Yat Rock wishing you all a very Joyeux Noel. And let us hope the weather gods play nice, so we can get out a few times and burn off those excess calories.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Blown Away

I've been told by the wife that I'm a miserable bastard today, even last night. In that I had my face glued to the lap top, scanning the EA river levels website. Chuntering away to myself, mumbling "Fuck me, it's going to go bank high again by the morning".

And she(rivers are always a she in my eyes, fickle and harsh, but when she is nice all together lovable) did. Got out of bed at 0430, logged on and knew it was a waste of time. We seem to get dry weeks and near the weekend it pisses down again.

I stomped off to the bookies at eleven to put a couple of bets on, stopped in the Dukes Head for a cheeky cupla and to read the paper. I received a text from Denise "Post mans been darling, package has arrived for you I'm just popping to Mums, I'll leave it in the tackle room"

Well I drank up and hot footed it home and unwrapped this little lot. Now it's not often I am lost for words. But I was/am still.

I knew Richard was going to send me a "Few Floats". He did not want any payment, but gave me the reason why he would like me to have them for free. One reason I could not adhere too ;-0. The second you can have my word on it that I will.

What an act of kindness, I'm totally, totally blown away. I owe you big time, they will be used at the first chance of some suitable conditions.

Just a short blog, but Richard simply brilliant mate thank you. The card is superb too, made us both laugh.

Be Lucky

Monty D.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Tale From The Past

Jamie awoke early on Christmas Eve, peered out of his bedroom window and looked out on a snowy scene across his father's farm. His brain screamed "Stay in bed, in the warm". But when your young, well you think you know better. The smaller, less intelligent part of the brain trembled and mumbled "Chub, Chub, Chub"

Our young angler, jumped out of bed. Dressed quickly, dashed down to the kitchen and grabbed a loaf of bread. "Mum I'll be home for tea, love you". Then he was gone, the cold took his breath away, "Jesus it's cold" as he stomped across the yard.

He passed his father, "No later than three son, get home by then". "Yes Dad", but he rolled his eyes as we all do. Time, well mostly when your fishing just slips away.

Arriving at the river, it looked barren that cobalt hue that just screamed Cooolllldddddd. But hey he was out, spring in his step. Looking around our intrepid young angler searched and found a over hanging willow tree. Fish must live here he thought to himself.

Out went a large lump of crust, wafting hopefully under the roots of the tree. Nothing, not a twitch nor a snatch. Time was running out, the cold was by now seeping into our heroes bones. One last cast, plop and sit back.

The tip pulled around, a solid thump up the rod. Line grating on the roots, cold fingers fumbling on the pin, the cane rod bent double. "I'm winning, yes I can see it what a Chub" it was akin to a scene from the Old Man and the Sea.

Ready for netting now, " Oh Christ I forgot the net, the net". It was then Jamie heard a voice behind him "Need a hand young man", "Yes please" Jamie stammered. Another angler came to his aid.

The aged angler swept the fish up first time. "Wow" they both said in unison. A new personal best of five pounds and six ounces. Jamie set up his camera and wanted his new found friend in the photo also.

The job done, Jamie packed away quickly explaining that he had to be home. The two anglers walked back across the meadow, chatting like life long friends as only anglers can do. Jamie reached the farm gate and bid his new friend a fond farewell and raced inside to regal his parents of his days triumph.

"Now son, not a soul has crossed our land today", remarked Jamie's father. "It's true, it's true" screamed our intrepid piscator. He raced upstairs to print the photo off as proof of his day. His parents just smiled, youthful exuberance owing to it being Christmas..

Jamie raced back down stairs holding his photo aloft, as well as the prize Chub, in the photo was his late Grandfather  who he had never met. They all raced outside and looked down the lane, of course not a soul was to be seen.

"Come on, back inside" said Jamie's father. Jamie looked longingly down the lane and said "Merry Christmas Granddad"

And on the breeze came "And to you lad and to you"

Yep I put this on here, four years ago. But I've a hankering for a little Chub fishing with my MKIV Avon this weekend. So thought why not ? About time I got the cane rods out again and this rod, had never had a reel on it until I bought it a few years back. A cracking rod! I just fancy some crust fishing in the cold.

Be Lucky

 Monty D

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Lemsip Kid

Yep that's me this weekend, laid up with a poxy cold. Wrapped up at home with a Hot Water bottle on me noggin. I thought I may sweat it out over night, the wife left home for her night shift I went to bed. All was going well until  three am and the cat was scratching at the bedroom door a sign that he wants to go out.

Amble down stairs and open the back door, freezing cold in just my boxer shorts. Then five minutes of deliberation, from his nibs before he decides it's to cold to go out and decapitate some more mice. And he goes back in. Now you may think just nudge him with your foot to get him out. I've tried that before while I had shoes on, a big mistake. He morphed into a hissing, snarling lunatic. In bare feet I thought better of it. Back to bed, but no more sleep came. Doubt I'll miss much today with that hard frost last night. Carl I know your out, sorry to let you down mate, I hope it was worth it. Always next weekend.

Doppelgangers of the Angling World Part XXXII.

We have not had one of these for a while, so without further ado may I present these fine two  upstanding members of society. Below we have the Sussex maestro that is Richard Cleaver, lover of vintage tackle, best known for his simply abysmal effort to try and earn his "Stripes". But he came strong near the end, went on to coach  the Jamaican Bobsleigh team, made a mean breakfast of flap jacks, nurtured his young nieces and nephew. And knocked up some great looking home made floats(hint, hint). Glad things are on the mend mate ;-0

And below we have Uncle Buck, the uncle among uncles. With a very nice Grayling caught from the river Frome in poor conditions. Way to go 'Unc.

Christmas Books.

As ever the year has seen me behave-mostly. So last week a little letter was popped  up the chimney to Farther Christmas with a request for these three. Firstly Tangles with Pike, by Dominic Garnett. I'm looking forward to this, he writes very well. His blog is a pleasure to read, his book Flyfishing for Coarse Fish has intrigued me to maybe try this next summer.

Next up is Lure Fishing Presentation and Strategy, by Dave Pugh. A couple of people have recommend this to me. I've been told it is direct and straight to the point. Now normally like many, a story has to be weaved into the fabric of a book, let the tale unfold. Draw you in. This is unlike that, so I'm led to understand. But a mate did say " You will learn something mate", don't doubt that I will.

Lastly this, While My Float's Still Cocked, written by Maurice J Pledger, Simply it was put to me thus." Jay I can't believe you do not have this yet". Nuff said then!

I can't go and not mention Blythe Spartans, the FA Cup still holds it's magic. Let's hope they draw one of the big clubs in the third round and get a day out to remember.

Off for more Lemsips.

Enjoy your weekend.

Be lucky.

Monty D

Saturday, 29 November 2014


The phone rang about four o'clock yesterday afternoon......

"Jay don't bother mate this weekend, it's still bombing through and filthy, stay home and have a lie in mate"

"OK mate, thanks for looking for me I'll give it a miss then, cheers"

No intention of fishing today at all, but being that I'm a lark I was up and about by five o'clock this morning. Stuff it, the sun is supposed to shine, I'll give it a few hours, better than sitting at home doing nothing on a Saturday morning. Grabbed my gear and got the first train down.

Nice to be greeted by this, so worth getting up and out for. No fish showed today, not surprised at all in that the river has been in the fields again all week. But what do you do? Wave the white flag, give up until next summer. Not a chance, you may just sneak a fish out. These conditions must surely improve soon, this deluge upon deluge must abate.

So I whipped the camera out every now and again, between casting and retrieving.    

Maybe I should have cast a lure into the fields, as opposed the river. People may think I'm mad to bang on with the lure gear in such conditions. But in truth at present it's all I want to do, making a rod for my own back-possibly. But it sets me free, minimal tackle and thorough enjoyment fish or no fish.

Snags and trees that were on this beat last weekend have been swept away, trees ripped out. The fish must not know what day it is. Haunts decimated, new areas to try and track them down. Is it a waste of time, not for me. You have a line in the water so you may just get lucky.

Anyway about ten thirty another angler came along, very rare.

"How's it going?"
"No joy mate, not good conditions"

This other angler down on a recce was looking at me like he had seen a ghost.

"Your famous, your the one who that does that blog"
"Well yeah I do a blog"

In my head a little voice is screaming "Famous, famous, fuck me I did not learn how to tie my shoes laces until I was thirty five". How I kept a straight face I'll never know, famous fuck me!

We chatted for about fifteen minutes, turns out his name was Carl and he has just joined this club. Nice to meet you mate and my offer stands, you know how to contact me. I knocked it on the head not long after he left. Fish less but unbowed, let's hope things improve weather wise and soon.

Had a little bit of each way on Rocky Creek in the Hennessy at Newbury  this afternoon at 11/1. This will be a real slog in these conditions so I'm hopeful of a place, feet up and a cupla of TT Landlord at the ready.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Hard Yards

Christ I walked some today, legs feel leaden now, back aches and feel utterly knackered. Perch were on the agenda this morning, but arriving at first light my heart sank. Though well down on last week the colour was still like tea. I spent half an hour in an absolute banker of a swim, with no joy. You know when your wasting your time so I moved to another club stretch that for some reason, the conditions improve far quicker.

To me the day screamed out for a lump of bread flake, but having the lure gear that was out. This swim below I fancied working a bait along the near bank. You need the dexterity of a mountain goat down here, gently lowering myself down. Rucksack off, edge forward to cast and I started to sink fast in the cloying mud, nearly ended up flat on my back as I struggled to maintain my balance. Give this one a miss mate, not worth getting in trouble.

Roaming about for the first three hours, proved fruitless. Pools, undercuts, deep cover and not a hook up. Up the lure size and a five inch Kyopto went out and a real hit on the first retrieve. The rod absolutely hooped over then nothing. Gutted, that was the strongest take I've ever had. I spent more time in the swim and came back to it half a dozen times during the day. What ever was about earlier was not interested now. Book marked for another day most definitely, my largest Pike from along this beat is 15.8, though that was some time back, on a good old fashioned Smelt.

Keep walking, keep casting, try, try, try. Time was ticking on, five hours fishing and no fish to grace my net. When I'm mobile getting despondent is not an option, you are constantly searching. Different retrieves, different patterns of lures. Jig Flies, SP's and Spinners brought no joy.

This swim below you can see by the far bank, how high the level was when it peaked late on Saturday night. Leaving a nice tree trunk, doubt it will be around this time next week with the predicted deluge about to hit us again.

Last chance saloon, it's now nearly one o'clock it's pissing down. I'm covered in mud, coat pocket ripped open as I went arse over tit on the infamous "Beetle stile", what a swan dive that was, slipped forward and the rickety git  launched me like a man from a cannon.

Clip on a small diving crank, back along a decaying weed bed and first time this little Jack. How can a fish this small make a grown man feel so elated. Well it saved a blank, but I worked my nuts off for this fish. So yeah I'm happy!

A thoroughly enjoyable six hours on the bank, along with some dry weather we need some frost down here to knock the colour out of the water. Thus this will hopefully make the Perch a viable option again. And no other anglers about, just you, your thoughts and time to switch off.

National Treasures

OK I'm a little perplexed, certain things should not be replicated, left alone as a nod to greatness and the past. Certain things in my eyes are sacrosanct, not to be meddled with. Here are two things that should  have remained unscathed by the modern world. Given some spit and polish if you like. They were great as they were and still stand the test of time now.

First up the legendary Paddington Bear from darkest Peru.

Then we have this motley crew from one of my all time favorites Dads Army.

But it seems time are a changing. Paddington Bear is to be given a make over and will appear in a new film due out this month. And filming has already started on a new Dads Army film. Why ? What gain is to be had from rehashing these two? On a Saturday evening I'll always watch the old reruns of Dads Army, it simply cannot be bettered. Gentle humor and wonderfully acted. The new Paddington film apparently has "Sexual Innuendo " in it's content. Again why? We used to watch this as kids and I've still got the books, even the most up to date version Paddington Here And Now published in 2008.

Utter madness, all for financial gain. Is nothing sacred, what next a remake of Porridge. How can anyone surpass that cast, I still love it now. Ronnie Barker as Fletcher was outstanding, as were others. 'Orrible Ives, what a character."Grouty" and his gentle, soothing do it my way persona, or I'll break your legs. Brilliant!

Hands of you modernizing bastards, leave these gems as they are. Best get back down from my soap box, thank god for this blog or the wife would divorce me, for all my pissing and moaning.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and if your bank side on Sunday, you may need an Ark.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Turned Out Nice Again

That was the case up until Friday morning, the river, my river had been dropping back all week until yesterday morning. Then all hell broke loose on the rain front, every few hours my eyes scanned the EA website and saw the river rising and rising.

Now common sense should prevail and the Barbel gear should have been used today, fish the conditions, use your brain. But common sense and brain power has never been one of my best attributes. And anyway these Jig Flies arrived on Thursday and were crying out for a swim.

You can see where this is leading a big fat blank. Fish the slacks people say, all well and good if you can find any. Those that I did find, were like a mango swamp, infested with snags. Where the three hours this morning a lesson in futility, a real noble prize winning fuck up? No not really, I'm always wary of the EA website as they have got it massively wrong in the past. I wanted to see if the river had come up as much as they suggested.

It had and is still on the rise, slowly creeping up, twisting and turning like a malevolent serpent of the aqua persuasion. Shame really as the morning was mild, if conditions were better then no doubt my presence would still be felt on the bank.

The meadows are saturated, sodden to the point that standing water is every where, sloshing around in some spots up to my shins. We need a sustained period of dry weather down here, you may expect these conditions in late winter. To see this much water outside of the river at this time of year is rare.

Ben, I'm glad we postponed this day as it would have been a long way for you to come, for nixy bleeding poo. But as they say you always learn something and today I learnt to try every once  in a while to use my brain. Lastly would the club member who felt the need to take the padlock off the gate, tie it back with cable ties, thus giving open access for all please desist. I snipped the cable ties off and secured the lock. If you can't remember a four digit code, then you really should not be let out alone.

On the plus side I'm home in time to watch the jump racing from Cheltenham, feet up and a cupla of bottles of Hobgoblin while the wife is out Christmas shopping with her mates. I've had a little bit of Each Way on Johns Spirit in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at 10/1.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Doppelgangers of the Angling World Part XXXI

Well it's been months and months since a Doppelganger graced these pages, but I spotted this one on Friday, so without further ado may the angling gods present these two fine fellows.....

Below we have "Sir" Jeff Hatt, pondering on all things Roach, bread baits and life and real Ale in general.

And below we have Dante, pondering on one of life's great mysterious. Not Dumas, piscatorial prose. No that total bastard that is Zander and the problem of dropped runs!

My fishing, well the last two weeks have been taken up with football and work. That was until Friday night when I got my tackle ready for an assault on my local Perch population. Alas the weather gods seem to be aligning with his mates from last season. We have had to much rain again in Surrey this week, my local venue had dropped back nice as of Thursday, when a new and improved, guaranteed to piss me off  sort of rain fell. I held out hope, awoke yesterday morning at 0430, checked the EA website only to see she was over the top again. This seems to be remarkably like the last few seasons, sodden fields under foot and the river forming Ox Bow Lakes. I think I'll have to look for another club, that has access to some still waters also, as opposed to strictly river fishing.    

Just a few photos from today at Whitehall, the crowds were huge this year. Many more people made the journey I'm sure, owing to it being the centenary of the "Great War", though my Great Granddad saw it as anything but great. To him, it was just what you did. I'll not make the trip again, been going for around twenty five years now. We all go I'm sure for our own reasons, time for me to draw a line under it-he knows that it's every day I think of him, the laughs we had. I've mentioned before he passed away aged ninety nine, on Christmas Day, that was in nineteen ninety five. So yeah it's fitting on the centenary to let another soul take my regular place. Though my Mum begs to differ, she said yesterday "Boy your be back next year, you know you will"

Fingers crossed the weather enters a settled period and I can get some fishing done next Sunday.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Shameless Plug

Seeing that I'm just your average angler like most of us, I tend not to mention tackle dealers at all. But in the week while online I decided to treat myself to a new reel for my lure fishing and with that in mind a shameless plug for customer service.

This little beauty was ordered just after 1600 Hrs on Wednesday, got it for a cracking price too. Normally the RRP is a little over two hundred pound, shop around though and they tend to be offered for sale cheaper than this, me well I got this for just over one hundred and twenty pound, with the LAS discount. But the real surprise was that it arrived the next day in work around noon, free postage too.That to me is exemplary customer service.

If your in the market for some new tackle why not try this place....


West Ham Yesterday

What can you say about that result? Over the years as a West Ham fan I've seen it all. Highs, lows and the lows far out way the highs. But it's my team, you only ever have one team regardless of how they play. Support a team from where you come from, none of this glory hunting  bollocks that seems so prevalent today.

Not cheap anymore, two tickets yesterday for  my old man and I set me back a good few quid. But what a result against the current champions. Yes we rode our luck, as any team would do against a side that has class running through it as City do. But we thoroughly warranted the win, what a cracking atmosphere. To many times over the last ten years the stadium has been dead, but not against the mancs. The last ten minutes my heart was banging, your dared not look at times as City poured forward in droves.

The final whistle and the stadium erupted and the best rendition of "Bubbles" I've heard in donkeys years. Looking at my old man, arms aloft belting it out made the hairs on my neck stand up. Sixty seven years old and a look of utter elation on his face. Walking him back to his motor after the match he looked me in the face and said...."Only thing is kid we have handed the title to Chelsea with today's win, so Sam out in my opinion". Silly old fucker, only he could come out with that. Should have him as a pundit on Sky Sports.

What's changed this season ? Easy one this, we have strikers who can score goals. Last year we were dependent on the mid field for those, what with Carroll being perennially injured. Champions League football next season, dare to dream. Us at the Nou Camp? I doubt that very much indeed, we have Stoke away up next and that is always a tough place to go. I'll just take these small victories and savor every moment.

At present it's nice to be able to get excited about my side, been a long time since that has happened.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Fish The Conditions

Last Sunday afternoon the rain fell and continued well into Monday night, it came down unabated. I walked in through the door Monday evening to be greeted thus by the wife. "Whats the matter with you, you have a face like a smacked arse". "River will be over the banks and in the fields by the morning, it will screw up my fishing for this Saturday". "Well you'll have to fish the conditions then babes".

My wife, the apple of my eye was now imparting wisdom on the angling front to me. It comes to something when that happens. She was right of course, the river rose and fell all week. Right up until late yesterday, Gruff popped down and had a look, but lure fishing was out. It had to be Barbel, with conditions as they are.

We both decided to fish a stretch of water that we had not seen for five years, known for big fish and a real ball breaker. In for a penny and all that, we tend to shy away from it owing to the fact it can get very busy. Today no one, just the two of us. Text book conditions, you could not have asked for more and yet we both did not have a touch. Why ? If I knew that, bottling that recipe and flogging it to the gullible would see me a rich man. As I said a ball breaker of a venue, an old boy came down for a walk who I'd not seen since my last visit, he only fishes midweek and has banked Barbel to in excess of sixteen pounds and from the swim I was in, he told me this years back. A real old school gent, a smashing man.

We spent a good half hour chatting, I inquired as to why the banks were so overgrown, where the other anglers are. He let it be known that it's not really fished anymore, he has chalked up twelve blanks on the trot this season. No bites, not a thing.. Sometimes you tend think, that someone is selling you a tall tale to keep you off the bank. Not this guy, honest as the day is long, no need to disbelieve a word he says.

The last few seasons people have mentioned the demise of this area, really, really tough now they bemoan. We do not have a problem with Otters yet, so in my uneducated view it's purely a cycle thing. It's not just here but up and downstream are the same, it's getting bloody hard for some species.

But, a large slack to my right had me salivating. Perch were hammering the shoals of fry, trying to find solace from  the flow. Big broad backed, bristling dorsal fins were showing above the water line again and again. Gruff had the same further down too. Shame I never thought to sling a lure rod into the quiver , got caught out their. But my next session out will see me here with suitable tackle.

I'd love a large Barbel one day over fifteen pounds, the last twelve years or so I could think of nothing else. Fish all day and into dark on a Saturday, twice in the week after work. Not now, just don't have the patience or the time. Maybe that passion will return, though I doubt it. Simply put it was to intense, burnt me out to be fair. Great to catch up with Gruff though and he told me this little story from yesterday.

He was in his local tackle shop talking to Andy the owner, a guy walks in and asks to see some baiting needles. His shown one and reply's "That's no good I'm colour  blind I'll loose it" so he plumps for another one. He then goes onto to ask "Do you have the latest hangers", "Yep we have these mate". "Good I'll have a red and blue one" A real WTF moment for my mate, trying not to piss himself laughing.

Just a couple of photos as no fish to show for today. Some people do not blog blank sessions, but to me it's part and parcel of my angling.

Meet Maggie De Block the new Health Minister for Belgium, now I'll not be rude. But she claims her size is due to "genetics". Fair enough Maggie, you may even be big boned. But how can you have a lady of this curvaceous nature giving health advice?

It's a little like me on a Saturday night, the wife is  working a night shift. I've sunk a bottle of red, time for bed. But decide to have a cheeky nip of Glemorangie as a night cap. Then the phone goes..........

"Monty it's Gazza, your drinking to much pet you need to cut back a little"
"Yeah righto Paul, bye mate"

You see where I'm coming from here?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Talking to a non fishing mate the other day and own up we all have them, for better or worse. He asked me what are the days that live long in my memory? Sure my racing days at the blue ribbon event for national hunt racing, tick all the boxes. Being lucky enough to attend two FA Cup Finals with my beloved West Ham will always resonate, won one, lost one.

But when you look back, it is my fishing that always shines brightest. My first fish, my first Carp, my first Pike. I guess I'm lucky in that my train into London Victoria each day gives me time to think, maybe dream. A few years back a week before Christmas the snow fell heavy in our part of the world. It seldom does so I dashed out with  my camera.You could hear the flakes fall, utter silence apart from the stream freezing at it's edge. I love these photos, going out just to capture it, then getting home in the warm. I fished the next day and blanked, but it really did not matter.

Now this one to me always makes me smile, three years ago on the river Wye. The culprit Mr DD had experienced a torrid time for two days on the Barbel front. Not a touch, me being me had snatched a couple of nice Barbel. But Mr DD never gave up, he found some Perch and nabbed this PB of three pounds, six ounces. I'll always remember the shout.... "Jay I've got a good Perch on here". I stood up on the high bank and watched every thrust from the fish, every waver and moment of angst from the angler.Yearning the fish not to escape. The Perch hit  the net, and when my mate looked round and up, the relief was palpable.A huge smile from us both.

But this, this will live to me until my last breath. My mate Gruff, now Gruff has been busy this season with work. Life does for me, for you get in the way at times. Though this Saturday, he and I will fish together.

Gruff and I are different, his from Yorkshire, he is I think now is sixty two? Thoughtful, an engineer by trade. He repairs my cane rods, boiler and makes his own centerpin  reels when he has time. Me, well I'm forty four and an office "bod" If I ever phone Gruff to ask advice to mend anything the reply is always the same..."Don't touch it kid, it will be fit for fuck all if you get your hands on it, I'm on my way". His right though, me well changing a light bulb takes a weeks run up. Hurtful but true.

But this Pike, well a few years back we shared a bay on the river. A very mild January, we had few Jacks, the Gruff's float buried. What a fight, she went down under the near bank, line grating on the branches. Shook her head, angry, venomous. The river was not long back in the bank, so netting her was difficult, the footing covered in silt. A big stretch and a wobble from me and she went in.

"Good fish that Gruff"

"Fook me kid, yeah"

I unhooked her, we weighed her and bang on nineteen pound. Photos taken, I slipped her back. Gruff had hold of my coat in case I went in. People have said that's not a nineteen in the past, we both weighed her and the man is a lump. But we both know, that's good enough for us. As Walker said..... No need to lie, unless your are on a sponsorship, free bait et al. Then it would be a good mid twenty.

When the pair of us watched her swim off, two grown men man hugged on the bank a good fish for this river. That's fishing to me, not always about what I caught, but the memories. I hope it is the same for us all.

Here is to Saturday mate .

Be Lucky

Monty D

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fallon's Angler

A fair  few anglers would be aware that a new angling magazine has recently been published, a brave and some may say foolish thing to do in a market that has saturation coverage. But then fortune favors the brave, or so they would have you believe.

Me, well it has been years since I felt the need to open my wallet for an angling magazine, as they do not grab my attention anymore. Whilst  waiting for my train home from work, I flick through the various issues that adorn the shelves of "Smiffs". But it seems to be more product placement than literary content. How many photo's of bags of bait do you the reader need to see? The latest must have, will let you slaughter 'em rig. Magazines do need adverts to survive, but in my eyes it is all to prevalent in most articles.

This little cracker is different! The front cover did give me cause for concern, not the shot of Dominic Garnett but the words "A medley of piscatorial prose". That to me screams twee and possibly would put others off too, it has a mate of mine. Simply I just cannot do twee, just get out on the bank and fish.

My fears though were unfounded , it really is a good read. I will not spoil it for those who have not read this yet, or intend to purchase a copy. Each article is laid out well, looks good and tells a story that draws you in. You can fish from Manhattan to Pembrokeshire, my old stamping ground of East London to South Africa. Fish for Squid by night (this gave me nightmares) or fluke out your largest Perch.

Also issue number one comes with a free gift, a Barder Barbus Maximus, not bad for eight quid.

Jokes aside, it will appeal to those of us who are getting on in life, fished about a bit. Maybe learnt to dangle a worm in your local canal as a child. Moved on to various species, different styles of angling. Then you come full circle and you understand doing your own thing is enough. Old enough to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Give it a go, the editor  Garrett Fallon is indeed brave to start this venture and lord knows what the start up costs are? Support something different, from most of the current angling publications and I hope you like I are not disappointed. If you are then you must be mad!

Enjoyed this edition to the core and let's hope it takes off.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 4 October 2014

It's Been A While Coming

Looking at the weather forecast yesterday, it left me in two minds as what to do. My brain was saying take the umbrella, sit it out with a lump of meat and wait for a fish any fish to hang itself on the end. My heart said try in the few hours of sun for a Chub on the top that has eluded me throughout this season. This little lot won out and was slung in the rucksack in the evening. Buying lures is a dangerous business, the best advice is do not look online when your pissed, speaking from the voice of experience here. But I really covert some jig fly's to have a chuck with. Thank god I've not got into large lures yet, then it does get bloody expensive.

Gloriously sunny morning first thing, October and your walking the banks having a cast in every run, far bank foliage, under your feet and still no Chub. A few small Pike erupt and hit your lure, giving you heart palpitations. They just go ballistic when hooked, like an extra from the Cirque Du Soleil somersaulting this way and that.What life must be like beneath the surface if your a small fish? If it were I, Christ popping to the shops for a paper  would be nerve racking affair, darting in and out, looking, no, no halt ! Esox to left watch ouuuuutttt. Shit your brothers just been chomped, Mum's gonna kill me. "I told you not to take him, you wait until your farther get's home"

Meanwhile back in the real world it all came good, at last. A brisk walk up to below a small weir, renowned for being Crayfish central. Fishing a bottom bait here is asking for trouble, it goes on unabated. But for lures, well no problem. Looking at my watch, the rain was due to fall in an hour or so, so time was running out. Fishing in the rain with no brolly to me is a royal pain in the 'arris. If you enjoy it, seek help 'tis the only way.

A few speculative cast and no joy. I went for the biggie, rod right back aiming to cover the far side. Whoosh, splosh and oh bollocks the lure clipped a branch and kind of done a swallow dive leaving me in a mess on the reel. It just sat in the water looking at me as if to say "Nice one wanker"! Then it was gone,smash just gone. No action imparted, just a little small crank bobbing about while this angling demigod is struggling to untangle this mess.

It should have got off, but lady luck, lord Shiva, the little Grey Men all those things smiled on me. A cracking fight, this way and that. Finally slipping over the net, never I have been so elated to catch a Chub. It went a whisker over four of my finest pounds, Chub in the past I've caught to over six pound while Barbel fishing, but this left me strutting about like a rutting Deer. At bloody last, trying since the start of the season has resulted in abject failure. Not today, not today.

Right on time this little lot had built up around mid morning, so that was my small nudge to pull away from the realm of fantasy and hot foot it back to the train and home. As I sit here now, typing this the rain is falling at long last. Brooks and streams will bulge back into life, the well worn phrase "BRING IT ON" will be posted you know where.

To the left of me is a bottle of London Porter and I'm thinking about who shall I back in the Arc tomorrow at Longchamp. I will make a decision in the morning, for what is my favorite flat meeting of the season. Maybe Kingston Hill at 20/1, but dropping back in distance after the Ledger he maybe tapped for speed. But Kingston has run his heart out this season, so it would be great, more so to win at those juicy odds.

My angling has changed immeasurably since this blog started about four and a half years ago. Friends also have diversified, moving away from the whole single species myopia. Sure we are still a bunch of piss taking bastards, ripping each other to pieces like many others do and long shall it remain so. Time to finally grow up, never. No fishing now for a few weeks, work and West Ham will take precedent, then it will be time for "Operation Papa Smurf" and hopefully a three pound Perch when he pops over.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 27 September 2014

When Your Lucks In

I've not seen my local river so over grown at this stage of the season, the other side of this little lot hides a favorite pool of mine well I'm assuming it still does, but after spending the summer cutting and hacking my away along various beats, nature will have to take her course. I'm done with the path finder routine for now, it's just to much like hard work.

Remarkably like my last session, the large Perch were hard to find, plenty of little Jacks to keep the rod bent, but not what I was really after. I had a little think about where to go. Not driving does make these snap decisions a little harder, your on a particular stretch of water, so you can get lazy. Not today though, rucksack on and  a very long walk of about fourty minutes to where I've had some large Perch in the past. That is the problem you don't want to hammer the same places week after week, seek out new areas. But like many rivers, certain places seem devoid of fish, the water seems to hold no life, no fry scatter, it may as well be the river Styx. We may as well fish the Styx, if we do not get some rain soon, the bloody river is drying up.

Walk over, stiles and barbed wired fences negotiated, no tearing of the trousers today ,Christ my bollocks have come close to being taking off a few times over the years. One style in particular holds fond memories in that the Sussex Hermit got caught up in it, flung him and his tackle on his back, his spindly little arms and legs waving in the air like an upturned beetle "'elp me, elp me you pair of bastards". All we could do was cry with the laughter.

Anyway switching over to crank baits, soft plastics seem to catch me more fish, but fishing hard baits is more fun to me, don't ask me why it just is. No joy what so over from anything. Last role of the dice and a spinner was clipped on. A recent article in the LAS mag mentioned that if your struggling try a spinner, you may save a blank.

Bingo, a little cheat though. I fished the same pool that saw me bank  a 3.10 in June. Flicking it past some decaying weed on the far bank, it was hit almost straight away on the retrieve. I knew just knew this was a good Perch, that jag, jag of a fight. No matter how many good Perch that grace my net, it's always a nerve racking affair. Get the fish landed as quick as you can.

Another good 'un. Tipping the scales at 3.4. I did at first think it was the same fish from June, but a distinctive little mark on the underside was not to be found. Imagine if your a small fish and this mouth is the last thing you see, prior to going down the hatch. Pleased with that, making the effort to move and not get stuck in a rut. You have to make it happen, sure it does not always work out that way, but when it does you have a grin like a wanking Jap.

Could you honestly see this clown ever running the country? I was going to use the strongest of expletives to describe him, but then thinking about it, why waste such a good word. Watching his speech in the week from the Labour Party Conference, left me dumbstruck. He is a totally odd wanker, he must be from another planet.

I care not for his policy's or what his speech contained. The problem for me is the man himself, he makes my fucking skin crawl. He has absolutely no gravitas what so ever! Cameron is a mug too, smarmy. To say the Queen "purred" after the recent referendum vote, makes me think of a little clique of old Eton boys in a tuck shop. All nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Suits you sir.

But it's the lesser of the two evils. I simply dread to think if this prick wins power, the mind boggles at who would want to see this man in number ten. Ed and Ed, yeah what a right win double they would be.

A little bit of a rant I'll admit, but that is just me. Climb up on my little soap box and get things of my chest. Time for some Ryder Cup now, a beer or three and feet up.

Be lucky

Monty D

Monday, 1 September 2014

If You Buy One Book This Year

Do yourself a favor and get this one, written by Helen Macdonald. This totally, totally grabbed me around the throat and would not let go. I was supposed to save this, to read on the plane this coming weekend. I thought I would take a cheeky dip in, late on Friday night. A big mistake, the book enthralled me all weekend. It is one of those books that you yearn not to end.

Helen writes a beautiful tome about nature, falconry, the use of love and training of a Goshawk to help her move on from the death of her father. The chapter where she relates to receiving the phone call from her mother, informing  Helen of her father passing away, was brave as it was brutal. To lay bare the depths of your soul like that, takes some doing. You could feel the raw angst like a nail being driven into your skull.

It moves on, at pace. Taking you through the trials and tribulations of training a "Gos". The sheer folly of taking on such a task, the bond between human and bird. I know very little about raptors, but what I do know, is that when out fishing they are always a pleasure to see.

Recently I saw our local Peregrine, soaring above the tree tops. That piecing call on the breeze, like a mournful cry, going down the valley. It never ceases to bring a smile to my face.

This book  has opened up a whole new world to me, for those that are as passionate as the author in there love for these birds. It's a look into her world, her life and struggle to move on, as moving as any book that I've had the privilege to read. At times seemingly, I was face to face with those soulful amber eyes, as if I was being dismissed, totally and utterly by a glaring Hawk.

Buy it, open the cover, sit back and read something that is very special, uplifting and like no other book that sits on our book shelf.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 23 August 2014

My Name Is Monty Dalrymple

A cracking morning to be on the river, kicking up dew as you amble about with not a care in the world. This was to be my last angling trip until the middle of September owing to "real life" getting in the way. Like many other anglers I'm sure you like I, count the working week away. Just so you can go fishing, switch off and revel in doing boys own stuff again.

Lures again for me, it has been mostly since the start of the season. Other angling trips have been had, Barbel and Chub banked, but on a very small river that on a personnel level I'm not to happy to blog about.

First cast today into a deep shady pool brought this small Perch, more casts brought a procession of small fish so time for a move.

 Looking at  a small run off below a weir it  looked appealing, resulting in just a couple of micro Pike and more small Perch. I played about with various lures again, various colours and the only thing that worked today were these yellow shads. Crank baits, spinners were left unmolested. It seemed the fish only wanted yellow baits. Why is that? One particular colour and one pattern only, brought a response. Or is it that your catching on a lure and you fish more confidently, not sure to be honest what the answer is.

We all have a banker area on a river, a swim that always, always produces the goods. Mine is known as "Perch Bend" to me anyway, giving me more three pound  plus Perch over the last ten years or so than any other area on this particular stretch.

Flicking the bait out here always gives me confidence, it just screams fish. Plop, wind back in and nothing on the first cast. The second cast was nailed in a big way, huge smile on my face, yep another three pounder on the end mate. Wrong! This Pike below though only small went ballistic, tail walking like a madman. It hit the lure right under my feet and just inhaled it right to the back  of it's mouth. In all the years I've fished here, never have I had a Pike. Even when using small live baits for Perch. As I say not big, but if it's sport you like you will not find me complaining. I added a couple of smaller Pike further down stream and that was it. No large fish today, but a cracking few hours.

Eyes to big for it's belly ? Na not really and this one got caught in the cross fire.

So that's my summer fishing done and dusted, when I return to the bank in around three weeks or so I will  leave the lure fishing alone for a time. A couple of other things, need to be tried. But every minute that saw me on the bank, has been superb fun. The Chub on a surface lure eluded me, drove me insane at times. But in truth, it's the best way "Man versus Fish" and Chub won.

Apart from Gruff and that was only a fleeting glimpse, I'm yet to meet another angler this season. Where is everyone? It does seem that many, many anglers seem to be flocking to the river Wye each and every week. As river anglers are Barbel the only species worth attention, people forgo their local rivers and drive hundreds of miles to fish. Days out are great, me well fishing the Wye is always a treat, as is the Hampshire Avon. A few weeks time will hopefully see me on the Lower Severn for a social with a few mates. Could I put my rods into hibernation, only fishing very prolific venues. No chance of that, angling to me is not always about catching. Your out doing your own thing, no sponsorship to worry about. No lies to be told, just simple pleasures and simple pleasures are always the sweetest.

This came into the Yat Phone last week, courtesy of Dave Burr. It did make me and Lady D chuckle, very good mate. My name is Monty Dalrymple.

Enjoy your long weekend and if your on the bank, like Ying is tonight with his lad on a boys own camping trip. Smile, like the photo above.

Be Lucky

Monty D