Mating belongs to all – you read it here second


Pic courtesy of t.germeau

It’s a prime example of life being unfair: you have a really good cause to promote, but jazzing it up to appeal to media and the wider audience can be sooo hard.

Congratulations, then, to those behind a Finnish campaign to highlight and help the plight of migratory fish, that will see grocery firm K Group join forces with WWF.

“K Group and WWF Finland will jointly map different parts of Finland to find obstacles in migratory fish spawning grounds and in a spirit of cooperation with local landowners, local K-retailers and volunteers make the spawning grounds once again accessible for fish. The aim is to generate more awareness of and discussion about Finland’s endangered migratory fish populations”.

All of which seems destined to meet that same wowless factor fate, until you read that the campaign slogan is ‘Kuteminen kuuluu kaikplle’, and even more exciting in its English form – ‘Mating Belongs To All’.

Now you’re talking.

I’m in no position to prognosticate on the fate of Finland’s migratory fish, but I can hazard a more qualified guess that if the campaign starts pitching Mating Belongs To All sweatshirts to the nation’s young adults, it may not lack for funding.


Getting dead fish through customs


Pic courtesy of Tomás Del Coro

It’s an aspect of fishing that I’d file under More Hassle than it’s Worth, personally, but I was nonetheless intrigued to read about Jordan Rodriguez’ adventures in getting 15lb of trout fillets through 1,600 miles of airspace and the attendant personnel.

‘The fish had frozen solid, so I removed the bags from the freezer and packed them into the lunch pail cooler—my new personal carry-on item’.

Were Jeremy Clarkson & Co all about angling, not automobiles, you just know this would be a challenge right up their alley. Four dead Kamchatka salmon each – heads, tails, the works – now see how far west you get before being led into an interview room by unsmiling security staff…

Fishing lodge story a cliffhanger


According to Google translate, such is the Japanese for “And as close to the water as you can get it, please…” words almost certainly heard by architect Masato Sekya, as he was briefed on this delicately-poised residential project  in southern Japan.

Jutting out from the cliff face overlooking a river, the house is planned as a weekend retreat for a couple who like to fish.

“Faced with the possibility that the sharply inclined riverbank could collapse or the water could rise, the suggestion of setting a tall pillar on the shore to support the residence was deemed too dangerous.

“The building’s tubular reinforced concrete structure is installed on flat bedrock, with a concrete pillar as a fulcrum, and a mass of concrete as a counterweight.”

All undoubtedly very dramatic and a tribute to man’s creativity but given the country’s susceptibility to earthquakes, I wouldn’t be hanging around on those steps to the riverbank when mulling over my choice of nymph.

Ain’t no sunshine? Then they’re gone

a-fly-rod-of-your-own-9781451618341_lgOn a roll-call of supposedly hard and fast rules that stand on shaky ground, this thing about trout ceasing to co-operate in bright sunshine is due some serious review.

Just days after filing an article on a great day’s fishing beneath near-cloudless skies at Tinto Trout Fishery (see our 500th issue, out on  August 16) I start reading John Gierach’s latest book, A Fly Rod of Your Own, and encounter this:

“The day was unseasonably chilly, cloudy and rainy with a leaden sky…The weather felt more like October than August and would normally have been promising for trout fishing, but Snake River cutthroats don’t care for gloomy days. They’re friskier when it’s warm and sunny…”

None of this makes the basic premise unsound, of course, but it does serve as a cautionary reminder that the only thing set in stone in flyfishing are bridge supports.


The headline is from Field & Stream. The books, you’ll have to read for yourself but as for their titles, none come better than this. Click image for more details


I don’t know what it is about American publishers, but for covers, paper quality and titles, their books scream “read me” in a way rarely emulated by their UK counterparts. This is just the latest example. Would make me smile every time I saw it.

They still advertise like this…?

Every now and then, my assumption that western civilisation evolves at a more or less even tempo receives a jarring wake-up call. Today is one of those occasions.

Somewhere in Ohio, apparently, it is still 1978.

How the years slip away and Benny Hill’s face moves into crisper focus, as I watch someone called Joe Jordan and R&R Bait & Tackle combine their promotional efforts around  a single theme. And fishing.

Joe at least, might just have got away with his part of the deal, so willing was I to extend him the benefit of the doubt and assume that the bikini’d young woman who opens the clip is his wife or girlfriend. On reflection, he may feel that the part where he has to check what her name is should never have survived the first edit.

This, however, pales alongside the advertising intermission at the 33-second mark. It’s not the body of Bikini Woman number 2, holding up an ‘Open Seven Days a Week Sign’ in the floats aisle, that lingers in the memory, so much as the body language.

This is either a model, slowly coming to terns with the fact that she’s drawn the day’s short straw down at the agency, or else a long-suffering staff member mentally calculating  before our eyes what ‘taking one for the team’ will cost her employer in bonuses and free bait.

We return to Joe and his associate, reeling in bass and pike in northern Michigan, before popping back to R&R at the 4:47 point, where a young woman in hot pants (probably the accountant) wants to tell us that you can’t go wrong with Weld-craft fishing boats. Lest there be any doubt on that score, the camera cuts to a photo of the said vessel, with another woman in a bikini draped across its back end, clearly savouring every second aboard “the most reliable, durable boat on the planet”.

All told, this peek into Joe and R&R’s parallel universe runs to almost 12 minutes, and even as you hope that there might yet be some ironic, self-aware punchline that makes everything all right, the clip blindsides you once more, closing with a quote from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians – I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.

Whether it’s Joe or the proprietors of R&R Bait and Tackle whose strength needs occasional replenishment isn’t entirely clear.