Stop - Unplug - Escape - Enjoy Stop - Unplug - Escape - Enjoy

Fennel’s JournalFly Fishing

Fly Fishing celebrates the most graceful and artful form of angling, explaining what it means to be an angler – in the spirit of Izaak Walton – and how fly fishers differ from bait fishers. The sporting and aesthetic beauty of fly-fishing is described in Fennel Hudson’s usual witty and contemplative style. As he says, “Fly fishing is the ultimate form of angling; it gives us a reason to fish simply, travel lightly, and explore the wild places that replenish our soul. With a fly rod, we’re not casting to a fish; rather to a circle of dreams: ripples that spread into every aspect of our lives”.

  • Contents

    Chapters

    1. Introduction – The appeal of fly fishing.
    2. A New Beginning – New home, new direction.
    3. Thinking Like a Fly Fisher – Inside the mind of a fly fisher.
    4. Living the Dream – Fennel savours the ideal.
    5. All Laid Out – Big fish, but not on demand. Read sample chapter.
    6. A New Fly Rod – For Burbot? Read sample chapter.
    7. A Very English Fly Fisher – What it means to fish at home.
    8. If Only Every Day Could Be Like This – Fennel rises late and considers a lazy day by the river.
    9. The Amwell Magna Fishery – One of Britain's most historic waters, once fished by Izaak Walton.
    10. Local Fishing – Fennel walks to, and fishes, his local river.
    11. Fishing, Far Away – Fennel receives news from a friend fishing in Iceland.
    12. A Duffer in May – An angling competition, of sorts.
    13. A Trout? From The Kidderminster? – Urban litter bugs.
    14. Trout from the Hills – Fennel dreams of his favourite mountain lakes.
    15. Trout at Two Thousand Feet – A weekend of 'fishing to survive'.
    16. Alone but not Lonely – Remembering Moc Morgan. Read sample chapter.
    17. The Net on Our Backs – What it means to be an angler.
    18. A Grilling for a Trout – Fennel risks a scolding for some impromptu fishing.
    19. Catch Returns – Few fish, but an excellent season. Read sample chapter.
    20. Looking Backwards, Going Forward – How we fish is a matter of choice.
    21. Grayling to Remember – Fennel finds fish in 'feeding humour'.
    22. Fingers and Fluff – Fly-tying, or die trying?
    23. The Four Rules of Angling – Always learning and discovering.

    Publication details

    Published by Fennel’s Priory Limited. Global book distribution by Ingram.

    • First shared as handwritten letters in 2009
    • Limited edition collectors' magazine published in 2012
    • Abridged eBook published in 2013
    • Extended version published in 2019
    • Audiobook published in 2020

    Book specification

    • Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 16 mm (8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 in)
    • Page count: 218 pages
    • Language: English

    Copyright © Fennel Hudson 2009, 2019

    • Hardback ISBN 978-1-909947-18-4
    • Paperback ISBN 978-1-909947-19-1
    • Kindle ISBN 978-1-909947-16-0
    • Audiobook download ISBN 978-1-909947-90-0

    A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.


     

  • Commentary

    Fennel's Commentary

    2009 was an important year for me. It marked the thirty-year anniversary of when I became an angler. It was also the year I concluded my twenty-year search for the ultimate wild carp water (which is the subject of Wild Carp, Fennel's Journal No. 4). A combination of reflecting upon my earliest angling experiences (fishing for wild trout in Wales) and a sense of 'where do I go from here?' caused me to rethink what angling means to me. I retraced my angling footsteps, which led me back to my fly fishing roots. I ceased coarse (bait) fishing for a while and savoured a whole year as a fly-only fisherman.

    Fly Fishing discusses what it means to be an angler – in the spirit of Izaak Walton – and how fly fishers differ from bait fishers. It addresses the sporting and aesthetic qualities of fly fishing, discusses the yearning for quality fishing tackle, the challenges and appeal of tying flies and the freedom to be found when travelling light in wild places. It also looks at the sometimes quirky relationship between a fly fisher and his spouse, and the challenges and opportunities that this can present. Finally, it looks at the choices in tackle and fishing style presented to the angler, and how this choice communicates our personality. As always with the Journal, my writing is a mixture of eccentric English humour combined with much deeper meaning and messages that exist between the lines.


     

  • Quotes

    Favourite Quote

    "The deeper we travel into the natural world, and the greater the number of technological encumbrances we leave behind, the more likely we are to escape the fast-paced lifestyle and stresses of the 21st century. For some, angling enables a quest into the unknown, an adventure into the wild. For these fortunate folk, fly-fishing is escapism. Their hours by water serve as contemplation to enrich their souls, directing their quest inwards, towards their longed-for state of completeness."

    • Fennel Hudson, Fly Fishing, Fennel's Journal No. 5

    Other Quotes

    "When I think of angling it shall not involve lead weights and buckets of bait; instead it shall include hand-tied flies and bamboo fly rods. A fish, for the purpose of this vision, shall be a trout. I will be back pursuing a dream first glimpsed when I was five years old."

    • Fennel Hudson, Fly Fishing, Fennel's Journal No. 5

     

    "Fly-fishing: it’s the ultimate form of angling."

    "Fly-fishing is an act of hope that leads to a net full of fish and a head full of dreams."

    "Fly-fishers are custodians of water quality, passionately protecting the health of our rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, lochs and llyns."

    "Fly-fishing is the simplest, purest, most skilful and pleasurable way to catch a fish."

    "With a fly rod, anglers are not casting to a fish; rather to a circle of dreams: ripples that spread into every aspect of their lives."

    "Choosing to become a fly-fisher, or at least committing to being a fly-only angler, makes me feel like I’m washing away the grime from my fishing tackle to reveal the beauty of what lies beneath."

    "Fly-fishing encourages us to dream – of rose-tinted sunsets and lazy spring days when swallows swoop and the hedgerows are blossomed in brilliant white."

    "Tool up and get serious? It sounded like an invitation to the Male Strippers’ Annual Chess Tournament."

    "Mrs H warned me that if ever I bought another fishing rod she would feed it into a garden shredder or, worse, feed in something else that “wouldn’t splinter”."

    "Asking an angler why he or she needs so many fishing rods is like asking a woman why she has so many pairs of shoes."

    "Fly-fishing in England has a sense of homeliness to it."

    "I am a traditionalist; proud to be eccentric; delighted to be different."

    "I am free, so I will go forth and fish – as a man alive."

    "Shorten your line, focus your casts, and slow things down. Enjoy the magic of local fishing."

    "A writer-angler is grateful for his or her red-letter days; but success is never expected."

    "People fish because they are searching for something. Often it is not for a fish."

    "Fishing enables us to get closer to nature."

    "Fishing unlocks the primeval hunting gene."

    "Fishing encourages escapism."

    "Stocked trout are as wild as a Chihuahua sitting in a pink velvet handbag."

    "I’m an adventurer, at least in spirit and optimism."

    "Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime...unless, of course, he doesn’t like sushi – then you’ll have to buy him a Kelly Kettle, hobo stove and frying pan."

    "I go fishing for reasons other than catching fish."

    "Exotic fishing? If I’d wanted to spend a week in Tropical Itchybotty then I’d have bought the cream in advance."

    "I could tell you that the flies were Ecdyonurus dispar, or Soumatti meddup, but I’m hopeless at entomology. Conclusion? ‘Little brown things fluttering above the water’."

    "All fish are equal, and all are special."

    "Never cast before the time is right (only you will know when this time shall be)."

    "Be a gentleman angler; be honest, considerate and kind."

    "Always follow the smoke from your pipe, because you never know where it might lead."


     

  • Testimonials

    Reader Testimonials

    “Outstanding writing! I read it, captivated, in one sitting.”

    “A delightful, well-articulated, read. I strongly recommend it, especially to the contemplative, tradition-loving, bamboo fly rod devotees among us.”

    “A very inspiring and rewarding read. I will try to tie the Sedgetastic fly. It looks tasty!”

    “Brilliant writing. Fennel made me laugh out loud in bed. My wife was asking questions!”


     

Chapters

  1. Introduction – The appeal of fly fishing.
  2. A New Beginning – New home, new direction.
  3. Thinking Like a Fly Fisher – Inside the mind of a fly fisher.
  4. Living the Dream – Fennel savours the ideal.
  5. All Laid Out – Big fish, but not on demand. Read sample chapter.
  6. A New Fly Rod – For Burbot? Read sample chapter.
  7. A Very English Fly Fisher – What it means to fish at home.
  8. If Only Every Day Could Be Like This – Fennel rises late and considers a lazy day by the river.
  9. The Amwell Magna Fishery – One of Britain's most historic waters, once fished by Izaak Walton.
  10. Local Fishing – Fennel walks to, and fishes, his local river.
  11. Fishing, Far Away – Fennel receives news from a friend fishing in Iceland.
  12. A Duffer in May – An angling competition, of sorts.
  13. A Trout? From The Kidderminster? – Urban litter bugs.
  14. Trout from the Hills – Fennel dreams of his favourite mountain lakes.
  15. Trout at Two Thousand Feet – A weekend of 'fishing to survive'.
  16. Alone but not Lonely – Remembering Moc Morgan. Read sample chapter.
  17. The Net on Our Backs – What it means to be an angler.
  18. A Grilling for a Trout – Fennel risks a scolding for some impromptu fishing.
  19. Catch Returns – Few fish, but an excellent season. Read sample chapter.
  20. Looking Backwards, Going Forward – How we fish is a matter of choice.
  21. Grayling to Remember – Fennel finds fish in 'feeding humour'.
  22. Fingers and Fluff – Fly-tying, or die trying?
  23. The Four Rules of Angling – Always learning and discovering.

Publication details

Published by Fennel’s Priory Limited. Global book distribution by Ingram.

  • First shared as handwritten letters in 2009
  • Limited edition collectors' magazine published in 2012
  • Abridged eBook published in 2013
  • Extended version published in 2019
  • Audiobook published in 2020

Book specification

  • Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 16 mm (8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 in)
  • Page count: 218 pages
  • Language: English

Copyright © Fennel Hudson 2009, 2019

  • Hardback ISBN 978-1-909947-18-4
  • Paperback ISBN 978-1-909947-19-1
  • Kindle ISBN 978-1-909947-16-0
  • Audiobook download ISBN 978-1-909947-90-0

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.


 

Fennel's Commentary

2009 was an important year for me. It marked the thirty-year anniversary of when I became an angler. It was also the year I concluded my twenty-year search for the ultimate wild carp water (which is the subject of Wild Carp, Fennel's Journal No. 4). A combination of reflecting upon my earliest angling experiences (fishing for wild trout in Wales) and a sense of 'where do I go from here?' caused me to rethink what angling means to me. I retraced my angling footsteps, which led me back to my fly fishing roots. I ceased coarse (bait) fishing for a while and savoured a whole year as a fly-only fisherman.

Fly Fishing discusses what it means to be an angler – in the spirit of Izaak Walton – and how fly fishers differ from bait fishers. It addresses the sporting and aesthetic qualities of fly fishing, discusses the yearning for quality fishing tackle, the challenges and appeal of tying flies and the freedom to be found when travelling light in wild places. It also looks at the sometimes quirky relationship between a fly fisher and his spouse, and the challenges and opportunities that this can present. Finally, it looks at the choices in tackle and fishing style presented to the angler, and how this choice communicates our personality. As always with the Journal, my writing is a mixture of eccentric English humour combined with much deeper meaning and messages that exist between the lines.


 

Favourite Quote

"The deeper we travel into the natural world, and the greater the number of technological encumbrances we leave behind, the more likely we are to escape the fast-paced lifestyle and stresses of the 21st century. For some, angling enables a quest into the unknown, an adventure into the wild. For these fortunate folk, fly-fishing is escapism. Their hours by water serve as contemplation to enrich their souls, directing their quest inwards, towards their longed-for state of completeness."

  • Fennel Hudson, Fly Fishing, Fennel's Journal No. 5

Other Quotes

"When I think of angling it shall not involve lead weights and buckets of bait; instead it shall include hand-tied flies and bamboo fly rods. A fish, for the purpose of this vision, shall be a trout. I will be back pursuing a dream first glimpsed when I was five years old."

  • Fennel Hudson, Fly Fishing, Fennel's Journal No. 5

 

"Fly-fishing: it’s the ultimate form of angling."

"Fly-fishing is an act of hope that leads to a net full of fish and a head full of dreams."

"Fly-fishers are custodians of water quality, passionately protecting the health of our rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, lochs and llyns."

"Fly-fishing is the simplest, purest, most skilful and pleasurable way to catch a fish."

"With a fly rod, anglers are not casting to a fish; rather to a circle of dreams: ripples that spread into every aspect of their lives."

"Choosing to become a fly-fisher, or at least committing to being a fly-only angler, makes me feel like I’m washing away the grime from my fishing tackle to reveal the beauty of what lies beneath."

"Fly-fishing encourages us to dream – of rose-tinted sunsets and lazy spring days when swallows swoop and the hedgerows are blossomed in brilliant white."

"Tool up and get serious? It sounded like an invitation to the Male Strippers’ Annual Chess Tournament."

"Mrs H warned me that if ever I bought another fishing rod she would feed it into a garden shredder or, worse, feed in something else that “wouldn’t splinter”."

"Asking an angler why he or she needs so many fishing rods is like asking a woman why she has so many pairs of shoes."

"Fly-fishing in England has a sense of homeliness to it."

"I am a traditionalist; proud to be eccentric; delighted to be different."

"I am free, so I will go forth and fish – as a man alive."

"Shorten your line, focus your casts, and slow things down. Enjoy the magic of local fishing."

"A writer-angler is grateful for his or her red-letter days; but success is never expected."

"People fish because they are searching for something. Often it is not for a fish."

"Fishing enables us to get closer to nature."

"Fishing unlocks the primeval hunting gene."

"Fishing encourages escapism."

"Stocked trout are as wild as a Chihuahua sitting in a pink velvet handbag."

"I’m an adventurer, at least in spirit and optimism."

"Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime...unless, of course, he doesn’t like sushi – then you’ll have to buy him a Kelly Kettle, hobo stove and frying pan."

"I go fishing for reasons other than catching fish."

"Exotic fishing? If I’d wanted to spend a week in Tropical Itchybotty then I’d have bought the cream in advance."

"I could tell you that the flies were Ecdyonurus dispar, or Soumatti meddup, but I’m hopeless at entomology. Conclusion? ‘Little brown things fluttering above the water’."

"All fish are equal, and all are special."

"Never cast before the time is right (only you will know when this time shall be)."

"Be a gentleman angler; be honest, considerate and kind."

"Always follow the smoke from your pipe, because you never know where it might lead."


 

Reader Testimonials

“Outstanding writing! I read it, captivated, in one sitting.”

“A delightful, well-articulated, read. I strongly recommend it, especially to the contemplative, tradition-loving, bamboo fly rod devotees among us.”

“A very inspiring and rewarding read. I will try to tie the Sedgetastic fly. It looks tasty!”

“Brilliant writing. Fennel made me laugh out loud in bed. My wife was asking questions!”


 

Explore the Journals

Fennel’s Journal is the heartfelt and entertaining account of one man’s search for an old-fashioned and peaceful rural life. Written by lifestyle author Fennel Hudson, the Journal traces his attempts to balance the pressures of modern living by following the mantra of ‘Stop – Unplug – Escape – Enjoy’.

The Priory, what's in a name?

The Priory is a philosophy and a belief system that says it is possible to balance the ever-growing complexities and pace of modern life. It is also a celebration of wildlife and country living, those things that serve as an antidote to the concrete claustrophobia of towns and cities.

The Priory Philosophy

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