The Estuary or “Going down the River”?


It has been approximately 2 years since I fished “the estuary” as it is now in thoroughly modern parlance referred to. When as a young lad with either grandfather and various uncles from both sides of the family we like everyone else from the town referred to it as “going down the river”I have vivid memories of been permitted to use the ultimate in modern machinery a seagull long shaft to propel a sixteen foot clinker build . If memory serves me it would take approximately forty five minutes to get down the river to the old ice house the proviso been that the tide was running in the proper direction and the wind was favourable to waft the smoke from a 50/50 mix away from all occupants.

On board was the usual paraphernalia for a days excursion assorted rods,with the thoroughly modern Mitchell reel,sand eel,mackerel and archer spinners.Amongst these was an old hardy fly rod circa 1920 which I still have in my possession and various flies which had more the attributes of birds than our modern offerings, when I look at some of the modern writing on fly fishing in the estuary from those who claim they first cracked it may I remind them that it was cracked in the twenties by an old colonel from Scotland who showed my long dead grandfather how it was done and gave him the flies he used. On returning home he presented him with a rod yes! the same rod I have hidden away to give if God wills it to my grandchild.

To return from my rant if you have allowed me.The memories I have of those days and the characters that we met down there will live with me to the day I am handed my wings. The good the ugly and the funny from the town were there amongst whom was one old gentleman Larry Gaffney a retired cooper in the Guinness brewery,who not only was a gentleman of note and well respected around town but was an accomplished poet. I know that he published one book of poetry I remember seeing it. I would love to try and get my hands on a copy. So now you simply have to work out what river I’m on about?
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Over forty years of fishing and hunting I have decided to start on this new fangled web lark to share and engage with other like minded individuals