A trip over the bridge…


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Having basked in temperature in excess of 25c over the last few days, the sky this morning was overcast and rain threatened to dampen the monthly stalling out at Chiswick Car Boot.

I was accompanied this morning by our new neighbours who were intrigued to visit this monthly sale of an eclectic mix vintage collectables and bric-a-brac. Much like Sunbury Antiques Market held at Kempton Race Course you can literally have a wish list and find most of it.

I had a few items on my list, hand Shears to trim my Box plants, items of vintage tackle, and some vintage tools, did I need any of it, not really but if I was to acquire anything then those were the items.

After a quick walk around the stalls there seemed little that would make me part with my money. I found a lovely Scarborough reel, a vintage bait tin which was simply too expensive to give a second glance, a Rimfly Classic fly reel with line, several rods – none of which inspired, an eel and minnow trap and a few multiplier reels together with a box of minnows and Hardy spinning weights. No matter how tempting I passed up on most of it, difficult that it was when you have the vintage tackle bug.

On a second pass of stands beneath the trees I found box containing some Burgon & Ball Classic Garden Shears, these I purchased for £5. Further along I noticed a large black umbrella that sheltered a range of vintage items, what I did notice was the familiar shape of an Efgeeco rod bag under the umbrella. I asked the vendor about the bag, he replied ‘it’s for the umbrella mate’, I knelt down turned over the sipped opening for it to reveal the signature black printed logo of Efgeeco No.244, 5c on the distinctive olive green canvas. I asked as to the price for the bag and at £35 inclusive of the umbrella which it housed a reasonable price, after a bit of haggling which would give me enough to buy a celebratory pint I walked of with the Efgeeco bag over my shoulder. Leaving the field it started to rain, with a cheeky grin across my face as I headed home to watch the British Grand Prix and the thoughts of a bit of fishing later in the day.






Sea Trout running in the Thames…


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It was reported yesterday that a 3lb Sea Trout was caught in the River Thames from a mark close to where I live in Barnes. Taken on a trotted maggot in the margins at low tide in the evening as the sun was setting, this gives me great hope that these bars of silver will continue to thrive in this main artery of our land.

As now is the time when Sea Trout seem to run from the sea I will venture out this evening to see if I can tempt one on the fly.

The glorious 16th…


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There was a blanket of cloud drifting over SW13 however it wasn’t long before the sun burnt through a warm and clear day ensued. In the hallway rod rested against a chest of draws, reels lay dormant on a table top and the fishing bag hung on a hook in the back passage way, for me there was to be no fishing, no tightening of the line and not a fish in sight.

However for many this was an eagerly awaited day, baits prepared, rods chosen and new line spooled onto favoured reels and for those traditionalists a chance to use a golden cane rod and vintage centerpin in dappled sunlight on banks of lush June vegetation. It will be interesting over the next few days to read and hear their stories of the glorious 16th.


The evening before…


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Wives, partners and girl friends ( fishing widows) will be left to sleep on, they will get the bed to themselves for just after midnight or even before men will head to the river to fish the night and on till dawn as the new coarse fishing season begins.

For those eager enough they have probably taken up station on their favourite swim and watching the sun set over the trees casting long shadows across the water. Rods will be set up, that favourite float attached and those swims baited up in the last glimmers of daylight.

The House Of Tales all took to walk the banks of the river as the tide still went out, midges filled the air and the occasional olive danced on the evening breeze. Song Thrushed filled the air with their distinctive call, coots strutted in the margins and the occasional heron lifted on leg slowly as the searched the reeds for stickleback or young frogs.

In the tope coloured water of our local reservoir know as the Leg -O-Mutton, now a nature reserve large carp could be seen gliding in the margins, momentarily breaking the surface to take air before disappearing into deeper water.

For all of you I hope you have a good season, may personal bests be broken, new records set or simply the time spent wash away the stress of life, simply enjoy every moment.

Tight lines…. 


A vintage weekend…


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St Ives is a town that encapsulates everything about art, seafaring, vintage and a more relaxed way of life, well that’s the impression it gives but maybe the reality of things in the year of 2015 are far from it.

There is a sense that St Ives is becoming  more commercial, it’s more Spitalfields than Bohemian. Bars and restaurants have upped  their game, shops are more diverse and certain seaside clothing brands have moved in, interiors shops sport an eclectic mix of vintage accessories for the home and galleries such as Millennium bring the West End, West.

We were fortunate enough to be given the keys to St Ives House, a boutiques holiday home situated within the iconic harbour. This residence tastefully refurbished by Juila Newnham houses art, ceramics, glass and sulpture by local artists, There are stunning works by Rich Nott who recently exhibited at Art 15 in London. In some respects St Ives House is a gallery with a bath and beds. You can’t but help fall in love with this boutique residence that has everything you need to make your stay in this Cornish seaside town even more memorable. The views from both the bathroom and bedrooms are stunning, a chill out room on the top floor has a well equipped bar, every digital and entertainment platform you may need for the  little ones and a kitchen -diner with views across the bay.

The only drawback if there could be one is that it inspires the need to go and source some of the items and take a bit of St Ives House back to SW London. Being the second Tuesday of the month it was another sell out day at Sunbury Antiques Market held at Kempton. In someway I feel I’ve written this post before, however there was the need to go in search of porthole mirrors, vintage industrial lighting, picture frames and that very look you find in Shoreditch, even down to vintage enamelware, 50’s chairs and vintage fabric.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kempton is still one of the best, if not the best vintage and antique markets in Europe. It’s simply full of dealers from all regions of Europe offering an exclectic range of items. Having decided to go to look and not buy I still ended up buying a vintage round mirror, a gunpowder tin from India, two vintage fishing books and a fish door knocker. I did seen many items  that had I had the money I would have purchased. There was a oil painting  of a Bentley Blower, an ideal item to resell at the Goodwood Revival, vintage lamps, railway luggage racks, portholes, vintage chairs, glassware and all manner of collectables. There is something charming about vintage furniture and artifacts when mixed in a contemporary setting, much like what you will find at St Ives House.

Typical of a Tales adventure fishing was on the agenda as well as a lot of gin drinking, for we had attended a Wedding on the Friday of two dear friends. Unfortunately the fishing exploits resulted in a blank, not even the slightest take and on questioning the local fishermen they reported that it was dire out there, few mackerel and very, very few bass. For young Tales we will have to return in another 6-8 weeks if we are to catch anything.

I know we won’t get to stay at St Ives House again this year but I will try to find some of those vintage pieces and if possible acquire a work of Rich Nott which will be my little bit of St Ives in London. 


Where memories live forever..


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As I look back over recent week in fact if I look back through this blog it documents some very special moments with young Tales. As we move into the digital age with such pace moments are captured on mobile phones, iPads and digital cameras, but it is all too easy to leave those imaged as data on a flash card, chip or buried in files on your computers.

On our recent trip to West Wales we came across a fishery, where in a box in the fishing hut were a series of photographs that captured magic moments, where the scales tipped to set personal bests and banter among anglers would fill the air. There is nothing quite like holding a picture in your hands, however the digital age allows you to capture and view your moments on many platforms.


Another Chapman Peter Stone Ledgerstrike….


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I’ve recently seen another Chapman of Ware, Peter Stone Ledgerstrike rod listed on that well known online auction site. This one not with the provinance of being owned by the renowend angler but all the same made a good price, at £225 the bidding ended.

These sought after cane rods form Chapmans of Ware are still commanding good money, in fact I haven’t seen one change hands for less than £200 in recent months.

As the owner of several Chapman cane rods I have decided to let a few go as I can’t justify keeping them all, some will get used but others are now best passed on. Over the coming weeks I will list a range of vintage tackle to be sold, reels, rods, books and other fishing items. Out if my collection of rods will be a couple of Chapman 500’s in fine refurbished condition and a Chapman Shelford in mint original condition.

Like many an angler the lure of a fine rod is difficult to resist but it’s the storage of them which becomes an issue. Also we have found recently that we are using less than a third of what we own, some rods are so dependable that they are winning favour each time we go fishing. The selection process will be tough but we will need to pair the collection down to four trout rods, two Sea-trout rods, two salmon rods, four spinning rods, two sea rods, two ledger rods, two float rods and one stalking rod for carp fishing, the later being the Chapman 550 I gave to Paul Cook to refurbish. Even that list is extensive enough, it will no doubt end up being more as I just remembered four highly prized Hardy cane fly rods and a fine Sharpes Scottie featherweight that is a dream to use, so still I recon we will end up with twenty five rods between the two of us and if young Tales big brother ever gets involved we might just need to have a few in reserve, however at this stage he’s into buying cameras and film equipment.

Having just done a mental audit I think we’ll have at least a dozen rods up for sales and a least a dozen reels so watch this space or if you are in the market for some vintage tackle by Hardy, Sharpes, Abu, Allcocks and other notable tackle merchants then drop me a line, pardon the pun. 

I can see for miles….


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After an arduous journey across several counties and then across the Severn Bridge taking more than five and a half hours we arrived at Aberaeron for a weekends fishing on the Lower Aeron and Llanerchaeron beat to celebrate a decade of Young Tales, for it is his birthday on Sunday.

His love for fishing and wanting to catch a salmon or sea trout inspired a trip to the wonderful stretch of the Welsh Coast where many rivers feed into Cardigan Bay. Here you can fish for sea-trout or salmon for £10 per day on the Lower Aeron managed by the Aberaeron Town Angling Club, where tickets are available from the Post Office or the local Tourist Information Centre. All we hope for is that Young Tales lines are tight by sunset or soon after tomorrow.

As we broke through the mist just before 21.22 the time indicated on the cars navigation system we caught a glimps of the setting sun lowering itself into what can only be described as a boiling sea of gold, literally you could see for miles and miles. Aberaeron is a picturesque seaside resort, it brightly painted building reminding me of the buildings captured in The Prisoner, a series I watched as a child. 

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to report of a river of boiling silver. 


The Voice Of Game Fishing…


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As mentioned before in a previous post a sudden clatter of the letterbox and a thud on the floor alerted me to the fact that the June edition of Trout & Salmon had arrived.

With headlines of A sea-trouter’s guide to the Towy, Mayo’s Hidden Loughs, Mayfly Magic On The Wye and How To Fish A Cumbrian Gem makes this issue an interesting read. A call to action to celebrate the magazines 60th Anniversary of Save Our Salmon was quite apt especially in light that we have planned a trip to fish the Welsh Teifi at the end of the month.

As a monthly magazine it is good that young Tales picks it up and will read it cover to cover. I imagine he will read with interest the article on Which Fly a Colour for fishing in different light and times of the year. There is enough informative information to turn him into a very knowledgeable fisherman where he is happy to demonstrate what he has learned…such as upstream dry fly fishing.





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