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San; always the San

Published on October 27th, 2015 by

Almost a month after the category one (trout) season closure in France, I had to visit the magnificent San River. I just had to; you know how it is! Three days on wildly different sections – only three days, but, well maybe it’s enough to re-establish a perspective. First off, after a sleepless night and

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La France encore

Published on September 16th, 2015 by

Off the grid a while now, with various pals in the north of France, living the dream, before it collapses. And it will collapse. The fishing has been fascinating, as always here. Almost always challenging, but, well, it takes the breath away, because it is real. The ridiculously artificial English fisheries fade in the mind’s

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Massif

Published on August 4th, 2015 by

Barely know how to begin, which is why it has been so long. A lot of water, we say… The Sunray presentation line, a waypoint in river fly fishing development, at least as significant as leader-only, or the historic ramifications of Sawyer. Outstanding casting with feather soft touch down; low sag; accuracy at range; extending the former

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June in France

Published on June 30th, 2015 by

Fascinating, testy and hugely rewarding fishing here on the chalk streams. Lots of surprises among new places and old; seemingly boundless possibilities on a vast network of beautiful streams running off the Artois chalk plateau. Lawrence and Neil had the most difficult week in terms of the weather and lack of fly hatches, though Neil did

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Late Spring

Published on May 31st, 2015 by

And what a spring it has been. Sometimes I wonder if it is just me; but the river has been staggeringly beautiful this year,and the fishing at least as good as I can ever remember it. I’m talking about the Eden and its tributaries, particularly the Lowther. Here is a section of the lower reaches

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Fly fishing in paradise

Published on May 14th, 2015 by

I hardly know where to start, so forgive me if this is a bit disjointed. I have never experienced such a spring, fishing mostly on the Lowther and Eden in Cumbria, and the Aa in northern France; probably the most wonderful chalk stream habitat surviving in the world. Here is the Aa at Saint Martin d’Handringhem.

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Spring 2015

Published on March 28th, 2015 by

After a winter with tenkara and double nymph, mostly on Eden, I visited the upper Appleby water, at Sandford, just before the end of the grayling season. This area, as most of the Eden Valley, is on the verge of environmental catastrophe, with wrecked banks, leading to massive loss of topsoil, and siltation of the

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The last of winter, 2015

Published on February 26th, 2015 by

It has been the best winter for grayling fishing in the memory of almost everyone I have spoken to, with large numbers or exceptionally big fish being caught throughout the English, Scottish and Welsh rivers where this species exists. Two weeks ago I was watching grayling on the Aa, in northern France, apparently collecting already for

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The great British grayling winter

Published on January 8th, 2015 by

So it has seemed. Outstanding, really; probably the best in memory. I have heard reports from all over Britain, of fabulous grayling catches, with many notable specimens, even those fish over the 50cm mark, which is truly astonishing for British grayling. I have not been out quite as much as most winters, because I have

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