Tuesday, 14 October 2014

How precious is time?

How precious is time? 
'You should sue', said someone in an email last week pointing me in the direction of an advert for a country park in the Cotswolds who had re-worked my "Time is precious. Use it fishing" slogan to read "Time is precious. Use it wisely". Naturally I have a copyright lawyer on speed dial ..........
Time is precious 
I must admit I did at first feel sorely tempted for a whole variety of reasons. To start with it did seem a bit of a cheek to take my strap line and re-work it without much attempt to disguise the original idea - the venue even features fishing. Punishing them for that might be satisfying. Then of course if we really got into it in court the ensuing publicity, win or lose, might be worth any financial risk. And add to that the opportunity for some mega-buck payout to recompense me for a heinous copyright violation. Well, case closed really.

As I pondered the many other possible advantages to resorting to the law (actually there are not any) I began to feel a tad guilty. Was "Time is precious. Use it fishing" really an original idea of mine? The truth is it wasn't. I stole it from someone else, so here is my confession.

Years ago I was in the United States driving up The Strip in Las Vegas where I spied this billboard that featured a typical Vegas blonde. You can imagine the type but the other more distracting thing about her was the massive diamond ring she wore. And the strap line? Time is precious. Buy her diamonds. It was a short leap of imagination to apply the thought to fishing, well for me at least.

I am not sure if absolution will come my way for telling the truth but  as Benjamin Disraeli said, "Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time". And as for calling a lawyer, I guess I have now probably blown my chances. Anyway time is certainly too precious for petty vendettas.

Hungerford Literary Festival - Sunday October 19th

I'll be talking about Life of a Chalkstream at the Hungerford Literary Festival on Sunday along with Nicola Chester who knows everything there is to know about otters. 

 Organised by the very excellent Hungerford Bookshop and with a  host of authors far more famous that me, I'll be on at at a very civilised time of 2pm at The Bear Hotel.

If you are into cycling I am followed by Sky Sports Ned Boulting talking about On the Road Bike which asks why we have become a nation of obsessive cyclists.

Tickets and more details direct from the organisers, Hungerford Literary Festival.

September feedback draw

Abel hemostatSpooky was again the feedback word of the month. Small flies were the most successful and the biggest fish I heard of (10lbs at Mottisfont Abbey) fell to a size 20 Adams.

Well done this month to Nemanja Pasalic who fished at Broadlands and collects a signed copy of Life of a Chalkstream

For everyone else the end of season draw for the three Abel Hemostats gets ever closer.

Hatch of the Month
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Pink Czech nymph
If I had to pick a single fly to fish through the winter it would be a toss up between the ubiquitous Pheasant Tail Nymph and the nutritious shrimp.

Shrimps, especially during winter, are one of the staples in the diet of both trout and grayling. It doesn't take much to work out why. If you get a chance to run your hand through the weed or kick sample some gravel compare the shrimps to the nymphs - in fish food terms it is the difference between a T-bone steak and a cocktail sausage.

Both the fish, but more particularly grayling, will go to great lengths to find shrimps, Trout will flap sideways along the river bed, almost as if creating a redd to find them. Grayling are more scientific, pushing their snouts under the gravel. If you see grayling tailing up, with little puffs of silt emerging from around their heads it is time to tie on a shrimp. Personally I like bright pink and orange patterns as they are easy to track as you tumble them along the river bed.

Click here for my Hatch Calendar with the full October advice.  

Half term fishing
Nether Wallop Mill
Feeding time at Nether Wallop Mill
Half term sneaks in under the wire to cover the last week of our season here at Nether Wallop Mill, where we close up shop on October 31st.

As with last year I have spectacularly misjudged how many fish to put in so once again we have a huge stock we'll happily let you take away. It would be nice to think that the fish will overwinter but the truth is that the lake will soon become the plat du jour for every otter and heron in the vicinity. Here is the video of these trutta piranhas at feeding time.

I won't make myself a hostage to fortune by saying you can't fail, but I'd be truly amazed if you did. The options for Family Days, Father & Son  trips and Private Tuition are all listed here.


Chalkstream news for October
October is the month of greatest change on the chalkstreams; the trees will lose their leaves and the rivers will start to fill with the autumn rains. In the rivers grayling become our fish of choice as the trout lose interest, beginning to pair up slowly turning from brown to vivid red. 

Sunrise: 7.07am 
Sunset: 6.42pm
Average temperature: 8-14C
Days of rain: 13 (+0.25mm)

Weed cutting: After mid-October there are no restrictions on when and where weed may be cut; likewise bank repairs and restoration projects will be happening. 

Closing dates: The trout season closes by law on October 31st but by tradition all beats are closed by October 15th. Grayling are governed by the coarse fishing regulations so may continue right through to March 14. These are the grayling rivers we cover are:

River Avon        October 14 - March 14
River Coln         October 1 - March 14
Driffield Beck     October 1- February 28
River Lambourn October 14 - December 31
River Test & tributaries   October 15 - March 14 

Have a good week.


Best wishes,
Simon Signature 
Founder & Managing Director