Thursday, 22 December 2016

Tony Miles R.I.P.

While looking at some angling related blogs, I am shocked to discover that Tony Miles has passed away.  I knew he had had a heart attack last year and had only got back into fishing in the last six months or so.  Apparently he died on a fishing trip on the Ouse - perhaps a good way for him to go, but many years earlier than he might have.

I first met Tony on the River Leam near Leamington when I was about 14 in the late 1970s.  He often wrote fishing articles for the Coventry Evening Telegraph or the Sports Argus that my dad used to buy on a Saturday.  As a result of his writings, barbel and chub fishing became my favourite type of fishing.

Over the years, he has been my favourite fishing writer by a long way.  I have 8 of his books and indeed I was planning to read two of them over Christmas - Elite Barbel and 50 years on the Ouse.

We met again, quite a few years later, on the Hampshire Avon where Tony was spending a couple of days preparing an article for Practical Course Fishing magazine.  Much to my surprise, he featured me quite heavily in the feature and included a photo he took that day of me float fishing in his Fishing for Big Chub book a few years later.

We struck up a good correspondence after that and probably shared about two dozen letters over the next couple of years, mainly discussing small river barbel tactics.

I last had contact with him about a year ago when we swapped a few emails about a small pocket of huge barbel that I had discovered in a local river and which I thought he might be interested in having a go at - don't think he ever did though

Very sad news indeed.

The demise of Coarse Angling Today

One of the things I have most missed about being based on France is going fishing.  In principle, it is possible for me to go fishing down here - indeed, the local river Charente is rumoured to contain some huge barbel.  But for one reason or another, I haven't managed it.

Recently I discovered that Course Angling Today has ceased publication.  I am actually quite saddened by this as it was the only fishing magazine that covered my time of fishing (primarily river fishing for chub and barbel).  It seems that the UK magazine market is only able to support magazines dedicated to carp fishing - perhaps carp anglers read these while sitting through the interminable periods when nothing is happening when they fish?

But I have found a load of bag issues which I am intending to take back to France with me.

Our current plan is to return to the UK in the spring of 2018, and fishing is one of the things that I am definitely planning for.

Danielle Dax - again

For the first time in a while I have been listening to Danielle Dax, having recently acquired a new compilation of her work - Dark Adapted Eye - and an old Lemon Kitten's album, The Big Dentist.

Its strange how every few years I return to her work - between listening I seem to forget just how inventive a performer she was.  And the video to "Pariah" is one of my absolute favourites - an extraordinary performance.

I wonder what she is doing now?