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Angler Front Cover Mock Up_S&C_template_2010 22/11/2013 09:51 Page 1


The rise of the Wandle How to handle a pike Bassing on the flats of Sussex

Top tips from the experts

How we fight for fishing

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content_S&C_template_2010 22/11/2013 10:07 Page 4

Contents 27

The Angler NEWS 13 20 24 71

Angling Match Partners Events

COARSE 27 Getting to grips with pike 50 Catch a monster perch 69 Building bridges



34 Bass on the flats 48 See the light

GAME 30 Trout in the city 52 Go for grayling

MATCH 8 Fish for England 72 Where the money goes



38 Fish Legal fighting for you

YOUNG ANGLERS 42 Get hooked 43 Brothers get a line online 44 The Hook

PEOPLE 62 64 68 70

Meet the MP Meet our ambassadors The volunteer force How to help



59 The winners

REGULARS 6 10 11 12 54 56 74

Editor’s letter Chief executive’s letters Chairmen’s letters Salter’s Soapbox Reviews — a good read Members’ benefits The final cast


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editor letter_S&C_template_2010 22/11/2013 10:08 Page 6

Editor’s letter Welcome

COVER: Fly fishing guide Jeremy Lucas chases grayling on the River Eden. Photo by Paul Sharman

Angler The

is published by the Angling Trust and Fish Legal Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8DQ Tel: 0844 770 0616 Email: Editor: Paul Sharman Email: Editorial adviser: Jeffrey Olstead — BASC Design: Alistair Kennedy — BASC Becky Bowyer — BASC Advertising - Madison Bell: Jerry Hall Tel: 07792 909275 Email:

© Angling Trust. Editorial and advertisements in The Angler are accepted for publication in good faith. Readers are, however, advised that the Angling Trust and Fish Legal cannot accept responsibility for statements made in the editorial or the advertisements. The editor and the Angling Trust reserve the right to withdraw any editorial or advertisements at any time. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the Angling Trust or Fish Legal.

The Angler is printed by Precision Colour Printing Ltd, Haldane, Halesfield 1, Telford TF7 4QQ

The paper used within this publication has been sourced from Chain-of-Custody certified manufacturers, operating within international environmental standards such as ISO14001, to ensure sustainable sourcing of the raw materials, sustainable production and to minimise our carbon footprint.

to a new name and a new look for our

Angling Trust and Fish Legal members’ magazine. The Angle has now become The Angler, a subtle difference but reflecting our continued focus on our members and what we is hope of interest to you. We trust you will enjoy the new and improved content alongside the important news on our campaigns, competitions, legal battles and what our Ambassadors and staff have been up to that we have always featured. The Angling Trust covers all the fishing disciplines of coarse, sea and game and you will notice a balance being struck between coverage of all these starting in this and future issues. One of our main objectives is to increase participation in angling across the board from welcoming and coaching new anglers, to encouraging experienced anglers to get out on the water more often. For those who show real promise in competition fishing, we also have our Talent Pathway in place to provide a means to keep new talent flowing into our Angling Trust Team England squads. By the time this magazine reaches you we will have launched, our new ‘mobile responsive website’ — a fancy way of saying you can use it on your phone, tablet or computer and it will always look its best and be usable. This first version is designed to help anglers find freshwater fishing and other resources like local tackle shops and then add them to your favourites so you can check the local weather, sunrise and sunset and even river levels if appropriate quickly and easily. You can even add your own personal, favourite fishing spots that are for your eyes only! Over time we will continue to build the database of locations and resources, and also plan to release updated versions to cover sea fishing locations as well in 2014. We hope you find it useful and will let your friends know about it too. By the way, if you know someone who would like to learn to fish or is an angler but perhaps not a member as yet, please consider sharing your copy of this magazine with them once you are finished with it. We hope it may just inspire them to join up and sign on to one of our upcoming coaching sessions or just to

lend their support and voice to our growing membership of like-minded anglers who understand the need for and value of a single representative body. You will find elsewhere in this issue a summary of just some of our work and victories on behalf of anglers and the environment and quotes from grateful clubs we have helped for example with legal issues and claims. You never know what might happen on your own local waters so we truly appreciate your membership in the knowledge that the Angling Trust and Fish Legal are there to help fight for the future of your angling.

Tight lines until the next issue

Editor, Paul Sharman, with a nice Chew Valley pike


Angler The

Autumn 2013

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Team England - The Angler Autumn 2013_News page A.qxd 22/11/2013 10:09 Page 8

You could fish for ENGLAND Each year the various England management teams for coarse, sea and game hold trials and/or qualifying events all over the country to select the national angling squads. The Angling Trust will circulate press releases to all the major angling publications and websites to let you know how to apply. Further information and application forms will be available on the Angling Trust website before any trials are announced or you can obtain them from the contacts given below.

What is Team England? Team England comprises squads representing the country in coarse, fly and sea fishing as well as competitive casting. It’s managed by the Angling Trust, England’s national governing body for competition angling, which is affiliated to the world governing body, the Confédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive (CIPS). CIPS is made up of a congress with a representative of each nation from the international federations: fresh water sport fishing, fly sport fishing, sea sport fishing and casting sport fishing. Teams representing our country have, or will, take part in divisions of all the different federation’s championships in 2013.

England Ladies Coarse Team 2013 World Champions

England international coarse fishing teams Selection is generally through trials. There will be an announcement in the press and then you may be asked either to send us a summary of your recent results and achievements or there will be an application form for you to fill in. Those selected will then be invited to attend a trial from which the team will be chosen. For further information on how to apply to fish for the England coarse teams please contact Sandra Drew, Competitions & Events Manager, Angling Trust on 0115 9061 301 or email;

England international sea fishing teams You can apply to be a member of the team or to be considered for a manager’s or assistant’s job by completing an official England application form. These are available on the Angling Trust website at the bottom of the Competitions/Sea competitions/International sea competitions 2013 page.



Angler The

Autumn 2013

Team England - The Angler Autumn 2013_News page A.qxd 22/11/2013 10:09 Page 9

England Junior home international sea fishing team

England fly fishing team escorted to the water for a home international

For further information on how to apply to fish for the England sea fishing teams please contact Sandra Drew, Competitions & Events Manager, Angling Trust on 0115 9061 301 or email;

England international fly fishing teams Fancy representing England at fly fishing? Well it’s easier than you might think. Team England Fly Fishing (TEFF) is the competitive body that represents English fly-fisherman and its three main disciplines - bank, river and boat fishing. Formerly known as the Confederation of English Fly Fishers, TEFF is now affiliated to Angling Trust and benefits from the backing of this national organisation. Competitive fishing is not every fly fisherman’s idea of a good day out, but having spent some time with a TEFF team you will soon realise that it is much more than just competing – it’s about camaraderie, friendship and learning new methods and techniques.

Bank The bank team comprises five individuals who have qualified through local small water fisheries dotted around England. Anyone can enter and having being placed at a local water, the successful anglers then fish in a national final at a single venue with the top five making up the following year’s team.

This could open the door to selection for the TEFF world or European team. Entering any of the qualifiers is really simple. There are organisers for each discipline and venue. Simply visit the Angling Trust website Competitions/Game competitions page or go to the TEFF website direct at You can also call the TEFF press officer Andrew Green on 020 8558 6147 for more details.

Rivers It is a similar process for the river’s team, again rivers throughout England are fished and a final held with the top five making the team.

Boat For boat fishing you can enter one of the nine regional qualifiers held at major reservoirs throughout England. If you are skilled enough to qualify at one of the venues there is a 100-rod national final to attend where the top 28 anglers make up the two England loch-style teams for the following year’s internationals.

Youth, ladies and disabled teams There are also England teams representing youth, ladies and disabled fly fishers and they are always interested in new applications to join them. Their contact details are: For the youth team go to their web site at Information for the England ladies can be found at And the England disabled at

Angler The


CEO letters_S&C_template_2010 22/11/2013 10:16 Page 10

Letters from the Chief Executive

nother six months has flown by and we find ourselves once again frantically gathering articles and photographs to get this magazine to you. And what a six months it has been — probably the most action-packed of the organisation’s history! We have welcomed George Stephenson as our new Chairman and said a huge thank you to Mike Heylin for all he has done to steer us on the right path over the past four years. We kicked off a range of exciting new angling participation programmes, expanded the excellent Voluntary Bailiff Service and Building Bridges initiatives, completed our network of freshwater regional forums and formed two new marine regions. We launched a new national river angling competition — Riverfest — and the England angling teams won a string of gold medals to

confirm that England is the No.1 match angling nation in the World. We won a promising announcement from Richard Benyon about cormorant and goosander predation following our three year campaign and we convinced the Government to reject proposals for a Severn Barrage. We launched the Chalkstream Charter and our Give Fish a Chance campaign, helped make the fantastically-successful Bexhill Sea Angling Festival happen and organised a conference about bait digging. As we go to press, Martin Salter and I are attending all the party conferences to keep up the pressure on politicians to act on hydropower, illegal canoeing, Water Bill reform, bass MLS, estuary netting, angling access, poaching, predation and host of other issues that impact on fish and fishing. Fish Legal broke new records for activity (see page 38 for more details). All this activity has led to some great publicity in the angling and national press and our membership is steadily growing in all categories from clubs to charter boats. Nearly 20,000 anglers are now junior, adult and life members. I can’t help thinking how much we could do if we added a zero (or two zeros) to that number. . .

n the 65 years since the formation of the Anglers’ Co-operative Association (which went on to become Fish Legal), the organisation has never been so busy, or achieved so much, as it has in the past six months. The legal team has settled 8 major cases, winning more than £70,000 in compensation for its members and has

provided legal advice to nearly 300 members already this year. On top of that, we’ve recently issued proceedings for a judicial review of the Environment Agency on a case involving water transfers between reservoirs that could lead to a change in national policy and much better protection for fish stocks. We continue to pursue our case through the European courts, now in its sixth year, to force Water Companies to tell the public the details of what they are putting into (and taking out of ) our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Our legal team is still small — just five strong — but we punch way above our weight. We regularly take on water companies with multi-billion pound turnovers and win. Our legal threats have


I 10

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Mark Lloyd Chief Executive, Angling Trust and Fish Legal

forced stodgy government regulators to act on many issues which for years they have denied even existed. We can do all this because of the cumulative generosity of generations of anglers who have donated and subscribed to the organisation in all its forms over the past 65 years. The organisation is stronger and betterfunded than it has ever been, and membership is growing in line with the Angling Trust. If your club or fishery is not a member, please ask why not. One important point: if you own or lease some fishing yourself, please make sure that you have active membership in the riparian owner or fishery category, because we cannot take legal action for, or advise, individual or life members.

Autumn 2013

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Letters from the chair Letter from the chairman, George Stephenson


y first words must be ‘thank you’. Thank you to Mike Heylin, and the board of the Angling Trust, for not only establishing a strong body to represent anglers and the wider fishing community, but also for entrusting me to chair the board going forward. Thank you to Mark Lloyd and all his dedicated hardworking team (often unpaid volunteers) who work tirelessly to ensure that the voice of the angling community reaches the heart of government. So often in the past, disparate voices were divided and thus overruled. Thank you to Dick Vincent and the team at Fish Legal, who have taken

effective legal action and advised hundreds of its members. Thank you to the Angling Trust campaigns team, with notable victories on cormorants and the Severn barrage. And thank you to you, the members of the Angling Trust for your support, without which we could not operate at all. Our strength lies in our broad-based appeal – the more members we have, the more influence we have, and ultimately the more we can do for anglers and the angling community. We must encourage all fishermen, and those involved in the industry, countrywide and no matter how specialist their persuasion, to support the cause and

become members of the Angling Trust, to give us a strong mandate: • To represent them at the highest level. • To secure increased funding from both government and private sponsorship. • To raise awareness and the profile of angling/fishing in the communities we serve. As a fisherman I am excited, as a businessman I relish the challenge and as a servant I am honoured to be able to help the angling community both now and hopefully into the future. I end with a word of thanks to everyone who has made me feel welcome in my role so far. George Stephenson

Letter from the chairman, Dick Vincent


would like to start by thanking Mike Heylin for all that he has done as the chairman of the Angling Trust. I have worked very closely with him to maintain and develop the close and permanent relationship between Fish Legal and the Angling Trust. I'm delighted that Mike has indicated his willingness to continue as a member of the Fish Legal committee as well as a board member of the Angling Trust in the future. His are big boots to fill, but I am delighted with George Stephenson’s appointment as his successor and I'm looking forward to collaborating closely with George to continue developing the organisations in parallel.

In May, we held our AGM in Stafford where we were able to report on another successful year of action on behalf of our members, and a solid financial performance. Thank you to all the members who voted in support of the reelection of the committee members who give their time as volunteers, along with our expert legal advisory committee who are absolutely invaluable to us. Mark Lloyd has once again led Will Rundle and his growing legal team over the past year and I am confident that they will go on achieving great things. Our individual and club membership continues to grow slowly but steadily. The contribution of individual anglers’

Perhaps now retiring AT chairman, Mike Heylin, will have more time to do what he really enjoys — catching specimen tench.

subscriptions is vital to keeping membership rates for clubs, riparian owners and fisheries at an affordable level. Please encourage every individual angler you meet to join us. Dick Vincent

Angler The


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Salter’s Soapbox

by Martin Salter

Blood thirsty, knuckle dragging, redneck or earnest, bongo playing, eco-warrior protesting about fracking whose side should we, the anglers, be on?

ow, perhaps it’s because I’m a child of sixties, or more likely because I fish and care about the environment that sustains our watery wildlife, that I’m more at home with the Greenies. Anglers come in all shapes and sizes but most of the ones that know, well those with more brain cells than toes, realise that the future of our sport requires us to be at the forefront of those arguing for a cleaner, greener environment. As has been shown by the ACA in the past and now the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, anglers in the UK have gained huge respect by being the ones taking the polluters to court and vigorously campaigning against threats to our rivers, streams and lakes. Who can seriously hope to successfully challenge angling as a legitimate activity when we are described by both leading environmentalists and politicians alike as ‘the eyes and ears of the waterside? During my sabbatical ‘Down Under’, I was asked to look at various models of angling governance and representation in order to help the Aussie anglers (or fishos) get better organised. The first thing that struck me was the massive disconnect between anglers and the environmentalists. It seemed to me that there was a real danger that ‘conservation’ had become a dirty word in the eyes of far too many folk involved in fishing in Australia. Having spent half a lifetime in mainstream politics as a passionate advocate for the benefits of recreational fishing and the aquatic environment on which it depends and having examined fishery management regimes in Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand, there is nothing that will ever shake my conviction


that our sport must always be positioned front and centre in favour of conservation and sustainable fishing practices. If anglers ever vacate this territory for the comfort of a pure blood sports lobby alone we will be in real danger of losing much of the public and political support that we currently enjoy.

Brits who enjoy fishing in the sea. This has been done the world over. Witness the raping of the impoverished West African fisheries by the super trawlers and factory ships, the collapse of the once prolific cod fisheries of the Newfoundland Grand Banks in Canada, the near destruction of the North American striped bass fishery, or the appalling over- fishing of the North Sea as a result of the idiotic European Common Fisheries Policy. The lessons from these disasters are crystal clear. In the race to the bottom, everyone loses and it is only by the introduction and enforcement of rigorous sustainable fishery management practices on all sectors that stock collapses can be avoided or recovery measures can be allowed to succeed. And that means bag and size limits, commercial quotas and gear restrictions, protected nursery areas and spatial closures to assist successful recruitment. Whether on land or on sea it means managing our fisheries for tomorrow and recognising that we do not have the luxury of an inexhaustible resource.

. . . I’ve found it easier to argue the case for conservation and environmental action in the freshwater sector . . .


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All At SeA

With a few honourable exceptions, I’ve found it easier to argue the case for conservation and environmental action in the freshwater sector, rather than amongst sea anglers. It seems crazy to me that, here in the UK, we are miles behind the USA (and even the Aussies) in that we still have no marine fishing licence nor any real bag and size limits. Are the seas around Britain so abundant with fish that we can continue to kill and take as many as we like and afford not to fund effective enforcement or marine management? Recreational fishing will always be the losers in an unedifying bunfight with the commercials to see who can catch the last fish in the ocean. I fully expect a majority of the pros and those who are paid to advocate for them to argue for their unalienable right to catch what they want, where they want and how they want, irrespective of the impacts on either the environment or on the one million

Autumn 2013

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Angling news Minister anounces new action on cormorants


he present disastrous system of cormorant control is to be streamlined, following years of pressure on government from the Angling Trust. Former Fisheries minister Richard Benyon promised his department would replace the current bureaucratic and wholly inadequate system of licensing with a new catchment-based approach which will allow for predator control based on local needs rather than arbitrary national limits. Bird numbers have exploded out of control since the 1980s to the point where the survival of many fish stocks was being dangerously threatened. Richard Benyon made clear his determination to protect future fish stocks saying: “We must balance how inland

fisheries and aquatic biodiversity can be protected from fish eating birds in an effective, proportionate and timely way.” The Angling Trust has invested a huge amount of time and energy over the past three years campaigning for angling clubs and fishery managers to have the right to

protect fish stocks from predation by cormorants and now it looks like real progress has been achieved. The trust’s Action on Cormorants campaign received high profile political and celebrity backing and we published a 10,000 word Dossier of Destruction

illustrating the impact that the increase from 2,000 to nearly 30,000 over-wintering cormorants has had on fisheries, angling clubs and rural businesses. There were 80,000 hits on the trust’s special Cormorant Watch website recording sightings of the birds.

Championing our chalk streams

National campaign’s co-ordinator Martin Salter displays the Charter for Chalkstreams

The Charter for Chalk Streams was launched in the spring on the banks of Dick Walker’s once favourite River Beane, now a dried up Hertfordshire ditch. It has attracted national media interest with a special BBC Radio 4 Face the Facts programme broadcast in July. The charter is a radical manifesto for improving the condition of the chalk rivers of England, calling for a range of measures including the introduction of compulsory water metering to reduce waste and cut unsustainable

abstractions, the national designation of all chalk streams as Special Areas of Conservation and clear targets for replacing aquifer abstraction with surface supply and storage. We will be taking this forward over the coming months and seeking to recruit MPs and other opinion formers in the catchments of each of the 161 chalk streams. You can read the full charter at and search chalk stream charter.

Angler The


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Angling news

It’s a record catch for National Fishing Month

A great day for youngsters with Billingham Angling Club

This year’s National Fishing Month (NFM) has shattered its 15,000 target, setting new records for the number of people who were introduced to the sport through more than 300 special events throughout the country, much to the delight of the Angling Trades Association (ATA), which runs NFM. It began with a flying start in mid-July when over a thousand people were coached in coarse and game fishing at the CLA Game Fair, which also saw a visit from the fisheries minister Richard Benyon, and with new marketing initiatives launched by supporting partners the Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing (GHoF). The outstanding launch was backed by excellent attendances in the days that followed at other NFM events up and down Britain. The Albrighton Trust, based near Wolverhampton, organised a series of four events and successfully coached nearly a hundred children at their wheelchair-friendly venue.

Meanwhile at Billingham Angling Club, the Angling Trust regional officer Dave Munt worked in partnership with Stockton Youth Services at a local pond hit by antisocial behaviour. It is now hoped that the young people who attended the event will go for further coaching and take an active role in the development of an angling club on the site. Naidre Werner, chairman of the ATA said: “National Fishing Month is the sport’s most important recruiting sergeant.” She also praised the voluntary organisers, coaches and the tackle trade for their support, describing their generosity as “both immense and crucial to this year’s unrivalled success.”

Children, staff and coaches at Albrighton Trust

Rogue seal can’t return to sea – it doesn’t have the paperwork Anglers are furious that a rogue seal that has been plundering fish stocks on the River Severn is still at large, thanks to bungling by a government agency. The seal which has feasted on migratory salmon as well as chub, barbel, pike and even ducks has been at large in the river for almost a year. But recently it swam into a lock where it was trapped providing


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a golden opportunity to capture the animal and return it to the sea. The Angling Trust had already gained agreement from the Canal and Rivers Trust to capture the seal and experts from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity were on alert to help. But Natural England refused to give the AT a licence to return the seal to the sea until it

could provide more evidence of the damage that the seal was doing to fish stocks. Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust said he could hardly believe his ears when an NE official asked for evidence of damage and suggested applying the same criteria as for the old cormorant control licences. “He admitted that he had no expertise in fisheries and that he was a

terrestrial ecologist. I told him that the Environment Agency had conceded that the animal was having a local impact on the fishery and that they supported our application, and I put him in touch with my contacts there. “This really is bureaucracy gone mad and shows how out of touch some of the people are at Natural England when it comes to angling and fisheries.”

Autumn 2013

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Two Cheers for Hydropower The Angling Trust and Salmon & Trout Association have jointly welcomed the Environment Agency (EA) Board’s decision to introduce new Good Practice Guidelines for hydropower that reduce the amount of water that can normally be diverted from rivers into turbines. The organisations have attended about twenty meetings of the Hydropower Working Group over the past three years where their representatives have repeatedly pressed the EA to introduce stricter guidelines in the face of robust opposition from the British Hydropower Association (BHA), which wanted to take as much water out of rivers as possible. A decision by the Board in July was postponed following the threat of a legal

challenge from the BHA. Celebrations were to some extent muted however because of a number of outstanding concerns which the organisations raised with Lord (Chris) Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency, in a letter which was copied to the rest of the Board in advance of the meeting. The Angling Trust and Salmon & Trout Association raised concerns about: • The standard of evidence that developers will be required to provide to justify taking more water than the amount set out in the guidelines; • The ability of the Agency to regulate this industry properly in light of imminent budget cuts;

These perch are typical victims of a hydro plant

• The continuing lack of understanding in the Agency about the cumulative impact of multiple schemes; • Relaxation of guidelines on high head schemes on upper tributary rivers which can be very important for fish spawning and gravel supply to the main river;

• Relaxation of guidelines for on weir schemes – a decision that has been taken even before a study into the impact of such schemes on weir pools has concluded; • A lack of any firm conclusions from the Agency’s hydropower monitoring programme to inform the regulatory process.

Severn barrage blown out of the water

Artist’s impression of the proposed Severn barrage

Plans for a Severn barrage, that would have severely damaged migratory fish runs and wildlife have been blown out of the water. The recent Energy and Climate Change Select Committee report castigating the proposal was an absolute triumph for the Angling Trust and the RSPB who led the coalition of organisations campaigning to protect the Severn Estuary and the migratory fish runs in the Severn, Wye and Usk

catchments. MPs backed our call to the government for the scheme to be scrapped in favour of smaller, more fishfriendly renewable energy schemes with less damaging environment impacts. Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust said: "Angling, wildlife and environmental groups have been united in their call for the Severn barrage concept to be abandoned, calling instead for a renewed focus on environmentally sound and

commercially viable way to harness a variety of sources of power in the Bristol Channel. “We now welcome the government’s recognition that the proposals put forward by Hafren Power were utterly inadequate. The select committee inquiry clearly exposed the numerous unsubstantiated claims regarding the supposed economic and environmental benefits for the barrage and the massive threats to migratory fish and birds inherent in a scheme of this size.” Jonathan White, chairman of trustees of the Severn Rivers Trust said; “Wherever in the world tidal barrages have been tried, they have been associated with huge environmental damage and adverse impact on wildlife. We hope the government’s condemnation of yet another barrage means that the Severn estuary will now be spared this fate.

No return to the old days The government has given assurances that a new dredging policy will not signal a return to the bad old days of canalising rivers. A review of controls caused great alarm and brought back visions of the disastrous river straightening ‘improvement’ schemes of the past. But after strong representations the new guidelines are likely to allow for little more than silt removal under controlled conditions. Former fisheries minister Richard Benyon said; “I can assure you we are not going to see a return to the canalised horror stories of the 60’s and 70’s… there will be no wholesale deregulation of dredging.”

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Angling news Make sure you catch Next year The Big One fishing show will be an even bigger one with more exhibitors and bigger stands. The organisers, Fishface Promotions, decided that to meet the demand from exhibitors for bigger displays they must provide an additional 3,000 square metres, making the total covered area almost 4.5 acres – three full football pitches. Fishface say; “Having done this we were able to not only

continue to support Les Webber MBE and his hugely successful Angling Projects programme, but were also in a position to offer considerable space to the Get Hooked on Fishing project in an effort to bring our sport to a wider younger audience. “As a company we realise that the future really lies in encouraging youth into the sport, and we will do all we can to achieve that goal. Naturally all this will not affect our

support for the Angling Trust and Team England who will enjoy complimentary stands as in previous years.” The show itself promises to not only be bigger but also better with many manufacturers promoting new products, alongside the usual demonstrations and talks. The Big One 2014 takes place on 2223 February at Farnborough Hants GU14 6AZ

With retailers offering terrific show deals, a two-day ticket is looking to be the sensible option. For more information and tickets, go to

Many rivers already face over-extraction

Fracking safeguards not fit for purpose says Angling Trust The Angling Trust has deep concern over the likely impacts of the controversial fracking technique used to extract underground supplies of shale gas. Fracking uses large amounts of water and threatens to contaminate both ground and surface water. In many parts of the UK, rivers are already either over-abstracted or are failing to meet good ecological status, and many groundwater supplies are overexploited. There are also concerns over the lack of robust regulation governing fracking and the need for the Environment Agency to become the lead regulator rather than the Health and Safety Executive as at present.


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The Angling Trust has been consulting its sister organisations in the USA where fracking has been a live issue for some while. In its position paper, which you can see in full at, the trust concludes: “Fracking may be able to contribute to the UK’s energy needs at some point in the future but the Angling Trust, along with other organisations such as RSPB and WWF, contends that until the current environmental regulatory regime is made fit for purpose, and the questions over water supply are resolved, fracking should not be allowed to proceed.”

Key points from the trust’s paper include:

Water abstraction Fracking requires large amounts of water. The Angling Trust seeks assurances from government that fracking will not be permitted unless sustainable supplies of water are developed, such as new reservoirs, to avoid taking water from already-depleted rivers and ground waters.

Water pollution Fracking has the potential to pollute both ground and surface waters. Such operations should be licensed in accordance with the European

Waste Directive and the Environment Agency’s permitting process for discharge to ground water.

Regulation The Environment Agency should now be the lead regulator instead of the Health and Safety Executive and the industry must be made aware that it will have to meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive, the Ground Water Directive and Mining Waste Directive. Each site must be subject to an environmental impact assessment with the government amending the Town and Country Planning Act accordingly.

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Get your fishing info on the move from the Angling Trust is a brand new mobile-ready website developed in partnership with the Environment Agency that will always look its best whether viewed on your PC, tablet or smartphone. FishingInfo allows you to search and find fishing venues and EA river level gauges and then save them as your favourites. You can also look for tackle shops, coaches and clubs and plot your personal favourite locations too. Once saved, you can receive all kinds of informative data to help your fishing be as successful as possible such as

river level and weather data – straight from the Environment Agency and the Met Office. There are handy links including a facility to buy your rod licence online from the Post Office and also all the latest news feeds from the Angling Trust. We will continually be adding and improving the data over time. Watch out for new sea fishing data coming next year for charter boats and shore marks.


Cheers – It’s a winning day for Steve Competition winner Steve Mable won a day’s fishing with Chris Clark off the rocks on the South Coast in the last edition.

Threat of universal access to Welsh rivers The Welsh Assembly Government has recently announced that it intends to explore bringing in legislation to allow canoes, rafts and kayaks to access any river they like, whenever they like. In September 120 angling representatives from all over Wales gathered to express their grave concerns about the proposals. The Angling Trust and Fish Legal have joined forces with the Countryside Alliance, the Country Land and Business Association and the Welsh angling organisations to highlight the impact that these proposals would have on

business which rely on fishing and on the rural environment. In England, the government has made it very clear that it will not be bending to pressure from the British Canoe Union (BCU). Ministers have publicly supported the Angling Trust’s view that voluntary access agreements are the way forward. These would make it possible for more people to canoe in more places, but with controls to avoid there being damage to fishing rights or to fish eggs and habitat at certain times of the year. The problem is that the BCU orders its staff not to sign

agreements because it is hellbent on trying to win access to all rivers at all times. At the same time, the BCU hints that the laws governing navigation might be unclear by promoting unfounded theories that there is an ancient right of navigation. This irresponsible position encourages widespread illegal canoeing and causes conflict between anglers and paddlers who should be allies in the fight to protect and improve our rivers for all to enjoy. (See Fish Legal page 26 for a full briefing on this issue.)

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Angling news Bait digging under the spotlight Fishery and Conservation Authorities have the responsibility to manage bait digging as a ‘sea fisheries resource’. The combination of these issues has resulted in a flood of bylaws being drafted around the country that could potentially limit bait digging both commercially and for recreational sea anglers. In October the Angling Trust held a national ‘bait collection summit’ in London, bringing together specialists from all round the country to discuss a way forward that can allow the conservation objectives of Defra and the IFCAs to be met

Give Fish a Chance There’s no shadow of a doubt that the most successful conservation campaigns have worked because they have succeeded in achieving three key goals: • Provide a clear and easily understandable message. • Attract wide support to form a coalition of like-minded organisations. • Appeal to the general public and break out of being a single interest group campaign. The Angling Trust’s Give Fish a Chance campaign is well on its way to achieving this holy


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trinity of campaigning success. The message is one of common sense that we hear from anglers every day of the week. The support from other organisations is being forged so that we can present the message as a single, unified body; and the appeal stretches beyond the world of angling into the consciousness of every man, woman and child in the country. We’ve been hard at work on specific campaigns that achieve the GFAC goals; from, working with colleagues through EAA to agree a position on bass management at three levels. Firstly throughout Europe, then a national campaign

while still allowing commercial and recreational bait digging to carry on in a sustainable way. We hope that the outcome of the summit will have been to find a consensus on how to go forward and what position the Angling Trust will take to deal with the threat to bait digging at a national level. This may include reviewing the evidence that points the finger at bait digging being a ‘high risk’ activity. As anglers we appreciate the need to conserve the marine environment but at the same time, no access to bait = no angling. This is not an option.

Fish Galore! Another competition winner from the last edition, Joe Appleby from Derby, got to fill his net on a fishing day with expert coach Kieron Rich. Joe said; “I had great day out with Kieron, both the fishing and venue were superb! Kieron passed on loads of tips throughout the day and answered all my questions. I learnt a lot and would fully recommend him to anyone thinking of a day's coaching.” If you fancy a day too then email Kieron on or see his website at

A Sussex black bream


Over the last six months bait digging has become a hot topic in the world of sea angling and conservation. Last year a legal challenge by ClientEarth and the Marine Conservation Society forced Defra to change its approach to the way European marine sites, including Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protected Areas (SPAs) are managed. Bait digging is now being seen as a ‘high risk’ activity for the conservation of some features – such as seagrass beds – in these sites of European conservation importance. In addition the Inshore

highlighting the importance of protecting our estuaries and finally a local campaign to protect black bream and promote its status as one of Sussex’s most valuable natural assets and sea angling species. Whether it’s a local campaign

like this, a national campaign or an EU wide campaign the Angling Trust’s core vision for what we want to achieve for sea anglers and the marine environment is spelt out in Give Fish a Chance.

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Bass fears lead to EU action It's a message we've been trying to tell anyone who would listen for many years now; unless something is done to manage bass stocks in a more sustainable way the species will suffer a catastrophic decline as commercial fishing pressure continues to increase while recruitment of year classes simultaneously fails. It may already be too late in the short to medium term but finally, after a frightening prospect for bass was published by the International Centre for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the international body that gives advice on fish stocks, the EU has woken up and realised that something must be done to avert a potential and devastating stock collapse. Currently two options are on the table: the first is for all nations in Europe to agree on a set of technical measures â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as mesh sizes, minimum landing sizes and closed areas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that would reduce catches in the EU by 20% next year. The second is for a total allowable

catch (TAC), and quota at national level, to be introduced if nations cannot agree on the technical measures. Recent discussions have reached deadlock as France, which catches around 70 per cent of bass in EU waters, favours a TAC while other nations oppose it. In addition, technical measures may take a long time to be agreed by codecision and then implemented â&#x20AC;&#x201C; longer than a TAC â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so the outcome is far from clear. The Angling Trust has therefore been working closely with colleagues from Sportvisserij Nederland in Holland, the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society here in the UK, the Angling Council of Ireland and other national angling organisations and independent experts to agree an EU-wide position on how this crucially important recreational angling species should be managed. The result is the EAA bass paper that proposes a two-stage management plan including

(L to R) John Quinlan (Irish Bass), Nigel Horsman and Ian Misselbrook (Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society), Charles walker MP and George Hollingbery MP (chair of the All Party Parliamentary group on angling) presenting the case for the bass MLS increase to the former Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, in 2012

emergency measures to avert disaster coupled with longterm management measures. Our ultimate goal is for bass in Europe to be a rod-and-linecaught species only. While this may be a long way from becoming a reality in EU

waters, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a long term aspiration that sets out our stall for the years ahead. It provides a clear message, a position other organisations will be willing to support and an appeal to the widest possible audience.

2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s golden year of competitive fishing This year has been one of outstanding success for Angling Trust Team England seeing both teams and individuals triumph with phenomenal results in the World, European and Home international championships. Our congratulations go to all the team members, managers and staff and of course special thanks go to the various team sponsors whose logos you will see listed on the Team England pages. This is the impressive haul of medals the teams have amassed during 2013 in the

Home, European and World championships. The full stories are on the following pages: â&#x20AC;˘ England Sea Fishing and Casting teams finished with; 4 Gold, 5 Silver and 3 Bronze medals â&#x20AC;˘ England Coarse Fishing teams finished with; 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze medals â&#x20AC;˘ England Fly Fishing teams finished with; 2 Gold and 3 Silver medals



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Angling Trust Team England Sea fishing

Home international boat team wins gold in the Outer Hebrides


or the England home international boat squad the long journey to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in June was well worth it. They took the gold medal in the SALC home international boat sea angling competition. The scores were very close and at the end of the first day; with England lying second, about 4% behind Ireland. As each boat arrived back in port

on the second and final day, the scores were calculated and the excitement rose, and in the event England won with a fantastic score of 427.14% beating Scotland into second place on 417.21%. Ireland were third on 398.10% with Wales fourth again on 385.70%. This was a superb result for England and the first time since 2006 that the home team has failed to win.

England junior shore team retains the championship

England junior top individual winner Jaon Voller

England’s juniors prevented Wales from making a clean sweep in the home international shore angling championships held in on Abererch beach, near Pwllheli, in north Wales. The home side took the men’s, youths’ and ladies’ titles, but England’s juniors retained the gold they won last year. The team ended day one with s enough points to put them in a joint

lead with Ireland, on 15 points. Day two started with everyone working hard as a team, and as the final fish were measured the team knew they had beaten Ireland in four out of the five zones with Ireland only one point behind. Team England angler Jaon Voller finished in top individual position with Harry O’Neill as second placed individual overall.

Ladies take silver too The England Ladies team was leading after the first match with two zone wins and two seconds, but Wales got four zone wins on the second day with the England Ladies managing one win. New England cap Becky Adams finished in a fantastic second place overall in the individual placings, with the team taking a wellearned silver medal podium position..

Tight battle for men’s team In the men’s championship Wales were leading on day one with a very strong Team Ireland just behind. On the second day Wales consolidated their lead with England and Ireland battling it out for the runner up position. Both teams tied on points with the final result being decided on count back, which pushed Team England into third place to take the bronze. Ashley Sampson was the highest placed England individual in second place overall.


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Youth team are runners-up The England Youth team fished really hard against a strong Wales team, with Wales finally taking the title and pushing England into runner-up position. New England caps Keelan Owen and Charlie Tudball both got section wins on day two.

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England A team casts for bronze The England A casting team came home with a bronze medal from the Long Casting World Championships in Belgium, with Andy Copping narrowly missing out on an individual bronze medal finishing in fourth place. There was some drama when England A team member Jay Lee suffered an arm injury after the second round of day one and had to return home. As a result the team carried on

competing with only four out of their five casters. Eleven different countries took part, with teams from as far away as Japan and Argentina competing alongside the European entries. The event took place over four days and each day the entrants had five casts with a different weight starting at 175g on the first day, through 150g, 125g and then 100g.

Coarse fishing

England A Casting Team – World Championships 2013

England’s young lions break championship records Drennan Team England's Under 23s and Sensas Team England’s Under 18s ran riot in the Youth World Championships along the River Villaine in Brittany, taking eight of the 12 medals up for grabs in the World Championships in July. The U18’s totally dominated their event winning gold with three section wins and a second each day to score a record-breaking ten points, way ahead of home favourites France. The team also filled the top four individual places with Sam Hughes taking gold with a perfect two points, followed by

team mates Bradley Gibbons, Joe Kent, and Matt Barnet Meanwhile Drennan Team England U23s had to pull back from a poor draw on day one which saw them on 26 points behind the German team on 14 points, Hungary 19 points and France on 21 points, but an outstanding 11 points on day two almost turned the match on its head and they finished just two points behind defending U23s Champions Hungary on 37 points for a silver medal. Rory Jones took the bronze individual with four points

Drennan Team England's Under 23s

Disappointment for veterans and disabled The England Veterans hopes of retaining their World Championship gold medal, won last year in Portugal, were dashed when they could only manage sixth place on the River Krupa, Kapljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina in August. The top England Individual

performance was Steve Sanders in fourth place’ The England Disabled team had a series of bad draws which left them finishing the World Championship bottom but one in eighth place. Fishing the upstream stretch of the river above the bridge expectations

were high as the team caught well during practice, but the draw did them no favours at all. Many of the European teams are experts at bolo and whip fishing and just like the Veterans, the Disabled team could not compete with them. The eventual winners, the

Czech Republic, had all four anglers fishing from wheelchairs and recorded an outstanding result by claiming 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, individual medals as well as team gold. England’s best individual placing was Mark Russell 17th.

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Angling Trust Team England

England takes the world championships by storm


rennan Team England proved they really are at the top of their game by taking the gold medal team win in the Nations World Championships on the Zeranski Channel in Northern Warsaw, Poland in September. And not to be outdone the Angling Trust England Ladies coarse angling team produced one of the most sensational second day performances ever seen in winning gold in the 20th FIPSed Women’s World Angling Championships on the magnificent River Sava in Radece, Slovenia, in August 2013. In the Nations World Championship, against 36 teams from all over the world, the England squad also took two of the three individual honours, with Steve Hemingray (former European champion) winning silver, and Alan Scotthorne (five times world


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champion) winning the bronze medal. They both achieved two section wins over the two days of the championship. The Drennan Team England squad consisted of; Alan Scotthorne (South Yorkshire), Will Raison (Aldershot), Sean Ashby (Derbyshire), Des Shipp (Bristol), Steve Hemingray (Leicestershire), Steve Gardener (Surrey) and joint managers Mark Downes and Mark Addy. The result amply compensated for a disappointing performance in the European championships on the Novi Sad canal in Serbia in June. Finishing in seventh place on the first day blew away their chances of retaining the title but a stronger performance on the second day lifted them to fifth position overall. The top English individual was Des Shipp in 12th place.

It was a strong performance on the second day that saw the England ladies score a remarkable victory in Slovenia. After day one England were seemingly out of contention when they finished in eighth position. However the management team saw no reason to change tactics for the second day and went into the match with a really positive attitude that was fully justified. To make up the 12 points deficit on leaders Croatia and eventually beat them by 4 points was incredible, but even more so was the fact that they demolished all the seven teams in front of them from day one.

Top left, Gold medalists Drennan Team England, Top right, England Ladies squad member 2013 – Julie Abbot. Bottom, Steve Hemingray – 2nd place individual

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Fly fishing

Youth team wins home international championships


he England youth international fly fishing team headed to Llyn Brenig in North Wales hoping to defend the gold medals that they had won the previous year in Ireland. With eight new caps in the team this wouldn’t be easy but the team was well prepared and ready for the challenge.

During practice it was noted that early on the fish would readily take a fly moved on the surface, but as the day wore on, they became more reluctant to take a fly if it wasn’t down at their cruising level. Match day arrived and the team encountered perfect conditions – light winds and cloud cover. The fleet split to all parts of the

lake and after just 45 minutes news began to filter through that Team England already had eight, six and five fish in just three boats. After a nervous and seemingly long day on the bank for the coaching team and parents the England team had put together a total of 64 fish. Was it enough? It was, and

England yet again took gold with a back-to-back win, something they can all be immensely proud of. England also had the Brown Bowl winner for the 4th year in a row when an outstanding performance by Tom Adamson saw him take the individual title with a haul of 11 fish for 23lb 9oz.

Silver success for the ladies The Angling Trust’s England lady fly fishers came second to an on-form Irish team at the recent home international held on Lough Caragh, ROI, in June. The team travelled more than a week early to ensure that they got to know the water well. The weather was very untypical for Ireland with bright sun and calm winds. The team did very well on practice days and felt confident going into match day, but then the weather decided to revert to brisk winds and overcast conditions. The team tried hard and came a commendable second place. Next year the home international will be fished at Trawsfynydd reservoir in Wales.

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Angling Trust partner news In promoting our sport the Angling Trust receives much help from, and often works closely with, other partner organisations. Here we focus on just two of them.

Masons make their mark


he Masonic Fishing Charity is the first national organisation to have been awarded Clubmark status – and they are extremely proud of it, especially since they managed to do it in record time! This award enables the schools and other organisations to recognise that the Masonic Fishing Charity has met the Angling Trust’s exacting standards of care and safety of its participants. The Masonic Fishing Charity is an non-profit organisation that, through the sport of fishing, enables its guests to gain in confidence, meet new challenges and achieve tangible results. It focusses on disadvantaged people and


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those from harsh backgrounds, helping them to renew their confidence in meeting people and interacting with adults from outside their normal spheres. It also helps physically disabled people, including war heroes and stroke victims, to fish in a relaxed and safe environment. Why is what they do on the banks so different? Well, to start with their volunteers, for whose help they are eternally grateful, play the vital role of looking after guests for the day and making sure they have a good time. They experience the joy and excitement of their charges – something that is far more rewarding than simply giving a donation to a faceless charity. And the smile when a

They experience the joy and excitement of their charges – something that is far more rewarding than simply giving a donation to a faceless charity

fish is hooked and landed has to be experienced to understand the pleasure and buzz that it gives to our participants. A spokesman for the charity said; ”The success stories we hear regularly at our events are very humbling. The charity has a unique way of bringing out the best in our participants, whether that’s due to our volunteers’ enthusiasm for

fishing, their never-ending patience, or perhaps the fact that they don’t represent authority and are merely a friend for the day. “The Masonic Fishing Charity volunteers are there to inspire our guests but in reality it’s our guests who continually inspire us.” For more information visit the Masonic Fishing Charity’s website:

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News from the Wheelyboat Trust for more information visit

Wheelyboats get pike anglers out on the Broads wo new Wheelyboats have been launched which will give disabled anglers free access to some of the finest water on the Norfolk Broads. Following on from the improved bank fishing access that has been achieved by the Broads Angling Strategy Group, the Pike Angling Strategy Group raised funds to get disabled anglers onto the water. Two aluminium boats with wheelchair access were bought with grants from the Environment Agency. One, moored at Surlingham on the River Yare, has a large outboard and bespoke canopy.


Very stable, and with wheelchair access, it can be used free of charge by anyone who is not able to access the broads due to disability. The members of the Norwich and District Pike Club have volunteered their time to take people out on this boat. A smaller version was also recently purchased for use on the beautiful Trinity Broad System at Sportsman’s Staithe, again, free to the disabled angler. For more information or to book one of the boats, please call John Currie on 07776 221 959 or Mickey Cox on 07899 913 606.

The new boat moored at Surlingham

UK’s remotest Wheelyboat launched


left to right: The Hon Mrs Jane Heber-Percy (Badanloch Estate), Brian Lyall (Headkeeper), Anthony Duckworth-Chad (Wheelyboat Trust), Neil McCorquodale (brother of Sally after whom the boat is named)

Coulam 16 Wheelyboat, specially designed for disabled anglers, was launched at Badanloch estate, Sutherland in May. The new boat was funded by a grant from Lord Leverhulme’s Charitable Trust. Sally, as she has been named, is the most remote of all Wheelyboats operating in the UK and her launch demonstrates how important it is that opportunities for disabled anglers should exist everywhere, even in the wilds of Scotland. Badanloch estate’s 27,500 acres is set in the wide open spaces of the far north of Scotland and lies off a single track road at the source of the famous River Helmsdale. Sutherland is renowned for the quality of its game fishing and the estate’s six lochs have a combined area of nearly 3,000 acres with fishing for brown trout, salmon and sea trout. For bookings contact Bryan Lyall on 01431 831 232, e-mail We also work with GHOF (see page 42)

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Unhooking a pike, or any other toothy predator, can be a tricky task. Here ALAN DUDHILL explains how to do it safely, without injuring the fish or yourself.

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he pike is of course our biggest native freshwater predator and that’s the species we’ll cover here but the same care and principles should be applied when handling all predators. The zander is also an apex predator; though non-native it is here to stay and fast growing in popularity as a worthy sporting fish. Apex predators carry out an important role in underwater ecology, and although they appear to be tough, hardy creatures, which of course they are in their own underwater environment, they are surprisingly fragile when removed from it. Special care therefore needs to be taken when landing, unhooking and handling predators to ensure that they are returned safely to the water. Of course predators also have teeth so proper handling protects us from injury too.

Landing pike

When it comes to landing pike, a large 40 inch triangular specimen net or 30 inch round net, should be used. Ensure the mesh is well sunk before bringing the pike over it, lifting the net to retain the pike. Hold the net at both sides of the frame, gathering up the mesh to lift it just high enough off the ground to carry it directly to a suitably (large) unhooking mat. Never allow the fish to be dragged along or laid on rough or hard ground.


Newcomers to piking may find the pike’s teeth a little intimidating, and unhooking may seem a daunting task at first. Many fish are injured during unhooking because


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of the lack of confidence of the angler. This is completely avoidable by simply having the right tools for the job and a little practice. Basic unhooking is very simple once you know how. You’ll need a pair of eight-inch forceps to remove the hooks, a pair of long-nosed wire cutters in case you need to cut through the hook to make unhooking easier and a tough glove to give you confidence in avoiding the sharp teeth.

Have everything to hand and ready for use including unhooking tools, scales, camera and have the mat and weigh sling wetted-up.

With your pike safely on the unhooking mat, the first thing to do is check to see where the hooks are before handling the fish. Then, gently roll the pike onto its back. If it’s a large pike you might want to sit astride it to keep it steady while unhooking. Place two or three fingers of your left hand (if right handed) under the pike’s gill

plates and slide your fingers down towards the chin and into the ‘v’ shape of the lower jaw, gripping the lower jaw firmly. This is called the ‘chin grip’. The pike’s mouth should drop open as you gently lift the jaw. If it doesn’t, apply a little pressure to the underside of the upper jaw with your thumb. You will see that the teeth are located around the edge of the mouth, well away from your fingers. Place gentle pressure on the trace wire and use the forceps through the mouth or gills to reach the hooks. Clamp on to the hooks and twist them free. Once free, the hooks and trace can be cleanly lifted through the mouth. During unhooking, be particularly careful if you can’t see the position of the hooks so you don’t end up with them in your finger ends, it hurts! Two pairs of hands are often better than one, especially if the fish is hooked deeply.

Deeply hooked fish

With modern piking techniques, runs are hit quickly so deep-hooking is rare. Some pike may however gulp down baits, particularly small ones. In such cases the pike is likely to have at least one of the hooks in its soft stomach lining. If this happens, extra care must be taken to remove the hooks without causing any damage to the pike. Don’t panic, simply follow the same procedure as normal but apply a little more pressure to the trace, pulling it gently until you can see the hooks, unhooking with the forceps as they become visible. This procedure can be speeded up by using the long-nosed cutters to cut the prongs off the hooks,

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The correct way to chin grip a pike

Kane Cook safely holding a pike

making them easier to pull free. Do not cut the trace wire. Experienced anglers usually add a snap link above the trace so, if necessary, the trace can be detached from the main line. This is useful if the pike thrashes around and tangles in the net.


Experienced anglers often unhook pike in the water

Once your pike is unhooked you may want to transfer it to a suitably large weigh sling for weighing or want to take photographs. The ‘chin grip’ helps you to control the fish but you must also take the weight of the fish in your arms. This prevents the fish from struggling, being dropped or causing damage to itself. Always keep the fish low to the ground and over the mat in case you do drop it. Preparation is the key to efficient handling. Have everything to hand and ready for use including unhooking tools, scales, camera and have the mat and weigh sling wetted-up. Experienced anglers often unhook and release pike in the water’s edge without removing the fish from the water. This greatly reduces the risk of causing injury to the fish. Remember; minimum handling = maximum conservation. If in doubt about handling and unhooking any predator, go with an experienced angler until you’re confident enough to go it alone. For more information, visit the PAC website:

Alan Dudhill is general secretary of the Pike Anglers’ Club of Great Britain

WHY NOT JOIN PAC? PAC is not an elite specimen group but an open club uniting pike anglers of all levels of experience, throughout the UK. Indeed, newcomers to pike fishing are urged to join, to learn from experienced pike anglers – especially regarding safe unhooking and handling. PAC offers various membership benefits, such as 15% off subscriptions to Pike & Predator magazine, publishes a quality quarterly magazine, Pikelines – packed with news, views, reviews, articles and regional reports and also our online magazine, PikeOnLines.

Find out more at

The Pike Angler's Club of Great Britain is a proud member of the Angling Trust. You can become a member too – join online at

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The Rise Not long ago, writes PAUL SHARMAN, London’s little River Wandle was an open sewer, but now it has a good head of coarse fish and has produced its first wild-bred trout. We tend to take our rivers and streams for granted in this country, especially in our cities. A quick glimpse of flowing water spied from the bus as we go over a bridge, among usually overgrown and quite possibly litter-strewn banks is often the best you can hope for. Although hidden away in the urban jungle of modern-day development, still the rivers flow and go about their business for those who care to seek them out. Take south London’s River Wandle for example. This 11-mile tributary of the Thames has seen good times and bad having once been described as “the best and clearest stream near London” in one early fly fishing book and then also “the hardest worked river for its size in the world” in 1805. In the 1960’s it was even officially classified as a “public open sewer.” More modern times have also given it a rough ride. Running slap bang through several of London’s boroughs it is an obvious channel for urban run-off and other pollutants like sewage, additionally it became the dumping ground for all manner of rubbish large and small. Don’t the supermarkets ever wonder where all their trolleys get to? However, don’t be disheartened; there are champions out there who have claimed such unloved rivers as their own and have undertaken the task of trying to restore them to their former glory, not always as easy a task as it may at first appear.

Where it all began

Formed out of a groundswell of local public support back around the end of the last millennium, the newly created Wandle Trust brought together a handful of anglers and other local people interested in


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helping the river by organising clean up days. A couple of these anglers — Theo Pike and Richard Baker — started sharing news of these efforts on the internet and were amazed at the support they received from anglers all over London who converged on their clean-up days, which now regularly see fifty or sixty volunteers a month lending a hand. Their blog entries showing the piles of junk dragged out of the river are at the same time both staggering but also satisfying in the knowledge that this human rubbish is no longer polluting the river. If only that was the only problem the river faced. The Wandle has suffered sewage and other industrial discharge problems in the past and luckily managed to survive them all, but one incident in 2007 was to change all that. Contractors undertaking cleaning at the Beddington sewage treatment works mistakenly released 1,600 litres of sodium hypochlorite into the recovering river, effectively bleaching three miles of the channel and killing at least 7,000 fish of all species. This was a disaster that knocked the river for six. In negotiations successfully led by the Angling Trust and Fish Legal (who act as the legal arm of the Trust), Thames Water quickly admitted responsibility and the Wandle Trust was nominated as a lead partner in the Living Wandle project; a programme of river restoration and habitat improvement funded by Thames Water to the tune of £500,000 over five years – the largest financial settlement ever at that time and probably still. In a perverse way this single devastating incident, and the subsequent damages settlement, has probably secured the future of both the Wandle itself and the trust that serves to protect it as far as

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The Wandle at Merton Bus Garage

Volunteers with trolley from the river



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And so to work

The volume of work being undertaken continues to grow as funding is received to support it. A current project involves work on testing the effectiveness of silt traps. These structures are specially designed to remove much of the suspended sediment out of urban run-off before it reaches the river, and so stop silt accumulating and smothering spawning gravels. At Butter Hill, in Carshalton, this has been combined with the removal of a small but significant barrier to fish passage which was only two feet high but caused significant upstream ponding and silt deposition. When the weir was removed the natural gradient of the river was restored and new gravel beds introduced. Just two months later trout were spotted spawning on the new gravel – the perfect result. This is an active research project and the results here could be applied to rivers in other places too. Success to date has allowed further funding applications for similar efforts on the Hogsmill stream where the removal of nine weirs is currently under way. Meanwhile, other fish passage problems on the Wandle are also being addressed: in Ravensbury Park’s side channel, a three-foot weir was


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removed in September 2012 and replaced with a rock ramp fish pass. A lot of work around the catchment is also focused on improving eel passage, as the Wandle is apparently one of the best strongholds of this long-distance traveller in the whole Thames river basin. Thanks to the many successful and wellrun projects handled by the Wandle Trust, the latest chapter in their developing story is that they have been approached by the Environment Agency and the national Rivers Trust and invited to expand their charitable area of benefit by evolving into a new South East Rivers Trust. By developing partnership projects with angling clubs and catchment improvement groups, this body will help to reinforce the efforts of local people to improve the health of their rivers including the Darent, Dour, Mole, Medway, Stour and Rother. A Memorandum of Understanding has recently been signed with the Kent Countryside Management Partnership, and the trust’s work will come full circle helping to identify local river problems, create community-driven catchment plans, develop projects and finally assist in providing real improvements to these rivers. During a recent discussion with the now chairman of trustees for the Wandle Trust, Theo Pike, I asked him for his views on the turning point in the recent history of the River Wandle. What he said I hope resonates with other groups and committed individuals who are looking after their own patches of water already or would like to follow in their footsteps.

“Without great help from the Angling Trust and Fish Legal at a very critical point in the Wandle’s history, the river would now be in a much more precarious state.

And the Wandle Trust itself would not in a sustainable position to look after the river for the long term - and even be able to think about sharing what we’ve learned and helping local people to look after other rivers across the south east of England.” — Theo Pike, The Wandle Trust.

For more information

You can find out all about the work of the Wandle Trust on their website at as well as their development into the new South East Rivers Trust. Get in touch with the Wild Trout Trust via if you need help or advice on a river restoration project.

My thanks go to Theo Pike (writer, fly fisher and river restorer) of the Wandle Trust for his permission to use passages from his book, Trout in Dirty Places, which is a celebration of 50 rivers to fly fish for trout and grayling in the UK’s town and city centres. This is THE bible for anyone interested in hopping the odd fence and getting funny looks from passers-by as they navigate the upended shopping trolleys and other urban detritus in search of trout and grayling living in our cities and towns. Seriously, it will make you look twice at that stretch of water winding through the buildings you perhaps has always taken for granted. Find details of the book and much more good stuff at and


these things can be predicted. Some of the funded work undertaken has been to remove obstructions such as the many weirs that have blocked the free passage of fish, thereby aiding the recovery efforts and migration success. This has also created backwater and headwater refuges so fish have somewhere to escape future pollution incidents (and they are sadly inevitable). This “catchment resilience” approach has had demonstrable success which in turn has led to other funding applications and grants being received. Another positive outcome of the settlement funding was the recruitment of the Wandle Trust’s first full time employee, Dr Bella Davies, an aquatic biologist who has since become the trust’s director. The community engagement plan she designed and led was built around a catchment-based approach which, years later, has also been adopted by the EA and Defra to structure their river work. The Wandle Trust and its team have often led the way like this. Under Davies’ direction, the trust has been able to draw down different government funding streams such as the Defra River Improvement Fund, the Catchment Restoration Fund and the Catchment Partnership Fund, all of which help to support the aims of the national Water Framework Directive, protecting the Wandle and other rivers for the long term.

Ravensbury Park rock ramp construction

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Adrian Grose-Hodge holding Wandle trout

Wandle trout fry IMAGE BY DUNCAN SOAR


Fish in the Wandle Throughout history the River Wandle was known a very good trout river with eels, dace, pike and perch in the lower reaches especially. Sadly pollution and the proliferation of mills and industry in the 19th and 20th centuries largely killed the river. The last trout died around 1930 and the river was officially classified as an open sewer from the 1960’s until the late 1970’s. In the mid to late 1980’s the then National Rivers Authority started stocking coarse fish rather than trout as they were thought to be able to handle the still less-than-perfect water quality. Roach, chub, dace and barbel were the main species stocked at that time. Regular annual stockings continued and electro-fishing surveys showed that stocks were indeed being maintained with some fish reaching specimen size, which was good news, but that was countered by the strange absence of juvenile fish. It is now believed that thanks to decades of canalisation in the name of flood prevention to carry away London’s storm water, every flood event washed untold numbers of small fish downstream, over a series of impassable weirs, and finally into the Thames, never to return. The Environment Agency ceased regular stocking about two years ago, but the Wandle Trust has been working hard on removing weirs, creating backwater refuges, and adding structures to make the river more survivable for all species of fish. There is evidence of natural recruitment now occurring but coarse fish can take a long time to grow to the sort of size fish that anglers like to see so it will take a while longer to see the real benefits. The Wandle is still a recovering river. Trout are also back in the Wandle as a result of the Trout in the Classroom project which was originally supported by the Environment Agency as an educational tool. When those schoolchildren took their tiny trout down to the river to release them it was not really expected that they would have much chance of survival. Happily they proved much more resilient than anyone thought and Theo Pike himself caught the first recorded wild-spawned trout fry during monthly Riverfly monitoring in 2011. Many happy fly fishers since have been delighted to find a Wandle trout attached to their line and things look good for the future. Although the Trout in the Classroom fish have survived and spawned, they were sourced from a fish farm on the river Itchen, and as a result may not yet have all the natural instincts and characteristics of truly wild, native trout. In order to make the Wandle’s trout population truly sustainable, the Wandle Trust is currently working with the Environment Agency and the Wild Trout Trust to identify a source of truly urbanadapted wild trout parr, which should give a good long term basis to go forward from. Maybe then once more someone will write about the Wandle once again being “the best and clearest stream in London.”

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on the flats of


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It is no secret that a large part of my own personal fishing life is spent on sight fishing. I love any opportunity to seek and try to catch any fish game enough to give away its location and allow me to stalk it. This could be carp sucking snails off of lily pads, trout rising to insects on the water’s surface or a tailing bonefish in some exotic location. Therefore, when Robin Howard (better known locally as Fishy Rob), a sea fishing guide based near me in Brighton, told me it was time for the “Sussex flats fishing season” my attention was well and truly caught. Now I am not going to give away specific locations here but suffice to say the type of ground we fished is not unique in Sussex or elsewhere for that matter. Obviously some locations are going to hold more fish than others and that is learned the hard way by getting out regularly yourself or, as I did, taking advantage of a guide like Robin who has done the hard work for you.

Words and pictures by


A splash of gold in the Eastern sky shows dawn is not too far away for anglers Robin Howard and Mark Jay, the perfect time to be out fishing in a shallow water situation when the fish are likely to be a little less cautious and willing to seek food in water little deeper than their backs sometimes. The shallow water also helps to give away their position much more easily to the angler as any disturbance tends to be magnified.

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ter less than plays a fish hooked in wa Guiding client Mark Jay Howard prepares the Go-Pro camera knee deep while Robin is the realm of the topwater lure and s in the background â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thi the regular bass fishing news you will d to be best if you follow any of of which lure is perceive know that the alchemy ularly discussed topic and favourite on any given day is a rege they should ever be discontinued. lures are hoarded in cas

My own lure box is not as up to date with the latest lures as more regular bass anglers perhaps but they are battle scarred as you can probably see and have proved their worth. If you are not sure what lures to start out with you will find plenty of recommendations online or pop into your local tackle shop for some advice. You will want a mix of topwater lures plus others that swim subsurface and at different depths to suit the conditions. These can include soft plastic lures too like paddle tails and jerkbaits that can be rigged weedless by hiding the point inside the soft body of the bait so you do not get snagged up on particularly rough or weedy terrain.


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And this is th silver bass fo e reward for a dark an popped bac r Mark Jay that snapp d early start â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a beauti making. Th k erratically to maxim ed up a topwater lure ful is is predator as proved irresistible fo e the disturbance it wbeing w e h av e roaming ou r the bass which is as as one was rela r tr some of the tively small, you mighcoasts in the UK. While ue a Robin Howarfish that will venture int be surprised at the si this season arou d says, especially tow to the shallows guideze of ards the bac nd October . k end of the

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Seeing a healthy fish sw to grow and spawn is a im away strongly knowing it will have the op their spiky fins and silv very rewarding experience. They are such an portunity to continue enigmatic fish with might be a sea fish but ery scales â&#x20AC;&#x201C; how can any angler help but be cap I would defy any coarse tivated by them. They not to enjoy trying to cat spi n fish erm an or fre seeing them finning alo ch them on their own gear for a change of shwater fly fisherman pa ng on the surface with the tops of those spiky ce. A real treat is dorsal fins exposed.

The rough once the flo ground in the picture though you oding tide has covere is the type of ground th d th may eb you, often g be wading less than e rocks and weed. Just ass like to roam over kn iv in ee g d th ee em p prey item as there could remember that even selves away it ea b then start faflees from cover. If ther y a splash as they turn sily be fish behind e are no obvi n casting 36 quickly to ch 0 degrees ar o as ound you u us fish to cover with a e a ntil you spo ca t one to targ st et.

n ts. Better know nse of sandflamuch sand is out pa ex e rg la a w ses low tide expo be quite surprising just ho es. The sand is not ssex beach at n tid Sunrise on a Susteep shingle beaches, it carevealed by the big spring is the areas of rough it it is perhaps for ough â&#x20AC;&#x201C; more so d small fish. e waves until there under thbest ground for bass here thethora of shrimps, crabs an pl e a th necessarily just out of shot that hide ground nearby

A lone angler fishing the Sussex flats a little while after sunrise.

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For more than 60 years Fish Legal (formerly the Anglers’ Conservation Association) has been fighting those who damage our waterways. It has won hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation for fishing clubs and remains the anglers’ strongest defence against polluters.

EU may force polluters to reveal their secrets While the water companies are some of Britain’s biggest polluters, they can hide their discharges behind a curtain of secrecy. Now, taking this to the highest court in Europe, Fish Legal (FL) may secure an historic victory that forces the companies to reveal what they are tipping into our waterways. WILLIAM RUNDLE, FL’s head solicitor, explains your right to know. In the late 1990s, Fish Legal (then the ACA) began a campaign to make the Environment Agency put tighter controls on sewage discharges into rivers, lakes and coasts which had been unregulated since the privatisation of the water companies in 1989. The Environment Agency agreed in 2009 to end these free-tickets to pollute

(“deemed consents”) by introducing tighter controls and permit conditions. However, the water companies challenged the Agency — claiming the introduction of new conditions was unnecessary and would introduce unjustifiable expense. Partly in order to support the Agency in its battle against the water companies’ appeal, we asked the water companies for

William Rundle, FL’s head solicitor, outside the Court of Justice of the European Union

detailed information on just what was going through their storm overflows into the waters in England and Wales. These are outfalls that operate when the capacity in the system is exceeded, often due to wet weather or a failure to invest in better infrastructure. Two of the water companies (Yorkshire Water and United Utilities) said they didn’t need to give us anything by law as they were private companies and not public authorities — therefore not governed by the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs 2004). We challenged that view as we saw — and continue to see — access to environmental information from water companies as a fundamental public right; it’s also something we might need in running our cases and campaigns for Fish Legal members.

Water company secrecy

Sewage outlet

Today privatisation means the water industry is outside effective public scrutiny. It is required to publish some information, but that is a fraction of what it holds. However, the companies have a cont. . .

“We are extremely grateful for your help without which I am sure we would have struggled to get anything.”


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cont. . . large interaction with the water environment, and with farmers they are the biggest pollution threat to our cherished waters. There is huge public (and angler) interest in what they do and how that affects the environment. Yet you have no way of knowing unless they want to tell you, and if it is controversial they will not want to. The upshot of this is that if your waters are suffering, you may not be able to find out why. If pollution occurs and you need information from them you cannot get it unless they agree. In our experience this can be a significant problem, and water companies can hide behind this secrecy.

But if the public had a right of access to information, anglers could hold water companies to better account for the pollution they cause, and transparency would help deter polluting activities.

Fish Legal takes this fight to highest court in Europe

With so much at stake we appealed the Information Commissioner’s decision in the “Smartsouce” case that went against public access, and were granted a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union — so that important European legal issues (which underpin our own regulations — the EIRs 2004) could be decided.

On 5 September the Advocate General delivered his opinion on the matters raised, which is an advance insight before the court delivers its final decision. His opinion was that in principle privatised industries, like the water industry, can be subjected to the freedom of information duties as are now imposed on public authorities. Certain tests must be met, and the detail of this will be hotly argued over in our national courts, but his view essentially supports our arguments that the water industry should have greater disclosure obligations to the public. We must now wait for the Court’s ruling, and hope they agree that the public has a right to know.

EA takes a new line on fish kills The Environment Agency is reviewing its entire approach to fish-kill incidents following criticism from Fish Legal. After a piece in the last edition of this magazine, drawing attention to the EA’s slapdash approach to post-pollution fish kill assessment, the EA’s Head of Fisheries has written to Fish Legal to explain why pollution incidents involving a fish kill are so poorly assessed and recorded. He agreed that the EA’s approach throughout the regions was “inconsistent” and said Fish Legal’s findings have prompted “an Agency-wide assessment of our role and responsibilities in fish mortality investigations”. He also agreed that while it would not be possible for a qualified officer to turn up to every pollution incident to assess the impact on a fishery, given the small number of fisheries staff the EA employs, in incidents resulting in significant fish deaths he would

expect a proper assessment to be carried out. To its credit the EA is now addressing the failings highlighted by Fish Legal. Regional variations are being dealt with by local management and they are improving their national recording systems so that information about fish kills can be included. The discovery that staff attending pollution incidents are not following protocol by informing fisheries and biodiversity teams when there is a fish kill is also under review. Whether this leads to wholesale improvement in the way the regulator assesses and quantifies the damage polluters cause to fish stocks remains to be seen. But if it doesn’t, an article in next Spring’s edition may be the way to communicate our dissatisfaction.

The number of immediate fish kills assessments completed by fisheries teams over a six year period.

“We thank you so much for taking this case which was not without risk — but to be fair you always gave the impression that you would win and win you did.”

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EA pays £8.5k for damage to fishery caused by flood project Fish Legal has secured over £8,500 compensation for Ripon Angling Club (RAC), after flood protection works by the Environment Agency (EA) damaged its fishery on the River Skell. The legislation which empowers the EA to undertake flood defence work also imposes a ‘strict liability’ on them to compensate those who suffer damage as a result. Strict liability means that compensation is payable without proving negligence or ‘fault’ — the simple fact that the work is taking place is usually enough to qualify if you can show it causes damage. This means statutory compensation is often much easier to pursue than other types of legal claim, but those undertaking the work may not always make it plain that compensation is available – in order to avoid paying it. In RAC’s case, work on the River Skell, at Ripon in North Yorkshire, began in March 2010 and was supposed to finish by October 2010. However, it was delayed several times, blocked access to key parts of RAC’s fishery, and disturbed spawning over two seasons. The river looked like a

building site for long periods of time before work finished in October 2012, taking over four times longer than planned, and causing RAC serious problems (some of them permanent). RAC conservatively estimates that it may take six years for the river to get back to something like its ‘pre-flood work’ condition. However, to add insult to injury, the EA recently indicated that parts of the original project will require further remedial work, including the correction of a design flaw.

Flood protection work by the EA damaged RAC’s fishery

Flood defence problems? We can help Clubs like RAC need not suffer this silently. Flood defence works are a common problem for anglers around the country, and it is important that you know there is something you can do about it. If your club’s fishery is affected by flood defence work, then make sure your club gives Fish Legal a call on 01568 620 447 — we can help you find out if your club is entitled to compensation and/or to insist

Access was restricted for months

on habitat being restored. The principle that those affected by any large scale infrastructure or other engineering works should be entitled to receive compensation is also reflected in other legislation which governs different sorts of public works.

Minister sparks fears of a free-for-all on Welsh rivers

Canoes in Derbyshire – could Welsh waters become inundated soon?

There is growing concern in Wales that a minister may try to introduce legislation giving free access to rivers, against the advice of the government’s sustainability committee. In a 2010 report to the Senedd (National Assembly for Wales) on access to inland water, the committee stated “there is no general common law right of public navigation either in non-tidal rivers, or on inland lakes“ and they added “...we do not believe that legislating for free and unrestricted access to inland water in Wales for all is the answer” But despite these conclusions, the Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths, recently announced “a review of

the legislative framework relating to access and outdoor recreation in Wales”. Anglers, as well as landlords, are concerned that, rather than considering the issue generally and objectively, the minister may in fact be approaching the issue as “is there any reason why we should not legislate?” Fish Legal and the Angling Trust, consistent with government policy and the conclusions of the sustainability committee’s report, promote voluntary access agreements that can reflect local requirements and respect the environment and the rights of anglers. In this way, greater recreational access to land and water can be achieved, which is proportionate.

“Thank you once again. Chalk up another small victory for Fish Legal!”


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Battle to save unique fish goes to High Court Fish Legal is taking its battle against sewage pollution to the High Court after Natural Resources Wales (NRW) let Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water (DCWW) “off-the-hook” for damage caused to Llyn Padarn; a precious glacial lake in North Wales, containing a unique sub-species of arctic char found nowhere else in the world. Acting on behalf of its member club the Seiont, Gwyrfai and Llyfni Angling Society, Fish Legal formally notified NRW of damage to the lake under the Environmental Damage Regulations, triggering a 17month investigation. The eventual report released in June this year did identify DCWW as responsible for causing environmental damage but, crucially, the regulator failed to require measures to stop the threat of future damage from the regular discharge of untreated sewage into the lake. Fish Legal believes the decisions taken by the newly-formed environmental regulator Natural Resources Wales are legally flawed, and in an effort to save the fishery has applied to court for judicial review. NRW must now explain its decisions to a judge. Meanwhile NRW has released 5,500 char into the lake in an effort to preserve stocks.

Llyn Padarn

£20,000 and new pegs for Southport angling club “Helping life flow smoothly”. That is United Utilities’ reassuring corporate motto. However, the Southport & District Angling Association wouldn’t agree that’s what the company does. Having killed over 7,000lb of fish in one of the club’s favourite fishing venues in 2010 the water company argued for nearly two years about whether they should compensate the anglers. For members of the 107-year-old club, United Utilities

have made life anything but smooth. Over 3.5 miles of coarse fishery was devastated when a United Utilities storm overflow malfunctioned and dumped Southport’s sewage into the Three Pools Waterway. Pike, double-figure bream, tench, roach and rudd all suffocated through lack of oxygen. Fish Legal acted for the club and secured them a £20,000 settlement in June. In addition, the water company was

obliged to fully restock the fishery, install coir rolls to improve the habitat and fund 30 brand new pegs for the club. “Making polluters pay”. That is Fish Legal’s motto. New fishing pegs

Three Pools waterway

“On behalf of all local anglers I would like to take this opportunity to, again, thank 'Fish Legal' for fighting our corner, it really is appreciated.”

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Get Hooked on FISHING

2013 was a summer to remember

SARAH COLLINS, chief executive of Get Hooked on Fishing, looks back at a busy year et Hooked on Fishing (GHoF) projects across the UK have had an unbelievably busy time this year. They included running several events in co-operation with, amongst others, National Fishing Month, and then there were taster sessions, bugs 'n' beasty trails and rock pool sampling. . . all in a summer-day's work for GHoF. The highlight for the UK's largest angling charity was in mid-July when the GHoF projects came together at the Fish 'O' Mania Final Weekend at Cudmore Fisheries in Staffordshire. GHoF, in partnership with the Angling Trust, volunteers and well-known anglers, hosted all of the free angling participation events during this popular event. With



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support from Matchroom Sport and Sky Sports, GHoF provided: • One-to-one 'Have a go!' sessions with GHoF coaches and peer mentors, Angling Trust coaches and an army of angling helpers. • Small group, specialist clinics and tutorials from Adam Penning, Callum Dicks, Steve Rowley and Sam Edmonds to name but a few. • The first GHoF Fishing Funfair with fun for all the family. As a result 848 people of all ages took part, 135 volunteer days were donated over the weekend and there were millions of smiles and some great fun helping people to get hooked on fishing. Keep a look out for GHoF @ The Big

One 2014. . . The GHoF Fishing Funfair hits the road next spring and will be providing entertainment for all the family at the UK's largest fishing show on 22–23 February at Farnborough Airfield. To find out more about this and the work of GHoF go to: • • Like us on Facebook • Follow us on twitter @GEThoFISHING If you would like to find out how you can help us at other local, regional or national events, even if you're not an angler, then please contact us via

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YOUNG ANGLERS Brothers Carl and Alex Smith talk about how they got into fishing and making videos.


ur names are Carl and Alex and we have been fishing for about seven years now. Carl has always been interested in water and fish. It was when he was about nine that our granddad gave him a freshwater fish poster. It was seeing this that made him want to learn how to catch them. Having spoken to his friends at school, one of them introduced him to his dad (neither of our parents fish) who kindly took Carl to a local pond where he managed to catch his first fish, a small roach. I, being three years younger, was desperate to see what he was getting up to. It was when I joined him on the bank, watching him catch a lovely silver roach, that I also became hooked! Having had some positive first experiences of fishing we were both eager to learn more and so started reading books and magazines as well as browsing the web. We searched for local places to fish and although we didn't have much luck to begin with, Carl thankfully came across Crowborough Angling Club which runs an annual fishing day for juniors. Roger, who runs the junior section,

including the junior matches, has taught us both so much. We both absolutely love fishing and being outside, whatever the weather. We have had so many great times, sometimes joining up with friends and camping out, or just sitting quietly on the bank watching the wildlife and the forever changing sky. Because fishing is such a broad area (coarse, fly, sea, match) there is always so much to learn. We also love the fact that you never know what might be lurking below the surface... We particularly enjoy varying our fishing, one weekend searching for chub on the river, the next stalking big carp at our local Tanyard fishery. We have explored many areas of the sport including match style fishing for roach, perch and skimmers, barbel fishing, carp fishing and even a bit of fly and sea fishing. Our parents kindly help out with lifts to different venues. To be completely honest, we don't care what type of fishing we're doing, we love it all and respect every fish we catch, admiring it, taking pictures and then letting them go. We also have an increasing interest in

understanding the natural habitats of the many species of fish we catch and the conservation issues of saving these for future generations. In more recent years we have been determined to capture our adventures by filming videos of us out on the bank. In these we show tactics, rigs and tackle but most importantly the fish we catch, the excitement we get when the float goes under, the tip goes round or maybe the alarm screaming off. We try to capture it all. We enjoy sharing our experiences with fellow anglers on our YouTube channel which you can find by searching 'Carl and Alex Fishing' on YouTube. Our videos are sometimes instructional, with tips and advice for people just starting fishing, but more often they are just about having fun on the bank and catching a few fish (hopefully)! We also have a Facebook page 'Carl and Alex Fishing' where we share our stories, videos and photos but also interact with our fishing friends!

SOME VIDEOS YOU MAY ENJOY: ‘Method feeder in winter’ ‘Quest for a UK Catfish’ ‘Barbel fishing – June 16th’ You can follow Alex and Carl on their YouTube channel CarlandAlexFishing

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For young anglers


elcome to the latest edition of The Hook, we hope you enjoy reading it and will be inspired by the young anglers and their stories that follow to go out fishing more often and maybe even try and fish for England one day! We are going to be doing more work over the coming year to provide better information to our rapidly-growing army of 4,000 junior and young adult members both in The Hook and on our web site. Make sure you give us an email address so that you receive our e-updates in future. Please get everyone you know to join the Angling Trust. It’s free for under 18s and only £10 a year for 18-21 year olds. Our job is to protect and improve fish and fishing, but we need your help to do it.


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The Angling Trust provides young anglers with opportunities to take part in regional training camps led by Angling Trust talent coaches and current Team England anglers. These programmes offer an insight into the skills and attributes needed to fish at international level and the opportunity to be selected for a Sensas Team England Under 18 trial in coarse angling, compete in an England Youth Fly Fishing national qualifier in game angling, or to be selected for Team England Juniors in sea angling. The Talent Pathway programme is open to all Angling Trust members aged 13-17. Remember Angling Trust membership is free for juniors aged 17 and under. You can find out more information and join online by visiting or follow Talent Pathway on Facebook at athway If you are a junior angler wanting to learn how to start fishing or discover some new methods, there are lots of fishing programmes, events and coaching courses all around the country organised both by the Angling Trust, our partner organisations such as Get Hooked on Fishing and others such as Fishing For Schools and local fishing clubs. In this edition of The Hook we talked to several young anglers about how they got started in fishing and what they love about it. We hope it will encourage you and your friends to go fishing more often and try something new maybe. Be safe, look after your fish and above all have fun! If you’d like to share your fishing stories and photos with us then please log on to our Facebook page at and you will find us on Twitter at We’d love to see them!

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ANNA BLYTH from Evesham, Worcestershire

“I have been fishing for around nine years. The first time I fished was with my dad when I was eight years old catching roach and trout in a local stream, from there I joined my first club, Evesham Youth AC. “Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have some fantastic coaches including Tom Pickering, Ian Russell, Mike Perry, Dave Gawthorn, Steve

Drackovich, Malcolm Smith, Mark Brewster (Suffolk county, nominated coach of the year 2011 and 2012), Mark Eacock and Mal Jones. I was also fortunate, and privileged, to have been sponsored and supported by the late Claire Dagnall, England ladies international who I will never forget for her friendship and kindness. “I have competed at national level in junior sections and in intermediate teams in National Junior Angling Association, National Federation of Anglers and Angling Trust matches. I

have represented teams including Suffolk County Ladies, Milton Keynes AC, Evesham Youth, Club Korum: Woodlands View as well as competing as an individual. The last two years have been spent predominantly silver fish fishing, refining techniques on rivers, stillwaters and canals, however, commercial fishing has still been active. “I’ve learnt a full range of techniques over this time including pole, feeder, method and float. Leisure fishing has included fly fishing and game fishing in Canada on Lake Ontario.”


“I learnt to fish in West Bay, Dorset, and my dad taught me two weeks before my third birthday. I have listened to other anglers and read lots of angling magazines for tips. I enjoy fishing in competitions and I have fished in junior matches for the club I belong to and also fish roving club matches and open matches. I have also represented the Angling Trust and England and fished in an International match.” Connor with a nice ballan wrasse caught during a junior match at West Bay

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CALLUM GRAHAM from Bournemouth Callum Graham caught his first fish – a sole – on Bournemouth pier at the age of three. He’s come a long way since then and last year he became Junior World Shore Champion in Montenegro. Callum says; “The feeling of achieving the ultimate goal was amazing, something I will remember for a very long time.” He learnt to fish mainly on the beaches around Bournemouth and at the age of about 9 Callum and his dad


joined a local sea fishing club where he began to take part in small local competitions and his love for the sport flourished. Callum says; “Over the last few years I have had the privilege of fishing alongside some very talented and esteemed anglers. The knowledge that I have gained from them has been invaluable to my growth as an angler. Also by pushing myself to fish unknown ground and unfamiliar territory has really help to develop my angling skills. “For me, a competition is an opportunity for my own personal

development, to test myself. The adrenalin and the buzz from competing fuels the passion to win. “The pride I feel when I stand together with my England team mates is so huge, I hope that I will have the honour of representing my country for many years to come. I am just about to compete in the 2013 World Shore Championships as a youth for the first time and I hope that one day I will also compete at senior level. Achieving world champion at all three levels would be the icing on the cake.”

BETHANY SWAIN from Telford Bethany’s parents took her to see her granddad fishing a match at Lee Gomery, a club pool in the middle of a housing estate in Telford when she was 4 ½ years of age. Bethany began match fishing six years ago and her first catch was a gudgeon of 6oz. After catching her first fish she wanted to go fishing again and when she watched a junior competition the following year the club secretary, instead of dismissing her at such a young age, put her on an end peg so she could still feel part of the match and fish. Now that Bethany is 12-years-old she has developed many skills, and is really enjoying her fishing. She has helped her granddad on a stand at the West Midlands Game Fair and Evesham Festival helping at the registrations. She is also doing well in matches, recording wins and runner-up positions, and was the top girl in a canal championship. Bethany loves lure fishing for Pike which started when she was nine years old and she saw her first pike. Now she dreams of catching a catfish.


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We want to encourage more young people to get into fishing and find out about our work to protect fish and fishing. Did you know that junior membership of the Angling Trust is absolutely FREE for those aged 17 and under? Our junior membership includes insurance worth £14.99, regular email news and our magazine as well as other membership benefits. Junior members: please sign up using the form below and return it using the pre-paid envelope enclosed with this magazine... Your details (please write in capitals) Name: __________________________________ Date of birth: __________________________________ Please include your date of birth so we can ensure that you remain in the correct membership category

Email: __________________________________ __________________________________ Your email address gives you access to the Member Area of our website and allows us to send you e-news. You can unsubscribe any time.

JOE GREENOUGH Talent Pathway/England youth

West youth fly fishing team, and at the beginning of my journey through the Angling Trust Talent Pathway, along with new lifelong friends. Over the next few years I worked my way up through the Northern Youth Team, and in 2013 I was suddenly not only fishing the Youth International at Llyn Brenig in Wales with three lions on my cap, as part of the England Youth Fly Fishing Squad, but winning it. Being part of the Talent Pathway was one of the best experiences of my life, and has broadened my horizons not only in fishing, but in life. My main advice to any young person wishing to take any aspect of the sport further would be to speak to as many people as possible, and above all try out for the Talent Pathway. I would like to thank everyone I’ve met along the way who’s made this programme possible, and made the learning so relaxing and enjoyable. I hope it can give youngsters coming into fishing the same amazing opportunities and experiences I had for years to come. 

I started fishing on my eleventh birthday on a small pond in Cumbria with my best mate, and experienced the one feeling every angler will remember for the rest of his life. The shot of electricity through his arm, that first jagged yank on his line, and a pristine little trout in the palm of his hand. That for me was what got me hooked on fishing, and from that moment on, all my spare time lay in the hands of the next fish there was to catch. Being too competitive for my own good, I took any opportunity I could to take the sport to the next level, with local competitions, angling club meetings and fishing presentations, as well as taking part in work experience with the Angling Trust in Hexham. Fishing being such a social sport, I’m always coming across new faces and new opportunities. In 2010 I found myself fishing for a place on the North


__________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ County: __________________________________ Postcode: __________________________________ What type of fishing do you do? Coarse



We will neither rent nor sell your personal information to any third parties and we only collect personal information that is relevant to the purpose of Angling Trust and Fish Legal. If you don’t wish to receive Angling Trust or Fish Legal newsletters, e-communications or information relating to your membership please tick this box

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LRF is an exciting crossover between freshwater and sea angling and here DAVID MITCHELL explains how to get started.


was a sceptic – no doubt about it. As a sea angler the idea of light rock fishing or LRF, using ultra-light fishing tackle and lures to catch micro species and minisize fish, seemed like catering for the lowest common denominator, accepting that all the big fish were gone, and fishing down the food chain. What next I thought? Fishing for jellyfish and tadpoles? It didn’t take long to be converted. I’m now most certainly an LRF believer! Not only is LRF enormous fun but it has created a whole new fast-developing branch of lure fishing. Because it crosses over into both the marine and freshwater environments it has also opened up anglers to a whole new world of species they may never have encountered otherwise. It’s also very accessible and is a great way of getting kids into fishing. Not


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Getting started

To begin with your lightest perch or mackerel spinning rod is all that’s needed. Once you feel like progressing to a specialist LRF rod choose something up to around 10g with a sensitive tip, the ideal length being around 7ft. A light 1000 to 2500 sized fixed-spool reel with a front Savage Gear shad drag is perfect for LRF. Load it with 4-6lb braid or fluorocarbon. If you are using braid mainline you’ll need to use a 4lb fluorocarbon leader too. Drop shot minnow Berkley

only that but as AT Ambassador Keith Arthur rightly explained when he turned me into an LRF believer – it gives kids an apprenticeship into fishing that too many of them miss out on these days. For kids, LRF is today’s messing around in streams and rock pools with the added bonus of teaching them lifelong new angling skills in finesse and subtlety.


Rocky outcrops that provide habitat and prey for fish species such as wrasse are the most obvious place to start. Along parts of the coast where there are fewer natural rock marks, man-made structures such as harbour walls, marinas and piers provide similar habitat for predatory species that will attack a well presented lure – however small.

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Not only is LRF enormous fun but it has created a whole new fast-developing branch of lure fishing

When LRF fishing in the sea can be done all year round. Summer often provides more variety of species and the chance of a larger specimen being encountered which, on LRF gear, can provide exhilarating sport.


It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the variety of lures on offer. Many LRF anglers swear by the Isome range of worms from Marukyu which contain scent and are deadly fished on a small jighead (between 1.5g and 3g) as a hybrid lure/bait for a huge range of species. Other popular lures include soft plastics such as curly-tailed grubs, shads, swimbaits, dropshot lures and other worm imitations starting from as small as 1 inch.


The key to success is to be adaptable. Small paddle-tail shads fished near the bottom on a medium-paced retrieve are a great search bait as you can cover a large

amount of water fairly quickly. However, there are times when a more subtle and slightly more static approach will pay dividends. This is where tactics such as drop shot rigs, Neko rigs and Jika rigs come in to play. These are all ways of presenting small delicate lures on or near the bottom in a semi-static way. Drop-shot is the most popular of the three and is really just a simple paternoster without a snood. This allows you to present a small lure at a specific depth and give it life without retrieving it. Lures like the Berkley drop shot minnow or Power Isome worms are ideal for this as tiny movements from the rod tip will get their delicate shapes quivering and darting about just like a natural fish or worm suspended off the bottom.

Isome worm


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It looked like being a winter of discontent for ANDY LOBLE, but patience paid off with the perch of a lifetime.


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Finally â&#x20AC;&#x201C; author Andy Loble and his target, a perch over the 4lb barrier

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like to set myself little targets and last winter I decided I was going to target perch with a 4lb+ fish as the wished-for end result. Well, it was certainly a long winter and I invested heavily in Iceland frozen foods having gone through a ridiculous amount of king prawns. I lost count of how much liquid additive I used up, how many pints of maggots, tubs of worms, potting soil (tip - useful where regular groundbait is banned), etc. Not forgetting the hours of time I put in through the wind, rain, sleet, snow and occasional sunshine. So how did I go about trying to capture such an awesome fish? Time, patience, resilience to the cold and wet and the openness to follow tip-offs from trusted, or sometimes not so trusted, sources is essential. That and a great deal of searching through the archives of the internet, looking at match reports and so on. I always say, if you want to catch big fish

My rod rest is always positioned very high to allow a decent drop on the very lightweight bobbins for good indication

you need to do your research and know you are fishing a water which will hold what you are after. My research eventually led me to a Sussex stillwater where I moved round to an area I had heard had been producing some good fish. I set up in the quagmire of a swim not feeling particularly confident, especially as I had never fished the venue properly. I had a snag to my right which consisted of about 5ft of water surrounded by a load of tree roots. It did scream perch but still…. To my left I had either open water or an undercut bank. I decided to fish the undercut bank and keep the bait trickling in as it was so close to me. Hook bait was cooked king prawns soaked in liquid extracts (shrimp, worm and mussel) as well as Krill Amino

compound. A little blend that the fish seem to go mental for! Groundbait consisted of potting compost, chopped mussels and prawns, dead and live red maggot, chopped worms and then more of the liquid additives as well as the juice from the prawns and mussels so no need to add any water. For those interested in such things my set up consisted of Greys A nice perch but not Prodigy VX 1.25lb tc big enough yet! rods, Okuma Tri 55 Baitfeeder Reels loaded the hook firmly. The fish tore off initially with Ultima’s 6lb Power Steel mainline. The rod bent double, it truly felt like I had end tackle was a 1oz running lead stopped hooked a pike. It wasn’t until I felt the tell by a Drennan stopper swivel, a 4.4lb tail knocking of a perch as it shook its head fluorocarbon hooklink of about a foot in that I knew this was no pike but a very big length attached to a Drennan size 6 perch. barbless wide gape specialist hook. Finally, after an intense battle, I slipped My rod rest is always positioned very my rather tatty net under the epic fish. I high to allow a decent drop on the very was stunned for a moment, then, placing lightweight bobbins for good indication. I the netted fish back into the water to use bite alarms to let me know what is recover, I began celebrating, dancing happening at the business end and finally around and punching the air. an open bail arm with the line positioned I knew this fish was well over my PB of under an old-school Drennan line clip. 3.6lb and after weighing it the scales sat Having checked the area for snags by nicely at a whopping 4.4lb. I had only gone pulling a lead through a few times I was and done it! confident I would not be losing too many I honestly thought, with time slipping fish to underwater hazards. away before the perch spawn, I was not The baits went out along with ample going to do it but I proved myself wrong. A amounts of ground bait and I sat back and sure sign that with some dedication you relaxed finally. This didn’t last long with a can really get amazing results. 2.11lb fish coming to the net after just 10 Now is a fabulous time to get out on your minutes. Rod back out I got a silly take to local lakes, ponds, canals and rivers and the margin rod and had a battle for 15 have a go at catching a monster perch minutes with a pristine 15lb common carp; yourself. I hoped I didn’t end up getting too many more of them. I went on to bag another fish of about 2lb and few fish to 1.5lb. I also, sadly, managed to drop a couple of fish and miss a couple of bites. But this was all made better following a slow pick up from the tree roots, the bobbin pulled up to the rod and the line released from the line clip. I waited a couple of seconds to let it take a bit Liquid food additives like these are great for loading more line then I whacked your baits with scent. over the bail arm and set

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THE LADY OF THE STREAM Once regarded as vermin the beautiful grayling is now a respected quarry and IAN COLCLOUGH has advice on catching them. Pictures by Paul Sharman


t’s not so long ago that the humble grayling was deemed vermin on most rivers throughout the country, being persecuted by river keepers and game anglers alike. As a shoal fish she competes with trout forcing them out of their favoured lies and hence, previously unwanted by traditional game anglers. This has now changed for the better with many enthusiasts eagerly seeking out the silver lady in some of the most beautiful rivers in the world. Traditionally grayling were caught on bait by long trotting methods using free running centre pin reels and single maggot. Fly men too pursued them with mysteriously named flies like grayling witch and red tag. More recently new patterns have been developed such as the deadly klinkhammer. With the advent of


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competition game fishing a new method of catching The Lady came to our shores from the eastern European countries where grayling abound. Czech nymphing revolves around delivering up to three heavily weighted flies, on a very short leader with a minimum cast – the flies are simply dunked in to the water virtually under the rod tip. Other methods have been imported too. By combining dry fly techniques and tiny size 18 or 20 nymphs the ‘klink and dink’ is now recognised as one of the deadliest ways of extracting grayling from thin summer waters. The klink is the visual indicator and the dink the nymph suspended below it. The best of both worlds on one cast! More recently we have been introduced to Japanese methods. Tenkara is the use of a long thin section rod, perhaps up to 15 feet long with the line simply attached to the rod tip with no reel. The line is usually around a rod-and-a-half’s length and the flies are delivered by a swing of the rod or flick upstream. The rod is held high to

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Traditionally grayling were caught on bait by long-trotting methods using free-running centre-pin reels and a single maggot

diminish line drag and the flies trundle through the depths as naturally as it is possible to do. Presentation is everything and the flies fished in this way can be deadly. Meanwhile the French have employed a similar technique for years when fishing fast flowing mountain streams. They also dispensed with the traditional fly line and replaced it with just a leader or ‘French leader’ as it has become known – a concoction of differing thickness leaders tapering down to a fine tippet and usually marked with coloured sections. The aim is to to flick the line upstream with delicate flies, cut down on surface drag and present the flies at distance as naturally as possible. The coloured sections aid the angler to perceive the slightest line resistance and an instant lift of the rod produces the desired result. And the joy is the angler can be literally feet from his quarry and see every move the grayling makes – fascinating. The Lady’s season oddly coincides with that of the coarse fish as she spawns

through the summer months but makes a great option for the flyfisher who wants to practise his art when the trout go missing. So, don’t disregard this enigmatic fish, whether your inclination is to the bait or fly, you will not be disappointed when you

hook The Lady and see, for the first time, her glorious sail-like dorsal fin and long slender silver flanks! If you want to know more about the grayling take a look at

The author Ian Colclough operates the fly fishing website where you will find lots more information on fly fishing.

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Angler’s bookshelf

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If the winter weather puts an end to your angling excursions there’s no better alternative than reading about fishing. So here’s a selection of new books to help you brush up your skills or revive memories of happy days on the water.

Redfin Diaries

By Mark Everard Published by Coch-Y-Bonddu Books – £25. This is the record of a year in the life (or, as Mark puts it, a life in the year) of an obsessive roach angler. Redfin Diaries is a celebration of roach. It is a special, often lyrical, record, drawn from the vivid experiences of its author, Mark Everard. It consists of, as the title suggests, a series of diary entries throughout the year, addressing some memorable roach captures, wonderful days spent by the waterside, and subsequent reflections by the fireside or during the closed season.

Trout From A Boat

By Dennis Moss. Published by Merlin Unwin Books – £16. This is a book for boat-flyfishers: those who spend time afloat in pursuit of trout, who know how difficult and frustrating the sport can be – but also how thrilling and rewarding. Dennis Moss tells of his experiments with a new kind of improved drogue, of the breakthrough of the intermediate flyline, his discoveries about hook strengths and he shares his all-time favourite stillwater flies. This fully revised and updated edition includes new material on summer caenis fishing, dry fly techniques and latest leader compositions.

Britain’s Freshwater Fishes

By Mark Everard. Published by Princeton University Press – £17.95. Britain's Freshwater Fishes covers the 53 species of freshwater and brackish water fishes that are native or have been introduced and become naturalized. This beautifully illustrated guide features high-quality in-thewater or on-the-bank photographs throughout. Detailed species accounts describe the key identification features and provide information on status, size and weight, habitat, ecology, and conservation. The book also contains introductory sections on fish biology, fish habitats, how to identify fishes, and conservation and legislation.


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Operation Sea Angler: The Second Wave By Mike Ladle & Steve Pitts Published by Bloomsbury Publishing – £16.99. Knowing why fish behave as they do is key to applying the right techniques and consequently catching more and larger fish. In this book, Mike Ladle and Steve Pitts reveal the inside story on what's going on under the water, answering questions such as: – Why do fish bite at the change of light? Where are the largest fish going to be at certain times of the year? What are their favourite foods? Using scientific studies to back up their lifelong experience, Mike and Steve have packed this book with new information on the habits and behaviour of more than 20 species.

Tinca Tinca. By The Tenchfishers Edited by Phil Jackson. Published by Harper Angling Books – £35. The Tenchfishers group, founded originally in 1954 has existed continuously since 1967, certainly long enough for some of the members to have brought together their collective views on tench fishing. With 50 or so writers represented, this book has been designed to give them a platform as anglers who don’t just flirt with Tinca tinca, but spend many months a year in pursuit of tench. Tench fishing means different things to different people, and a broad view of tenching is reflected in this book as befits a relaxed group like the Tenchfishers. A fitting tribute to a unique and beautiful fish.

Your chance to win a new book to read!

Just keep an eye on the Angling Trust Facebook page during November for your chance to win a copy of The Redfin Diaries or Operation Sea Angler: The Second Wave.

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COCH-Y-BONDDU BOOKS Machynlleth, Mid-Wales SY20 8DG

Tel: 01654 702837

Hbk £100 £50.00

Pbk £25.00 £7.95

POLES APART: THE HISTORY OF THE LONDON ROACH POLE. Michael Nadell. Hardback £35.00 Signed Collector’s Edition. £50.00

Hbk £25.00 £9.95

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Almost 10,000 angling books, old & new, are listed on our website - Mastercard / Visa / Maestro / Paypal


Overseas postage at cost

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Member Benefits

Join NOW at to get all these great benefits and protect fish and fishing.

Is your fishing club or syndicate insured? Far too few clubs and syndicates have insurance but it is essential that their officers are protected against claims so please cut out the advert opposite and pass it on to your club secretary. Not only that, we can save your club money! We recently heard from Nottingham Piscatorial Society... “With the Liability Insurance cover now included in our Angling Trust and Fish Legal membership package we’ve saved a staggering £1,795 on what we paid last year! Our treasurer is doing cartwheels over this and it means that we’ve almost £2,000 additional funds to spend improving and developing our fisheries. Or looking at it another way, our Angling Trust membership has not only been free this year we have also had a whopping rebate on top!” Kevin Stephenson, assistant secretary, Nottingham Piscatorial Society

Did you know? Many club members believe that if their club is a member of the Angling Trust they are automatically members too. That is not the case — we would really appreciate more members of our member clubs signing up as individual members of the Trust. It costs less than 50p a week to join the Angling Trust and you’ll receive all the additional benefits of individual membership listed below. Not only that and more importantly, the more individual members we have, the stronger angling becomes.

TELL A FRIEND! AND WIN £35 WORTH OF BAIT OR LURES Simply recommend a friend to join the Angling Trust and be in with a chance to win a Dynamite Bait Pack or your choice of lures from Your name: Your email: Friend’s name: Friend’s email: One winner will be drawn and notified by email on 14/02/14. We’ll contact you by email before 28/02/14 to arrange your choice of lures or Bait Pack and delivery of your prize. The Dynamite Bait Pack contains 3 kg boilies, a pot of pop-ups and a glug, all in peach flavour. We’ll pay the P&P for either prize. Only you win the prize, not your friend too. By entering you agree to publicity about your win.


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Read more about club member benefits on our website at

NEW! Angling Trust clothing and accessories Check out our range of Angling Trust branded merchandise at You’ll find our new range of t-shirts, hoodies, hats, kid’s clothes and accessories like bags and wallets and we’ve got a great new offer for you — all orders over £25 get a FREE Angling Trust embroidered neck warmer/scarf worth £5.95. STOP PRESS: Need a new winter hat or want to find the perfect presents for the angler in your life? Get 10% off all orders before Christmas!

Email news — don’t miss out! We need an email address to be able to send you our monthly Angling Trust e-updates. These FREE round-ups of our latest news, campaigns updates, competition results and interesting angling stories are really popular so don’t miss out! You can subscribe under the News Centre tab on our website at or email and let us know you want to go on the list! Autumn 2013

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Member Benefits

Join NOW at to get all these great benefits and protect fish and fishing.

Meet the membership team Ever wondered who deals with your membership enquiry? Here's a list of contacts in our Leominster membership office so that you can put a face to the name. We look forward to hearing from you...

Will Smith — membership manager

Nick Simmonds — membership officer Fishery membership enquiries

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NEW: Snows Toyota membership discount — drive away a new car with a big savings! Angling Trust members make substantial savings on the purchase of a new car or commercial vehicle, courtesy of a new partnership with Snows Toyota. Members save up to 11% on the basic price and any factory fitted option. This would save around £1,400 on the price of the new Auris compact hatch, £1,900 on a Hilux pick-up and over £5,000 on the luxury Land Cruiser V8. With the purchase of a modest family vehicle, you could save £2,000. That's equivalent to your Angling Trust membership 80 times over! If you are considering buying a new Toyota car or van in the next year, this is another great reason to join the Angling Trust. Check out for more details and terms and tell a friend! FREE £5m Civil Liability Insurance worth £14.99 40% off the price of Angling Times, Improve Your Coarse Fishing, Sea Angler, Trout Fisherman or Trout & Salmon magazines 20% off Merlin Unwin and Quiller Publishing angling and countryside books 10% off for Nordik OCTBOXs — worth £27 to £39 15% off at Cotswold Outdoor stores online at or by mail order 10% off at Angling Trust ‘10% Club’ fisheries throughout the UK 15% off Pallatrax Bait and Products 10% to 15% off Englands angling life Jackets and inflatable wading jackets 10% off at Thames Water’s Farmoor and Walthamstow Reservoirs and Rivers 75% off Canal and River Trust Permits and Riverboat Licences for Anglers for just £14 (YOU SAVE £46!)

Go to for the full details of all these great deals and please encourage a friend to join the Angling Trust — membership costs less than 50p a week!

Penny Morris — membership administrator individual membership enquiries and Fish Legal membership Sam Wickham — membership administrator Club membership enquiries

Mandy Raiswell — membership administrator Direct debit and individual membership enquiries

Ian Shepherd — membership administrator Trade membership enquiries

For all membership enquiries call 0844 770 0616 (Option 1). Please contact our Nottingham Office for competition enquiries on 0115 9061 301, for accounts/payments on 0115 9061 303 or coaching/development on 0115 9061 313.

JOIN OR RENEW FOR JUST £2.50 A MONTH! Our new £2.50 monthly option helps spread the cost of membership over a year. To set up a £2.50 Direct Debit go to or call 0844 770 0616. The £30 total for 12 x £2.50 instalments covers the admin fees we have to pay for taking 12 DD payments. You can still pay in one single £25 payment if you prefer.


2014 The Carp Show! 15th & 16th March, Five Lakes Resort, Essex

Visit for more details Offer exclusive to Angling Trust members

Present this voucher on arrival at Carpin’ On 2014 and receive one-day entry for £5.00 (normal price £10.00) Original vouchers only, no photocopies. Five Lakes, Colchester Crown Plaza – Nr Colchester, Essex, CM9 8HX.


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Order from:

Autumn 2013

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In our last magazine we invited you to send in your best angling photographs and there was an exciting prize. The winner will be able to spend a day with Angling Times’ top photographer Mick Rouse to experience at first-hand how a real professional works. So who is the winner? Step forward Maggie Kelly whose picture Last Rays captures a lone boat angler soaking up the sunset presumably on the ride home. It sums up all that is good about the very essence of ‘being there’ when out fishing. For many of us anglers it is as much about the experience as the catching of fish. The silhouette is nice and sharp and the connection with fishing is clear in this image even though no angling is taking place. Great photographs tell a story and I hope you will agree this is a worthy winner with some close competition. Congratulations Maggie! Overleaf you can see more of Maggie’s work plus other great shots submitted by our runners up. Last Rays by Maggie Kelly

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David Potts Bound for Port by Maggie Kelly

Fish On by Maggie Kelly Early Morning in Minehead by Maggie Kelly


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David Potts

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Pikers Dawn by David Moore

David Potts The joy of fishing by Maggie Kelly


David Potts David Potts

Sunrise in the Bristol Channel by Maggie Kelly

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The Angler Interview

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Richard Benyon (right) proves to Martin Salter that he doesn’t just talk about fish – he catches them too

Richard Benyon looks back One high-profile change that affected angling in David Cameron´s last ministerial reshuffle was the removal of Richard Benyon from his post as fisheries minister. The Angling Trust has paid tribute to the work of Mr Benyon, describing him as “very receptive to the concerns of anglers and having made a personal commitment to improving the water environment”. Angling Trust campaigns chief MARTIN SALTER, a previous parliamentary neighbour of Benyon, secured this exclusive interview with the former minister for The Angler.


olitics can be a rough ride – even when things seem to be going well there’s often something unpleasant lurking round the corner. Even as a minister you cannot always achieve your ambitions as Richard explained to me; “I’ve loved the job, despite the inevitable frustrations of dealing with the glacial pace of bureaucracy, and was sorry to leave, but I will admit it would have been better to have held this position outside the ‘age of austerity’ as there is so much more to be done.”


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Nevertheless Richard has achieved a lot for angling and I asked him what were the highs and lows of his career on the front bench. Predictably it was reform of the appalling EU fisheries policy that first came to mind: “I guess the highlights were finally securing that deal at the EU Council of Ministers to reform the Common Fisheries Policy. “This begins to reverse the catalogue of failures that has seen fewer fish in the sea, damaged coastal communities and a degraded marine environment; also the

establishment of the Canal and Rivers Trust which has already seen an increase in both investment and volunteers.” Perhaps Richard’s greatest contribution, though, was his determined effort to save our iconic chalk streams. It’s an extraordinary fact that around 70% of our rivers, including many chalk streams, do not achieve good ecological status. Richard described this as “shaming” and said that he hoped he would be remembered as the fisheries minister who set in train the measures that will restore them to health. “We are doing this,” he said, “through effective catchment management and by putting over £90 million of investment to meet our Water Framework Directive obligations.” Now as the Angling Trust’s campaigns director it’s vitally important to me – as it must be to you – that the Trust is listened to and respected at all levels of government, so what did the former minister think about the role played by the Angling Trust in speaking up for anglers and fighting for fish and fishing?

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“For too long anglers had poor representation with far too many disparate voices. The Angling Trust now delivers a clear, professional and unified message right to the heart of government which has a direct effect on influencing policies that benefit both anglers and fisheries.” So there you have it; at last your voice is being heard at the heart of government. And two of the things we’ve been shouting about most in the past few years have been cormorants and the fate of bass. Not that it needed to much shouting to get Richjard to act. As he explained: “I’ve seen for myself the devastating effect of excessive cormorant predation on my

The Angling Trust now delivers a clear, professional and unified message right to the heart of government

local rivers, including the Kennet, and on big important stillwater fisheries like the Walthamstow Reservoirs, where stocks of vulnerable fish have been decimated. “The old bureaucratic licensing system was slow, ineffective and simply not fit for purpose. For me this is a bio-diversity

issue and we must have the means to protect fish stocks from unsustainable predation. That’s why I announced new measures to make it easier to control the numbers of these birds. “With bass the evidence was plain to see. Stocks are in trouble and it was small wonder when the current minimum landing size doesn’t even allow the species to breed once before becoming eligible for harvesting. The government remains committed to completing the review of the bass minimum landing size.” But as established threats are tackled new ones emerge and most of us are alarmed at the thought of our rivers being turned into featureless canals. Could Richard explain what on earth Defra are doing, trying to weaken the controls on dredging? He assured me that we are not going to see a return to the canalised horror stories of the 60’s and 70’s. “There will be no wholesale deregulation of dredging but the government does want to bring clarity to what is currently a confused set of responsibilities. Whilst water courses can be damaged by over management they can, in places, be damaged by neglect.” Fair enough… but another thing - when will we see some meaningful reform of abstraction? “Although we have not been able to go as fast as some would like there are significant improvements in the Water Bill which will enable water companies to pay for the removal and mitigation of damaging abstractions from within their five-year price reviews rather than through the current cumbersome and wholly insufficient Environmental Improvement

Richard and Martin get down to some serious talking

Unit Charge Scheme. This could make a real difference in a number of catchments.” If we are going to talk about real differences you cannot ignore the massive amount of effort put in by anglers themselves to improve their waters. This had clearly made an impression on the minister as he travelled around the country and some particularly stood out in his memory: “I have been incredibly impressed by the many habitat restoration and fish passage schemes that I have visited and sometimes opened. “I suppose the three stand-outs were the Wye and Usk Foundation, who do amazing work; the Derwent fish pass and the fantastic fish by-pass channel on my local river Loddon which is a great example of the type of partnership working and volunteer engagement that I’ve tried to encourage. “ I’m also a huge fan of the Riverfly partnership and it was of course the riverfly monitors that first spotted the appalling chlorpyrifos pollution on the upper Kennet in my own constituency.” Finally, I know that school reports should never be brought out in public – and I can say that with some feeling – but I did hear a whisper that fishing got in the way of Richard’s academic career. Was it true? The former minister had to confess. “It’s true that I didn’t excel at school and I put this down to a particularly good mayfly season on my local river Pang where I learned the hard way that fishing and effective exam revision don’t go well together!” Paying tribute to Richard’s achievement as a minister Angling Trust chief executive Mark Lloyd said: “Richard Benyon supported our vision of greater delivery of angling promotion and environmental management by third sector organisations and launched the National Angling Strategy last year. He has also been immensely personable and a pleasure to work with. His are large boots to fill and we will be working closely with his successor, George Eustice, to continue developing all these programmes and more for the good of fish and fishing.” “Whilst we are extremely sad to see Richard go and would have hoped to see someone appointed with a greater knowledge of the huge economic and social benefits that recreational fishing delivers it is clear that George Eustice is a serious and thoughtful guy who has not been afraid to take a stand. I´m encouraged by his environmental credentials and hope he will follow through on the good work that Richard Benyon initiated, particularly on cormorant management and over fishing at sea.”

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These are your ambassadors

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John Horsey (left) with guest Steve Oakley at Chew. This fish weighed over 25lbs.

Why the Angling Trust matters to me When I was asked to become an ambassador for the Angling Trust, I didn’t have to think twice, writes JOHN HORSEY. or years people have talked about having a unified voice for angling, where sea, coarse and game anglers come together – and work together – for the good of the sport. Now that dream is a reality and we have a real opportunity to become a true force acting in the best interests of our members in our chosen sport. I have been a professional fly fishing guide for the last 21 years and am based at the wonderful Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes in the heart of rural Somerset. Before I started my guiding business there were no full time guides in the UK, but now there is a list of both stillwater and river guides and I am pleased to see that this list is growing. I am also the championship manager of the Lexus European Fly Fishing Championships; the biggest fly fishing event in Europe and possibly the world. But it is competition fly fishing that is my true passion. I am very proud of the fact that I am the highest capped England



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international angler of all time and have captained my country in all four disciplines; world, European, rivers and loch style. In 2009 I was part of the world championship winning team in Scotland and a year later, took both the individual silver medal in the European championships held in Ireland and the individual bronze medal in the world championships in Poland. This year I was top English rod in Norway, finishing 17th from a field of 127 competitors. The Angling Trust is the governing body for our international teams and all budding stars of the future will have to enter qualifying heats organized under its supervision. This autumn, Chris Tarrant and I have a new series about to be launched on terrestrial TV. The programmes will feature coarse and fly fishing for many species, both at home and abroad. I am already working on other TV projects and this is something that I thoroughly enjoy.

Sadly, there are many threats to our wonderful sport; from pollution and predation, to human interference and misinformation. The Angling Trust acts on our behalf to right these wrongs and accurately inform both the public and government on sensitive issues. I am already a member of the Angling Trust and actively try to recruit others in my day-to-day guiding work and by encouraging the thousands of entrants in the Lexus Championships each year. I urge you to encourage your fishing friends and colleagues to join with us and swell the numbers to make the Angling Trust even stronger.

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To promote angling the AT has recruited some of the greatest names in our sport to become angling ambassadors. Here four of them tell us a little about themselves and why they are determined to see the Angling Trust flourish.

The Trust speaks for us all, says Brian Clarke Brian, you’ve been an established fly fisher and author for a long time now. Do you regularly enjoy fishing for species other than trout? I get a real bang out of stalking fish of any species – especially with a fly. I’ve had some stonking tench that way, as well as a 20lb carp, but I also regularly go after dace, chub, grayling, roach and the wonderfully tricky gudgeon. I now find myself living close to the sea and have devoted quite a lot of time to trying to catch mullet on the fly, probably the shortest route to the asylum I know. You write a regular fishing column for The Times – have you noticed any changes in the coverage of fishing in the media over the years? In the national media, an obvious trend is the steady lessening of interest in angling. Some trends in the angling press dismay me. For instance, publicising calls for culls of otters and the like is a suicidal act, yet it is done as though fish and fishing were the whole world instead of being a tiny, inconsequential segment of a wider, changing world, the rest of which is looking in on us, watching.

As an angler, what is your perception of the value of the work carried out by the Angling Trust and Fish Legal? The Angling Trust is the most important development in angling in my lifetime. It has given us the single coherent voice we have so long lacked. The Trust speaks for us all in the face of ever-mounting social, political and environmental pressures. It has become credible with other environmental bodies, with senior civil servants and with politicians, thanks in particular to the work of Martin Salter and Mark Lloyd.

You have had the chance to fish for many different species and in many different places over your career. Are there any that stand out in your mind as extra special to you? Several species and locations stand out: the tiger fish of the Zambezi, fish that have mouths like canteens of cutlery; the big wild rainbows that can be sight-fished in Alaska; the huge sea trout that run the rivers of Tierra del Fuego and the clutchscreaming, reel-melting bonefish of the coral flats of the central Pacific.

What are the biggest challenges facing the future of fishing in your opinion?

What would your perfect English fishing day look like if you could go anywhere and do anything?

To survive, angling needs healthy and accessible waters, sufficient numbers of anglers to give the sport substance and clout and, vitally, it needs the support of public opinion. To keep and secure these is going to mean a continuing focus on issues like hydropower, abstraction and diffuse pollution; a constant drive to increase angling participation and – crucially – it is going to mean keeping our antennae attuned to shifts in public attitudes to wildlife and to the field sports, like ours, that exploit it.

Well, I’d like to mix it up a bit. I’d spend the first couple of hours free-lining bread for tench in a lake I know, and the next couple dry-fly fishing for rudd in the same lake. In the early afternoon I’d long-trot for dace and chub on the Wiltshire Avon. In late afternoon and evening I would fish for trout on a chalkstream during a heavy hatch of mayfly and I’d round the day off creeping about, looking for the tiny, pinpoint rises of trout as they sip down spinners in the dusk. And I’d get a couple. Bliss!

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These are your ambassadors

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Dave Harrell enjoys

A fantastic response to RiverFest Dave, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a well-known match angler. Have you a favourite venue you always enjoy going back to? For me, it's about going to the right venues at the right time of the year. I prefer winter fishing as I feel there are a lot more swims I can win from in the colder months. I'd say that the Wye, the Severn, the Warwickshire Avon and the Trent are my all-time favourites. How did you originally get into match fishing? I went through an 'apprenticeship'. I progressed from being a pleasure angler to a member of a club when I was about 18 and I learned loads from various members. After winning the club competitions, the open match scene was next and it wasn't easy at first. Eventually though, after much hard work, I started to win a few section pick-ups and then main list prizes myself. As the brains behind the new RiverFest competition in partnership with the Angling Trust, what made you want to take on organising 20 qualifying matches culminating in the two day final on the River Wye on November 16th and 17th? Rivers always have been, and always will be my main passion. I love the challenge of them and for several years I was toying with the idea of organising a big running water competition myself. When I was


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asked to become an ambassador for the Angling Trust I took the role very seriously and thought that maybe the Trust might be interested to take my idea on board and organise it. They did and I'm now proud to see it in place. Have you been pleased with the reaction to RiverFest? The response from anglers has been fantastic. You never quite know how these things are going to be received but nearly all of the 1,200 tickets were sold in a very short space of time. River fishing needed a competition like this. I'm absolutely thrilled that anglers have bought into my idea as it proves there are a lot of people who still want to fish big events on natural waters.

What plans do you have to develop RiverFest further next year? Next year we'll look at each venue carefully and replace some of them with other venues if we feel they are better suited to the competition. We will then be actively seeking a title sponsor to not only put funding into the competition but also help to develop it in the years to come. The Angling Trust has much to offer back to a potential sponsor and I feel sure we will find a good partner to come on board. With the success and TV coverage of Fish 'O' Mania in recent years do you think Riverfest will attract the same level of interest? The format of Fish 'O' Mania is very different to RiverFest. For one thing, there are only 16 anglers in the final while RiverFest will see 60 finalists. We could have paid out one big prize like Fish 'O' Mania but after much consultation with other anglers, we decided to pay out big prizes to the top five as well as section prizes on each day of the final. With more funding in place in the future, I'm looking forward to the day when we can announce a ÂŁ20,000 top prize in addition to more big cash prizes to the anglers who finish lower down the list. RiverFest isn't a competitor of Fish 'O' Mania though and the two competitions attract very different audiences on the whole.

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To promote angling the AT has recruited some of the greatest names in our sport to become angling ambassadors. Here four of them tell us a little about themselves and why they are determined to see the Angling Trust flourish.

Henry Gilbey explains that

Kids are the future of fishing Henry, do you think more anglers should be getting out to explore our beaches and coastlines and can you suggest any ways new or inexperienced sea anglers can seek help with this? Yes, of course, I would love to see more anglers discovering the sheer joy associated with being out on our magical coastline, but I don’t think we are very good at promoting all the good things that come from being an angler. There are plenty of ways to get into fishing but I always worry that our sport can look a bit like a secret club to outsiders. How about simply making the sport look that bit better (“cooler” even?) and thus more appealing to the younger generations? The Angling Trust marine division ran some sea fishing coaching schemes for young people during the summer introducing them to the sport. How important is it to attract more children into the sport? Kids are the future of fishing. My girls love the seaside and fishing is but one part of it. I think it’s great how youngsters are encouraged into the sport, but a part of me can’t help but feel that fishing should be encouraged as a part of a wider appreciation for the great outdoors.

In your opinion, what role do sea angling clubs have to play in increasing the numbers of people that go sea fishing on a regular basis? Are you a member of any? I’m not a club kind of person. I don’t compete, indeed I left my fishing club many years back because they would not at that time entertain the principle of being able to weigh, photograph and release fish for club trophies etc. I do, though, believe that clubs have a part to play in sea fishing and my respect for clubs that put a lot back into the sport is immense. You get to travel the world as a fishing photographer yet you probably share more photos of bass than anything else on your blog and Facebook page. What is it about bass fishing that gets you so excited? Every single little thing. The fish, the locations, the people, the photography, the ways in which we are forced to fish for them in so many different environments, the growing industry surrounding bass fishing, etc. It’s “our” fishing and when it’s on it’s world class. I used to do a lot of cod fishing off the shore for example, and as cool as it is, you don’t get foreign anglers looking and thinking wow, we want to do that. Show them photos of bass fishing in awesome places and they’ll all want to do it.

If you could only choose one outfit (rod/reel/lure) to fish with for the rest of your life what would it be and why? A Shimano Sustain 4000FG spinning reel, a 9’ 7-28g lure rod, an IMA Salt Skimmer for surface fishing, a 6’’ senko for weedless fishing, and a 120mm Black Minnow for bumping those currents – bass fishing of course, and preferably over in Ireland. Hell, I should be living there! Find out more about Henry and his work via his website and blog. Web: Blog:

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VBS - Angler Autumn 2013_News page A.qxd 22/11/2013 11:07 Page 68

Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officers have a very difficult job to do with limited resources; support them: 0800 80 70 60.

Poaching is a crime – and at last it’s being taken seriously

New initiatives, including the voluntary bailiff service, are beginning to have an impact says the Angling Trust’s fisheries enforcement manager DILIP SARKAR.


t is little understood that poaching and fish theft are criminal offences and not victim-less crimes; fishing without permission is a Schedule 1 Theft Act offence and poaching fish is exactly that – theft. Historically, however, the police have been confused regarding their role and powers when dealing with such reports – but at last this is changing. Through the England and Wales Poaching Priority Group (E&WPPG) we have forged strong links with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), which has uploaded our Elementary Guide to Angling Law & Fisheries Enforcement to the Police Online Knowledge Area (POLKA). This important information can also be downloaded free of charge from our website ( The police are currently focussing on rural crime – providing an unprecedented opportunity for us to educate and ensure that poaching and fish theft are included in rural crime strategies. We have also recently contributed an impact statement contextualising the financial and environmental harm caused by these offences – this will be provided to


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the courts and ensure that offenders receive appropriate punishments. The Environment Agency’s (EA) role largely concerns rod licence checking and byelaws. It is crucially important to understand that all law enforcement is intelligence-led. This means calls are

The volunteer bailiff’s pack is issued upon completion of Phase One

analysed, hotspots identified and resources deployed accordingly. The agency is not resourced to respond immediately to all reported incidents but targets particular waters when intelligence suggests problems exist: if you want to report an incident you can contact them on 0800 80 70 60.

A significant initiative to help keep fisheries safe and support the EA is the Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS). This currently remains an operational pilot project in the South East, the national rollout of which (in England) we are currently negotiating. All volunteer bailiffs (VBs) are subject to a criminal records bureau check and trained by the Angling Trust, EA and NWCU. In Phase One, VBs join an Angling Watch and contribute to the essential intelligence gathering process. VBs work closely with EA fisheries enforcement officers, and could ultimately have identical powers. We now have 56 VBs in the South East, and well over 300 are registered and awaiting recruitment in their areas. Anyone interested in joining should either email or call 07971 677638. What we must achieve is joined-up thinking and working between all the enforcement agencies involved – and ensure that anglers understand the law and how the system works. Calling 0800 80 70 60, or your local police on 101 (or 999 in the event of a criminal offence in progress) is the only way we anglers will make progress and get the system working for us. This is why the trust, agency, NWCU and Institute of Fisheries Management are creating a training course for angling club bailiffs – again, details can be found on the AT website; see you there!

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Rodoslaw Papiewski and his colleague Pawel Nycz

Building Bridges RADOSLAW PAPIEWSKI (better known as just Rado) is originally from Poland and works for the Angling Trust managing the Building Bridges project. Here he explains the purpose of the scheme.


are encouraging responsible angling practices within their own communities. We have seen more clubs asking for help to develop such a relationship as they realise that migrant anglers contribute a lot to the local angling economy and club incomes. Local police forces are becoming very helpful in the education process and have created some useful information for educational purposes. Better co-operation with enforcement officers from the Environment Agency has also helped in understanding the real scale of any incidents and identified areas where our Along with my fellow project officer Pawel work has directly resulted in a reduction of Nycz we have learned from past fish related crimes. experience and introduced a new The introduction of the Voluntary Bailiff approach to community integration. Service (VBS) created another opportunity During the last few years it has been to get migrant anglers involved and discovered that migrant anglers are well integrated. There are several migrant organised in local fishing groups and they anglers willing to take part in voluntary work for the Rado is a keen Angling Trust in different pike, barbel and carp angler regions. As project officers, we are actively encouraging more and more anglers to dedicate time to protect the future of fishing. We are also taking a proactive approach towards the possible migration of workers from Bulgaria and Romania. This time we want to be ready and spread good practice and legal he Building Bridges project aims to create better understanding and integration between Eastern European and English anglers. Other aims of the project include: • Providing better information about angling best practice in the UK. • Promoting opportunities to give angling a go. • Providing better information on how to join local angling clubs and how to get involved in club activities.

requirements before migrants arrive. There are conversations taking place between several migrant organisations to make sure this happens. There are other avenues which we will be exploring during the next few months. We approached one of the 46 Polish schools in the country and offered angling coaching sessions for their pupils. Organisations like the Pike Anglers’ Club and Environment Agency have offered to help and I am really looking forward to seeing if our pilot is going to be successful. We are also getting in touch with major migrant employers in the country to see if they can help to distribute our educational material through their staff newsletters and notice boards. The Environment Agency plays an important role in this process and one of the agency staff – Ian Wood – works very closely with me under the Environment Agency North West Region Fisheries Outreach pilot scheme. Finally, development of the official Polish Anglers Association in the UK created massive opportunities for migrant anglers to get involved. The association is providing free translation of club rules, information about fishing law and best practices. Their internet forum has become a very important communication platform where people are talking to each other and finding answers to a lot of questions about fishing in the UK. Find out more on their website at As always, the Building Bridges Project Officers are looking for engagement from angling clubs and are happy to provide help and assistance in developing local links.

CONTACT DETAILS You can find out more about the Building Bridges project and its work to date under the Campaigns tab on the Angling Trust website at

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Volunteer Profile - The Angler Autumn 2013_News page A.qxd 22/11/2013 11:08 Page 70

It is the most rewarding job I've done, because I know that my efforts are helping such a worthy cause

How you can help The Angling Trust relies heavily on volunteers – anglers who are prepared to give up some of their time for the good of their sport. IAN SHEPHARD is one of them and here he talks about his experience


'm a devoted husband, and father to 21-month-old Rio, which is Spanish for river, the other thing I'm devoted to. My dad has been a passionate angler all his life and first took me fishing when I was four; I was then hooked for life. He often reminds me of the time he was fishing on the Norfolk Broads, and I was clearly in deep concentration. He asked me what I was thinking and I replied; "Maggots." He said; "Maggots?" Shortly after, he put his hood up, which I had filled with maggots! I‘ve been volunteering since April. because my department at Tewkesbury Borough Council became privatised, and, having just turned 40, I thought if I didn't re-train and get into the field I felt passionate about I might miss the boat. It


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was a couple of days after leaving my old job that I saw the advert for a volunteer membership officer on the Angling Trust website and I applied immediately. The opportunity to work for such a good cause was a no brainer, but what does the work involve? My typical day begins with picking up any telephone messages left overnight in the membership office, opening the post, packing membership letters and, renewing memberships. I send deliveries out by courier and frank the mail. A major part of my job is to spend time keeping the office databases up to date and to the correct standard. Another part of my volunteering which I thoroughly enjoy, is attending angling shows and events. But I can honestly say

that I enjoy all the work, and love working with like-minded people who are also passionate about angling. I get a great sense of satisfaction when people join the Angling Trust and feel proud to have the opportunity to promote such a great organisation. As a volunteer I have a great deal of interaction with my colleagues who are extremely friendly and helpful. I have met some other volunteer professional anglers at angling shows who I found very interesting because they had expertise in different fields of angling to myself. So if you ask me whether I’d recommend volunteering to other potentially interested members the answer is definitely yes. It is the most rewarding job I've done, because I know that my efforts are helping such a worthy cause which is only going to strengthen the very thing that gives me and so many others so much pleasure, freedom and sense of well-being. I’m lucky that my volunteering has led to a paid part-time job at Leominster, and I would love this to continue and develop. I have also recently started a fisheries management course with the Institute of Fisheries Management. But don’t think my life is all work. I still get time to fish and I particularly like float fishing big rivers for roach, barbel and chub, and in recent years have got interested in match fishing. I also like short evening sessions catching bream or barbel on the lower Severn and Avon, around Upton upon Severn and Tewkesbury, close to where I live. And on the river bank I do sometimes dream of wider horizons. I feel it's my destiny to spend time in India fishing for mahseer, which has been a lifetime ambition. In the meantime I’m happy nearer home and I always like to take a fishing rod if we go on holiday, in fact my wife caught a "pair of pollocks" in Looe, Cornwall a couple of years ago which we had for our tea that night!

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Meet the team

JANUARY • Pike qualifiers held around the country details available at

The Angling Trust will be at the following shows and events in the coming months. Come and meet the team and find out all about our latest campaigns to protect fish and fishing and get more people fishing. Bring along a friend so they can learn more too.

RiverFest 2013 Final

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 November 2013 Hereford The river Wye at Hereford near to HR2 7JE

British Fly Fair International 2014

Carp Society Winter Show

Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December 2013 Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey KT10 9AJ

FEBRUARY • Pike qualifiers held around the country details available at MARCH • Pike qualifiers held around the country details available at APRIL • Saturday 5 April – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Viaduct Fishery • Saturday 12 April – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Preston Innovation Boldings • Wednesday 16 April – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Makins Fishery • Saturday 19 April – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Hayfield Lakes • Wednesday 23 April – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Gold Valley Lakes • Saturday 26 April – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Maver Larford Lakes

Northern Angling Show 2 Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December 2013 EventCity, Manchester M17 8AS

Carpin' On

The Big One

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February 2014

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February 2014

Staffordshire County Showground ST18 0BD

Farnham Airport, Hampshire GU14 6AZ

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 March 2014 Five Lakes, Tolleshunt Knights CM9 8HX

Save money at dozens of fisheries

just show your AT membership card 10% of your ticket at 10% Club Fisheries

Your Angling Trust membership saves you money at dozens of Angling Trust 10% Club Fisheries where you can enjoy at least 10% off the cost of a day and/or a season ticket. You will find all the current 10% fisheries listed at under Membership Benefits. Watch out for more fisheries joining up, or if you are an owner please get in touch via to sign up.

MAY • Saturday 3 May – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Tunnel Barn Farm • 3-10 May FIPS-M World U16s and U21s Shore Championships France • Wednesday 7 May – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Monk Lakes Fishery • Saturday 10 May – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier The Oaks • Saturday 17 May – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Barford Lakes • Saturday 24 May – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Colemans Cottage Fishery • Wednesday 28 May – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Hallcroft Fishery • Saturday 31 May – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Partridge Lakes JUNE • Saturday 7 June – Angling Trust Ladies’ National Championship Preston Innovations Boldings Pools • Wednesday 11 June – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Woodlands View Fishery • Saturday 14 June – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Woodlands Lakes, Thirsk • Wednesday 25 June – Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier Garbolino Lindholme Lakes • Saturday 28 June – Angling Trust Cadets, Juniors and Intermediates National Championship Makins Fishery PLEASE NOTE: At the time of going to press further details for other competitions such as the FIPSed Coarse World and European Championships dates, FIPSMouche Fly Fishing World and European Championships, Home Marine Internationals and a lot more Angling Trust home competitions were not yet finalised and will therefore be announced when available at

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WHERE DO YOUR COARSE ANGLING MATCH FEES GO? So you have booked into the match, paid your entry fee and are looking forward to the big day, but do you know where that money goes? And do you wonder whether it is all being used for the right reasons? STUART SHARP, Angling Trust’s head of finance and business, takes us through what happens to your entry fees.


t all National competitions (team and individual) competitors are given, at the draw, a breakdown of total pools income and payout, but this article is intended to set out the income from entry fees and how this is spent. As a business, the Angling Trust has to account for all its income and expenditure, whether it’s on competitions or otherwise, both in its year end accounts and just as importantly to its members. Budgets are therefore set each year for each and every event and the income and expenditure recorded against each of those events, in detail right down to who paid for entry fees or pools. In future, the Angling Trust will publish the figures after each event, but in this report we will look at the events that have been completed at the time of writing. The trust will also provide an annual breakdown of expenditure on matches as part of the publication of its accounts which are presented to the Subscribing Members’ Association. For each event the Angling Trust will ordinarily receive entry fees and pools in advance from the competitors. Sponsorship is also received for some events, such as the Club Classic and RiverFest, while Fishomania, which is a Matchroom event administered by Angling Trust, generates a small additional income. Those funds are then used on costs directly attributable to the competition, such as pools payouts, trophies and medals, venue peg fees, HQ hire, travel costs for those organising and attending the event, a small gratuity for stewards, advertising and postage. There are also indirect costs with holding each competition, including the time taken by


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our competitions team staff in taking bookings over the phone, sending out tickets, promoting participation, contacting the venue and arranging equipment to be in place for the day. This isn’t just their salaries, it also includes the costs associated with the employment of those staff, such as national insurance contributions, the rent for their area of the office and the utility and telephone costs. While two of the four members of the competitions team have their salaries funded by Sport England, two have to be paid for by the business through membership and competition income. For that reason, the Angling Trust always aims to include a small charge for each event to cover the costs of the competitions team, although that is not always the case as some events are subsidised by the Angling Trust. Let’s look at the events already held this year, although it should be noted that a couple of invoices are still to come in for peg fees and HQ hire. The Division 2 National, held on 3 August, is one of our major events in the competitions year, with £16,890 received from competitors for entry fees and pools. £238 was spent on trophies, medals and engraving, £10,280 paid out in pools money, £1,050 is budgeted to be spent on peg fees and HQ hire (although we are awaiting the final invoice), £3,142 on other direct costs including advertising, printing, travel and subsistence for the organisers, a modest £40 gratuity for the stewards who gave up their time and fuel costs to assist with the event, and £2,182 to cover the salary and office costs of the competitions team. For the national Championships we also sometimes have

to pay to secure a farmer’s field and/or off road parking facilities, and van hire to get our equipment to the venue. The small difference between the pools collected and pools paid out reflects a 5% admin fee of £139 on the “super pools” to cover our finance team’s costs in administering that pool. You might notice that all competitions balance out at zero. In effect any net income is attributed to a contribution towards Angling Trust staff time, and any net expenditure means that the Angling Trust subsidises that competitions costs.

Division 2 National 2013 Income Entry fees Pools Sponsorship

Actual £6,470.00 £10,420.00 £0.00

Total Income


Expenditure Cash Prizes Trophies & medals Pools Peg Fees (budgeted) & HQ Direct costs AT staff time on a administration and promotion Total Expenditure

£0.00 £234.87 £10,280.70 £1,050.00 £3,142.05 £2,182.38 £16,890.00

Note: Awaiting invoice for peg fee & HQ. The financial position of the schools and ladies nationals show much more modest figures, given the lower level of entries.

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Across these two events, direct costs (excluding peg fees and HQ) totalled £534 and the contribution to Angling Trust staff time totalled £146 which is far below the actual costs involved.

Schools National 2013 Income Entry fees Pools Sponsorship

Actual £735.00 £0.00 £0.00

Total Income


Expenditure Cash Prizes Trophies & medals Pools Peg Fees & HQ Direct costs AT staff time on administration and promotion Total Expenditure

£0.00 £73.20 £0.00 £375.00 £233.48 £53.32 £735.00

Ladies National 2013 Income Entry fees Pools Sponsorship

Actual £755.00 £505.00 £0.00

Total Income


Expenditure Cash Prizes £0.00 Trophies & medals £159.88 Pools £505.00 Peg Fees & HQ £200.00 Direct costs £301.51 AT staff time on administration and promotion £93.61 Total Expenditure


The Junior, Disabled and Veterans Nationals also show similarly modest figures. However, in these events the incomes are insufficient to cover the costs of the event, so Angling Trust contributes £875 towards the costs of those events and provides staff time without charging competitors.

Cadet/Junior/Intermediate Nationals 2013 Income Entry fees Pools Sponsorship

Actual £2,340.00 £0.00 £0.00

Total Income


Expenditure Cash Prizes Trophies & medals Pools Peg Fees & HQ Direct costs AT contribution to expenditure Total Expenditure

Disabled National 2013 Income Entry fees Pools Sponsorship

Actual £300.00 £195.00 £0.00

Total Income


Expenditure Cash Prizes Trophies & medals Pools Peg Fees & HQ Direct costs AT contribution to expenditure Total Expenditure

£0.00 £27.75 £195.00 £90.00 £221.23 -£38.98 £495.00

Veterans National 2013 Income Entry fees Pools Sponsorship Other

Actual £1,525.00 £995.00 £0.00 £0.00

Total Income


Expenditure Cash Prizes Trophies & medals Pools Peg Fees & HQ Direct costs AT contribution to expenditure Total Expenditure

£0.00 £34.95 £995.00 £960.00 £550.27

RiverFest 2013




Entry fees Pools (collected in advance) Sponsorship

Note: Awaiting invoice for peg fees & HQ Fishomania is significantly different from all other Angling Trust organised events, in that it is run in conjunction with a third party and is the single largest competition run by our team. A significant part of the direct costs of Fishomania is a fee paid to Matchroom, although in return our agreement with Matchroom does lead to a significant recovery of the Competitions Team’s time in taking all those 4,000+ bookings and marketing the competition!

Fishomania 2013 Income Entry fees Pools Sponsorship Other

Actual £60,100.00 £0.00 £0.00 £4,050.00

Total Income



Expenditure Cash Prizes (paid by Angling Trust) £0.00 Trophies & medals £0.00 Pools £0.00 Peg Fees & HQ £11,553.72 Direct costs £28,445.01 AT staff time on administration and promotion £24,151.27


Total Expenditure

£0.00 £328.72 £0.00 £1,638.00 £1,189.16

That’s it for the events that have been completed at the time of writing. The financial results for the Division 1 National and other events will be published as soon as possible after those events. Before signing off, it is worth looking at our new event, RiverFest, as at least one article I have read has given an inaccurate picture of the finances. The original budget for RiverFest was based on 20 qualifiers of 60 anglers, leading to a projected income of £30,000. Of that, £24,000 was budgeted for the five main overall prizes in the final and the section winners for both days of the final. £600 was budgeted for peg fees for the final, £1,400 for direct costs and £3,000 for Angling Trust staff time in administering and promoting the event. The prize fund was always dependent on the number of entries and with not all qualifiers being sold out, there was a risk that the prizes might have to be reduced. However, through sponsorship secured by the Angling Trust from Severn Trent Water and Thames Water, the current expectation is that we will be able to not only retain the original prize list but also increase the final prize fund. A final decision on the prize fund will be announced once the qualifiers are concluded.


Total Income Expenditure Cash Prizes Trophies & medals Pools Peg Fees & HQ Direct costs AT staff time on administration and promotion


Current Forecast £30,000.00 £26,700.00 £0.00 £0.00

£0.00 £4,000.00

£30,000.00 £30,700.00

£24,000.00 £24,700.00 £1,000.00 £600.00 £1,400.00

£1,000.00 £0.00 £600.00 £1,400.00



Total Expenditure £30,000.00 £30,700.00

Angler The


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The Final Cast

The butterfly fisherman W

hy do they call us coarse anglers? True, my waistline is a testament to the quality of English ale, I smoke roll-ups rather than Havanas and I do have a sentimental fondness for maggots. My language can also be coarse when I strike and the float whizzes past my right ear with nothing attached. But does that instantly bar me from casting a fly on the sacred waters of the Test, or presenting a Hairy Mary to the lordly salmon of the Spey? Well, it might if I turned up in the Team England bomber jacket and jaunty, matching baseball cap, but I have learnt the magic code for access to these hallowed streams — and I’ll let you into the secret. Just know how to bluff. If you want to make that caterpillar to butterfly transformation from coarse to game angler, just follow this simple advice which is all summed up in one word — etiquette. That way you can fool some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time, and if that’s long enough to become president of the United States it should certainly get you into the Houghton Club. The key to etiquette is quiet modesty. Try not to look smug if you land a fish while all around you are losing theirs. But if you inadvertently exert a little extra pressure, forcing it to splash a lot so that everyone notices that you have a fish, well… The important point is not to boom across the water “Hooray, another big one!” The unpardonable sin is to be showy, so let’s start where all good fly fishermen do — in Jermyn Street. If you can look the part the battle’s half won. But this is where bluffing becomes an art form. The unbluffing toff will lunch at Brown’s, saunter along to Farlows in Pall Mall, pick up a few odds and ends on his Coutts Bank debit card and then drop in to his Savile Row tailor to see if the tweed


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You too can become a posh fluff-chucker — just learn the gentle art of bluffing, writes JEFFREY OLSTEAD.

knickerbockers are ready. For you there is a simple alternative — the Oxfam shop. There, if you are lucky, you will find a tweed jacket in an appropriate state of genteel dereliction. A check or khaki shirt (suggesting your distinguished military career) is strongly recommended, and for the cooler days a worn pullover or decaying waistcoat — wool with six buttons (the bottom one undone) and absolutely no more than four small pockets. Outside Hampshire ties are seldom worn, but if you are tempted to indulge, make sure that your neck wear resembles a Victorian dishcloth or represents some obscure association, so that only the cognoscenti can mutter in reverential tones; “Ah, the Tolpuddle Waltonians.” Since your legs are encased in waders trousers are not so important, though it would be considered eccentric not to wear them; any twills or fustian stuff will do.

What matters most is that they are generously cut and the seams are double or even treble stitched to withstand the strains when your foot slips on a weedy rock and you perform wild manoeuvres worthy of Rudolf Nureyev. Hats provide essential protection against the elements — and wayward flies — and represent one area where you may express your individuality — but do not take this to extremes. Remember the words of Polonius, who was a successful fisherman — his daughter Ophelia less so — “the apparel oft proclaims the man.” So there you have it. If the dress proclaims you an expert none will dare question you for fear of revealing their own ignorance. They will avoid fishing within your sight lest you should condemn their occasional clumsy cast. Best of all, they will be too far away to witness your bungling ineptitude. The bluff is complete.

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The Angler - Autumn 2013  

The Angler is the member magazine of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal. It includes news, campaign updates, how-to's and feature stories on...

The Angler - Autumn 2013  

The Angler is the member magazine of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal. It includes news, campaign updates, how-to's and feature stories on...