Friday, 9 March 2012
I have just returned from a trip to Scotland to see the family. The weather was not the best but this did not stop me from having a look around at the waters available for fishing during the coming season when I am up again visiting family. Hillend was looking good even though the water was very choppy and the sleet and hailstones put me off getting out the car to take a pic.
On the way home down the motorway I decided to make a small diversion and have a look at the Clyde near Abington. The river Clyde was looking god and if the levels are right it should make for some good fishing during the coming season.
Friday, 3 February 2012
I attended the latest Sky-Watch evening of the Eddington Astronomical Society last night along with my son; this was mainly a Moon watch. The Idea behind these evenings is to get the local community interested in Astronomy even if it just the basics of looking at the moon and one or two of the other planets and some of the more recognisable stars.
Having recently acquired a pair of 10x50 binoculars, I took them along to the evening. We arrived at about 7.15pm at the Brewery Arts Centre where the event was being held. I used my Binoculars at first to have a look at the Constellation of Orion, looking at Betelgeuse, Bellatrix & Rigel, three of the most prominent stars of the constellation followed by Orion’s belt the diagonal line of 3 stars. Just below this is Orion’s Sword. Usually you can only make out one or two stars with the naked eye, but using the binos you could actually make out the middle star – this is actually a gas cloud nebula where new stars are forming.
My son first looked at Jupiter through one of the telescopes and was amazed when he could see 4 of Jupiter’s moons as well as the bands of cloud that make up the planet. Next he had a look at the Moon through another telescope and was blown away with the views of craters and how clear they were, also the close up of a section of it where the craters were even more noticeable and clear.
A very good night and well worth going to, I will be going to more as the year goes on and so will my son as he has taken an active interest in astronomy.
Saturday, 21 January 2012
I have had an interest in the sky at night for many years but have never really pursued it with any great enthusiasm; having watched with interest the BBC programmes ‘Stargazing Live’ earlier in the week has rekindled that latent interest.
Following on from this the local Eddington Astronomical Society in held an evening talk on Friday 20th which I attended with my son. This was a very informative evening, where we learned about our solar system, and where we are in located in the Universe. The speaker Stuart Atkinson who is secretary of the society took things from the start assuming that we knew nothing about the solar system, without being patronising.
We learned about how stars are formed and the different galaxy’s that are out there in the night sky. We were shown actual pictures of the planets alongside computerised imagery of what the surfaces of the large gas planets of Saturn and Jupiter might look like. The actual pictures of the surface of Mars were amazing.
Stuart who is probably the foremost name in the study of Mars within the UK, has visited NASA which is by invitation only and had his picture taken next to the latest Mars rover ‘Curiosity’ (which is nuclear powered instead of solar powered like the ones that are there at the moment). The Mars spacecraft that wil take this rover to Mars was launched in 2011 and is expected to arrive on Mars during August 2012.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
I didn’t manage to get to the first tying night run by the Lakeland Fly Dressers due to work commitments. I did get along to the second night on Wednesday 11th Jan. We were tying Loch Style Wets. The actual fly’s we were tying were the Red Ribbed Mayfly and Dark Olive Dabbler.
My attempt at the Red Ribbed Mayfly was going well, I finished the head then the copper wire snapped at the butt and unwound the palmering which until that point was looking good. I had more success with the second fly, the Olive Dabbler. The hardest part of this fly was tying in the wing. I was feeling pleased with the result. On showing this to the instructor he said he was impressed with my wing.
This has spurred me on to get more tying done, especially dabblers and the like as there are many stillwaters around here to give them a swim and hopefully catch a couple of fish.
Friday, 6 January 2012
I have just been re-reading the December issue of this magazine, especially the feature in it called ‘Trout in the Lakes’. The feature is on the River Kent, my local, but about a stretch of the river that I have not visited (for fishing) in the past. The section runs from Burneside to Staveley. This is a beautiful stretch of river and Burneside Anglers have approximately 6 miles of double bank with some very hard fighting wild brownies with a good run of Sea trout and Salmon especially in the autumn.
Having read the feature I went out for a walk along this stretch today to see for myself the pools, glides and riffles as described in it. I must say that the river is as good if not better than the feature suggests. This is definitely on my to do list for next season.
Thursday, 22 December 2011
I have been messing around with various connotations of a sight board for the last couple of years, and have now come up with a version that I am pleased with.
The same sort of sightboard from some of the big names in fly tying equipment cost in the region of £20 – £30, mine cost about £3.00 maximum.
The board is the made from Art Board which has a foam centre; the cost was about £1.50 for an A3 sized piece from a local craft shop, the front and back are covered with foam sheet that cost 60 pence per sheet again from the local craft shop. The foam was fastened to the craft board with double sided sticky tape. The support arm is an old wire coat hanger which I acquired from work as it was going to be thrown out. It took about 30 minutes to make and has saved me about £20.
Monday, 12 December 2011
Last Wednesday I attended the induction evening for the tying classes starting in January 2012, run by the Lakeland Fly Dressers Guild. I have moved up a step to the intermediate classes. This coming tying season we will be tying River & Lake Flies.
Week 1 – Stripped Quill Flies – Quill Dry & Quill Nymph
Week 2 – Loch Style Wets – Red Ribbed Mayfly & Dark Olive Dabbler
Week 3 – Big Dries – Stimulator & Black Klinkhammer
Week 4 – Black CDC Hopper & Cruncher
Week 5 – Terrestrials – Black Gnat & Generic Terrestrial
Week 6 – Teal & Black Palmer & Black Buzzer
Week 7 – Olives – Olive CDC Dun & Un-weighted Olive Nymph
The cost of the course of tying lessons is £15.00 which I think represents good value for money, as some of the materials will be supplied if you cannot procure your own.