Fish may not be very bright, but as for fishermen...

TIME moves in mysterious ways, as anyone with a bus schedule will tell you. Every year, it takes less time to reach Australia but longer to drive to work. A minute equals 60 seconds, except when someone says "Just a..." And UK National Fishing Week, which started yesterday, lasts 10 days.

SHORT BREAKS: 24-HOUR ROOM SERVICE - CYBELE FOREST LODGE, SOUTH AFRICA

THE POOL outside our bedroom door was clear and chilly, and a blue mist hung over the forest. The sun was just starting to light the mountains in the distance, turning their woodlands an amber-green.

Pop: Album review - Captain Beefheart and his magic band Grow Fins Revenant

AVAILABLE ONLY on import from guitarist John Fahey's Revenant label, Grow Fins is a warts-and-all portrait of one of rock's most extravagantly gifted, idiosyncratic outfits. At times, the warts outnumber the more pristine complexions, Beefheart being dedicated to revealing the beauty of those wartier musical moments, as he doggedly dragged the free-jazz innovations of Albert Ayler and Eric Dolphy into rock'n'roll. Compared to the huge creative arc traversed by Beefheart's Magic Band, particularly in the five years between 1967 and 1972, the progress of latterday rock musicians seems stunted, their ambitions measly. Grow Fins covers the Magic Band's output in chronological order, the first two discs dealing with the Captain's mid-Sixties R&B stylings - odd, spiky pieces which colonised the space between garage psychedelia, deep soul and gruff, sexual blues in the manner of Howlin' Wolf, covers of whose material turn up (along with songs by John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters) in the live performances from such exotic hotbeds of psychedelic activity as San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom and Frank Freeman's Dance Studio, Kidderminster.

Fishing: Dartmoor daze with brainy brownies

GOD, I love Dartmoor. It's difficult, you can't take it for granted and it can change in a moment from a place of gobsmacking beauty to one of brooding menace. Obviously, then, it is female. Every year, at least once, I come here to breathe pure air and gaze upon her wild, abandoned magnificence.

Meal for the poor to mark death

3

Letter: Fishing to eat

Sir: Whether or not one is in favour of hunting with hounds, where it is abolished, as we see in parts of Kent, the landscape changes as farmers tear up hedges and coverts. The effect on wildlife is obvious.

Travel: The one that I let get away

New Zealand 2: fishing in a remote river in North Island attracts the adventurous angler. And with its big trout making a worthy adversary, it is a sport of equals.

Fishing: Easy times as Mayfly find groove

THE MAYFLY season is upon us. This is a hallowed time of year for fly fishermen, some have been waiting for it with a frenzy bordering on the rabid. It is also known as "Duffer's Fortnight" because the trout go into a feeding frenzy for about two weeks, gorging themselves on big fat Mayfly and throwing caution to the wind, and are therefore pretty easy to catch. On the Test last weekend, 52 trout were caught between 10 fishermen.

Fishing: Thud, thud beat is parr for course

Annalisa Barbieri on fishing

Eating & Drinking: It chops, it slices, it maims, it really hurts

I HAVE to get myself a safer, less perilous hobby. Something like bomb defusing, rock-climbing, skydiving or UN peacekeeping would do. Anything but cooking.

Your reel life starts here

Annalisa Barbieri straps on her waders to learn the art of fly fishing. J R Hartley eat your heart out...

Fishing: From cradle to the table

Annalisa Barbieri on fishing

Books: A rite of passage with no violence or taboos

It Cracks Like Breaking Skin

Fishing: A little insulation wire goes a long way on the icy Coln

WHEN WINTER settles right in, and the ground crunches underfoot it is time to go fishing for grayling. These fine, silver fish (kennel name thymallus thymallus) provide particularly fine sport when other game fish are out of bounds; although it is not just in winter that you can catch them. Last July, on the Test, I caught nothing but grayling, despite aiming for brown trout. It is highly fitting that these fish are almost as shiny silver as stainless steel, because the best time for catching them is when the landscape matches their outfit.

Classical Sight Readings: Hold my hand while I listen...

Here's a marketing wheeze: classics sold in supermarkets, with famous fans to make them user-friendly
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