Friday’s Allan’s Fangler (FAF): September 2016 (belatedly almost beyond belief)

Bermudan Triang-eel It’s always nice when the media grab the wrong end of a stick and jump on a story that isn’t quite what it seems. To be fair, ‘Bermudan eel in West Bromwich’ is exactly what editors crave to fill some column inches, and the story itself does not make any false claims, it’s just slightly skewed. Basically, following a pollution incident on the Ridgacre Branch of the Wednesbury Old Canal in the West Midlands, workers from the Canal and River Trust rescued a 5lb 10oz eel. Now, that’s a hefty specimen, especially for a canal, but when John Ellis, […]

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A Knight’s tale: the forgotten trout of Tintern de Voto

The howling wind—the song of a thousand banshees—tossed the ship up into the swell, urging the men to their death. The angry sea threatened to overwhelm the deck, the mast creaked and groaned and cracked like twigs under a heavy boot. The knight turned to face his God and prayed: “Please Lord, let me live, and I shall build you an abbey where my feet walk on dry land.”* As morning came and brought calm with it, William Marshal—son-in-law of the great Strongbow—found himself on the solid ground of Bannow Bay in Co. Wexford in Ireland. Regarded as perhaps the greatest […]

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Parr’s Diary – September 2016

It ended up being two months between casts, give or take a few days. Illness, a lack of time and a monster bout of lethargy had left me dry through all of August and most of September. If I was going to end such a drought, then it may as well be somewhere extraordinary. Ashmead is arguably the most revered carp lake in the country. Mark Walsingham, who co-owns and runs the fishery with wife Shona, has fished the lake since he was a small boy. This was where he cut his teeth, caught his first carp, and such is the […]

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River Habitats for Coarse Fish by Mark Everard

(Old Pond Publishing, 2015) By Theo Pike In these days when all the funky river menders are talking about catchment-scale processes, natural flood management, and even rewilding with beavers, it’s feeling rather rare to find a book that’s just about fish. More to the point, it’s even rarer to find a book that’s just about coarse fish… and that’s exactly the point of this one. Since the US publication of Robert Hunt’s Trout Stream Therapy (1993), followed by the Wild Trout Trust’s Guide to Improving Trout Streams (2002) and two editions of The Wild Trout Survival Guide (2006 and 2012), most […]

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Friday’s Allan’s Fangler (FAF): August 2016 (even more-even more belatedly)

Kissing with Confidence Barbless hooks, keepnets, unhooking mats, net dips, boilies, nuts, cancerous maggot dyes, night fishing, multiple rod use, braid, bent hook rigs, gaffs, knotted net meshes, floating poles, fixed leads and leads that drop off, bolt rigs, spears, harpoons, hand grenades……….we’ve argued them all to death, but a recent Angler’s Mail focussed on an even bigger issue. Fish kissing – is it dangerous? Freshwater biologist Ian Welch tackled the matter and essentially answered, ‘no – not really’. There is a possibility of the fish passing on aquatic bacteria to the fisherman, while a pair of puckered lips might remove […]

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