Found on a table at a sale of vintage and collectables this disguised Abu Toby lure. Clearly decorated in the original owners favourite colours I wonder if this was for predatory fish or for a Spring or Autumn Salmon. I guess the only way to find out is to fish with it, but in the meantime it can be used as a decoration on the tree, once the treble has been removed.
Attached to a fly by a length of string is a label with the following caption ‘This fly killed 22 salmon 1900’, this was found underneath a felt damper concealed in a black Japanned circular fly tin. The tin was a recent purchase along with a small rectangular lure tin that we needed to store some vintage lures in.
The label attached to the fly sparked a thought and reminded me of a black and white photograph I have of a fly fisher at turn of the century displaying a bank side full of fish, these fish are salmon.
22 fish in 1900 was probably not an unheard of feat for the rivers held plentiful stocks, however 22 fish to a single fly I find astonishing.
My quest now is to find out by who and where were 22 fish caught by a single fly or fly pattern in 1900.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Earlier today a package arrived containing a lure box by Pezon & Michel, Paris. Similar in construction to a Wheatley box but bearing the distinctive Luxor embossed logo to the front.
In another package 20 more sweet painted ladies arrived from North of the Boarders, these are now house in a vintage Edward Sharp & Sons Ltd confectioners tin appointed by the Late King George VI.
Each had it’s own unique decoration much like a row of ladies sitting on the underground. Their makeup painted on in different ways, colour and texture, however these are a mixed collection of Devon Minnows whose purpose is to deceive or attract the attention of the salmon.
Over the years I have cast many of these and on many an occasion retrieved them only to find that the triple hook had lodge itself into a sunken branch in much the same way that a well heeled lady has had the misfortune to get her heel stuck in the groves of the escalator or gap in the pavement, the difference though is that the later is retrievable where many a minnow has been lost to nature.
There are all sorts of Devon Minnow imitations. Here captured below are set of hand painted wooden and brass minnows each carefully decorated and now rare to find.
It was describe as ‘rather tatty’, a large vintage Brady of Halesowen salmon bag that I found on that well know on-line auction site. Why did I need another bag is a good question, however having seen the most recent whisky release Haig Club from Diageo in its distinctive blue glass bottle the full length commercial features a salmon fisher sporting a similar Brady Severn bag slung over his shoulder. This gave me the idea that as part of the brand ambassadors brand kit he should carry his samples around in a Brady bag. As a consumer with the love of fishing and a fine dram of quaffable grain whisky from the Cameronbridge Distillery, the oldest grain distillery in Scotland. The whisky itself is light, clean with hints of butterscotch giving it a smooth finish, ideal for those that fear to tread towards the complex single malts. I decided to buy this larger Brady bag in order to carry a bottle of Haig Club to share with my fellow fishers whilst we endure the chill of the start to this seasons salmon fishing. By all accounts the season has started well on the Tay and Tweed and hopefully we will entice a silver bar to the net this season. The postman delivered the bag this morning, rather than tatty I would say it has been well used and has a story or two to tell. Vintage Brady bags take on a quintessential charm of their own, each very different and the front pocket was a snug fit for the iconic blue bottle ….welcome to my Haig Club.
After what has been a long dry summer the rain fell heavily all day. We had chosen to venture down to the River Itchen once again in pursuit of Grayling known as the ‘Lady Of The Stream’, however she was elusive on this wet November day. Young Tales has spoken about it all week, there was in fact no let up in his focus to go Grayling fishing this weekend. The rain could be heard on the skylight in the hallway just before first light and confirmed the forecast by the Met Office, that it would rain all day. Undeterred and dressed for the occasion Young a Tales and I bid farewell to Mrs Tales taking to the road in the sliver arrow which was packed to the gunnels with tackle, bags, waders, coats and a light lunch. We arrived at the stretch of water at just before 10am, tackled up and walked along the riverside path, watching the water carefully for any signs of a rise of fish laying in the crystal clear water of this iconic Hampshire chalkstream. The river was flowing quickly, the surface broken by the rain drops, these being different to the ripple of a rising fish. There were a few fish moving on the far bank where the gardens of some substantial riverside houses swept down to the river, their manicured lawns still a vivid green in the murky morning light. We took a vintage float rod, Avon and stick floats paired to a Young’s Avon Center pin plus a small 7ft fly rod and old Hardy Marquis reel and a box of Grayling flies comprising of PTN nymphs, red tags, spiders, woven nymph and shrimp patterns. It wasn’t long before Young Tales was into a fish, it took quite close to the bank but wasn’t the quarry we were after, it was a small Salmon Parr, beautifully marked and in prime condition. I actually hate it when we hook one of these as I dread harming them during the unhooking process as these juvenile fish tend to take the bait or nymph deep down, even with barbless hooks it’s difficult to unhook them. After several casts Young Tales had work his way through the species list, two Salmon Parr, one Sea-Trout and one juvenile Brown Trout, alas no Grayling. The hours passed by. Young Tales’s idol was racing towards another World Championship, yet focused on the job in hand he was determined to net a a Grayling. Much like Hamilton’s team mate somethings elude you, Rosberg was to miss the opportunity of the World Title and for Tales the catch record was not to note a Grayling. There is still plenty of time this winter to net one of these splendid pewter coloured fish. Hopefully on a clear dry frosty December day over the next few weekends or over the Christmas break we’ll be able to note a Grayling on the fishing record for this season.