Issue 1 articles

TypewriterHere is a list of all articles featured in issue one, in the order in which they appear, with the first paragraph of each feature to give you an idea of its content.
Fallon’s Angler is only available in print, so if you want to read the whole article, please purchase a copy.

Thank you.

FightingFish

An Athabaska laker being drawn towards the boat

Athabaska born

The origin of the Fallon’s Angler in deepest Canada

Several years ago, on the shores of Lake Athabaska, bordering the Saskatchewan and Alberta territories of north western Canada, I sat in a large wooden cabin sheltering from a storm that had raced in suddenly from the north, cutting us off from the outside world. We were there for a week’s lake trout fishing, and the six paying guests and our guides were forced to get to know each other a little better by the angry squall raging outside the timber walls. Earlier that morning, we had already been to the water’s edge and seen the waves breaking in the little bay which sheltered our position from the main lake, whipped up by the wind into white-tips that smashed on the jetty. By little I mean about 90 acres; compared with the 124 miles of open water beyond, it seemed like nothing. My normal sense of scale was left—like lost luggage—somewhere in Edmonton airport.

TomFortWhy fish? Search me, squire…

Tom Fort looks back into time and his tackle box

The story of my fishing life is told in part by the dusty colony of rods hanging in the far corner of the shed. I have never got rid of a rod that wasn’t broken beyond repair, so they are there, most of them, going back to a time before England won the World Cup, when beer was two bob a pint and Harold Wilson was a rising star in the Labour firmament.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARuddy piranhas

And the crucians beyond, by Chris Yates

After two summery summers the rudd in my favourite local pond have done very well, which would be great if I was a five-year-old again and just wanted to catch a fish on my bent pin and bread paste—every cast. What I’m saying is that the rudd, which are mostly sprat-sized, have multiplied to such an extent that unless I use a bait as big as a potato and hard as a cricket ball I’m never going to avoid them. And I want to avoid them because what I desire from this pond are not rudd but the far more noble and elusive crucian carp which would be no fun trying to tempt with a big rock-like bait. Therefore I have to be patient and philosophic whenever the little rudd invade my baited pitch like hordes of marauding piranhas. And because I am not a patient angler nor, when crucian bubbles are rising through a horde of rudd, a very philosophic one I can get quite frustrated as my carefully prepared paste-baits are torn to shreds again and again. In fact I can get teeth-grittingly annoyed and begin to call the rudd all kinds of horrible names.

NY_TrafficMemories of Manhattan

Dominic Garnett fishes in the middle of a metropolis

Harlem on a Sunday afternoon is like stepping into another, more colourful world. It might also be the last place on Earth you would expect to catch fish, but appearances can be deceptive. On such days the upper half of Manhattan is transformed. The air is sweeter, the traffic slower. Even the capital of capitalism takes a catnap occasionally. The streets still bustle with activity, but of a different kind. The people stroll down the boulevards in their vibrant Sunday best. Many are church-bound, others just wander. Music floods the scene with the strains of rich, angelic gospel harmonies, the myriad voices, brass players and steel drums carrying sweet and true on the breeze, mingling with the dogs and the cars in an intoxicating symphony. 

PikeThe thin twenty

The green-eyed monster, a pack of lies and a big pike

I was getting frustrated with all the talk of twenties. We’d been fishing the lake and its bays and inlets for three days, swapping between hunting lake trout and plugging for pike, but we hadn’t caught or hooked a single 20lb pike yet. There were a lot of pike there, and when you hit a hotspot they often just kept coming. In Ireland, in my experience, when you caught one pike you rarely caught another from the same spot—maybe in the occasional weirpool or the confluence between rivers—but that wasn’t the case in Athabaska. Sometimes it felt like they wanted to be caught, so eager were they to jump at anything cast their way. But that’d be stupid, and we all know fish aren’t stupid, apart from trout.

shutterstock_91653455Gone fishing

Peter Scott considers the lone pursuit

do not fish. I have fished, I have been fishing, but I am not a fisherman, though I’d like to be. I’ve caught fish, several times. I’ve caught mackerel from a pier and trout at a farm. I once caught piranha in the Amazon jungle, baiting hooks with steak and lowering them into the water, then fishing them out, quick-smart, as soon as there was activity below. The piranha, eager for blood, leapt out of the water after the steak and I hit them hard with a makeshift cosh. We ate some and used the rest as bait for catfish. We caught a couple of those too, enormous and tasty over an open fire.

USSChesapeakWar, wildness and wet

Theo Pike discovers some rare fishing in England’s heritage

Right at the start of trout season last spring, I had the astonishing pleasure of experiencing something I’d only previously read about in books: a chalkstream in a natural wildwood state.


Fallons angler front cover HR 72dpiDream fishing

Kevin Parr balances the real and the imaginary

Like most anglers, I spend an awful lot of time fishing in my dreams. Some of the waters are familiar, albeit with a twist of surreality that the subconscious considers so normal. A few though, which recur regularly, bear no resemblance to any water I am familiar with in real life.

MorroccoAtlas trout

In search of a lost fish, by Jon Day

It was early morning in Marrakech and we were waiting to catch a taxi. We were waiting in the Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square, a place of congregation and exchange. The name means ‘the gathering place of the dead’ or ‘the mosque at the end of the world’. No one seems to quite know for sure. By day orange juice sellers and elaborately dressed water carriers ply their trade; by night the storytellers and musicians emerge.

BarbelSwimA first date with the bearded lady

Garrett Fallon’s quest to catch a barbel

After 43 years on this earth, experience has taught me that rarely does a ‘first time’ actually live up to the hype. Was my first kiss anything more than an embarrassing slobber? My first time seeing Manchester United saw two of my heroes sent off as they lost 2-0 to Fulham. My first (and only) time skiing saw me smash my knee then spend the rest of the holiday on crutches. My first rugby match saw me kicked so hard on the shin, producing such an enormous haematoma, that I had a bruise on my leg for two years. Painstaking planning often precedes disaster. Disappointment is hope’s dreary sidekick. “Damn you, sunny disposition,” I say. I have often thought that it is safer to be glass-half-empty than glass-half-full.

JeffHatA can of worms

Jeff Hatt recalls the contentious catching of his largest perch

I’d tried everything I could muster to crack through ‘that’ barrier. I’d tried exactly what others were trying and succeeding with, but I singularly failed to match what they achieved, which was to catch fish in the 2 and 3lb range. One after another tipped the scales at around the pound and a half mark, but never much more, and apart from the inevitable bycatches of greedy tiddlers, never much less either. 6oz, 7oz, eight and nine over the pound, but rarely four or five over the pound and never ten either. It was a remarkably narrow range, and I was stuck in a very deep and dark muddy rut. And it wasn’t a short list, you know.

JigKit_001Squid by night

Dominic Garnett casts for the stuff of nightmares

Of all the settings for an alien invasion themed B-movie, Torquay seems oddly appropriate. The very heart of this seaward-facing town presents a curious mixture of the everyday and the outlandish. Palm trees sway above hedgerows; crumbling terraces sulk between the opulence of 5-star hotels and glitzy gambling halls. As the summer heat arrives the entire sea front is awash with lights, gaudy neons blurring with yellows and whites. But it isn’t just the tourists who find themselves hypnotised by the glow.

Deel01Dick Harris remembered

Niall Fallon recalls the life and times of the great J R Harris

As a young man keen on fishing, I did most of my modest tackle shopping in Garnetts & Keegan’s, buying or selling an odd split cane, picking up a few flies or a new line or whatever. They got to know me well in there, and I got to know them just as well. My uncle had, of course, served as an ideal introduction, though I never got to the bottom of the various allusions they would drop at me. There was John Hanlon, who was more or less the owner (one never got to the bottom of that either), a genial, argumentative and homely man and a bosom drinking pal of mine uncle; and then there was Dick Harris, grumpy, crusty and twice as argumentative as his boss—if boss he indeed was.

RiverLea 
Fishing from home and afar

Somewhere between planning and spontaneity lies the perfect swim, says Nick Fallowfield-Cooper

To be unshackled by time and fish by the rhythms of nature is the manner in which I would like to angle—encouraged by a simple whim that today the conditions could be favourable. The ideal way of doing this is by fishing the same place on a regular basis, spending time on the water and becoming intimate with it. Most anglers don’t have the convenience of fishing on their own doorstep, and have to travel to seek out good fishing. The processes of sorting tackle, researching the water, reading up on tactics and preparing your bait are all elements that are part of the experience of a planned fishing trip, but are done at the expense of spontaneity. Picking up a rod and fishing without a plan is liberating, and you can still utilise opportune moments.

shutterstock_92722459The Cape crusader

Rob Forth finds friendship in fishing

I’ve always been pretty determined not to enjoy fishing, growing up as I did in an era when lonely men hiding from the misery of home life on rainy river banks was the currency of sit-coms and the definition of a life going nowhere slowly. Technology was the future and the idea of this ancient pursuit having anything to offer a child in the 1980s seemed quite ridiculous.

NevernEstuary2The Pembrokeshire pinstriped

Catching a thick-lipped mullet

Just a quick cast from a harbour inn in Suffolk, and across the river that flows in front of it, lies a hidden hamlet that is best reached by being ferried across the river by rowboat. The oarsman who takes you has the biceps of a champion arm wrestler. Several famous people have lived there, including a Freudian knight, famous for his wit as well as his cooking. This little hamlet is a magnet for crabbing enthusiasts, and has, on occasion, even held the world championships. What a day that must have been.

At the end of the day…

Some angling detritus, thoughts, plans and ideas

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