Country Pursuits

Country Pursuits

Sea sailing season’s final foray

Back in God’s Own County from my last fishing trip in Aberdeenshire, I found myself sailing along my favourite stretch of coastline from Bridlington Bay to Bempton via the kaleidoscopic Flamborough Head with its caves and coves, overlooked by the towering white cliffs.

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Stewart Calligan by the River Dee. No catches but river music and a fresh pine smell.

Fly fishing is a natural wonder alongside royal retreat

Fishing at Royal Deeside is a long way and a long call from my usual fishing off our picturesque Flamborough Head, but I did just that at the recent funeral of my cousin Paul. He lived on the banks of the River Muick which flows into the Dee at Ballater, Aberdeenshire.

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The fish  were not responding to the usual techniques, leading Stephen to try the French Leader method.

The art of French nymphing

A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to a French Leader and a French Nymph. You will not be surprised to know that it wasn’t Emmanuel Macron but a method of fishing rivers with very fine lines and heavy flies originating in France.

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Roger Beck casting a line.

Fly fishing: Knee jerk reaction

You will recall that, last month, I alluded to an arthritic knee that was preventing me from taking full advantage of the fishing opportunities on North Uist. That situation is in the process of being resolved.

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Fish found at Driffield may be from Russia

Fish found at Driffield may be from Russia

A fish believed to have spawned in the rivers of Russia, Finland or Norway has been caught at a beck in East Yorkshire.

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Stewart Calligan holds aloft a lesser spotted dogfish and a cod during a wet day at the beach.

Sea fishing: Day of toil sees Stewart get coiled

The good, old English summer weather and easterly winds have combined to further delay my first boat fishing trip of the year. Plus, a double whammy of possible neuralgia - a pain in the cheek - and a painful back has handicapped my beach fishing escapades.

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Roger Beck's 'shopping bag special' fly.

Fly fishing: Tested by bonefish in paradise

The sun blazed down relentlessly from the summer blue sky, patched with white candy floss clouds. The temperature hovered around 30 degrees; I know that this scenario was commonplace across Yorkshire during June afternoons, but this was 6.30am and I was in a state of deep shock having crawled from my bed over an hour ago.

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Stewart Calligan with a cod caught fishing on Tunstall beach, known for its carboniferous corals.

Sea fishing: Therapeutic effects of a beloved hobby

I have to report the sad news that my wife passed away last month having dealt with a long and cruel illness. After obtaining the death certificate, registering the death, arranging the church, vicar, flowers, refreshments, cremation and newspaper notifications, et cetera, there was little time for self pity and feeling low. I have had tremendous support and my beloved fishing has come in very handy.

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It was the trusty Black Bunny Leech that attracted the trout. Fly dressed by Stephen Cheetham

Fly fishing: River is rich in fish

As I sit on the bank of the River Wharfe writing this article I am reminded of how lucky we are to live in Yorkshire. As an angler I have to remind myself of the beautiful rivers we have here.

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Sea fishing: Trying out a new rod for spring

Sea fishing: Trying out a new rod for spring

Prolonged easterly winds have made boat and beach fishing rather difficult to say nothing of my recent nithering Bank Holiday seaside visits. Better weather is forecast with hopefully some of the wet stuff for the rivers and farmers.

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The Becky fly.

Fly fishing: One perfect beck

First things first; Cod Beck does not have any cod swimming about in it. It’s original name was probably Cold Beck and if you are familiar with North Yorkshire dialect and pronunciation, you can easily understand how Cold Beck became Cod Beck.

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Stewart Calliagn with a Lesser Spotted Dogfish, caught on a grey day near Spurn.

Sea fishing: Culture and a catch

The Hull city of culture year now sees its fourth month. Opera North has been inspired by the sounds of the Humber Bridge. They have incorporated rustling reeds and wind in a new City of Culture orchestral rendition called The Height of the Reeds.

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Tie a bit of snow shoe hare fur above the wing of your F fly for best results.  Fly dressed by Stephen Cheetham.

Fly fishing: Success of pursuit is almost all in the eyes

Is it just me, or is the rest of the world growing younger? I cannot believe that young people in their early teens can have achieved a professional qualification. I suppose that one day soon I need to accept that I am growing older and that my perception of age is becoming distorted. Nevertheless, I do think that the new breed of professionals needs to refine their diplomatic skills.

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Fewston Reservoir in the Washburn Valley.  Picture: Gerard Binks.

Bounty of trout set to lure anglers to Nidderdale

An influx of anglers is expected at a North Yorkshire beauty spot to enjoy vastly replenished fish stocks.

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Graham Elliott of Hull, champion of the 2017 Paul Roggeman European Open Beach Championship, holding aloft his winning catch of a thorny backed ray

Sea Fishing: European showdown proves a big success

In the City of Culture year what better culture for the seafaring city of Kingston Upon Hull than around 1,000 anglers competing for the European beach fishing crown? A jewel in that crown would be, if only a local Hull angler could beat the best fisherpersons in Europe this year - please read on.

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Anglers aim to reel in prize catch in world’s biggest angling event

ANGLERS competed for a share of £35,000 in prize money during the world’s largest beach angling festival, which took place along the Holderness coast at the weekend.

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Stewart Calligan, sporting different headgear, cleans his boat in readiness for an Easter launching.

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.

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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.

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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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