Herring Tales

Fishpool stumbled across a rather interesting book recently. Having himself been born near a Herring fishing port, the author and journalist Donald S Murray has penned Herring Tales – How the Silver Darlings Shaped Human Taste and History, in which he explores the impact that the herring has made upon industry and sociology through the […]

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Intrepid Deluxe

Being only 21 (or thereabouts…), Fishpool only recently discovered that there was life before the 21st Century. Apparently, the was a time called ‘The 1960s’, when people drove round in yellow submarines powered by flowers, and everyone flew to the Isle of Wight on a Jefferson Aiplane where they rolled stones and reminisced about Snoopy’s […]

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While reading of Vic Gent’s First Casts in Issue 5 of Fallon’s angler, one particular sentiment struck a chord. Vic describes his early efforts on the River Nene upstream of Peterborough, and more specifically a small backwater that could only be fished from a boat. Such a place sounds heavenly, especially, Fishpool suspects, through the eyes […]

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Little Egret Press

Formed in 2001, The Little Egret Press was created to supply books of quality, not quantity. A writer himself, Tom O’Reilly founded the Little Egret Press in order to combine his love of writing, illustration, typographical design and bookbinding. With start-up assistance from The Prince’s Trust (HRH The Prince of Wales is a continued supporter […]

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Crooked Lines

Widely regarded as one of the finest angling writers of his generation, Dominic Garnett must have felt a little directionless of late. The publication of Fallon’s Angler Issue 5 sees Garnett reaching the pinnacle of his career. As contributor to five consecutive issues of Mighty Mr Fallon’s meteoric manuscripts (Fishpool is still angling for that […]

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Anyone fortunate enough, and sensible enough, to be a regular reader of Fallon’s Angler will be familiar with the brilliantly left-field scribblings of Dexter Petley. This is a man who writes quite unlike any other, and he is clearly inspired by those who also follow literary paths of their own. In 2009, The Raven Press […]

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The Catch

Fishpool has long been a fan of Channel 4. Aside from giving a massive shot in the arm to the British Film Industry and offering the viewer a diverse and sometimes controversial selection of programming, Channel 4 has also catered for us anglers. Go Fishing, Catching the Impossible and Screaming Reels have all featured in […]

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Back in the dreamy days of childhood, Fishpool recalls a family holiday in South Devon, pushing a shrimp net between the rocks on a flooding tide, and lifting it triumphantly as a great big prawn flicked about inside. It didn’t make much of a meal – in fact, it provided barely a mouthful, but that […]

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The Dragonfly

Unfortunately, another week has passed in which Fishpool has failed to make his or her fortune. When it happens – when – Fishpool will celebrate with the purchase of a split cane rod crafted by Edward Barder and a Richard Carter Dragonfly reel. Richard began making reels in the early 1990’s, when he engineered six copies of the […]

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Angling Heritage

Not content with the running of one of Britain’s premier angling bookshops River Reads, in 2009 Sandra Armishaw launched Angling Heritage – a not-for-profit charitable trust created to preserve angling literature, sound recordings, imagery and letters. With fishing writer and historian Fred Buller MBE as Patron, and Chris Yates, Des Taylor and Reg Talbot active […]

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Based upon Peter Benchleys’s 1974 novel of the same name, Jaws celebrates its fortieth birthday this year. Winning three Academy Awards, the film was an enormous success, but despite being commercially and critically acclaimed, the depiction of the great white shark as a man-eating monster has not helped the species’ true identity. Director Steven Spielberg […]

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Okay, so maybe Fishpool is desperately trying to put a positive spin on a really damp summer, but we fishermen (and women) love the rain… Don’t we? A dank, wet day is accompanied by low light levels which may prompt species such as plaice to feed more happily in shallow water. The salmon and sea […]

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Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Composed by Francisco Tarrega in 1896, Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra) is regarded by many musicians as an iconic and landmark piece of classical guitar composition. Incorporating the tremolo technique, Tarrega wanted to capture in music the beauty of the Alhambra—an ancient Palace complex (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) in the mountains […]

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Night Fishing

The school holidays are here, and for young anglers everywhere this means it’s time to go night fishing. Grown up anglers tend to take after dark fishing far too seriously. They go off to Welsh rivers to cast flies at sea trout, or cosy up in bivvies with bite alarms set to wake them should […]

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The Traditional Fisherman’s Forum

Internet forums can be fractious places. Keyboard warriors hiding behind self given aliases (one of Fishpool’s particular gripes) – all bitching and moaning and throwing mud. The angling world is as bad as any, save a couple of peaceful, well mannered sanctuaries. The Traditional Fisherman’s Forum is one such place. Mark Sarul has bailiffed the […]

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In a former guise, Fishpool spent a fair bit of time touring the country and sampling the delights of roadside snack vans. His favourite, and there was a lot of competition, was tucked away on an Industrial Estate in Stockport. The menu, rather like that well known Monty Python sketch, was extensive – as long […]

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Opening Day

Christmas Eve? Pah! Nothing – nothing! – comes close to the excitement of June 15th. Digging out your tackle bag from the chicken coop or washing basket (see Back of the Shed), baits tubbed, sandwiches wrapped, alarm set for silly o’clock. Somehow, somehow, you have to sleep. Many coarse anglers fish on through the spring […]

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Maxima Chameleon

It seems as though there are a gazillion different lines on the market for us to choose from. Braids, monofilaments, fluorocarbons, pre-stretched, Dacron, string,…..the list goes on, and then there are all the different brands and thicknesses and colours…if only there were a reasonably priced, hard-wearing line that isn’t meddled with or rebranded every spring. […]

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It is amazing how close anglers get to nature, and how often we encounter species that are otherwise rarely seen. Kingfishers, water voles, otters and, of course, grass snakes. The grass snake (Natrix natrix) is never far from water. With a largely amphibian diet, they are able swimmers and are even known to catch small […]

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The Avocet

Should you be planning an early season barbel fishing trip with your recently acquired split cane rod, then make sure you pack the right avocet in your holdall. Those drowsy early hours can cause confusion but finding an avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) in your bag when you get to the riverbank will likely lessen your chances […]

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Though a couple of poor breeding seasons have checked their number, the recent success of the buzzard (Buteo buteo) is a true feather in the cap of tolerance and conservation. Now our most common raptor, the buzzard breeds in every British county, meaning any fishing trip (other than on the open sea) may be blessed […]

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Hardy Conquest

More than 140 years have passed since the Hardy Brothers set up shop in Alnwick, a picturesque market town in eastern Northumberland. Initially gunsmiths, the Hardys made the sensible expansion into fishing and by the early 20th Century were developing a fine reputation for fly and coarse tackle production. The Conquest was designed with long […]

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Illustration by Peter Brown


As the mayfly clouds billow, particularly across the southern streams, and the swallows and martins fill their beaks, the sharper eyed angler might notice a larger bird swooping among them. The hobby (Falco subbuteo) is our most graceful falcon. It winters in Africa and follows the hirundine migration north, and over the last half century […]

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The Riverfly Partnership

A sidestream of the Salmon and Trout Association, the Riverfly Partnership represents almost 100 partner organisations. A mixed shoal of anglers, entomologists, conservationists, scientists and regional authorities, all working together to protect the water quality of our rivers. This is achieved by furthering the understanding of riverfly populations through monitoring and research, and seeking the […]

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The Angler’s Companion

By Bernard Venables George Allen & Unwin LTD, London 1958 Described as “The modern counterpart to Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler, this beautifully illustrated book from one of angling’s great fishermen and authors “combines in one volume the whole practice and delight of angling”. It was bought in a bookshop in Kinsale, Ireland, by my […]

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