Saturday, 18 December 2010

Season's Greetings

Looking out the window, the snow continues to fall and the canal has frozen over (incredibly, I recently read somewhere that Birmingham has more miles of canal than Venice). Chances of a white Christmas are looking good. May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – with lots of fly fishing gifts filling your Christmas stockings and the prospect of many days on the river in 2011.

The extreme weather conditions experienced in the UK this winter have pretty much put paid to my best made plans of venturing out of the city in search of grayling in the Welsh Marches. Snowfall has an amazing affect on the British public transport system where even a few inches can bring the rail and road networks grinding to a halt. Not to mention that extremely cold water temperatures affect the fish too. So I don’t have much to report on the fishing front other than a few postponed trips. Hopefully the opportunity to get out and experience my first taste of winter grayling fishing will arise in January next year, after the Christmas break. I’ve been stocking up on all manner of cold weather gear from under wader fleeces and thick woollen socks to neoprene gloves, and just a few tungsten bead pink shrimps, which I understand grayling often find irresistible as they hug the riverbed at this time of year. It would be a shame not to put them to the test.

In the absence of any fishing news, here’s a stocking filler of some of my favourite fishing related quotes:

"There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a gentleness of spirit and a pure serenity of the mind."  - Washington Irving

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."  - Henry David Thoreau

"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope."  - John Buchan

"Fishing is a discipline in the equality of men - for all men are equal before fish."  - Herbert Hoover

"I am not against golf, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering trout."  - Paul O'Neil

"There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm."  - Patrick F. McManus

"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught."  - Author Unknown

"My biggest worry is that my wife (when I'm dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it."  - Koos Brandt

"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process." - Paul O'Neil

"The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish." - Sam Snead

"Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip." - John Gierach

"The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be." - John Gierach

"Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley."  - Ann Landers

"Hell, if I'd jumped on all the dames I'm supposed to have jumped on, I'd have not had time to go fishing." - Clark Gable

"Fly-fishing is the most fun you can have standing up." - Arnold Gingrich

"A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it." - Arnold Gingrich

"I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself." - Joseph Monniger

"Put backing on your line; even if you never use it. It helps you dream." - Jimmy D Moore