fishing lines; Real trouble and strife

This was going to be a column about fishing in Mongolia. I had intended to tell you about our quest for taimen, the rarest fish in the northern hemisphere; the six-hour flight in a biplane that hadn't changed since Amy Johnson set her world record; what it's like living in a ger. But I can't any more.

I would have liked to tell you about the best fly-fishing in the world, where complete duffers can catch dozens of the stunning Mongolian grayling, one of the world's loveliest fish. I wouldn't have told you very much about how to catch them, because pretty well any method works fine, from tiny dry flies to spinners. Whoppers they were too, with fish up to 3lb and the average at more than 1lb.

Even better, these grayling jump like trout, their iridescent emerald bodies and golden tails glittering in the sunlight, a breathtaking contrast to the deep blue of the sky, the yellow of the larch trees, the white of the snow-covered peaks. But there's no point telling you about all that.

Our team leader, John Bailey of Angling Travel, went to the Tengis Valley and fished the Shishigt river last year. It was even more spectacular, exciting and sometimes frightening than John's descriptions. However, there's little point in talking about all that now.

And then there were the other six members of the party. I had been to the wilds of Arunachal Pradesh with Simon Channing and Dave Wilson, so I knew all about them. Simon, a dentist, gave up a profitable practice here to travel the world and go fishing. He's an ideal man to have along because he has the luck of a bag of horseshoes. In Arunachal Pradesh, he caught more fish than the rest of us put together and won most of the card games too.

I really wish I could have told you about the newcomers. Best of all, you would have loved Dave Tatum, the 44-year-old unmarried Norfolk farmer who regaled us with East Anglian yarns that left us open-mouthed. Asked about his highlight of the trip, Dave said: "When I was playing a big taimen a bit nervously, frightened it would come off, and Keith told me: 'If you don't hurry up, Dave, that fish will die of old age.'"Sadly, I can't tell you more about him, or the laid-back Simon Macmillan, or whingeing Phil Humm, or the baby of the trip, Ade Bristow, who would still be in the river now if we hadn't dragged him off. I can't tell you any of this because I've been scooped on the whole thing.

Writers accept that rivals will sometimes break a story they were hoping to run. It can happen by bad luck, chequebook journalism, even seedy things like hacking into a computer and stealing a story. But very few people get banjoed by their wives. Now, I thought it was pretty generous of me, allowing her to write my columns while I was away. I suspected there might be the odd snide remark, but what I didn't bank on was a hatchet job, and even worse, all the exciting bits of my trip (my material for the next 12 columns) revealed.

Well, it's my own fault. As soon as we were back in vaguely civilised parts (Mongolia's capital, Ulaan Bataar) I phoned to let her know what had happened. Little did I suspect that her innocent questioning (What did you catch? How big was the largest? What was the best method?) was actually a hard-nosed interviewer at work. So on the day I arrived back, I opened the Independent on Sunday to read the highlights of my adventures. Infamy, infamy. She clearly had it in for me.

Freedom of the press? You've got to be kidding. The sooner that Draconian laws governing press intrusion are brought in to stop this sort of scandalous behaviour, the better. And she's never ever coming fishing with me again.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power