The highlights of the year were definitely for me being given the all clear by the doctors and returning to work and on a fishing side of things I had a few highs throughout this year.
Firstly it was great to be able to donate £125 to RAF Leeming for Help for Heroes from the sale of a charity box of floats I had made.
Another highlight was the New Personal Record Brown Trout for the River Swale in May weighing 3lbs 3oz
It wasn't till late July that I started on my quest for this years barbel on the Swale and done relatively well in only what can be described as a tough season with very low water conditions, best session being 22 chub & 13 barbel.
By this time I was fully into making floats again and having to turn orders away as I just could not keep up with the demand that people required, as I've said on many occasions float making is my way of unwinding after work and relaxing, and when you try to keep up with people's demands if turns from a hobby & a pleasure to a chore and I didn't want this to happen.
We managed a few trips back to Scotland which allowed me to get back onto the rivers where I had learned to fish all those many years ago, and although the surrounding may have become more overgrown and more of a challenge the fishing certainly hasn't declined with some excellent catches of Brown Trout all on the fly rod on one trip bagging 45 trout in the net with 19 fish lost, and the cost for a season ticket £20.
The summer slipped away rather too quickly but I was waiting in anticipation for the trout season to finish and the new 2011 - 2012 Grayling season to open as I was desperate to get amongst the ladies of the Stream again after last years disappointments. I finally made it out in mid October and had an opening day which made up for all the days sat in the house pondering how this year would fair, 17 Grayling as an opener.
No sooner said than November was upon us and the 35th Grayling Society Symposium in Appleby where I got to see a few old friends again and make many new ones.
The middle of December finally seen me finishing this years Cane rod restoration which this year was an Edgar Sealey Octofloat Delux and also I had the pleasure of seeing some friends ditch the Carbon Rods for cane rods and Centre Pin Reels.
On a sad note 40th Regiment (The Lowland Gunners) Royal Artillery which I had served 24 years with went into suspended animation and the Gun Batteries split between other Regiments in the Royal Artillery, maybe one day we will see the Regiment reform under her flag.
Happy New Year.
Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh