Country Pursuits

Country Pursuits

Sea fishing: Cultural nod to the city’s fishermen

the unfolding City of Culture year in Hull has seen, among other things, a huge wind turbine blade erected in the city centre, the opening of art galleries, a unique Speaker’s Corner where your words appear in large letters on Hull’s flood barrier and the saving of ‘Dead Bod’ graffiti from the side of an old corrugated steel warehouse facing the River Humber.

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Aerial picture over the Kirkstall Road area of Leeds, where flooding occurred after a monumental amount of rain caused the River Aire to burst its banks in December 2015.

Row over flood risk benefits of major tree felling along the Aire

The Environment Agency has defended its decision to fell trees along 15 miles of the River Aire and has insisted it will help protect communities from flooding.

Ladies Day at the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt.  Pictures: F Stop Press Ltd.

Traditional country pursuit enjoys its very own ladies day

Ladies on horseback challenged the perception of a male-dominated country pursuit when 93 riders travelled from far and wide to take to beautiful countryside for the thrill of the hunt.

The Greenwells Glory.  Picture: Stephen Cheetham

Fly fishing: Dedication to fishing is a hobby inherited

As our regular fly fishing correspondent Roger Beck has been smitten down by a virus that has laid him so low he cannot put pen to paper, so to speak, you will have to make do with me this month. I am sure that we all wish him a speedy recovery and trust he will soon be back to his normal self.

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Fishing under the supermoon, it will not be bettered until November 25, 2034.  Picture: Kamran Jebreili

Sea fishing: Moonlight trip proves an eerie experience

Darkness, coldness, wetness and brainless sums up the extreme stupidity I labelled myself with on my last night-fishing adventure.

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Stewart Calligan needed the full waterproofs for a rough time at sea on his most recent fishing expedition.

Sea fishing: Slim pickings to show for braving the elements

Nature never fails to amaze me. As I was preparing my bait for a fishing trip I saw something out of my eye corner through the kitchen window. My resident squirrel, who I call Cyril and who had polished off all my cob nuts despite my netting of the bushes, had finally found a mate.

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Roger Beck pictured in action.

Fly fishing: Dried out riverbeds disrupt the season

I hated geography when I was at school. The single simple reason is that my geography teacher was incredibly boring; he was about as inspiring as leaking waders in February.

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Stock Image: Fox Hunting.

Will MPs succeed in getting fox hunting ban repealed?

THE government is planning to push ahead with attempts to repeal the ban on fox hunting, sources say.

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Stewart Calligan wearing his Huddersfield Old Boys rugby shirt in tribute to Hull FCs Challenge Cup victory at Wembley.

Sea fishing: Sharp end to the day is a lesson learned

Now that Hull FC have finally triumphed at Wembley, beating Warrington 12-10 in the Rugby League Challenge Cup, I decided to wear my Huddersfield Old Boys rugby shirt on my next fishing trip as a sign of respect.

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The knotted midge, now known as the bleeping midge, solved the trout catching problem. Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham

Fly fishing: Roger Beck’s trout snub puzzler

I’m afraid that this month’s column needs to be read after the 9pm watershed.

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Stewart Calligan sailing his boat around Flamborough Head

Sea fishing: Mackerel proves to be catch of the day

I have a confession to make: I’ve been disloyal to the great county of Yorkshire and ventured north of the border.

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Slideshow: Glorious Twelfth on the North York Moors as Ian Botham goes out to bat for shooting rights

HE is known as one of cricket’s hard hitters - but cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham has taken to hitting out of another kind as he showed his support for grouse shooting.

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Roger Beck's Reeve's Revenge fly, dressed by Stephen Cheetham.

Fly fishing: Purple majesty on annual road trip

It is often said that with age comes discretion and that one learns by experience. So, on that basis I should no longer be making an annual expedition to the far north west of this archipelago that we call Britain.

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Great Yorkshire Show: Parade of hounds - a snapshot of rural history

Crowds gathered for one of the most spectacular sights on the Great Yorkshire Showground as the competitions drew to a close yesterday.

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The reverse mayfly, dressed by Stephen Cheetham.

Fly fishing: Flight of the insects raises river excitement

In this column in June 2006 I bemoaned the loss of significant mayfly hatches on my local river, the Rye. I am delighted to report that over the last few years the numbers have significantly improved.

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Stewart Calligan gave his fishing boat a through clean as he waits for the weather conditions to take a turn for the better.

Sea fishing: Easterlies leave me plotting not fishing

The atrocious sea conditions and the almost constant easterlies which blow off the sea towards the land have prevented us intrepid boat anglers from venturing out to sea.

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Peacock feather fly, dressed by Stephen Cheetham.

Fly fishing: Cunning fly but it is not my day at the river

I must thank all those kind readers who contacted me after last month’s column enquiring after my well-being. Since surgery for Dupuytren’s contracture, my right hand is improving quickly. I can hold a fishing rod once more and the sense of touch in my fingertips is returning.

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Miles Cooper, a former hunt sabateur who went on various protests throughout the 1980s, but has now changed his views on hunting, so much so that he has become a master of  Highmoor hunt near York.  Picture by Tony Johnson

How a former hunt saboteur became master of one of Yorkshire’s newest hunts

Striding through the kennels of the Highmoor Hunt, Miles Cooper looks like he was born to be a country gent. There’s the outfit for a start – the brown kennel coat, the flat cap and the hunting whip draped around his shoulders.

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Stewart Calligan caught a 3lb cod on the Withernsea coastline in conditions just right for sea fishing.

Sea fishing: Perfect time of year to get hooked on worthy hobby

When I was approached by the head of a Hull school to teach her pupils about sea fishing I was very flattered. These were children who, for various reasons, were not in main stream education. I use the word ‘children’ in its legal sense as some were taller and heavier than me.

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The 'Last Hope fly

Fly fishing: Hobby is something everyone can enjoy

When I was no’ but a lad, I studied for an English Literature O level; we had a marvellous English teacher and it was not her fault that most of the set pieces that we studied were outdated, crusty, old irrelevant 19th century nonsense. One of the poems that was inflicted upon us came to mind last week, as we drove from Malton to Easingwold.

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