Outfitting for Kamchatka; Visits to English Fishing Tackle Shops

I started writing this post almost four weeks ago, but life got in the way, minor things like a broken leg to a family member and a business trip to Sydney.  So my belated post on fishing tackle.

I may hate going to the supermarket or cloths chopping  (too many thumbs sometimes gives good typos) but I do love buying toys, AKA fishing gear.  I shall break this post into two parts, 1) Major Equipment, (rods, reels and fly lines) and the rest (waders, luggage and accessories). The fly Shop provided a comprehensive packing list for each of the parts of the fishing trip, I being a good engineer put the whole thing into a spreadsheet and rationalized it, working on an assumption that, one and a half times one weeks allowance should be sufficient for the two weeks.  Then I looked at what I already owned and created a shopping list for the rest.  My plan was to order what expensive equipment I could from an online store and have it delivered to my father’s house and  buy the rest form a local store while I was in the UK.

Major Equipment;

Rods; the recommendation was for a 6# or 7#, 9’ or 9’6 rod, and a spare, I already had an 6# 9’ Orvis frequent flyer rod and an 8#  9’ three piece Airflow rod, neither was perfect, the three piece rod doesn’t travel well on airplanes and  the frequent flyer would not be robust enough for the type of abuse I hope it will need to stand up to. After a minimal amount of searching, my favorite on line fishing store in the UK, the Glasgow Angling Center / fishingmegastore.com  came up trumps they had a Hardy Proaxis X Single Handed #6 discounted to £275 from £549, this rod seems to be perfect, so I ordered it and the matching Hardy CLS reel, more on reels and lines later.  Since there is often an issue having items shipped to an address different to that on my credit card I rang the store and they were most helpful and did me a great deal on the reel and lines as well, many thanks to Nick for his help.

Rods
Greys Carnivore 8# and Hardies Proaxis X 6#

 

This left me my backup rod to contemplate, Since I already had 8# reels and floating line I decided that I should get an 8# outfit for my backup, it is a bit bigger than recommended but I am a great believer that there is no substitute for grunt.  Since Glasgow Angling Center did not have any great deals on a suitable rod I decided to see what I could find at the various shops that I visited, and if that failed I would get one mail order from the US.  On my visit to John Norris in Penrith I found a once used Greys Carnivore 8# 9’ for £135 it was perfectly suited for what I needed, also it will be a great bonefish rod down the track.

Rods Close up
Close up of Rods

Reels;  Once the rods were decided, reals followed easily, they had to match, the Hardy Proaxis X was matched with a Hardies Ultralight 5000CLS with 3 spools, £199 from the Glasgow Angling Center. All the rest of the reels I will need I already own.

Hardies Reels
Hardies Ultralight 5000 CLS with Spools

Fly lines; The recommendation was for  aggressive weight forward short headed lines, one floating and one sink tip, this will assist in turning over the large streamers and mice that are used in Kamchatka. I ordered the lines in 6# (Guideline bullet £25 and airflow streamer max £50) from the Glasgow Angling Center along with backing and had them loaded onto the CLS spools, easier than doing it myself.  I purchased the 8# line (rio outbound short £50) from to John Norris at the same time as the #8 rod, sadly he nor Farlows of London had stock of the airflow streamer max in #8, I will have to order it from the US at a later date. (late note I found a Scientific anglers sonar int/Sink 3/Sink5 #8 during my buisness trip to Sydney so no need to order the streamer max from the US)

Okuma Reels
Okuma Integrity I8/9 with Spool

So my initial quiver of setups is planned to be as follows;

Hardy Proaxis X Single Handed #6 + Hardies Ultralight 5000CLS + Guideline bullet for fishing Mice

Orvis frequent flyer #6 + Orvis Batten Kill + WF floating for fishing upstream Dry Flies

Greys Carnivore 8# + Okuma Integrity + Scientific anglers sonar int/Sink 3/Sink5 for fishing streamers

TFO Professional series II #3 7’9 + BVK + WF floating for stalking smaller fish on small tributaries to the main river.

In addition I shall take, a Pflufer #8 Reel with WF floating line, Okuma Integrity spool with #8 rio outbound short line and a Hardies Ultralight 5000CLS spool with #6 airflow streamer max line . This will allow me to adjust my setups to make sure that I have the most appropriate outfits for the conditions, also I will be able to change styles of fishing by simply swapping rods.

You have done well of you have made you way through all that.

Next Waders, accessories but no flies

 

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Having Coffee with Bruce
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English Pub Grub

A belated post.

During my week of travels in the UK I had three meals at pubs but sadly, due to my father’s ill health I failed to eat at the highly recommended the Crab and Lobster in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. As I am progressing with this blog I am finding I am far better at eating food than recording and writing about it.

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Dawn over the Yorkshire Dales

 

In the second day I was in Yorkshire I drove to across the Pennines to Penrith, Cumberland to visit a fishing tackle shop for essential supplies for my Kamchatka adventure, more on that in a later post.  Once I had spent rather too much money on fishing gear I was feeling rather hungry and on the recommendation of the John Norris staff I wandered up the street to “The Lounge”  for lunch, when I entered it gave off the ambiance of an Australian CWA (Country Women’s Association) sandwich room, the staff were friendly and the food was good. I ordered the special of the day; pulled beef in a Yorkshire pudding wrap with chips and gravy, the gravy tasted of mint sauce and as strange as it sounds it added to the overall flavor.  All in all it was a great light lunch which encompassed many of the tastes and traditions of northern England.

During the latter half of the week I said my fairwells in Yorkshire and made my way down to Hampshire to visit another set of cousins that live there. I always find Hampshire a lovely place; to me it is the classical genteel country England.

The next meal was a lunch with my Uncle M in a gastro pub called “The Harwood Arms” in Fulham, it was about four or five blocks from Stanford Bridge, the home of the Chelsea football club. For starters I had home cured pork with baked celeriac, smoked sour cream and hazelnut, M had Crab on Crumpet, for mains we both had the Berkshire partridge followed by a cheese platter for desert.  This was all washed down with a traditional pint of English beer, a glass of red with and a glass of Solera 1847, Pedro Ximenez.  The meal and drinks cost £70 per person including drinks. Although on the pricy it was worth it, all the plates were well balanced and very tasty and the portions were sufficient.

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Crab on Muffin
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Cured pork with baked celeriac

 

My last meal before departure was with an ex colleague from Seoul , we are at the Tap on the Line at Kew gardens station , it is a nice bright airy pub that serves traditional English pub grub and beers. Knowing that it was my last meal in England I decided on a Pub Staple, Fish & Chips with mushy peas, my mistake!  As often happens with things like Fish and Chips I have an expectation of one thing but get another, for me the batter on the Fish was too heavy leaving me with the feeling of too much batter and too little fish.  However the Chips were fine, next time I would go for the Burger or something else.

Then it was on to the big silver budgie for the 12 hour trip back to Seoul.

Next: Outfitting for Kamchatka Visits to English Fishing Tackle Shops