Issue No.2

Issue No.2

The Unconventional Angler: Embracing Local Waters & Unpopular Fish"

When I started fishing in my local river, the first fish I encountered were a shoal of small chub. At the time, I had no idea what they were, but they completely captivated me. Soon after, barbel appeared, and while wading the waters, I stumbled upon carp spots where on the odd occasion a double-figure fish would dart past me. Thankfully, my local river is free of pike; their presence and striking behaviour would send shivers down my spine - you won't catch me wading in pikey waters. But I'll happily catch them from the bank!

Nevertheless, I decided to embrace the diverse fish species that inhabit the river, each evoking my curiosity and appreciation for their distinct ways of feeding and spawning. This journey opened my eyes to the delicate balance that sustains our river ecosystems, making me deeply saddened by the impact of pollution incidents, where  a simple push of a button releases sewage or chemicals, wiping out lifetimes of intricacy. I wasn’t aware of the scale of pollution until I started fishing.

Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish: People often ask me how to catch coarse fish on the fly, and my reply is usually simple. Use the same flies as you would for trout since they all have similar diets. However, the key lies in the fishing method tailored to each species. For chub, roach, dace, I treat them like trout, enticing them with dries, nymphs, and streamers.

 On the other hand, larger bottom-feeding fish like barbel prefer heavy nymphs like a cased caddis with 4mm tungsten attached. I have a soft spot for natural fly patterns, even though I know some fly anglers might turn their noses up at my bread fly or squirmy worm.

For me, they're incredibly natural for my local, and it's how I managed to catch my first-ever wild river carp on the fly. I vividly remember a moment while walking past a family feeding ducks. A hunch told me there would be fish having a free buffet

 further downstream. I quickly put on my weighted bread fly, carefully approached the likely spot, and with a bow cast as skilled as Artemis, the magic happened – TAP BANG WHOLLOP, FISH ON! The fight that ensued was unlike anything I had encountered before,

The common bread fly: Musca panis domestica

and I knew instantly that this fish was different. As I finally netted it, tears of happiness streamed down my face because I had caught my first wild river carp, something I had come close to before but never landed. Catching the bigger fish: if you want to start catching bigger fish then become a conservationist! There’s a reason there’s no more fish like the one Georgina Ballantine caught anymore. So, if we look after our waters they'll look after us. Loving All Fish: I have a genuine love for all the fish

swimming in our waters, no matter their popularity. It's like embarking on a grand adventure, starting small in my local and naturally progressing to explore new fishing horizons. In conclusion, my journey as an angler has been a remarkable experience. Exploring local waters and embracing less favoured fish species has brought me immense joy and appreciation for nature's wonders.

I encourage others to step out of their comfort zones and discover the magic of unconventional fishing. Along the way, I've had the pleasure of meeting fellow anglers who share the same passion. Supporting one another in our fishing endeavours has created a sense of camaraderie and friendship. Fishing has had a profound impact on my life, offering moments of serenity and connection to the natural

Amie Battams (@amie.flyfish)

Back to blog