GRAEME PULLEN:

No prizes for guessing how much fishing has been done over the last couple of weeks with all the wind and rain. Absolutely nothing!! Not that I have been idle. Far from it as with Mike’s other channel, “The Totally Awesome Outdoors Show growing in subs and views I have had plenty of work to do in the D.I.Y department. I have a busy January ahead with property refurbs so thought it best to get ahead of the game and stockpile a few films for “Outdoors”. If you get the chance, take a look, as it includes “Pike on a bike and “How to catch, kill and cook a Trout”. We will be putting up the occasional fishing film on that channel but if you follow us on Facebook Mike will be listing anything new going up.

I think the only trip I did sneak out on was down to Avington in Hampshire for a fly fishing film. Not easy, with the low winter sun making it difficult to spot the trout even though the water is clear. I managed my fish, film done, and they came from the middle lake and the bottom lake. Those trout fell to a fast tweak retrieve and I had quite a few “bumps” where they were snapping at the fly so worth a day if the wind is down. You really do need to pick your weather slots carefully as it seems the only good days are literally….A DAY! We also started the first of our Shooting films on the Outdoors channel for Mike. No I didn’t do any shooting except with the camera. It was a Hampshire Pheasant shoot, informal, about 30 guns and with the wind howling it can’t have been easy to “lead” the bird when judging a shot. I have not been a shooter myself as there is no chance of “returning” anything. Of course it is just the same as trout fishing, where the put-and-take fisheries abound. The Pheasants are specially reared for the shoot, but they are also able to fly where they want, unlike a trout which is in the confines of a small lake. I guess I would say it’s the same as Reservoir trout fishing, where the fish are released, but can then fend for themselves. It was an interesting exercise in filming, I learned some more about shooting, and I imagine it’s something we will be doing more of on the “Outdoors” channel. No need to worry, as I’m not about to rush out and place an order for a Purdy or Holland and Holland shotgun!! I’m just the cameraman. Still great to get out in the countryside though.

Mike in the hide filming

Mike in the hide filming

Speaking of countryside we just returned from a family expedition to deepest Wales staying in a log cabin in the Elan Valley. I have never been there before but could see some great scenery, especially up in the Snowdonia National Park, and around to the coastal towns. The wind and rain were horrific, but in the one short spell when it stopped we dropped in to see a Red Kite feeding area. Apparently it was here that the last of the wild Red Kites were saved, and now with protection they have regained huge numbers. The initial feeding was with chopped meat that the crows, rook and ravens homed in on, then seeing the feed was on, the Red Kites came down to harass the crows for the meat.

How many Red Kites are here

How many Red Kites are here?

I learned that Kites were the only predator bird we have that can actually feed while still flying and another fact was that DNA tests have confirmed every bird had come from the same DNA file of one female. I would of thought that a recipe for future degeneration with no cross breeding of other birds, but I guess they know what they are doing up there as there are supposed to be around 400 feeding at any one time. Hopefully a bit of a film on that one for the “Outdoors” channel as well.

Graeme books

Found a book shop that was selling some of my books!

In the log cabin the aspect of working on my properties never really left …..The toilet wouldn’t flush, (we had to use a waste bin full of water to flush it) there was a leak on the carpet where a probable seal had gone behind the boxed in waste pipe. There was also a slow leak from the cold feed in to the bottom of the cistern. One of the gas hobs wouldn’t light as the ignitor wouldn’t work on the crushed push switch. The first morning we found the door to the freezer compartment in the fridge had no closure clip so we tried to cook breakfast but found the Bacon, Eggs and milk all frozen !! Oh, and the hot water tap in the basin was not running probably, leaving a loud click on the combi boiler where I guess something like a gate valve was sticking. All this having paid top dollar. I did tell the owner, but of course no discount there!!….so beware what you book. Better to get some verbal confirmation of what the place is really like from someone who has been there.

I still have not had a Cod from the shore this winter, largely because I have to get out there. I’m guessing there is only a couple of weeks left up here on the South coast, then they will have moved out deeper, and I will have to run down to the Bristol Channel to try and get one. Word on the grapevine is that they are starting to make a showing. From about 4lbs to just over 10lbs. I reckon late Jan to Feb might be the time to get one.

The Wye up in the mountains was a boiling cauldron of brown water gushing down the valleys, and stopping at Ross on Wye it was not a long way from the edge of the bank. I imagine the rivers are all blown out now, and as I am not a lover of Stillwater fishing in winter it’s going to be tough getting a film. We still have plenty of backup, but we have both enjoyed the luxury of seeing our white notice board filled up with various films that we can pick and choose from. There seems no end to the rain, and even today I will probably run my dirty water pump to knock down the level of one of my smaller ponds which is now overflowing. The large well is also at the 32 feet level. Only the second time I have seen it level with the ground so I imagine our house must be virtually floating. Then I have to look at removing the moss on our roof which I noticed is actually breaking down the tiles. Various remedies including climbing a ladder with my jet wash and trying to blast if off. A) – dangerous, and B)-might blast water under the tiles and into the house!!   Or I might try spraying a section with diluted bleach. A)-might kill the moss but b)-Might turn the roof white. Or….

Nomura Pike Lures, check out our ebay

Nomura Pike Lures, check out our ebay

I could spray the roof with Roundup Weedkiller. The moss has to go, and although they say do it in hot dry weather, when will that be? One day in 2016? So I guess I’ll try hitting it with the jet washer first.

I have been selling the Fishaction DS3 Attractor Shads on Ebay for Mike, and have now sold out. But I am putting up some of the top quality Nomura Pike lures that are currently gaining a reputation. They are Japanese, with really good finish and VMC hooks. So if you are looking for something different in a lure, check them out. Again, we only have a limited stock of these.

Good luck out there, and try to find those weather slots-Graeme.

MIKE PULLEN:

It’s been another whirlwind of a year for Totally Awesome Fishing. Here’s a few stats for you from the past year from our YouTube Analytics (December 31st 2014 – December 31st 2015):

  • Over 7 Million Views
  • 26, 833 NEW subscribers
  • 24, 255 videos put into peoples playlists
  • 6, 680 video shares
  • Over 105 years worth of video time watched

That’s just a small look into the TAFishing Analytics this year. There are some incredible statistics there. Not bad for just a father and son fishing show right? Over 26, 833 New soldiers to The Awesome Army! It seems we are growing at an incredible rate. We are one of the leading fishing YouTube Channels in the world, and certainly in Europe! Thank you to all of you who have hit that subscribe button for us and taken the time to comment, like and share the videos to your friends. We have thoroughly enjoyed making these films and now it’s great to see our other YouTube Channel “Totally Awesome Outdoors” making some nice growth. It’s just passed 100,000 views as well as gaining over 3,000 subscribers. A huge thank you to all of you who follow and subscribe to TA Outdoors, since we have been doing regular uploads on there we have been getting some great feedback on the videos. Here’s an idea of some of the content you can see on there: Bushcraft, Survival Tips, Shooting, DIY projects, Cooking and of course, more FISHING VIDEOS! Be sure to check it out!

Bushcraft

My bushcraft camp set up so far! (A-frame shelter to the left of screen)

So what have I been up to over the Christmas holidays? Well for starters I have been enjoying time well spent with friends and family. That always comes first in my opinion. However, as those of you may have realised who follow me on my Facebook, I have been getting lost in the world that is Bushcraft. For those that haven’t tried it, I urge you to look into Bushcraft. It is a massive topic that covers a huge array of outdoor activities. From fire lighting, to shelter building, to primitive survival techniques, to foraging for wild food. It really is massive. But I think what I like most about it, is it gives you the opportunity to spend some time outdoors with our good friend mother nature. To learn more about the land that we live on, as well as learn some of the techniques that our ancestors used. Something that is easily forgotten with the rise of technology, computers and mobile phones etc. Here is a link to my BUSHCRAFT playlist should you want to have a watch of some of the videos I have made. Recently, my focus has been on building a camp out of natural materials found in the woodland. It’s coming along nicely and it’s great to recycle some dead trees and make something out of it!

On the fishing front, I must admit that I haven’t really done much of it recently… This is not only due to my focus on Bushcraft over the holidays, but it’s also the horrendous weather we have been having here in the UK over the past few months! For those that live outside the UK, we have had a constant wave of low pressure systems circling over us, brining with them huge amounts of heavy rain and strong winds. Whilst this shouldn’t really deter us from fishing, it does make it very difficult to make a decent fishing film without damaging thousands of pounds worth of filming equipment. Thankfully we managed to film plenty of fishing films over the Summer/Autumn.

It’s back to work to me today, two days of INSET and then straight back into the swing of things. I am praying for this rain to stop now so that the rivers can get back to their normal conditions, as at the moment they are very high and like chocolate! Rubbish for lure fishing. So over the next few weeks I hope to be focusing my fishing energy on some deadbait fishing for Pike, as well as some dropshotting and beach fishing. Generally January and February are not great fishing months unless you put the hours in, which can be difficult given the weather conditions, but we will give it our best shot! Stay up to date with more instant updates on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Oh and a shout out to all the Patrons who are helping to support us! You are all Awesome and we are grateful for your support. If you are interested in joining us in our monthly Q&A videos as well as seeing some extra behind the scenes footage, check out our Patreon page here.

LATEST TAFISHING EPISODES:

Fly Fishing - Pocket Casting

Big Perch Fishing - TAFishing

Sea Fishing Rigs - Spreader Bar Rig

LATEST TA OUTDOOR VIDEOS:

Shooting - Pheasant Shooting boxing day

Bushcraft camp update and paracord tip

Bushcraft Fire Lighting - Birch bark fire

Survival Tips - How to kill, fillet and cook Fish

Survival Bottle Cap storage