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
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'