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Michael on the Lough

As with most small boys my fishing began with hand net and jam jar. Some time before the age of ten I graduated to a whole-cane rod and bakelite centrepin, obtained by a swap. My first rod-caught fish, from a farm pond, was a roach of fully three and a half inches. I was captivated by its miniature perfection and torn between wanting to look at it forever and the urge to return it safely to the water. Through nearly sixty years roach fishing has never ceased to fascinate and excite me and I regard it as the very essence of coarse fishing. That said, I am pleased to fish by any fair means for anything that swims.

Since my first built-cane rod I have never seen any reason to change and I now own a small thicket of them. I am amongst those who believe it superior to all else for playing a fish and, further, one has the pleasure of using a natural material and of admiring the skill of the man that crafted it. Despite only a modest ability as a Wallis caster I use a centrepin whenever practical for no other reel gives me the same feeling of direct contact with a fish.

Before marriage and school fees caught up with me I managed to do several sport related jobs including keepering a small grilse river in Connemara. I now live by the upper Shannon but travel to the U.K. as often as possible to fish the Test for grayling and the Wye for barbel.

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