Category: Published fishing writing


I was wondering if I could ask favour? As you may know my book Dry River was published in 2015 as a hardback (it can be bought in this form by following a link on the hoe page of this blog) but Paul Morgan, the publisher and bookseller, was kind enough to allow us to make an eBook version. This version is like the original but the paintings which illustrate it have had to be reduced in size. The only other change is a small alteration to the “running order” of the chapters. I must thank my wife Catriona for making the file conversion (she wouldn´t let me re-write the acknowledgments to say this). She also put together this blog initially and then said to me “I have put together a blog and called it Fishydreams. Now all you have to do is go ahead and write!”  Continue reading

Most people I know sooner or later get wind of the fact that I´m a fly fisherman. Very often there follows a little exchange of words that seems to follow a pattern that is becoming increasingly familiar. The chances are you will recognise it too.

It´s almost as if the two of us are each delivering lines from a script with which only one of us is familiar. I know more or less where things are leading but the non-fisherman just ad-libs. First up there is the assertion that, whoever it is that I am talking to, just wouldn´t have it in them to “sit around” all day fishing; “I just wouldn´t have the patience for it!” Continue reading

Every now and then I send off a bit of writing to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Monthly in the hope they may decide to publish it. If they do accept my little article I get a modest remuneration that, as it happens, almost exactly equals the cost of an annual subscription. So, the way I see it, if I get one article published each year I get to read the best magazine out there (the editor may be reading this!) for free. Continue reading

So you think scuba divers are cool? Maybe you visualize a diver as some sexy neoprene-clad temptress who unzips her wetsuit a little, shakes her hair and says “Wow that was great! I really get a kick out of hand-feeding those giant groupers! And l just love the way those huge manta rays glide by like enormous birds!” Continue reading

I’ve been reading the scriptures lately. Nobody lasts for ever and so, conscious of my own mortality, I figure that I ought to check out what the whole deal about heaven is. From what I’ve heard, a life of tedious virtue is required to even meet the entry requirements. They don´t open the door at all if you´ve been fornicating, abusing others, lying, cheating or avoiding the washing up.

Is it worth it? I´m worried that heaven itself may turn out to be a disappointment! Sure, I know the clouds will be comfortable to sit on, and the food is bound to be good but, frankly, I´m not really into choirs. And there´s only so much harp music you can listen to. Sooner or later I know I will get bored and start itching, as I always do, to go fishing. Continue reading

A few years ago an unusual thing happened on the Guadalhorce, my local river. The river dried up completely over nearly its entire length and there was, as a result, a great loss of fish. I visited the river regularly during this period and saw the river shrink down to some isolated pools which were alive with struggling fish. Later even these pools dried out and the fish they held died in their hundreds.

The river thins each summer (it is thinning now) but it usually continues to flow, albeit with reduced volume, until the autumn rains arrive and breathe new life into it. Continue reading

Hooking Up

One afternoon, on the Mataura river, I spent a half hour or so carefully stalking a rock. Seen through the drifting film of water, it had disguised itself cleverly as a trout and its dark streamlined form faced expectantly into the current. Its broad back suggested it was a good one too. I figured it would go two and half pounds certainly, maybe even three. This is a good trout in any river and quite exceptional in many. In retrospect, it is good that I didn’t know its true weight. Had I then known that it was at least twice my estimate I would have been reduced to a quivering bundle of nerves and my casting technique, shaky enough at the best of times, would have completely fallen apart. Continue reading

Pearls of Wisdom

I have been alive now for 50 years, give or take. During this half century I have tried to keep my eyes open and to process and assimilate, in some way, the information surrounding me in some vague hope that I might procure some modest degree of wisdom.

 
So what do I have to show for my efforts? What advice can I offer to those following in my footsteps to help guide them along life´s meandering path? What pearls of wisdom do I have? There are only two. They are small pearls, both of them, and neither is very shiny. For the record, here they are:

Continue reading

Wasting Time

My wife thinks that I am an idiot. She has, over the years, shown herself to be an excellent judge of character and so I have no reason to doubt her. Continue reading

There is a Lough half way up a mountain where my brother and I spend a day or two each year. It’s not easy to reach. The climb, over the sodden ground, saps the energy from our legs and makes us pause every now and then to catch our breath. Continue reading