DAMN !!!

But I have tried so hard, had numerous conversations and exchanges, with many my readers will know, and all have tried to direct me, and although I have walked, rod in hand, just in case…’rien’! The Black Brook, Sankey Brook, the Alt, and a couple of streams on the Wirral, too. Oh well ! Good luck to anyone who seeks to emulate my quest.


Ban the dumping of sewage in our rivers


The Panorama exposee of illegal practices by water companies, last night cannot be allowed to continue.
That raw sewage is discharged into our rivers is an unacceptable health hazard, and quite literally, is killing wildlife.
A campaign has begun to have this brought to the attention of Parliamentarians who may not be aware that the EA,
who are responsible for regulating the actions of the water companies, have failed miserably in this regard.
I think the pace of this campaign will increase, but please add your name to the petition to ensure that it does, and better,
send this link to contacts and friends of your own, who like most who watched the program, will be outraged, by how
water companies are killing our rivers.

My dear friend Jimmy

In the early hours of this morning, the man I first met thirty years ago, and through whom I learned how to fish the Usk, passed away – Jimmy Devoy. Back then he guided guests of the Gliffaes Hotel. We became firm friends, and even after I felt he had taught me all he could, I would always ask him to fish with me whenever I visited, which was almost every year. I think Llandetti was our favourite Gliffaes’ beat, but we fished other waters too, including the Red Barn in Abergavenny. Using his across and down technique for nymph and wets there, I recall that morning, hooking and missing several – Dai Missum, he christened me! Inevitably one wildie took pity on me and succumbed. “Call yourself a guide, Jimmy?” We laughed.

On the very last occasion we fished together, and for the evening rise at Llandetti, he watched me hook and lose a fine fish, then netted two himself immediately after. “That’s how you do it” he laughed, and so did I. And laughter is what I will remember the most about Jimmy, as well as the constant chatter, banter, and his love for the Usk.

Dammit…I will miss him so much

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Hampshire’s River Alre

To be lucky enough to have a rod on this beautiful chalk stream, which along with the Cheriton Brook and the Candover Brook, is the third and biggest of these feeder streams which form the Itchen near Ovington. This picture was taken at 2040 hrs yesterday as the sun dropped and those lovely pastel shades produced new relief to a pretty scene. There was no late hatch of any scale, but a couple of nifty scrappers liked my offering of a blue-winged olive and came to net. What a lovely way to enjoy an English summer evening!


An Apology…

I have been ‘called out’ for promoting poaching on the River Hiz.

That’s OK, but it is from people who do not know me. And the very same people have failed to demonstrate any sense of enquiry, to understand more, before penning accusatory notes to me. But that’s social media for you.

I have a rod on three syndicates on precious chalk streams and in addition I, am a member of two angling clubs. I spend several £000’s every year for the privilege of this fishing. And, also, I commit bids to charity auctions to find fishing for wild trout in interesting places.

I once have accidentally strayed, but only once, and to see how I felt about this, just read –

When I discovered that what I was told by local folk was ‘free fishing’ on the common land at Ickleford, I was upset to discover that it is not. So, to those who I have offended, I offer my apologies.

One correspondent, actually sent me a copy of the Minutes of a Parish Council meeting in June 2013, when it was decided that signs would be placed on the Common indicating that fishing was prohibited. Such was the Parish Council’s determination on this point, that there were no signs on the occasion of my visit to this Common land two years later in 2015, and as of today, SEVEN years after the decision to install such signs, I gather that there still are none!!!

PLEASE, dear Reader, if you think you can fish this once beautiful chalk stream, now overgrown and in desperate need of some tender and loving care, you cannot.

Shame, because there are some stunning wild brown trout there.

Wye & Usk Foundation

I love fishing auctions and regularly bid in those of the S&TCA, the WTT (to which I also submit offers for fishing in the streams in the southern Alps near to where my wife and I have a home), the Monnow Rivers Association…and the Wye & Usk Foundation, and the latter, for reasons that readers of my blog, will be well aware.

Last year the W&UF offered a lot which intrigued, and I bid for it and won.

It was for an engraved stone which would be lovingly released into the river Usk, which is where my fly fishing adventure began. And it will be post lockdown and I hope to witness it but may not be able to.

Eventually someone may pick up this (my) stone from the bed of the river where I learned to fish and wonder…well what?

Will that happen next year, in five or fifteen years, or fifty or five hundred years?

When they do, will spates have smoothed the stone and erased, what was carefully engraved?

If I cannot be there, I have asked that it be placed, or maybe dropped, into the river on the downstream side of Llanfaes Bridge.

This is my stone.

Tony Mair river stone

It’s 2020…

….and my first fish, wild rainbows all, came from the Holsloot River in South Africa’s Western Cape.The best, a lovely specimen of 15″

For another view of the fishing on the Holsloot, enjoy this link


My Welsh journey…

This evening, my site had its 10,000th visitor…its intention is to encourage more to visit the ‘Land of My Fathers’ because the trout fishing in Wales is just wonderful. Schooled in Wales, and visiting it every year since I was (far too many to admit to) I know more than many, what a wonderful country it is…and now have very nearly found some wild brown trout from all its Counties.


And this is the man, who taught me how to fish the Usk, and who probably is to blame for how, and why I became a Wales’ fishing junkie…Jimmy Devoy.

What a man!