Archive for March, 2016

I spent the morning digging out a septic tank and the early afternoon in a tussle with Spanish bureaucracy and so the few hours on the river were appreciated more and usual. There were a few barbel around but they they can sometimes be pretty jittery and today they were easily spooked. In the end I had to work quite hard for the three I eventually managed to bank. Continue reading

There is a lot to be said for goats. They wander round in flocks ringing their little bells. I bump into them on the river all the time and yesterday after I was done fishing I followed a herd back to the car where we parted company. I don´t know how many there were and, frankly, I had better things to do than count the damn things. This is not an easy job anyway. They move around a lot and so you could end up counting the same goat twice or maybe miss one completely. This is a job best left to specialists, in my opinion, or to insomniacs who find the counting of ruminants helpful in ameliorating the stresses caused by sleeplessness. Continue reading

I heard from Dave Felce a little earlier today and he told me about a fine pike he caught. His words describe the circumstances better than mine and he was kind enough to allow me to reproduce his account below, together with a photo of the fish and its captor…… Continue reading

I had no time to go fishing yesterday but went anyway. I figured I needed to be home within an hour and that the journey to the river would take 10 minutes, then another 5 minutes to tackle up, and then another 5 to reach a broad shallow where you can find the odd carp. And of course the return leg would take just as long. All of this mental arithmetic was carried out on my way to the river and the upshot of it all was that I would have only a few minutes to try to catch anything. It didn´t matter a jot though. I was going fishing anyway. Continue reading

Pippa´s Poem

If you don´t want to witness the pathetic spectacle of some bloke gushing over his daughter´s achievement you better look away now……. Continue reading

I was ambushed a few weeks ago by a bunch of women who made their way into my lab. They were on the lookout for some bloke with Celtic blood who could be coerced into wearing a dress onstage and taking part in an Irish dancing routine.

Why they should have chosen me remains a mystery. I have no co-ordination or grace to speak of ,and I am nothing to look at but I do tick the boxes as far as gender and genetic provenance are concerned. In the end I did what I always do when surrounded by domineering women; I meekly acquiesced to their demands. Continue reading

Fishing is an odd business. Nearly every time I head out to the river I witness something curious and yesterday was no exception. As I was making my way downstream to ford the river I came across a suitcase and a couple of bags on the side of the river on the edge of a dirt track. And then I looked across to the other side where a man was walking across the shallows carrying a woman. Seeing no good reason not to wade across myself we met in mid river in water shin-deep and greeted one another before I went my way and they went theirs. Continue reading

John Muskett sent me a message to tell me he had attended the funeral of Murray Thompson. By all accounts it was as good an occasion as you might wish for with fine words spoken. Murray was piped out of the church by his son William.

John included in his message a poem that Murray penned 20 years ago. It is lovely. Here it is: Continue reading

Murray Thompson

Sad news came from New Zealand this week. A man called Murray Thompson passed away. Cancer got him. It is a long time since I met him and I met him only once. On that occasion he handed over the keys to his fishing hut on the shore of Lake Onslow to my brother and me. He didn´t know either of us from Adam. We were just a couple of fly fishermen who showed up at his door during an inhospitable spell of foul weather. We were looking for somewhere to go fishing when local rivers had become muddy torrents.

We talked a little while. Murray was famously strong and played rugby for Otago back in the day. He was as solid as an ox. When we had dispensed with a little small talk he handed over the keys and asked in return only two things; that we leave a small contribution to the upkeep of the hut, and that we leave behind something that might be of some use to subsequent visitors. He did not specify what – maybe a can of stew. Maybe a six pack of beer. Continue reading