Tag Archives: fishing

Memories of lazy warm summers

Just before the annual feasting begins, I’ve been looking back at some summer photos. Here’s beautiful Lake Trasimeno in lovely warm Italy. What a delight Umbria is!

Makes me want to take up fishing!

Makes me want to take up fishing!




Even the birds just watch the dawn...

Even the birds just watch the dawn…


Now, bring on the snow!!! Merry Christmas to all.


Adrenalin junkies in Sussex

At last, the sun shines at the right time, and we’re heading out of London to the gorgeous Ashbourne estate in deepest Sussex for some team building exercises! Little do I realise how gun-toting, finger trigger happy my colleagues are…

Believe me, she’s grinning…

I’m not sure who is more excited, girls or boys, about getting hands on some big guns. And of course the competitive nature comes to the fore. Especially as we get split into teams and starting popping at the clays.

This girl’s done it before…

Frankly, if we’d been shooting at real pigeons they would have been pretty safe, we missed most of the clays! But we look good!

Cool glasses are a must!

Glad we have someone to show us what to do

Breaking the gun

Ah, the sartorial decision (sunglasses) vs safety (earphones)… For Caroline the simple option is both!

Neil explaining how he missed the last one.


So once we’ve done shooting it’s time for a pic – work out who’s posing the most with his/her gun….

the gang.

(and another one who likes to pose!)

no messing around here!

Ashbourne estate is a beautiful spot. So, after lunch we are going to get a chance to fly fish the lakes around about. Heres the view:

A stunning location

Fly fishing is all in the whip hand, apparently. The important bit is the pull back – get the fly high, and then the cast will sail out beautifully into the distance.. Now I have to give that a bit of practice, but some are better than others. Here’s Linda who, having read Fifty Shades Of Grey is pretty proficient with the whip action.

Here’s the lake she’s meant to be casting into. Quite a big target you mght think…

obviously you have to avoid the lillies…

The trick is to look behind you, check the space first, then cast. Linda forgets this, and promptly hooks a squirrel in the tree over her shoulder


Actually no-one did manage to land a fish. Too hot was the explanation – they go deep and hide away. But a fantastic day had by all. And given the weather we’ve had in England I would definitely take a sunny day over a drizzly one where the fish are rising.

Oyster Smacks and Sea Dogs, Mersea Island, Essex

When I was a kid I hoovered up the Hornblower stories. Lately I’ve read almost all the Patrick O’Brian novels. It’s fair to say, I’m a sucker for a good sea yarn. So what a treat to go on a photographic trip to see the Oyster Smacks racing off the coast of Essex at Mersea Island. But what is an Oyster Smack I hear you say, and what on earth is this race about? Good question…

Catch the wind, boy, come on...!

Well, this is all about small sailing boats, most of which are a good century old. And they used to catch oysters for the local markets. Nowadays those markets buy commercially farmed oysters, so the boats have a bit of fun once a year, and have an oyster catching race. And the boats are called Smacks. Why Smacks? – no idea… But what a great name! Rings with nostalgia…

No way you're catching me!

The point of the race is to catch as many oysters as you can in 2 hours within a set area. Any idea how you catch an oyster…? ¬† ¬† No, I didn’t either. So, the way they do it is to sail as fast as they can from one end of the set area to the other, then slowly dredge the sea bed floor back through the area searching for oysters, then charge back again to the starting point to go again. Lots of frantic hoisting of sails and charging along, then go slow but heave the dredge up and down the sea bed as frenetically as possible. By the way, I think oysters are a bit thin on the Mersea sea bed, as pitifully few oysters come up for a hell of a lot of dredging!

Now some take it seriously. Have a look at this chap in the photo below. A sea dog, probably speaks an impossible dialect and looks upon anyone who comes from more than 5 miles away as a foreigner. It’s like stepping back into the 18th century!

Coming through!!!

Hauling in the catch

There is something lovely and romantic about sails. I would have liked to get these with the sun shining through them, but my day was particularly grey and grim. But hey, that’s where black and white comes to the fore. And it gives me an excuse to go back again

Sail set fair.

So if you fancy stepping out of the 21st century techno babble, go to Mersea Island and catch the Oyster Smacks. Feel the wind tug and the spray blow, leave the mobile back on shore, and then feast on oysters with a pint of the local brew.  Unforgettable!

Oyster Smack, Mersea Island, Essex, England

(PS – I was on a photographic day trip with Quest Photography. If you’re interested, google them. I recommend highly!)