Save the date…


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We will be stalling out at The National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair exhibiting and selling over four decades of collecting vintage tackle, books, game bags, rods, reels and items of interest collected on our fishing adventures. The Fair will be held on Sunday 15th November at Kingsley Sports Centre, Woodrow Drive, Woodrow, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 7UH from 9am-2pm.

In our collection we have vintage Chapman, Hardy, Farlows, ABU, Allcocks and B James rods along with a selection of fly reels and centre pin reels and as its so close to Christmas some ideal stocking fillers.


A red moon and high tides…


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As September draws to a close I sense a change is in the air. The official trout fishing season on rivers is now over so again the focus is on grayling for the next four months along with targeting perch on the Thames and rivers of Surrey, Hampshire, Oxon and Wiltshire.

Having witnessed the red moon over the past week and an increase in seasonal temperatures we also witnessed some very high tides on the tidal Thames. Young Tales and I took to the river the other evening with rod in hand but failed to tempt a Thames silver fish to take our bait. Usually we hook roach and dace easily on the stretch of river where we live but without a box of maggots at our disposal the flakes of bread and sweetcorn we used didn’t get a knock.

In the ‘House Of Tales’, the decision has been made to have a bit of a clear out so over the next few weeks we will be selling some vintage rods, reels and terminal tackle, which the majority of good peices will be packed up and shipped to Redditch for the Vintage Tackle Fair. Rods by Hardy, Allcocks, B James, Alex Martin and Aspindales will be put up for sales along side reels from Abu, Hardy and Allcock and JW Young’s. If you are looking for anything in particular drop us a line.

As they say time and tide waits for no man and it will be a few years before another Super Moon passes by.

Monday at 8pm…


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The technical team at WordPress have told me that most people read my posts on a Monday evening at 8pm. Over the last few months it has been difficult to post on a regular basis, there is less downtime and with a challenging commercial environment focus has had to be on work. However, I’ve still found time to fish at least once a month and get to at least one car boot fair to find vintage tackle, what I haven’t done is post all the finds and there have been some great ones or detail some of our trips.

As the trout season on rivers draws to a close we are only too aware of the limited time we have to tempt one last brown from the deep pools of the rivers of the South West, we missed our chance for a summer sea-trout and thoughts of a trip to Cornwall or the Boarders for an autumn salmon, now just a dream, just that the reality hits home that time passes us by all too quickly. 

Our scouring of boot and table sales was rewarding with magnificent finds but we’ll have to wait for another season before most items will see the riverbank. I will photograph and upload some of our best fly fishing tackle finds from reels , rods, spinners, flies and fly boxes and a range of bags. Some sea and coarse fishing items will be used over the winter months, we found a great Shimano Baitrunner 4500GT, Allcocks Aerial Match, a couple of Abu rods, a well used Hardy LRH No.2 Spinning rod, boxes of Abu spinners and several vintage fishing titles.

Hopefully I will get time over the next week to photograph some of the items and if possible we may head out Perch fishing at the weekend. 


Fallodon Papers by Viscount Grey…


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I have much admired the writing of Viscount Grey, who’s delivery of reflection, observation and experiences of life at home or on holiday strike a cord with the way I would like my own writing to be read. I recently acquired an old 1931 reprint of Fallodon Papers a compilation of manuscripts or as the title notes ‘Paper’ delivered at Societies, Clubs, Associations and Unions with the one addition starting on page 135 titled ‘Fly Fishing’.

Having found this copy of the book in my local charity shop on my way home I was compelled to buy it, not for just the chapter on Fly Fishing but for the observation on life in general which makes up the other papers. Viscount Grey has the ability to write in a away that you feel he is talking to you. The chapter on Fly Fishing is such an enjoyable read and one from which one can learn. I don’t wish to quote the book chapter and verse but the very last paragraph of this chapter made me smile for it embodies the thrill for us all of the angle and the comfort I feel with young Tales enjoyment of the sport…’It has been said already that the pleasure of angling is not limited to fly-fishing, though this may be the most exquisite form of it. All anglers know what this pleasure is:it is too comprehensive and pervading to be described within the compass of words; it is too subtle in some of its forms to be analysed ; too inter mate to be explained: to those who are not anglers it cannot be conveyed, or made intelligible. The gift of the power to enjoy has various forms and diverse objects. There is no need for those who have one form of this gift to look askance at those who have another. But surely as life draws to a close no one can look back on days of recreation with more certain gratitude than he who has had the opportunity of fly-fishing and been born with the gift of enjoying angling.’

The greatest gift of all is to witness the joy that angling has brought young Tales, that smile from when the line tightens and his admiration for craftsmanship in the tools he uses and the wider appreciation of nature and his fellow anglers.


Sea of plenty…


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Young Tales has just had the time of his life swimming in warm seas and being able to be within arms length of a multitude of fish, no rod needed but a snorkel and mask a necessity.

Having returned to a rather cold and wet UK only a couple of days ago it is good to reflect on our week away in Cyprus. Not only did we have the opportunity to sample the freshest seafood on a plate but also to swim with bream, wrasse and snapper in less than 6ft depth of water on the northern shores of this Island, where crystal clear water was the norm for this time of year.

A morning was spent on the boat owned by Elias a local Paphos fisherman who took us into deep water where we caught fish on nearly every cast. Most fish caught were sea perch but the odd rainbow wrasse, bream and snapper fell for the thin slithers of squid offered on small hooks. Unlike our own shores where fish seem scarce this year, the sea around Cyprus seemed to hold a plentiful supply of fish for the intrepid angler.





A far flung cast…

The Tales household has packed its bags and gone fishing to a far land where the sun rises in the East, olives and lemons grow under the heat of the sun and handkerchiefs flutter in the breeze beneath the bows of a tree.

Our fishing forays to date this summer have not seen the line tighten as in years past, the mackerel are few and far between, the gilt head bream have danced away and the bass are still in deep water. With overcast skies and a predicted drop in temperature we have decided to head to warmer climes if nothing more than to recharge the batteries and watch a float bob on glistening waters.

The next month will be busy preparing vintage tackle and home wares for sale as it’s time to have a clear out so I hope you will drop by to see what’s on offer before we head to Chiswick Town Hall Auction and the Redditch Vintage Tackle Fair for the autumn.

As the evenings get shorter and the dew settles in the hollows it will be time to cast a long line for trout amongst the falling leaves on the indigo and ochre coloured waters, a reflection of the fabulous backdrop of trees as we near the close of the season at Robins Wood. For sure this season has passed all too quickly, have we been more discerning about our fishing, I’m not entirely sure, however we have fished better, travelled further, fishing small streams which have challenged us. We’ve not caught as much – it’s not just about catching fish, it’s the experiences, acquaintances, trial and error that makes it more enjoyable, we’ve learned a lot and met some great people along the way.¬†We’ve changed some of our tackle, acquired smaller and lighter rods and reels, opting for some timeless classics by Abu, Farlow and Hardy and for young Tales.

So summer is not quite over, maybe a far flung cast is what it takes…

Been buying again…


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Oh dear, I have to admit when I see a bargain I go for it, not just once but several times in a day. Fishing is a decease, It’s not the fishing, it the collecting of reels, rods and the accompanying paraphernalia.

I recently purchased some Hardy rods for young Tales, then I purchased some reels to match the rods, now I need to buy some lines ….where will it end …. a reel case or two to match.

I guess I do need some therapy, if having the bug to go fishing wasn’t enough the desire to collect more tackle is as great.

In case you were wondering the recent finds were a Hardy 8’6″ #6 Fiberlite, a Hardy 9′ #9 Fiberlite sea trout rod, a Farlows Ambassador 9/10 Salmon Reel and a more contemporary Hardy Uniqua 9/10 light salmon reel, oh yes and a 150th Anniversary Farlows reel case to put the reel in…will it stop, no!

Cruising the Thames


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Having only just stepped off the train from Barnes Bridge Station and crossed the road to walk along the tow path home momentarily glancing down the river to see that the tide was heading out. Close by the concrete wall I noticed the distictive colours of a water sodden Ensign still attached to the mahogany pole that it once flew from and with all ropes attached. I swiftly made my way down to the foreshore to find a fine hand stitched Ensign bearing a red disc symbol with a white anchor, this I knew as The Cruising Association flag.

The flag was covered in silt and other unsavoury sedimant but I knew would clean up well making a welcome addition to the increasing collection of washed up parts of boats that fill my garden shed, sooner or later I will end up with a complete boat as I have oars, rudders, row locks, seats and now a fine flag and flag pole.


Bouncing Betty…


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Contained in a vintage plastic lure box that had a U.S. Patent No. A selection of wooden and metal Devon Minnow lures with traces and a single ‘ Bouncing Betty’. Why these lead controller weights are called Bouncing Betty’s slightly baffles me as the term was usually aligned with land mines . The use of a ‘ Bouncing Betty’ can be highly effective when spinning for salmon as it allows you to locate a lure in a swim or pool and let the current spin the lure allowing slow and effective coverage of a holding pool.




Back to the beginning…


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Looking out across the the water to what is known as the Deep End it is difficult to work out where some six years has gone for it is here young Tales got his first introduction to sea fishing.

We return here to Seaford most years to fish from the beach for bass, flat fish and in the summer months smoothound. I have to say we have caught little from this renound Sussex beach, you can count on one hand our success however that is not a fair summary of the productiveness of this long shingle beach.

Our day actually started by fishing the West arm of the Marina in Brighton but that soon came to an abrupt end when the waves started crashing over the concrete wall soaking us. Young Tales enthusiasm took a turn and he asked to drive over to Seaford. Upon arriving we saw several rods dotted along the beach, all close to known hot spots that fish well. In fact most sea angling comps are held between The Buckle and Tide Mills so no prizes as for guessing why.

We set up our rods just in front of the Martello Tower, here the sea is deep enough at high tide to get amongst feeding fish as the waves crash onto the beach. Unfortunately nothing was interested in our rag worm offering. We also fished Beach Comber Gully but I couldn’t get my rig out the the 80-100 yard mark for it to be productive.

As the sun started to drop away we took up fishing a favourite mark but it can be a graveyard for terminal tackle and yesterday was no exception when we lost several rigs and weights to the submerged pipe that runs out to sea.

On reflection it didn’t matter that we blanked, there were certainly fish there as a couple of guys had takes from bass, for us it was just a sheer delight to be able to spend time together hoping of catching that PB and recall the years spent fishing at this gem of a Sussex resort. For here at Seaford is where it all began.







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