Archive | BIG FISH

Long form writing

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Parr’s Diary – March 2017

There is an intoxicating intensity to the final fortnight of the coarse season that is quite unlike any other part of my angling year. Winter is ceding ground to spring, celandines are dotting the banks and verges, and the fishing can be spectacular. There is proper warmth in the sun, though the wind retains a […]

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Parrs Diary – February 2017

I’m not entirely sure where February went. One moment January was dragging its feet and a couple of blinks later the blackbirds are singing and March is upon us. The thin end of the coarse season always seems to rattle by, but I did manage to make it out three times over the past month, […]

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Parr’s Diary – January 2017

It was great to see Mark Walsingham (Skeff) on CountryFile earlier this month. He was with Dave Webb of the UK Wild Otter Trust to explain the new otter trapping licence, and the two of them featured in a segment focused on the current otter ‘debate’. Much of the piece was filmed at Ashmead, Skeff’s […]

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Origins

In memory of Niall Fallon, who passed away on 26th January 1996. Originally penned by Garrett Fallon in 1992. As a child I had little appetite for work, seeing it as something horrid that served you right for growing old. I also had a distinct lack of interest in grownups, as they talked incessantly of […]

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Parr’s Diary – December 2016

Festive television is invariably underwhelming. Full of re-makes, repeats and Christmas ‘specials’ that make you smile, but only because the excess of port and stilton has left you mildly stupefied. I did watch Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe last evening though, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Mind you, the past twelve months have delivered plenty of […]

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Tale of two rivers, issue 8

To coincide with the launch of Fallon’s Angler issue eight, photographer Nick Fallowfield-Cooper caught a glimpse of the contrasting worlds of Paul and Tim, two lifetime Norfolk anglers who fish rivers of a very different nature, The Great Ouse and the Wensum. Written by editor Garrett Fallon, the story unfolds in the new issue, now […]

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Parr’s Diary – October 2016

I have always had a peculiar relationship with the Dorset Stour. A couple of visits as a child and teenager offered me a river full of mystery and intrigue, but after a long period of barbel obsession (that had a distinct chalk stream edge) I struggled to understand the Stour when I returned to her […]

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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 […]

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Outfoxed by the inbetweeners

“Bring your coarse fishing gear!” read the text message. Three hours later Rick arrived, caught late on that devourer of Bank Holiday time, the A21, with wife, three children and sizeable dog in tow. They were visiting our little coastal bolt hole for the afternoon. I myself was visiting it for the weekend so that […]

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Parr’s Diary: July 2016

July is normally a good month for an angler. The rivers aren’t always at their best, with low water levels and bright sunshine, while many of the fish remain more interested in one another than they are in eating. The long days give us plenty of time though, and sultry summer evenings can offer some […]

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Dawn on the Hook

“Wexford. The oldest place in Ireland,” some would say. “Like Cornwall, only wetter,” say others. I snuck an old sturdy carp rod into a packed car heading for a family holiday in Ireland, and found myself fishing on Booley Bay beach near Duncannon on the aptly named Hook Peninsula. The tide was racing in, the […]

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Swallows and amadans

By Maurice Neill THERE are more words for a fool in Irish than in any other language and it takes a particular type of angling amadan to venture into the Galway Gaeltacht and onto Lough Mask when the forecast is for bad weather. It is a beautiful, vast and dangerous piece of water where squalls […]

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Parr’s Diary: June 16th 2016

It is at least three years since Martin last cast a line. Work and family pressures, coupled with a lack of transport, have kept him dry for far longer than most anglers could bear. After such a period of abstinence, there is only one way to fully reconnect, and that involves an early start, dusk […]

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Jan Porter: the man in red

A tribute by Kevin Parr I am obviously not going to bother to look, and nor would I suggest anyone else does, but nevertheless I’d be astounded to read anywhere a bad word about Jan Porter. For someone who put himself out there, certainly when creating his image as the Man in Red, Jan came across […]

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First casts of a dry fly

“It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.”  John Steinbeck No matter how great we think we are, we are quickly brought back down to earth by those finned creatures that swim and attract our longing. I have caught a few […]

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Keep calm and carry on

March 15th and another chapter closed, the book back high on the shelves for now, out of reach unless I stand on the tackle box that is on holiday in the back of the shed, any maggots within slowly turning to flies. If they’re lucky they might see daylight, if I get around to cleaning […]

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Parr’s Diary: April 2016

I spent a few hours yesterday wandering the heath and bog of Wareham Forest. I heard my first cuckoo of the year, found lizards basking and lost an hour listening to the lamenting song of the woodlark. In the thick of the bog was a dark, peaty pond, reed-lined and slightly rank. A sedge warbler tchked […]

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My River

Written by Greg Freestone There’s a river not far from here. It’s a miniature river, a Trumpton river winding through toy-towns and out into their rural hinterlands, flowing beneath hilltop churches, through ancient fords and under bridges, draining and watering this ever-thinning strip of old farming Essex, a shallow agricultural valley still surviving against constant assault […]

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New Year

Words by Nigel Ling New Year’s “fabled infant” comes to me stillborn. After the festival of Christmas I cannot shake off January’s slump; the winter bears down, the dim fairy lights in house windows, waiting on Twelfth Night, are relics of a better time. Fishing in January is usually hard; floods are expected and cold […]

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The madness of cold water carp

Words by Jon Berry I have just been carp fishing, not in itself unusual, except it is something I never do at this time of year. It wasn’t a bivouacked endurance test in thermals, wet gloves frozen to fingers, slack lines freezing in cat ice—more a casual few hours with an Avon rod, a pocket […]

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Accidental angling

As an Irishman I’m comfortable with rain, in fact I miss it when it hasn’t fallen for a while. I love the way the ground opens up to drink it after a dry spell, like that first pint after work on a Friday. You can feel the earth’s thirst being sated and the plants being […]

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Update on issue 5 of Fallon’s Angler magazine

Fallon’s Angler issue 5 is currently winging its way from the printers near Brighton to our distribution house in Slough, from where it will make its way to you, wherever you are. If you currently subscribe it will automatically be posted to you. If your subscription is due for renewal, you will get a separate email this […]

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve always meant a midday finish, and though there were a few loose ends to tie, the bulk of the morning would be spent nattering and clockwatching. I’d turn my computer on, and probably check my emails, but even my games of solitaire would be half hearted. In years past I would have clocked […]

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Pursuing the perfect perch

“Come on son. We’re gowan to ketch a perch,” sez he. I was too young to shave and still at an age when I thought girls were pointless and as annoying as acne. But I followed him like a puppy, yapping at his heels in joy. We approached the old stone bridge that crossed a […]

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Good times for Crooked lines

I was introduced to Dominic Garnett in the middle of 2014, courtesy of my friend and fellow angling writer Theo Pike, when I was gathering contributors to appear in the first issue of Fallon’s Angler. I visited his website first, and devoured his material. There was something different about his work, something I hadn’t encountered very often […]

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Update on Issue 5: including subscription renewal

We’re knee deep in the stream of production, with words and pictures gathering around us like salmon beneath a weir. We don’t like settling for second best so we’ll continue to tinker until we’re satisfied that we’ve published the best issue we can. At this moment, we’re hoping to send the magazine to press before Christmas, but with the […]

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Beckett’s Day

I am in the field by the woods again. It is late October and the ground is sodden, and beneath the big oak trees the myriad fallen acorns crunch under my feet like crisps. “Howya Aran.” “Howya Garrett. How’s it going?” I patted his dog Sparky, a cheerful lurcher, rescued from Battersea, sleek and friendly, tail […]

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Kerry’s estuary of Eden

This summer of 2015 found us in a wet Co Kerry, joining old friends and extended family for the first time in a very long time just outside the village of Glenbeigh on the Iveagh Peninsula, part of the world-renowned Ring of Kerry. I spent many happy summers in Kerry as a child with a […]

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Three men in a boat

  Why is it that we spend so much of our lives running, when really all we’d like to do is walk? We have a propensity to complicate our days, rush through them, fill them with activity, purpose, goals and achievements. But does it actually get us anywhere? Do we actually know where it is […]

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Luck of the Irish

“May the luck of the Irish be with you!” is a well-known Irish blessing. I’m not sure of its origins, seeing as I don’t remember being especially lucky at any time, if you discount meeting a lovely lass and marrying her, and having a wonderful child. I’d like to think those things happened because I […]

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Size isn’t everything

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”  Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes   Actress and bishop jokes aside, it is healthy to occasionally ignore the brutish force of the colossal for the intimate pleasure of the small. As as with the best […]

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Opening Day

Words and pictures by Steve Roberts. Peace. Tranquil expectant peace. I sat in the boat waiting, the only movement the lazy passing of the foam from the weir, and some stirrings from a tent away downstream. A girl’s tired face peeped out and looked at me curiously as her boyfriend mixed up and lobbed out […]

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On assignment with Fallon’s Angler

Words and picture by Nick Fallowfield-Cooper Just over three months ago I had a long chat with Garrett in the Captain Kidd pub that stands by the Thames in Wapping. The conversation resulted with my experience as a picture editor and photographer being recruited to oversee the next stage in the development of Fallon’s Angler. […]

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Mythical salmon

If you exit through the back door of the house I grew up in, walk past the sloping field and along the driveway, over the rattling cattle grid, then turn left, you will see, at the end of the road, two large, imposing stone pillars—guardians of a hidden realm—in between which hangs a solid, wide, […]

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A frustrating history of Fallon Pike

My late father was a prodigious purchaser of fishing books: H.T. Sheringham, G.E.M. Skues, Charles Cotton, Frederick Halford, Zane Grey, BB, Dick Walker, Bernard Venables, Chris Yates and so the list goes on. But the one that stuck out the most was The Domesday Book of Mammoth Pike by Fred Buller. I was a teenager […]

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Up close and personal

Words and photography by Stuart Harris It was the sudden flash of blue that brought me back to earth and out of my daydream. It happens a lot you see, lazy, hazy spring days where the sun’s rays warm my shoulders, I slip out of reality and into a faraway land where nothing matters and […]

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Exploring a little London river

  “No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Samuel Johnson The close season allows the river angler a chance to explore without the temptation of casting a line. With my life currently following a frustratingly urban routine, I could […]

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In search of bream

Garrett had mentioned many times before the huge shoal of bream that swam up and down the canal near his home. He had seen them during the spawning season where they congregated in vast numbers on the stretch of water between an aqueduct and a road bridge, a 60 yard shoal. He had watched them […]

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The Wizard of Vesoul

Henri Bresson (1925-2011) was a celebrated French fly fisherman, known best as creator of the French Tricolore fly. Jack Sellen has put a short extract from Bresson’s biography into English with kind permission from the rights owners and he hopes to translate the whole book, ‘Le Sorcier de Vesoul’ (Vincent Lalu, 2nd edition, La Vie […]

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A first forgotten carp

Written by Matthew Tanner For too many years I suffered from a prolonged bout of naivety, the sort normally associated with the folly of youth, turning down multiple requests from my Mum’s friend Steve, that I accompany him on a days fly fishing. In the end it became a running joke between us. However, I […]

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A less crowded room

  This was first written in 1994 It had been a strange week indeed, with so many things of a different nature spinning frantically around me as to make me dizzy and tired of the hectic way I was prone to live. Too often I allow myself to sink so low, so far down where […]

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A first trip to the Test

The River Test perks the ear of any angler. My late father would often talk about it in exalted tones, referring to its glorious brown trout. In later years, I learned of its grayling, and as my circle of angling interests widened, its big roach and dace. To have the chance to fish it was […]

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The space between the stripes

For as long as I’ve fished, I’ve wanted to catch a big perch. I caught a lot of stripeys when I was young, from the rivers and canals around my home in Ireland, but they were all small fish, with nothing much over a pound. The closest I came to snaffling a monster was finding […]

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The Sheringham Society on the Wye

By Michael Comyns Where can you get a conker match, a cello recital and a crack at a double-figure barbel?   Well, I don’t know where or when they might occur together again, but on a recent weekend at Llanthomas, where The Sheringham Society held its Autumnal Equinox Meet—dedicated to the memory of a recently departed […]

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Fishing the ups and Downs

The Royal Canal in Ireland was a white elephant. It had been built by an over-zealous entrepreneur who intended it to compete against the nearby Grand Canal, but it went disastrously over-budget and he was nearly broke by the time it was completed. Then the railway came to Ireland and didn’t so much eat into […]

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Reservoir doggedness

I hit the road early but got gridlocked in the Blackwall tunnel, so was suitably late when turning up for my days fishing at Walthamstow reservoirs with the angling writer Dominic Garnett. Thank heavens patience is a virtue often found in the heart of an angler. Fallon’s Angler was launching the next day, and Dominic […]

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Twin piques

I have twin seven year old nephews, Tom and Fred. They are energetic dynamos, indefatigable creatures of havoc, as entertaining with their ludicrous antics as their devilish double act is testing to the patience of the most tolerant of adults. A day with the prankish pair requires deep reserves of many attributes, most of which […]

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An apology to Izaak

There are many things about print that are beautiful and out of reach to the digital world. The printed word is a tangible thing, real to touch, hold in one’s hand, turn the pages with one’s fingers. But print has a harrowing and unforgiving side. If a mistake is made, it will last forever. And so I owe […]

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The Diver

A funny thing happened at the weekend. What was lost was found, and a once-burning flame was rekindled by a chance series of events that fell into place like a float to the water. I rediscovered my love of the simple angling adventure. I cannot wait to see the little pond again, and taste the […]

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Kingfisher House, 21-23 Elmfield Road, Bromley, BR1 1LT, United Kingdom