After my last post I was feeling a little sombre, fishing trips deemed to be put on the back burner for a while, but as it turns out the last fortnight has been blessed with a couple of fruitful and quite diverse experiences.
An editorial meeting for issue four of Fallon’s Angler took place in south London which ended with an impromptu visit to the Ravensbourne with a single rod and a few left- over maggots. Sharing a rod, myself and Garett the editor of Fallon’s we managed to winkle out some chub, rudd, roach, perch and gudgeon, larger chub were visible in the clear shallow water but they eluded us this time. As dusk fell we retreated to the safety of a couple of pints and discussed the final touches to issue four. For those who take the periodical it won’t be long now, and those who don’t shame on you. Personally I think Fallon’s is getting better and better, we are finding our feet with the look and editorial content becoming much stronger. Issue four sees new contributors such as John Andrews and Luke Jennings and there are some exciting names coming up for the future from some angling legends.
With some final amendments to issue four I required to get some extra images especially of our regular contributor Steve Roberts who is the River guide and face behind Rivers Days, stationed at Pangbourne on the Thames. With the Ashes in the bag we had a relaxed day drifting in his punt with an opportunity to catch some perch and pike, and to get some shots. By the time I had turned up (by train) ordered lunch and a couple of pints it was mid afternoon but there was no rush, the temperature was high and we were soon afloat on the Thames with a cool breeze to make it comfortable. While Steve fished I got in the Thames in my waders and started to get some shots. I stood on a old part of an island know as the cliff, “why the cliff Steve?” I said, “well if you step over another yard or so the waters drops off into eighteen feet of water!”
A day on the Thames with Steve is a whole experience, the secret places that you visit, the fishing, the lunch, conversation and hopefully a fish or two. Our afternoon was a lazy one and I had a few perch but as the afternoon faded Steve offered to take me to a private stretch of water on the Kennet where the chance of a barbel was possible. As the light faded we turned up on the lawn of a private house and running along the side of the garden was the river Kennet, it was warm and the air quite still, there was a sniff of barbel in the air.
At the start of the year I bought an early Allcocks Wizard and it has sat in my basement, dormant awaiting a christening. I had heard a lot about the versatility of these rods and I was keen to catch a barbel on it and see if it was capable of handling such a fish in a fast flowing river. As the light faded I was lucky enough to do just that and soon had a nice Kennet barbel in the net of around 7lbs. The rod was exceptional and does have a wonderful sensitive top with a solid backbone, now my rod of choice! By ten I was heading back from Newbury on the train to Paddington, the contrast from an hour previously could not have been greater, people heading from Reading to London for a night out while I with my fishing bag and rod set off for home.
The Tuesday Swim has been a little quiet for a while and for good reason, I have taken on the role as picture editor for the newly formed publication Fallon’s Angler. For those who haven’t come across this quarterly may I point you in the direction of the website www.fallonsangler.net.
My task along with the editor, Garret is to bring to the reader, original, interesting, and thoughtful writing and photography, a tall order? Well, certainly a challenge but as ‘Fangler’ grows in momentum more opportunities are coming our way to discover new and old writers who have an interesting tale or perspective to share. I have just heard that we may have an old angling legend to grace the pages of issue 4.
My assignment for issue 3 was to visit Jean Williams in Usk and her wonderful traditional tackle shop that is filled with atmosphere and local knowledge. My photo essay and interview in Sweets I hope captures this atmosphere, I think it does.
If there is one pastime over others that has had millions upon millions of words written about its many facets, it has to be angling. Angling books tend to be split into two camps, the ‘how to’ and the ‘why do I do it and what a lovely place to do it in’ categories. But when it comes to angling magazines nearly all of them lie in the ‘how to’ editorial style. However, this type of content does have one grave repercussion, it encourages tackle firms to infiltrate the article with product placement, written by anglers who are tied into contracts. The outcome is sterile, advertorial pieces that suit the tackle industry and not the reader.
Fallon’s Anglers is a magazine that goes against the grain which has been put together by an interesting gentleman called Garret Fallon who has bravely decided “what the hell, I’m going to do this myself.” Garret has managed to get a group of distinguished writers and some lesser known writers like myself to put together a collection of words and images. The content covers all disciplines and is varied, often personal, but always interesting and occasionally funny but certainly not portrayed as being pompous and self-righteous. Issue one has over 28,000 words accompanied with images by writers such as Jon Day, Tom Fort, Kevin Parr and Chris Yates.
To order a copy please go to http://fallonsangler.net/ and try something new.