Back from holiday, packing for Iceland next week

We got back from holiday late last night after the inevitable airport delays, and while it's always fantastic to come back home, right now I am starting to pack my gear up for a quick five day trip to Iceland on Monday - and it looks like the UK is going to be in the grip of a decent heat wave next week !! Can't wait to photograph some of the salmon and trout fishing out in Iceland though - back into work mode, get the head straight, always tricky after a few days off. Spending some proper time away from work with my wife and girls was about as good as it gets.

I was getting some text messages while I was away from some friends of mine from Jersey who have made the journey out to the magical island of Rost that lies some 100kms off the coast of Norway, just above the Arctic Circle. I have not been out there for a while, and I am always really hopeful that a place will fish as well as I know it can when I recommend it to friends - so far they have been smashing lots of cod to 50lbs and some nice big coalfish up to 30lbs, so I guess you could call that a decent result !! Above is a photo of a coalie I nailed out there a couple of years ago that I believe went 35lbs, on a spinning rod as well. One of the best scraps you could ever hope to have. There are a couple of photo essays on this site from Rost, so make sure to have a look at them on the main Photo Essays page here. If you are into fish like these, do all you can to go there - the fishing can be insane, and it is one of THE best places I have ever heard of for catching big coalfish consistently. Big cod are fine, but they can't compare to a big coalfish on light gear in shallow water. Need to go back there soon..........

Here's another proper coalfish from Rost - I hear lots of talk about "big coalfish" from the loads of Brits who go fishing over in Norway, but part of the problem they have is that the waters are so full of the things that it can be impossible to get through the smaller ones during the warmer months. What a problem to have !! (what has happened to all our coalfish we used to catch over here ?) But do your research and go to a place like Rost where the smaller fish tend to avoid and you are in with a shout at coalfish to over 40lbs, plus huge halibut, cod etc. Imagine how prolific our UK waters must once have been ? It makes the heart bleed to think about the state of our seas........

I just heard from my mate Patrick over in south east Ireland that he is starting to catch good numbers of bass, especially on surface lures like the Xorus Patchinko, Lucky Craft Gunfish and the Zenith Z-Claw - check out Patrick's blog right here, and get hold of him as soon as possible if you want some fantastic guided bass fishing over there. I know he is fast running out of available dates on the prime tides, so get in there quickly. There is stacks of info on various bass fishing lures on my Fishing Tackle pages.

I am not sure about internet access when I am over in Iceland, but if I can, of course I will update this blog as much as I can - hopefully with plenty of photos of fresh-run salmon and monster wild brown trout. My friend Pete from Aardvark McLeod is already over there and is no doubt "working hard" at "researching" the waters we will be fishing and photographing - it's a tough job, but I guess that somebody has to do it.

Roll on the Lions - what an awesome game last Saturday, we came so close, and it is my belief that we are the better side. I am rather hoping that this statement is going to be backed up this afternoon with a good win against South Africa, but we shall see. Can't wait.