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BIG FISH

Long form writing

Parr’s Diary – December 2018 – History Repeating

December bustled in with its usual tinsel-edged blur; a flurry of fairy lights and fake snow, sentimentalism and overindulgence. Festive smiles seem ever more forced though. Money is tight and political uncertainty, no matter where you sit, does little to inspire the notion of fun. It can be a tough period for the self-employed. As …

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Parr’s Diary – October 2017. The start of the perch season…

It has been a little while coming, but this morning brought the first frost of the autumn—with October almost over. The air had a clean, sweet edge that I could even taste from the warmth of my duvet, and as I look out of the window now (just after midday) there is a quality to …

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Parr’s Diary – September 2017. Back on the Dorset Stour…

Growing up among the chalk stream sparkle of central Hampshire left me with a slightly distorted view of river life. The Itchen and her tributaries changed little across the seasons. They would invariably run clear, the weedbeds seemed rarely to thin and the trout could always be found in their usual lies. On rare occasions …

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Parr’s Diary – July 2017: of mushrooms, mackerel and a quartet of carp

It has been a long time since my fishing took a truly unexpected turn, but July has delivered a fresh and local diversion that has given my summer quite a lift. In fact, there has been enough going on for me to start to diarise as a piece for Fallon’s angler Issue 11, providing our …

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Surface tension for sun worshippers: chasing carp from the top

I’m not a sun worshipper, not with my delicate Irish skin. I crisp like burnt potatoes, dry out rapidly like a jellyfish stranded on a beach. I find myself wishing for any of the many types of rain we have back home, hitting my skin and exploding into little balls of steam. Still, once the …

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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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Of a certain vintage: drop shotting with split cane

I have long entertained a penchant for old fishing tackle. Collecting it was a hobby of my late father’s, though as a determined wordsmith, he was mainly interested in rare fishing books. Nevertheless, his office was stuffed with all manner of angling ephemera, mostly gathered from house auctions that proliferated the Irish midlands in those …

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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, …

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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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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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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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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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