- When I was about 12 years old, I was fishing on the River Wharfe at Boston Spa near where I lived on the West End bank and I was fishing with my friend. It was the height of summer and fish were topping in front of us and no matter what, we could not catch them, so my friend and I hatched a plan. We got a small stick and tied it to our lines and then caught a couple of blue bottle flies and managed to hook them so as not to kill the fly. We cast out our 'fly-fishing' tackle and watched as the fly was buzzing away on the river's surface. A fish came up and rose at my fly, I struck and missed it. A fish then rose at my friends fly, I said to leave it until it sails away. Two attempts later the fly disappeared and the stick shot off. After a brief tussle the biggest chub I had ever seen was in the landing net. We weighed it, it was just over 5lb - 5lb 3oz to be exact. We then spent the rest of the day fishing this way and had a couple of dace for our troubles.
- About 10 - 15 years ago, I used to fish with a club in Leeds called Moorside Angling Club. Moorside Angling Club were pretty much out and out river anglers with maybe 1 or two matches on ponds. Let me ask a question........ In your fishing career to date, how many times have you come 'Joint First' on fishing matches. I know that when I run the open matches at The Oaks, Thirsk, for about 10 years in that time, there was probably about 3 or 4 joint first anglers - TOPS!!!! In my first year with Moorside Angling Club, I was never the scales person BUT, somehow managed to come joint first 5 times in my first year with the club. We were on a match at Nayburn Lock and I drew just below the barge and had 4lb 10oz of small roach on waggler. The Sandbank pegs were generally where you wanted to draw. There was a good angler on one of those pegs and when it came to weighing him in, I could see the scales settle about 4lb 7oz and the scales man called the weight at 4lb 10oz - Joint First AGAIN!!!!. I objected and was over-ruled. In my first year with the club, I won 11 matches. At the presentation night, I took a carrier bag with me for all my trophies LOL. I was the Club and Knockout Champion in my first year with them. The following year, I got my friend to join Moorside with me and between us we won 13 out of 20 matches. I left them at the end of my second year.
- When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I used to just 'pop down the chute' and go fishing. The chute was the rainwater run-off pipe from the West End estate in Boston Spa and to get there, I walked across a little meadow at the back of my house and I was more or less on the riverbank. The amount of times that I would go home with stories of 'should have seen the one that got away' or 'it was this BIG!!!, Honest' to mum and dad, so one day, I thought that I would show them. I was fishing away and caught a couple of roach on little pieces of earthworm and set up my pike gear and live-baited a small roach. After about 10 minutes, I got a run on the pike gear and after a 10 minute battle (I was piking with 3lb line and a 7lb hooklength) I had a pike about 4lb in the landing net. I quickly ran home with the pike in the landing net - it took all of 3 or 4 minutes - to show my mum. Mum wasn't in. So I did something....... Mum arrived home and I was really excited. I said to mum - 'Mum, come have a look at what I caught'. So mum followed me and when she saw the pike she screamed. Not because I had caught a pike. It was because, I had filled up the bath tub with water and put the pike in the bath.
Got a few more stories to share....