It has begun

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The bridge below Tyssholen, Gaula. The Pot is to right of shot.

August bank holiday Monday, the start of autumn. Nearly. That means the start of autumn fishing and with slots lined up at the end of next month and the start of the one after, I have some proper salmon fishing to look foward to.

I hope you do too.

One legendary fisherman I know is wading out into the waters of Upper Floors this morning. He is a lucky man, although the Tweed had a slightly disappointing week last week, according to Martin Ritchie’s excellent River Tweed report yesterday. But with water settling yesterday and the black water clearing this could be the start of the big catches.

Sandy will perhaps receive a visitation from the Duke, the big man from the castle. I hope to post here with a report of how he gets on.

Just a quick update to say I had a super week on the Gaula with AAPGAI master Ian May this month. We had such good fun, just to watch Ian casting and to hopefully pick up bits and pieces was so worthwhile. Fish action was muted. We saw many many ‘salmons’ and a tricky one Continue reading

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Pierre hits Gaula running

It has been a pleasure to get some regular updates from our (not royal we, I mean Christopher and my) pal Pierre Egger out on the Norwegian Flyfishers’ Club waters of the Gaula this week.

“Hello,” he said yesterday.  “I got a 10.8 kg this morning. Big 20 minutes fight with this beautiful fresh fish. Best regards. Pierre”

He’s had a couple of grilse too.

Said Pierre: “The successful flies have been banana for two fishes and black and yellow for the third Continue reading


Throne by the river


It’s not much of a seat. But the location’s good.

Day five. . So (did it again used So, used So.. Oh get with the programme you zeitgeist-deficient ones)

Where was I? So two inspiring wildlife encounters: a house martin wrapped itself round my unfurling fly line then Continue reading

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Here hare here

20170718_082222This bold hare entered the Beat 1 car park this morning. (Sorry you need to zoom in: my phone is not good.)

I’m fishing a goldhead through Porters pool, in deference to the fishing genius that is Neil Bryson. (See HSA passim.)

Rain tomorrow, of the light but who really knows variety.

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So long Orri Vigfusson, salmon hero.

Charles Rangeley-Wilson on the passing of Orri Vigfússon. I was lucky to get to meet Orri several times and he greeted us all as friends. He popped up everywhere – everywhere where salmon swam and where those who fished for them hung out. A conservational colossus.

accidental angler

P1000378 Orri Vigfusson 1942 – 2017

Very sad to say I’ve just had an email announcing the death, yesterday, of my friend – the salmon’s friend and so many peoples’ friend – Orri Vigfusson.  We corresponded by email not long ago: I was trying to fix some salmon fishing in Iceland and Orri was trying to help me. Now I learn he had lung cancer. It is absolutely typical of Orri not to have made a fuss.

Orri was one of the most capable and wonderfully enigmatic men I ever met: a colossus of the conservation world. I remember when he showed me around his beloved Sela river in Iceland (pictured above) and explained that he had increased the salmon run there three-fold, two times over: from 300 to 900 fish and then from 900 to 2,700. His ambition was to do that one more time. He passionately believed in the…

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A truly extraordinary feat

This news of Paul (still out on a rapidly warming Varzuga) from Jack Selby via Roxtons’ Varzuga blog has captured my imagination in a rather big way:

Last night Paul R decided that enough was enough. Inspired by the Bear and at one with nature and the animals, he stalked and caught a fish with his bare (Bear) hands. Quite why it let him do this, I am not sure, but he was jolly pleased. I have not heard what the salmon thought of the thing.

I can’t wait to hear the full monty on this one but salmon caught with bear [sic] hands is awesome. I wonder if Paul is truly merging into the taiga of the Arctic circle now.

On second thoughts don’t mention taigas, it might give Paul [more, he already has enough] ideas. But seriously there are the makings of a wonderful tale here and I hope to tell it in full in a future post, Continue reading

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Hats off to Paul

20170621_191803He’s out there on the Kitza, he’s catching fish, he’s posting amusing daily reports on pre-breakfast conditions on the camp board – and he even wore his colourful tea cosy, er hat, yesterday (above).

Thanks to Roxtons’ Varzuga blog for the photos


Two days ago it rained in Russia. A lot


Fish on. And ‘Paul in a normal hat’ shock

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