Tuesday, 13 March 2012
The Big One
They weren't lying when they titled angling's huge annual show "The Big One". Having already attended events that might be titled "The Fairly Small One", "The Not Quite so Big One" and "Five Blokes in the Basement of a Pub" this felt like the real deal. It also stressed just how dominant carp anglers are in the demographic of today's fishing world, with enough bargain boilies present to cover Belgium in Tutti Frutti and Fishmeal. Nevertheless, it was great to meet a lot of anglers interested in something different- and a reassuring number thumbing through the first preview copy of "Flyfishing for Coarse Fish." The one that really took me by surprise was none other than Matt Hayes! It's no secret that Matt is a passionate fly fisher himself, but to have him at the stand looking through the book was a fantastic surprise- and what a true enthusiast the guy is. "I'll grab a copy once it's out" was the verdict. Erm, ok?!! The cased flies got some interest too, with virtually every pattern from the book now in a display case- the above is a micro sized hopper, a leggy little special for surface browsing rudd, roach and chub. Could it be the start of something exciting? Judging by the number of visitors bored with specimen angling and carrying mountains of gear, there is reason to be optimistic. It seems plenty of anglers are already dabbling with carp and pike on the fly, and thoroughly enjoying it. It was a long weekend, but one with lots of highlights as it turned out. My other half enjoyed stalking Jeremy Wade, while we were also honoured to have Bob James on the stall (who I've covered grayling fishing in this week's Angling Times), dishing out some great anecdotes and fairly unrepeatable jokes. In other news, I'm also in the process of getting a new site done. My own effort has just about sufficed for a while now, but you can't beat getting a pro to do the job. In my case that means my old mate Dave Campbell, now a successful Ultimate Fighting proponent, who spends his time as a University head of web design when not battling in the ring. Watch this space for more details: I've also teamed up with Seb Nowosiad to bring some new treats into the bargain for shows and web orders. I've long been a fan of the fantastic soft lures made by Relax, better value than many of the bigger brands and their pricey, heavily marketed offerings, and I have yet to find a better lure for catching big perch, zander and pike. Expect some great colours at very reasonable prices on offer very soon!