Category: Other bits and bobs


Do you want to know how to catch a carp on the fly?

Well bad luck buster, you´re asking the wrong person!

It´s not that I haven´t tried. In the last week I spent a couple of afternoons chasing carp and my personal tally of our old friend Cyprinis carpio adds up to precisely zero. Continue reading

Ten years on

I don´t know if a watercolour painting is ever really finished or whether you just reach a point at which continuing with it might do more harm than good. The other day I showed Catriona the picture of the trout I had been painting and she said that it looked fine to her and that maybe I ought to leave it alone.

She is probably right. Making a watercolour painting is like building a house of cards. If you go for an extra level it might all crash down. Continue reading

Every now and then you feel as though you are invited by nature to observe an event or a behaviour which normally goes unobserved and it invariably comes as an unexpected treat. This happened to me on the river about three weeks ago when the gypsy barbel were so preoccupied with feeding in broad daylight that, when silently approached, I was permitted to see them from very close. I made a film of them but for reasons I do not fully understand, I am unable to load it up on to the blog. Continue reading

Remember in “A River Runs Through It” when Brad Pitt hooks that big trout? It´s a long time since I saw the film but I do remember this sequence vividly. Pitt plays the character Paul MacLean and, in the scene in question, he manages to hook this leviathan trout in a river in Montana. In the ensuing battle he ends up being washed down river attached to the mighty fish. At times you can only see his hat and his elevated rod connecting him to the rainbow as he bobs and weaves among boulders as the rapids carry him downstream. Continue reading

Every now and then I get a real hankering to get out and catch a carp. There are a few in my local river and, in the warmer months, I catch them pretty regularly. So far this year I have seen very few and caught none. Continue reading

Brian Jones keeps a fishing diary and he was kind enough to show me what he had written about our fishing last Saturday. I thought it was very interesting, detailed and well-written and so I twisted his arm and asked him if I could reproduce it here. Being the gentleman that he is he gave me the thumbs up and so, without further ado, here it is: Continue reading

Everybody I have fished with on my local river returns the fish they catch. They might have asked if the fish are edible but that was no more than curiosity. They have also treated the fish with care and taken pleasure from seeing the fish swim away strongly after a quick photograph or two or a moment of appreciation. It is difficult to resist that moment even when you know it is high time for the fish to be on its way again. The gypsy barbel are strikingly handsome fish and, particularly in bright sunlight, it is always a pleasure to admire the profile of these fish and the striking contrast between their olive backs and golden bellies. Continue reading

Have you ever wondered what heaven is like? I suppose that is something most of us have thought about at one time or another. As it happens I was there earlier this afternoon and so I got to see it for myself. You may not believe me and I understand that you may be skeptical, but it´s true. I took a photo to prove it. Continue reading

Yesterday evening I found myself looking out over the Mediterranean from a viewing point at the end of a walking trail. I was with Paul Reddish. Beneath us was Marbella and cutting through the haze beyond the still waters of the sea were the tops of some of the mountains of Morocco. This is far from the narrowest part of the Mediterranean but, even from here, Africa looks pretty close. If you travel further west, at its narrowest point at the Strait of Gibraltar the distance shrinks to 8 miles or so and it can feel as though you could almost skim a stone and have it bounce across the water and rattle up among the pebbles of a different continent. Continue reading

I´m no expert on the fish of Loch Lomond but I am more of an expert than I was this time last week after having made a trip up to the Loch and to stare, for the first time, into its dark, peat-stained water. Continue reading