Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Fishing Magazines - Practical Course Fishing - the issue with me in it

My sorting out of fishing magazines has reached Practical Course Fishing, one of my all-time favourite fishing magazines, but one that only made it through about a dozen issues, from October 1993 to November 1994, before being "merged" (was subsumed) with the nowhere-near-as-good Improve Your Course Fishing (which, ironically, is still going strong)

The June 1994 issue was the highlight as it is the one that features me fishing with Tony Miles on the Hale Park Syndicate water on the Hampshire Avon. I had joined this syndicate after an advert appeared in Waterlog, but only fished it half a dozen times. It was a tough venue, but with a very large average size of fish. My personal best chub at the time, of 5-07 was caught there.

So it is early one Sunday morning in March 1994. I had travelled down from London on the Saturday evening and was parked at Hale bridge. As I emerged pre dawn, it turned out that Tony was in the van next to me. We had first met back in the late 1970s when I was chub fishing on one of my local rivers, the Leam. And I'd bumped into him again a year or two later, on either the Warwickshire Avon or the Upper Ouse. But we were not particularly friends or anything.

But we had a good chat first thing that morning. Tony effectively quzzing me on all I knew about the stretch (not much). Then we set off in different directions, passing one another at various times through the day. For me it was a tough day, one bite, no fish. Tony apparently had a couple later on that night after I had set off home.

At one point, towards the end of the article, he asks me to get in touch as I had left some tackle behind. This was untrue - he just wanted to get in touch more generally. We corresponded for the next year or so, and arranged a couple of fishing trips together, but my work commitments stopped these happening. After the 1995 season, when I fished more than I have ever done since, 1996 was the year of huge work changes and I hardly fished at all. In fact, it was not for a few years that I managed a season with more than a dozen trips - so we lost touch.

Maybe I will drop him a line - my magazine sort out has revealed a load of his very early articles that I remember well from Angling magazine.

Tony's article, with a background shot of me fishing the right bank below Hale Bridge on the Hampshire Avon - trotting bread flake using a centre pin.

The paragraphs that I feature in are in the right hand column

I remember Tony saying when we first started fishing that day that if I caught something decent, could I retain it for a photo for the article. Sadly I didn't!

My main fishing club has an arrangement with Hale Park that we can fish down there, so I have a tentative plan to have a two day trip in March this year, 18 years after the trip that immortalised me in the angling press!

1 comment:

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