Thursday, 30 March 2017

All change for 2017!

Greetings to all blog readers! It's not often I write in this location any more, but if you're one of my old followers on this platform, or have just discovered the blog, I should direct you to my new home and website! You can catch regular news and blog posts now at along with all my books, flies and other bits! Meanwhile, you can also find my regular adventures, confessions, rants and more in "The Far Bank", my weekly Angling Times column, not to mention every issue of Fallon's Angler.

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Bloody hell... feels like quite a decent one!

So what have you been missing otherwise? I'm still very much hooked on the whole fly for coarse adventure, you won't be surprised to hear (and also been doing a bit of filming to promote angling- as illustrated above. Watch this space for more details). Meanwhile though, I've also been avidly tackling various species on the light lure and dropshot tackle, from mini sea critters to perch, zander and others. Again, keep an eye on the new site and my other regular output for the latest.

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Otherwise, I am still active with Turrall Flies too, adding my photography and blogging skills to the mix. The Turrall Flies Facebook Page and blog are always worth a look for the fly anglers among you.

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So, I hope you can join me on the new site, or simply drop me a line ( if you have any questions, or indeed stories or things of interest, whether it's a topic you would like to see me write about or a story worth investigating. I'm also now contributing each month to Flyfishing & Fly Tying magazine, with news stories and the "Angling Club of the Month Feature" should you have something you'd like to share.

Oh, and if you like a bit of total nonsense, Fishing with The General is going strong, both in Fallon's Angler each issue and on his own Facebook Page. There are probably more things I've also forgotten, but that's most of it at present. Tight lines and stay tuned!

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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Fish Leather Books, New Website & Blog!

Greetings to everyone. You may or may not have noticed a few changes afoot with my site and blog. There is also some rather exciting news to share, which I didn't want regular followers to miss out on.

I'd been sitting on a particular secret for so long, my backside was starting to hurt, but now it's time to reveal current progress on a project that has been going for many weeks. In an exciting collaboration with artist Kari Furre, I am soon to release exclusive editions of Crooked Lines in sustainable FISH LEATHER!

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Yes, you heard me correctly. There are much better pictures and the fascinating, fuller background story on my brand new website. Read the latest blog entry HERE and check out the new site at the usual address:

Why did I switch? Well, to be honest, the blog has been here for nine years at least, but it has been less reliable lately. Pictures disappear and it looks a little... well, old hat? But perhaps the biggest plus of the new format is that it should display my photography in a much better manner. It also means you are slap bang next to the other parts of my site, including current features, links and the shop.

I hope you'll enjoy the new site and blog anyway. Don't forget to order a copy of Crooked Lines or one of my other books this Christmas, whether it's for a friend or loved one, or simply to treat yourself. I realise it is a drum I have banged before, but my very words depend on you, the reader!

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You can also keep reading me in Angling Times each week and also the cracking quarterly Fallon's Angler (where you can also catch the rantings of my military superior, the General). I've been leaving no stone unturned recently, with everything from the weirder side of lure fishing to all sorts of tangents and talking points.

Anyhow, have a bloody great Christmas, enjoy your fishing and do keep in touch- and if there is any subject you would like me to tackle in print do drop me a line. You know I'm never one to shirk a challenge!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

New home for my Fishing Blog...

For those waiting for the next post, my apologies it has taken a while. A lot has happened in the past three or so weeks and not all of it good. My old fishing wagon broke down and has gone to the big fishery in the sky. My health has been poor. But things are finally looking up!

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One huge weight off my shoulders is a newly revamped website- the old version was creaking and my web guy disappeared. Luckily I hired someone more professional this time and the new version is now up and running, miles better and miles more secure for your orders and the rest! Do take a look at

It will also now be the home of my blog, rather than here on blogger. A tricky choice, but you should find far richer images on the new site, not to mention my books, flies and the rest. The old posts will stay here on blogger, however, where I have nearly a decade of posts now (wow, that makes me feel a bit older).

Anyhow, get yourself along to the new version of my site for more. I'll also have some very exciting news in the next week or so about a really eye-opening new edition of Crooked Lines.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Strange Waters Photography Competition Winners

The aim was to find the best and most unusual and adventurous pictures of your fishing. We had a whole raft of great fishing images, but in the end I had to boil it down, completely subjectively, to five pictures. Really grateful for all your entries, but here are the final entries that really stood out:

1. Jason Coggins: Fishtec Exclusive Fishing Luggage Winner!

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For anyone who loves wilderness fishing, Jason’s image and report summed up the charm of the islands of Western Scotland, such as Islay. Wild trout lochs are a real feature on some islands, but his shot was from the rugged coastline (love the rusted old wreck!). And if that wasn’t intoxicating enough, you're just a few yards from the local whisky distillery.

Jason wins an Airflo Flydri-150lt Cargo Wheelie Bag, a bomb-proof fishing bag fit for any fishing journey.
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2. Thomas Finney: Turrall Fly Pod Winner
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Close behind in second place was James’s picture of the coast at Stebley Point. An image that really captures the drama of shore fishing.

Thomas wins a Turrall Fly-Pod of his choice. These feature a tough, double-sided box and selections of proven fly patterns, from reservoir flies to grayling specials.
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Our three final entries receive a copy of Crooked Lines, my collection of twenty-four fishing tales, with exclusive artwork from Lord Bunn, available at DG Fishing for £9.99 or as an Amazon Kindle Edition for just £4.99

3. Christopher Kirkham - Book Winner
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Chris Kirkham’s Victorian moat is definitely a memorable place to fish, and just one of various striking water defences that can be fished in the UK. Several castles offer lakes or even moats to fish, while pillbox shelters from WW2 are a classic on some of our canals.

4. Nicholas Lawrence – Book Winner
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When things get really cramped on a river, you have to improvise a little. Or in this case climb a tree to get your fly to the waiting salmon!

5. Sam Wadman – Book Winner
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Some of you really do get around the planet for your fishing! A beautiful shot here, taken on Sam Wadman’s trip to the mountain lakes of Iran.

A huge thanks to all our other entrants, because every shot told a story and we loved all of them. Thanks also to Fishtec and Turrall for the prizes.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Strange Waters competition: Best fishing pictures so far...

What a great summer it has been so far for discovering new fishing destinations. The new "Strange Waters" contest aims to bring together some of the most strikingly different, whether wild or man made environments. Thanks to all those who have entered so far, thought I'd share the best of them with you below.

Still plenty of time to enter, until September 25th. Just post your pictures on the Facebook thread or email me:

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A beautiful spot on the Isle of Islay for Jason Coggins. Ideal for a spot of fly fishing or LRF, with whisky distilleries a further temptation nearby.

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Wild tides at Stebley point. Thanks to Thomas Finney

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A beautifully composed shot of fishing the Fenlands, from Lee Saunders

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Fishing nutter Dan Sales courts calamity and a large bream. Don't try this at home kids!

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Welcome to the fairground: A holiday cast in Portugal for Paul Sharman.

Thanks everyone- and keep those entries coming! You can read the previous blog for all the competition rules and prizes on offer, which include travel kit, fly collections and signed books from yours truly!

Thursday, 25 August 2016


Have you fished anywhere wild, different or downright weird lately? Regular readers of the blog and my Angling Times "Far Bank" column might already know of my love of bizarre and off-the-beaten-trail places to fish.

I also know that many of you will be returning from travels in some pretty weird and wonderful places. Hence I wanted to celebrate the beautiful and bizarre places you go fishing with an exclusive competition, open from now until Sept 15th 2016

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The rules are pretty simple. All you have to do is share your fishing venue pictures, along with a sentence or two describing the place, why you were drawn to it and what's so special or unusual about it. It needn't be exotic or far flung either; travel destinations would be great, but you could just as easily capture somewhere distinctly urban right on your doorstep. Just to start the ball rolling, I've described five of my favourites below, from the streets of Amsterdam to Arctic Norway!

PRIZES: Just to give you an extra incentive, I've wangled several neat prizes courtesy of Fishtec and Turrall Flies to reward the best, funniest and strangest entries. These are as follows:

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Fancy winning the smartest, toughest solution for travelling with your fishing kit? Look no further than the Airflo Flydri 150lt Cargo Wheelie Bag (RRP: £169.99). With a big capacity and bullet proof construction, this is just the ticket to get your rods, reels and tackle safely to your chosen fishing destination. Even if it happens to be on the other side of the planet, or the luggage handlers do their job with all the finesse of a group of axe-murderers (sorry to all the careful luggage handlers, but some of you seem to love smashing up our fishing tackle. It's a bloody good job you don't work in childcare).

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Fancy winning a brilliant boxed fly selection or a collectible 1st edition of my latest book? Four highly-commended entries will be rewarded handsomely with one of these great fishing gifts. The Flypod is a brilliant concept for the travelling angler, featuring a whole collection of proven deadly flies in a durable, double sided box at less than £25. Meanwhile, Crooked Lines features two-dozen of my finest, funniest and strangest fishing stories and some truly eye-opening fishing destinations (Described as "an absolute treat" and "like what might happen if Gierach, John Cooper Clark and Half Man Half Biscuit got together and wrote about fishing", if you believe the recent reviews...).

HOW TO ENTER: Just share your pictures on the DG FISHING FACEBOOK PAGE or simply email them to me ( Do provide some info about the location, what you might catch and what makes it unique. You have ONE MONTH from now to get your pictures in (deadline: 25th September), and I'll be sharing and commenting on the images I like the best as we go (you have been warned!).

So without further ado, here are five of my most memorable destinations from both the UK and abroad to get your brain ticking over:

1. Arctic Norway
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It’s one thing to still want to fish when the mercury hits silly temperatures, but quite another to pack a drill and get fishing! In Northern Norway, this is a reality for anglers who must find a way or take an unbearably long break. On my trip to Skaidi, we used foot-long rods and fished through holes no wider than a dinner plate to catch Arctic Char. A reindeer skin protects your backside from freezing, while snacks include dried halibut and whisky. By night it got down to -20C, but we carried on fishing actually inside the tent!

2. Pant-y-Llyn, Wales
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Some of the most uncannily beautiful waters of all are those little altered by man. Pant-y-llyn is one of those places you simply have to fish at least once in your life, especially if you are a bit of an old school carp fishing romantic. You won't find bloated, boilie-fed forty pounders here. But you might just tangle with some of Britian's most classic looking fish, as it is one of the only remaining fisheries with true wild carp. It's also one of the tales featured in Crooked Lines, while you can also book a days fishing there yourself with the Wye and Usk Foundation.

3. River Wandle, London
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Urban fisheries produce some of the most surprising sport in the UK. Among the most fascinating is London’s River Wandle, where I fished with conservationist Theo Pike. In spite of a history of severe pollution, the river is now bouncing back and has everything from wild trout to roach, chub and even the odd barbel. Even so, it’s an odd feeling casting a fly or trotting a float while double decker buses and police cars pass.

4. Caerphilly Castle
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Since the age of about seven, I think most of us can admit to having a secret fantasy about being a feudal baron with ultimate power, medieval weaponry and a stinking great big castle, right? Well, it's never going to happen. But for a day at least, you can enjoy not only one of the oldest castles in Britain, but fish in its 25 or so acre moat! How cool is that? There are roach, bream, carp and even a few pike here. If you can find a castle type venue to top this, make sure you send us a picture!

5. Amsterdam
A haven for tourists and travelling hedonists, you might assume the waters of Amsterdam were too dirty to hold much life. And you’d be wrong! Countless canals and other waters contain perch, pike, carp and some excellent zander fishing. My good friend Dutch fishing guide Pim Pos has even cast a line in the city’s notorious Red Light District! The city is also famous for its art museums, fantastic food and drink, and strange smelling tobacco, which I am told can make one somewhat dizzy. Not that you probably need it with swims like the one below, complete with pair of dismembered plastic legs:
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Ok, over to you! All you have to do is post your pictures HERE... good luck.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Late Summer Fishing Highs and Lowlives

In another interesting week of summer fishing I've been cramming in the short sessions wherever possible once again. A bit of a scattergun approach perhaps, but as we head into the end of August you do get that feeling that there is only so much summer left, with time so precious and limited.

Some regular followers will no doubt relate to the plight of the multiple job man. In the eyes of the tax system at least, I have no fewer than four different jobs. And although much of my time is to do with the things I love, it is sill work- and it can be tricky to free a few hours just to sneak off down the river, or spend a bit of time with the wife and no technology in sight. Chance would be a fine thing... quite often I want to bung my phone into the sea.

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One benefit of my hours writing blogs and other copy for Clockwork (a marketing company near Newton Abbot) is that I finish my office hours only a short distance from the sea. And with Darren Sieminski, one of our ace website designers, a keen sea angler himself, another post work trip to the coast was overdue.

We parked by Living Coasts (slightly cheaper than the 24 hour robbery of the marina carpark) grabbed some tea straight from the outdoor market in Torquay before fishing the left hand wall of the outer harbour. Caught in about ten different minds, I had bundled four different rods in the car, along with LRF lures and some bait. Darren could have been forgiven for looking a bit confused.

Not that it took long to get bites. I had two small wrasse right from the off on small plastic worms fished dropshot style. Meanwhile, Darren had a small pollack on float tackle. He had released it carefully, but just as it looked as if it might recover, a seagull nabbed it. After that we had little for an hour, aside from a brief altercation with a guy on the other side of the wall, who insisted on wanging his rigs right round our side of the barrier, and then throwing a a strop when the lines got caught.

Seriously, I do worry about anyone who would hurl abuse at a complete stranger over something as petty as who has the right to cast where. As someone who worked for years with junkies, alcoholics and violent offenders, I'm fairly well versed in keeping calm and not lighting any fuses. Our friend here could have done with a similar lesson- because on a sea wall, threatening behaviour could lead to someone getting injured or killed. But hey ho, this is public fishing I guess. We also saw an inflatable boat fishing and moving right in feathering range of the pier- perhaps a southwest contender for the Darwin Awards on the cards?

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Our bad tempered friend then promptly left just as the tide was climbing and the light went dimpsy. So much for picking your moment, because the fishing improved greatly as night approached. I had a lure caught pouting (above) on a weedless rigged Isome section, before giving Darren a crack with the lure rod and baiting up a bottom rig with a prawn. Not so long ago I wouldn't have given supermarket prawns a second look, but they seem to make pretty decent baits for flatties and smaller species.

Just about able to pick out the rod tip by the lights of the fairground in the distance, I had a really rod rattling bite. It wasn't the four-pound bass I had imagined, but nevertheless a very welcome rockling. My first, as it happens. I'm no expert on the different types of rockling, so perhaps someone could enlighten me? I gather they will also occasionally take lures.

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It was a lovely evening, in fact, totally forgetting about phones and deadlines and just feeling for bites by the lights of Torquay. Sea fishing here is so much more varied than you realise, because 90% of visitors only seem to have eyes for mackerel. I strongly suspect that night fishing is the answer though, whether with lures or bait. To cement this hunch, Darren then hooked into the best fish of the trip; a hard-fighting pollack quite a bit bigger than the earlier samples.

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Just for the record, Clockwork Marketing are well worth a look for anyone involved in the hospitality trade or trying to build a business in any leisure or tourism activity! We make fantastic websites- and already do a great job for one or two fishing hotels. So much of the fishing world is blighted by dated and inadequate online presence I cannot help but feel there are more matches to be made in future. After all, how many dedicated marketing and website building agencies have actual anglers on the team?

I digress anyway, but if you are traveling to Devon soon, or if sea fishing is your thing, do also be sure to take a look at the recent Channel Kayaks Blog HERE, which features several recent kayak fishing marks and trips in Devon, from Sidmouth to Salcombe. Meanwhile, tackling the craggier parts of the South Hams in the company of happy-go-lucky maniac Norbert Darby is also my focus for the new edition of Fallon's Angler, just out.

So what else of note can I report from the past week or two? I jumped at the chance to dash back onto the local canals and River Tone for some surface sport, if done in a bit of a hurry. On the cut, I must have spent about 80% of a 2-3 hour session just walking and looking and not fishing, seeking out larger rudd and roach. And I found one or two, albeit in very different spots to previous seasons. I lost what looked like a 2lbs+ hybrid (bream/rudd?) basking in the top foot of water, before netting two nice rudd to one pound nine ounces. As is so often the case, it was a simple capture- the only key was casting in a bushy swim and getting a simple hackled wet fly (one of my Turrall Spiders) close to the fish.

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I also had a quick blast on the River Tone with Norbert joining me for the ride. We must be freak magnets, because we had uniformed staff out looking for some crook on the run.... who we think we spotted later. One of those guys you take one look at and think "oh God, what happens now... ". First it was "can I use your phone, I'll pay you a tenner" (because I always willingly lend my phone to guys who look like crack addicts) before the question "has there been any police or guys down here looking for me?" Christ on a unicycle, I bet the landed gentry fly fishing on the Test and Itchen don't have to deal with this sort of shit. One scary lunatic, and that's coming from me and Norbert, who seem to draw these undesirables like perch to a wriggling worm.

Still, the chub were feeding, albeit very spooky. So often in the low, clear water they would come right up to the fly, before sulking away again. The only takes were by taking your life in your hands and dropping a big terrestrial right under the branches in their sanctuary. I missed two nice fish, but hooked one of the best in a group of eight or so fish, which took a Chopper (my big, leggy deer hair winged fly designed for the species).

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Otherwise, the only fishy business I have to report is of a very pleasant short session on Creedy Lakes. Yes, I Know, I'm not always a fan of the big main lake. It's all a bit bivvy-tastic. But I had a lovely evening on the top pond and also made a new friend. In the same way you know instantly that some folks are surly buggers (like our friend in Torquay, Mr High Blood Pressure/ No Manners), others you just instantly know are on your wave length.

Such was the case with Mick Latham, who fished the next swim and was such great company- as we filled out tickets it appeared we had exactly the same plan, to fish simply on the less fashionable top lake, where it's pretty and weedy, even if the fish aren't quite as big.

Rather than race for the best spots though, we played it civilised, sharing pegs and anecdotes. It does make you think- surely this is the way it should always be, rather than competing with each other like kids? Sometimes I dislike busy specimen fisheries because regulars can get so serious they won't even say "hello" or "how's it fishing?". But it costs so little to be friendly to other anglers; and you could get a useful tip off or make a new pal.

I stuck it out on the floaters in the end, using nothing more complicated than a 50p bubble float (often just as good and less obtrusive than the huge £5 odd things I always see in the tackle shops) and a few dog biscuits. This was the best of my brace (and no, I didn't weigh it):

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In between a perfect lazy evening, watching the kingfishers, picking out the hoot of an owl, laughing and discussing life, the universe and everything, Mick went one better and caught three. We shared netting and photography roles too, perhaps confirming that angling etiquette isn't dead after all. Nice fish too in this top pond- they tend to be wily and strong:

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The only other recent journey was to Merlin Unwin Books, publishers of "Flyfishing For Coarse Fish", to attend their 25th anniversary bash and meet some fellow authors. I'll be reviewing some new fishing books shortly from their range, so do watch this space.

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The plan was then to fish at Caerphilly Castle on the way home, but the weather was too filthy to stick around long. Those keeping up with my weekly Angling Times column or who bought Crooked Lineswill know of my love of unusual angling destinations. This will also be the topic of a new photographic competition on the way very soon.

Until our lines cross again, let's all keep our heads and keep smiling. Happy fishing and my best to you all.