Fishing: Fine tales of the riverbank

IT IS closed season for the salmon and trout, so over the past few months I have been enjoying reading about fishing with a Monte Cristo or seven never far from my lips (sadly no real fire but a radiator, viewed through cigar haze and a half light, is an okay substitute).

Travel for mind, body and spirit: Jaws Fly fishing in Canada

The Montreal fly, a little bundle of feather and metal, had barely settled on the water but it hit exactly the right spot. Within seconds the greedy pink jaws of a rainbow trout - this is the story of a fish's jaws, not mine - burst through the surface of the lake in a rapid snatch-and-grab frenzy. It was potentially a fatal move for the fish - but a moment of intense satisfaction for the fisherman.

Fishing Lines: Fish ran away with the spoon

IN THE days when you could buy a penny hook, I used to make my own spoons. This had nothing to do with musical aspirations or setting up a cutlery business: my spoons were designed to catch fish. Actually, "designed" is a bit of an exaggeration. My basic model was inspired by my favourite book, Make Your Own Fishing Tackle. For someone surviving on pocket money, this tome was invaluable. You could rig yourself up like a tackle shop, merely by adapting everyday household items.

City Life: Thimphu, Bhutan - Kingdom of red-hot spices

THE ROAD from the airport to Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, climbs and twists, revealing vistas over the high Himalayan valleys that are literally breathtaking. Thimphu is over 8,000ft high and lungs gasp after much exertion in such thin, clean air.

`We are all prisoners of our own history'

CROFTERS SUCH AS Alan MacCrae and John MacKenzie, his ally along the coast, took control of their own land in 1993 - acquiring the title to the 21,000-acre North Assynt estate for pounds 300,000 from a Swedish property company. The "buy-out" from an absentee landlord has been an inspiration to other Highland communities wanting to break free of feudal tenant-laird restrictions.

Travel: Huntin', shootin' and, most of all, fishin'

Forget Arkansas' famous son; it's the fish that pull in the crowds. Kevin Pilley learns a little patience and a lot of jargon

Anglers beg Prince to save stream

PRINCE CHARLES is caught in a dilemma between his two favourite sports: fishing and polo. He has been asked to help save a trout stream from being dried out by the demand for water from a polo ground.

Farmed trout could wipe out wild fish

FARMED TROUT deliberately released into the wild by Norwegian scientists have bred with their native cousins, raising fears that they will wipe out local varieties, writes Graham Mole.

Travel: A short stay in... Cardiff

European leaders meeting in Cardiff this week may be surprised to find themselves in a green and pleasant capital of culture and song. Whether looking at Impressionist paintings or visiting the Welsh National Opera, they will have no excuse for being bored. By Nerys Lloyd-Pierce

RICHARD EHRLICH'S BEVERAGE REPORT: DRIVEN TO FRUIT

There's always a time and a wine for mindless summertime drinking

Fishing: The thrills and spills of the right cast

A FEW Saturdays ago I went to Syon Park in Brentford. It was a very hot day, with sedges skittering across the surface of the lake and causing a commotion, like bored teenagers in a shopping mall and chironomid buzzers and alder-flies flying in and out of the sun. The lake at SP is ribbon shaped, so looks very like a river - it is an extremely pretty, if expensive, place to fish (an evening ticket with a two fish bag, is pounds 18).

Rural: A sting in the tale of the crayfish

When thousands of crayfish were found dead in the river Avon, sheep dip was immediately suspected.

Mystery of poisoned fish is solved

ONE OF Britain's worst ever freshwater pollution incidents was apparently a natural event caused by algae, the Environment Agency said yesterday.

Fishing: Nothing to trout about

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