And so it Begins! An Intro Post…

Hello! First of all thank you for visiting my blog; I’m glad you found it. I suppose I should introduce myself really and tell you a little bit about my angling background and how this blog came about.

Unlike many fisherman (and women), I never fished as a child nor did I have any angler family members or friends. In fact I never really got it, I used to watch Matt Hayes a bit on Discovery Shed but that’s about it – I had no idea what fish he was catching or how he was doing it, I simply stared at the TV because nothing else was on. I have though always been into shooting (mainly clays) and in the summer of 2010 I was browsing the classified section of a shooting forum and noticed a post by a guy wanting to swap some fly fishing gear for an air rifle. As it happened, I had an air rifle sat in the loft collecting dust (I’m notorious for having new ideas, buying all the gear and a few weeks later realising it’s not for me – this item was a victim of this habit) so thought why not. I met him at a service station and exchanged goods – I had no idea what I was getting, how much it was worth or more crucially how to use it, it did however give me an excuse to find out…..

Fast forward to the September and I’d booked a lesson with a local fly fishing instructor, his name was David Henderson and I had the day with him at a local (ish) trout Stillwater called Raygill Fisheries near Keighley. It turned out that the rod was decent (Wychwood Trufly 9’6” #7/8) and the reels were OK, one of the lines was a floater the other a sinker and the vest did the job. I was fairly happy with the deal I’d done. Anyway to cut 4 years of trout angling into a couple of lines I loved it, was well and truly hooked and quickly moved onto fishing for wild brown trout on the Yorkshire Dales rivers (my favourite being the Nidd). I still fly fish now and absolutely love it but my time these days is divided between fly fishing and carp fishing.

So, how did I get into carp fishing? Well, I was bullied into it, sort of…  A couple of my neighbours were coarse fisherman and I started going along to the local commercials with them more for a social than anything else. Coarse fishing never appealed to me as a fly man, it just seemed too easy and if I’m honest I was right – it’s not challenging enough for me. I’m not saying that coarse fisherman aren’t good anglers because a lot of them really are especially the match men but it’s just not my bag. I still do it now and then but only for a bit of fun, I don’t really take it seriously. Anyway so I started coarse fishing with them and as much as I tried to sell them the delights of fly fishing they were never that interested, one of them bought some gear and enjoys it (and is actually quite good at it!) but they’re coarse fisherman through and through. They started getting interested in carp fishing and I just went along with it, I saw carp as just another coarse fish so didn’t take too much interest but I bought some gear and gave it a go. It turned out that specimen carp fishing wasn’t anything like general coarse fishing, it was a much bigger challenge and the mindset was completely different. Blanks are much more regular than even fly fishing, the venues are less commercial then coarse fishing and you’re fishing for big old characters that have been around for years. I saw many more similarities between fly and carp fishing than I did between coarse and carp fishing and I got the bug big style. I never saw myself pushing a barrow loaded with gear, something which I could never understand when I knew nothing about it – after all, the kit of the fly fisherman is pretty much a rod, a reel and a box of flies! I’m now a true carp angler with a barrow, bivvie, 3 rods and bite alarms – yes bite alarms! Delkim’s of course…..

So that brings you up to speed with my angling ‘career’. There’s plenty I’ve missed out of course but you get the idea. Fishing for me is about escapism, achievement, relaxation, friendships and learning. I hope this blog enables you to share some of that magic with me.

Until next time, tight lines…