Archive for the 'Coarse fish on the fly' Category

Fly Culture: Limestone Chemistry

Out now, in the Spring 2020 issue of Pete Tyjas’s excellent Fly Culture magazine, is an article I’ve written called Limestone Chemistry. As the title suggests, it’s a geological, post-industrial and piscatorial study of my years-long love for a little limestone stream, not too far from where I’m living now. A previous, shorter version of […]

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Chub, Coarse fish on the fly, Fly Culture, Fly-fishing, Trout, Writing Mar 14 2020

Filming on the Wandle

A couple of weekends back – before, during and after the Wandle Trust‘s usual monthly community river cleanup – film maker Jeremiah Quinn came down to the Wandle with his camera to capture some new angles on this little urban chalkstream’s story, and the qualities that have kept lots of us fishing and pulling out […]

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Chalkstreams, Coarse fish on the fly, Films, Fly-fishing, London, River restoration, Trout, Urban rivers, Wandle Sep 28 2016

Bashing balsam

Several evenings in the past two months, I’ve followed the track of one of our previous volunteer balsam-pulling days, sniping late stragglers that pop their heads above the parapet of rusting brambles and bindweed. Absent overshading and other competition from its fellows, it’s amazing how the most inconspicuous seedling will snatch its chance to shoot […]

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Chub, Coarse fish on the fly, Dace, Fly-fishing,, Invasive non-native species, London, River restoration, Urban rivers, Urbantrout, Wandle, Writing Oct 07 2013

Eat, Sleep, Fish: Ultralight fly-fishing

Anyone who’s fished with me will know that I like to take a light line approach whenever possible – fishing with ultralight rigs matched with 3-weight lines or lighter – for their uncanny ability to deliver delicate presentations, cushion vicious strikes on fine tippets, and still land hefty fish of all species with speed and […]

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Chub, Coarse fish on the fly, Eat, Sleep, Fish, Fly-fishing, Tackle, Trout, Ultralight fly-fishing, Writing May 04 2013

Hogsmill holiday

Somewhere in the depths of this apparently endless winter (cue another wild nor’easter kicking snow in the face of casting practice and trying to tune a recalcitrant switch rod to throw big intruders, never mind actual fishing) … … Adrian and I grabbed a window in the weather and headed out for a day on […]

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Chalkstreams, Coarse fish on the fly, Dace, Fly-fishing, River restoration, Urban rivers, Wandle Feb 27 2013


Thanks to talented and convention-busting writers like my occasional fishing buddy Dominic Garnett, the idea of deliberately fishing for coarse fish with a fly rod is slowly seeping out into the public consciousness. Still, it’s very far from mainstream, so there remains something weirdly subversive about jumping on a train across South London to sight-fish […]

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Chub, Coarse fish on the fly, London, Urban rivers Oct 19 2012

Angling writers’ convention: DG hits the Wandle

After several successful outings on his own home waters earlier in 2011, during which I’m almost certain I mentioned a little river in South London once or twice… … it was pretty much inevitable that my West Country fishing partner in crime Dominic Garnett would eventually take the bait and visit the Wandle for the first […]

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Coarse fish on the fly, Freelance copywriting, London, Perch, River restoration, Roach, Wandle, Writing Jan 05 2012

Fly-fishing in the freezer

Especially since that revelatory week in Vail when I found it was perfectly possible to ski in the morning, slip away to Gore Creek or the Eagle River for the lunchtime midge hatch, and still get back onto the slopes before the lifts closed, I’ve been deeply convinced by the leftfield concept of winter fly-fishing. […]

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Chub, Coarse fish on the fly, Fly-fishing, How To Spend It, Wandle, Writing Jan 02 2012

Refilling the well

Traditionally, when an author finishes writing a book, he thankfully slams the door of his garret and clatters down the rickety stairs to the fleshpots of the nearest big city… there to get utterly amnesiac on Guinness, absinthe or whatever qualifies as the local obliviator of choice. By contrast, back in September, all I wanted […]

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Coarse fish on the fly, Roach, Rudd, Writing Nov 27 2011