What every angler wants in their tackle box this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner it’s likely that friends and relatives will be scratching their heads about what to buy you this year.

So in order to avoid the unwanted reindeer sweater or the cheap toiletries that you’ll never use, why not drop a few hints about what you’d really like for Christmas this year.

That’s where we come in, so please allow us to assist with a few gift ideas that anglers everywhere will appreciate.

Upgraded fishing clothing

Fly fisherman fishing for trout in river.

Image source: Goodluz
Put a new pair of waders on your wish-list.

Keeping warm and dry is obviously high up on the list of priorities when out for a long period of time fishing. So how are you fixed for waders, an all-weather jacket or even a Thermo Skin bib and brace, which traps your own body heat? Somebody is probably gagging to buy you a dodgy sweater, but some actually useful fishing clothing would be a way better alternative.

A trip of a lifetime

Boats at Pranang cave beach Railay Krabi in Thailand

Image source: Im Perfect Lazybones
A fishing escape to Thailand? Yes please!

You’ll need wealthy friends if you’re expecting to find air tickets to some dream fishing location in your tackle box on Christmas Day. Cat Island Lodge on the shores of Trout Lake in Ontario, or bass fishing in Florida are just a couple of the more exotic locations for fishing holidays. Or what about catching big carp in Thailand? Closer to home how about a weekend of sea fishing on Chesil Beach in Dorset? There’s a wide variety of fish that swim these waters depending on the weather and sea conditions, so an enjoyable challenge.

Secret fishing location

Multiple fishermen silhouette at sunset.

Image source: viczast
A shared secret spot is fishing gold dust.

This one is free, but potentially priceless in the right hands. Only catch is that it could be hard for somebody to share information about their closely guarded fishing spot. But it’s a nice gesture from one angler to another and a wonderful gift that will keep on giving.


Birds eye view of a fisherman with a rubber dinghy and bivvy in Serbia.

Image source: ollirg
Time for a bivvy upgrade?

The Great British bivvy is the angler’s castle. No matter how far away you are from civilisation, your bivvy has your back and will serve you well through day and night. Invest in quality and you’ll be well prepared for a range of weather conditions whatever the elements throw at you. Is it time for an upgrade?


Handmade flies used for fly fishing

Image source: KML
You can never have enough of these!

If a younger member of the family asks you what you’d like for Christmas this year, be sure to explain what you mean by ‘flies’ or else trouble is on the menu for Christmas dinner. But the fun of choosing which fishing flies to buy you would be an activity that would be enjoyed by the youngsters. There’s an idea.

Fishing tokens

Different coloured squares with fish cut out.

Image source: Blan-k
Affordable and super useful!

Fishing tokens are a wonderful idea for a Christmas gift and most affordable too. Many regional rivers and trusts offer token and passport schemes which usually invest the money back into the upkeep and protection of the river and fish stocks. Simply exchange a token or two and you’re free to fish.

World’s most expensive fish dishes

The UK doesn’t have the best cuisine in the world, but we certainly have an appetite for foody show offs.

Meaning our numerous celebrity chefs are always pushing the boundaries (or being stupid) with food. Cue the most expensive ready meal — a fish pie costing £314.

It’s creator Charlie Bigham admitted the pie was pricey, but said (pun-intended) “It is only a drop in the ocean for customers accustomed to the finer things of life”. Which leads us onto exploring what else these people might be eating — time to take a dive into the opulent ocean of seafood.

Bluefin Tuna

Severely endangered, the rare and mysterious bluefin tuna is the holy grail of tuna fish. Its raw belly meat is highly prized for sushi and sashimi and its expensive too — very expensive.

One weighing 489lb recently sold for a record $1.76 million at a Tokyo auction, so that works out to $3599 per/lb. Shame it’s too large to be caught with your fishing gear else you’d become a big fish overnight.

Fish soup

The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall

Traditional ‘The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’ soup
Source: Wikipedia Commons

There is nothing quite like tasty fish soup, but imagine how good it would taste if you’d paid £108 for a bowl. The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall is the name of the most expensive fish soup in the world and it can be purchased at Kai Mayfair in London.

It contains a wealth of ingredients including abalone, Japanese flower mushroom, sea cucumber and dried scallops. It also used to contain a shark’s fin (although this has been revised due to controversy). If you fancy trying it, you have to give 5 days notice.


When it comes to the finer things in life, caviar is never far away. And the most expensive variety of them all is the highly prized Almas caviar from Iran.

The Caviar House & Prunier in Piccadilly is the only place in the world that sells it. It comes in a tin made of 24-carat gold and costs around £16,000.


Not as expensive as other seafood, oysters are certainly the most decadent food from the sea and have always been considered a delicacy. Casanova allegedly ate 50 each day and Julius Caesar was rumoured to have invaded Britain in search of its oysters.

He should have headed to the Fal river estuary between Truro and Falmouth in Cornwall where some of the tastiest oysters in the world can be found. Today it’s a special area of conservation, so only boats powered by sail or oar are allowed. It’s also a public fishery, so if you have a licence you can try your luck hand-dredging for oysters.


Along with caviar, lobster has for many years been welcome on the dinner tables of the wealthy. Lobster is also the key ingredient in the world’s most expensive frittata.

Served at Norma’s restaurant in New York, the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata contains 1lb of lobster meat and 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar. It will set you back a cool $1000 if you mistake it for a fancy omelette (which it is).

Fish Curry

Fish curry is arguably India’s finest export after tea, but how much would you pay for a really good fish curry? Well, the most expensive in the world can be found in London (again) at the Bombay Brasserie.

The Samundari Khazana — translated as ‘seafood treasure’ — contains Devon crab, white truffle, Beluga caviar and a Scottish lobster coated in gold! £2000 is how much it will cost you to see that lobster.

Heston’s Sound of the Sea

Love him or hate him, Heston Blumenthal is certainly unique with his Willy Wonka approach to preparing food. So when he made his version of a fish pie it came served with an iPod. Hmm…

Yes the iPod provides the sound of crashing waves, which apparently intensifies the taste of the pie. Served in a wooden box, the pie appears to be covered in sand and seashells, but is of course completely edible.

Ingredients include tapioca, razor clams, crushed fried baby eels, cod liver oil and langoustine oil topped with abalone, shrimps and oysters and three kinds of edible seaweed. You’ll need the iPod back for when the waiter tells you how much you owe.

More about that ready meal

So back to the £315 ready meal. Well, you can order it online and it gets delivered to your house in an aluminium case (handcuffed to a security guard).

Inside you’ll find the usual suspects: Cornish lobster, turbot poached in Dom Perignon, white alba truffles, Beluga caviar and select oysters. Even the salt used is of the highest quality and sourced from Slovenia, so it’s really not the usual fish supper. Though some of us would still opt for a freshly caught fish supper wrapped in newspaper over all of the above.

Noisy fish sex – deafening creatures of the deep

Male midshipman fish have been keeping scores of families awake in Southampton with their loud mating calls.

The loud droning from their swim bladder, which is used to attract females, can go on for hours and increases in volume when competing males join in.

After a bit of fishing about, we’ve discovered that there are actually some really loud sea creatures out. Some are able to generate noise in excess of 200 decibels. When you consider the average human conversation is around 60-70 decibels and a jet engine produces 140 decibels, you’ll agree 200+ decibels is loud. Fear not though, as most of the noisy stuff is too big (or small) for one of your fishing rods.

Water boatman — 105 decibels

water boatman

Don’t be misled by its mini stature
Source: Wild About Britain

This one isn’t the loudest, but at just 2mm long, the Micronecta Scholtzi still manages to produce around 105 decibels with its mating song, which means that it is the loudest animal on this planet in relation to its body size. Even though 99% of the sound is lost when transferring to water to air, it is still loud enough to be heard from the riverbank when the creature is at the bottom of the river.

Perhaps even more impressive is that the boatman creates his songs by rubbing his penis against his abdomen in a process called stridulation. Don’t try this at home.

Northern elephant seal – 125 decibels

Northern elephant seal

Not the prettiest, but certainly loud
Source: True Wildlife

Found in the cold aquatic environments of the north, the large proboscis of the adult males resembles an elephant trunk hence the name. A complex breathing apparatus consisting of multiple chambers for storing oxygen, and it’s also what the seal uses to blow its own trumpet (metaphorically of course).

During mating season the seals make very loud roaring noises with this wannabe trunk to woo females, and can peak at around 125 decibels. That’s loud when you consider how many trumpets will be blowing at the same time. Good job they prefer the Polar Regions.

Blue whale – 188 decibels

blue whale

Its groans are louder than a rock concert
Source: Photozworld

It may be the biggest mammal in the world, but this graceful 200-tonne beauty with a tongue as heavy as an elephant, isn’t quite the loudest. It’s not far off though, as the blue whale’s siren call can reach levels of around 188 decibels, which is still much louder than a jet engine or even a rock concert.

The blue whale also emits a low frequency series of pulses, groans and moans, which can travel great distances under the water. Scientists believe that other blue whales travelling at distances of up to 1000 miles can pick up these noises.

Pistol shrimp — 218 decibels

pistol shrimp 2

Tiny but very mighty
Source: Environmental Graffiti

Despite being only 2 cm long the aptly named pistol (or snapping) shrimp is able to generate a split-second sound, which at 218 decibels is louder than a gunshot. Recognized by owning one humungous, oversized claw, which resembles a boxing glove, the pistol shrimp uses this deadly weapon to stun its prey.

The claw snaps shut with enough force to fire a jet of water at up to 62 mph. This generates a low pressure cavitation bubble that bursts with a loud snap and stuns unsuspecting prey. Death by deafness — ouch.

Sperm whale — 230 decibels

sperm whale

The loudest of the sea
Source: The Animal Planet

So if you like to play Top Trumps, you’d want the sperm whale card to win the noisiest sea creature category. The sperm whales head has a structure called monkey lips, which it uses to blow air through and also produce loud, booming clicks.

These clicks or codas, which are unique to each whale, are used like sonar to find food and also to communicate with other sperm whales. It is estimated by biologist and whale researcher, Magnus Wahlberg of Aarhus University in Denmark, that these clicks can reach levels of 230 decibels underwater. Meaning the sperm whale is the loudest sea creature we could find with the net.

World Wide in Waders

Exploring new countries and cultures is great for the soul, expands the mind and broadens your horizons.

There are some truly stunning fishing spots to find around the world. So pack your suitcase and set off in search of the planet’s most exotic fish and beautiful spots.

It’s time to get World Wide in Waders and put the fly(ing) in fly fishing.

Labrador, Canada

Canadian lake

Wish you were here?
Source: Wikipedia

So it’s named after a chubby dog, but nobody cares about that once they’ve gone fishing there. Few destinations in the world can rival the rivers, lakes and ponds of eastern Canada for fishing.

Set against the stunning landscapes of this Canadian wilderness, you’ll be fishing for wild Atlantic salmon, trophy-winning trout, northern pike and much more. And if that wasn’t enough to pack up your waders right away — it’s common to catch fish up to 8lbs in weight.

Just keep an eye out for bears.

The Amazon Basin, Brazil

fly fishing on the Amazon

Wild and wonderful – fly fishing on the Amazon
Source: Matt Ireland

Yes, the Amazon.

Quite an adventurous location this one, so only thrill seekers need apply. This is the largest freshwater system, and the largest rainforest in the world – so you’re well and truly in the wild here.

The fishing REALLY needs to be worth it then, eh?

What this unique area offers is unique types of fish. There’s plenty of Peacock Bass waiting for you to come and have a go with your fly-fishing skills.

For more of a challenge, try to keep up with the speedy matrichana, or brave the white water rapids to fish for a pacu.

Just watch out for the ‘over-friendly’ piranha.

The Alta, Norway

The mighty Alta

The mighty Alta
Source: Wikipedia

Norway is the home of the mighty fjords, mightier Vikings and The Alta.

The Alta is an awe-inspiring location far inside the Arctic Circle, so expect it to feel quite fresh.

Not that you’ll be taking much notice of the weather, as the salmon in this area are seriously big and there are lots and lots of them.

In fact fish have been caught in Norway that far exceed the British record of 64lbs for a rod-caught fish. Every August and September the area boasts some of the best salmon runs in the world — time to bring out the waders.


Cuba is high up on the list of holiday destinations for many people.

In this unique and vibrant place, you’ll find 1950s cars, big cigars and friendly people (when you’re not out fly-fishing).

Yes indeed — saltwater fly-fishing in and around Cuba is pretty remarkable for bonefish and the migratory tarpon. The pristine and wader-friendly inshore flats also benefit from a well-enforced protection policy. So fish populations are abundant and won’t shy away from having a go at your fly.

New Zealand

The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy awakened the world to New Zealand.

Both North and South islands boast crystal clear waters, which are teeming with brown trout and rainbow trout.

It can be quite a challenge to land a fish in these waters, as the water is just so clean and clear. This allows the fish to spot any danger well in advance, your casting has got to be perfect if you are to stand any chance.

Home sweet home

When you return home from your worldwide wading expedition, the best way to relax is by visiting your favourite fishing spot — oh, how you have missed it!

From Cornwall’s rocky coastline to the lochs of Scotland, we do all right in the UK for fishing spots too.

Best ways to spend a tenner in a fishing shop

There are all manner of high-tech fishing goodies you could spend your life savings on. But sometimes, it’s all about keeping it simple and doing the basics well.

You can still catch your dinner with just feathers and a fishing line if you know your stuff. So next time you visit the fishing shop, see how far you can stretch a £10 note.


Good line = good fishing

Good line = good fishing
Source: Bigstockphoto

Along with hooks, the type of fishing line used can greatly affect your chances of making a catch. If you’re fishing in rough waters, you’ll need a thick, durable line, whereas a thinner fishing line is preferable if you’re fishing in a clear, quiet lake and don’t want to alert the fish.

And you’ll always need extra line in your tackle box as there’s always some jagged rock or piece of rubbish just waiting to break your line (and heart) at a key moment.


Planning an all day session out in your favourite fishing spot? Lunch and drinks are packed, you’ve got plenty of fishing gear, bevvies and bivvy. Sounds like the perfect day. Only you return home the next morning in pain with a face redder than an angry octopus.

Sunscreen is one of those easy things to forget, but even in the oft-sunless landscape known as the UK, the sun can still damage your skin if you’re out all day. It’s technically not fishing gear, but it’s in a fishing shop, so stretch that tenner.


For the well-practiced fishermen, it’s important to have a selection of hooks in a range of sizes from the traditional J-hook to the French hook.

You don’t want to be using monster hooks to catch tiddlers — so stock up your tackle box with a variety of hooks and you’ll be ready for any type and size of fish.


fishing flies

A variety of fishing flies
Image: Shutterstock

They come in all shapes and sizes with funny names (no, not jelly beans or real ales), but flies. Fishing flies are affordable and you can never have too many.

Different fishing spots breed different types of fish and so you’ll need to change your flies to improve your chances of catching them. See how many you can get for a tenner — sounds like the start of a global challenge.

Live bait

Live fishing bait

Live fishing bait
Source: Bigstockphoto

“Half a pound of the wiggling ones, please …” Depending on what style of fishing you’re planning for the day, you may require some live bait like worms or maggots.

Unless your local fishing shop is importing exotic maggots from somewhere far away, you should be able to afford more than enough bait and still have money left over for something else in the next paragraph.

Bargain bin

Fishing sale

Hooked on bargains
Source: Bigstockphoto

Everybody loves a bargain bin, so close your eyes and dig in. You never know what you might find. When there’s a sale on anything is possible and your tenner may hook you in something (like a rod!) that may be too big for your tackle box.

This of course depends on two factors — how big your tackle box actually is, and how desperate your local fishing shop is to unload the old stock. Either way, your tenner and some bartering should make an impact in the bargain bin.

5 moments only a fly fisherman would understand

It has been said that the world can be divided into two camps: those who love fly fishing, and those who haven’t tried it yet.

It’s an enjoyable, challenging sport, which lures people in from all walks of life and gets them hooked. There are magic moments to be had, that only a fly fisherman would understand.

The beautiful silence


Feeling contemplative
Source: Military Mental Health

Author Izaak Walton called fly fishing “the contemplative man’s recreation”. When you’re out there alone with your fly fishing rod, watching the evening mist creep over the river, well it’s only natural to feel contemplative.

The beautiful silence is about the seclusion and beauty of nature fusing with the calm, focused mind of the fly fisherman. Simply peaceful is the best way to describe it.

The sound of a can of beer being opened can sometimes break the beautiful silence, but only for a few seconds.

Lost in the challenge

Lost in the moment

Lost in the moment
Source: Valley Springs

Every river and location presents a new challenge. The fly fisherman must find the correct approach and have patience in order to have success.

It can be utterly engrossing when your mind is completely focused on the challenge. How strong is that wind? Where’s the fish holding? Am I using the right fly? What’s the depth of the fly?

Half an hour speeds by, one hour, two hours and you are lost in the challenge — engaged and involved with the hunt.

Maybe you win, maybe not, either way – every fish is a new lesson.


Home from home

Home from home
Source: Wallpaper Here

Every fly fisherman has a favourite spot. Whether it’s the landscape, the location or the fish on offer, it’s mightily comforting to spend a lot of time in one’s own spot. A home from home if you like.

But sometimes you hear of a new spot to explore. Packing up your fishing vehicle with bivvy, fishing gear and refreshments and setting off to a new location can feel most exhilarating.

And it will most likely be a stunning spot too as fly-fishing takes you to some of the most beautiful places one can imagine.

Connecting to nature

At one with nature

At one with nature
Source: Waking Times

You don’t have to be a tree hugger to appreciate how rewarding it is to feel connected to nature.

Fly-fishing provides a wonderful excuse to experience some truly stunning, Zen-like moments and gets you close to the core of what it is to be human.

Watching birds fly past the sunset whilst you’re waist high in water, allowing a curious dragonfly to land on your fly-fishing rod, spotting a deer come down to the river for a drink as the morning mist circles around you — fly fishing puts you at one with nature.

The catch

fly fishing catch

The smile says it all
Source: The Fun Times Guide

For many — especially beginners who are keen for instant results, the success of a fly-fishing session is measured by what is caught.

Even those that say they prefer the game and the process rather than the catch, still require that magic bite from the fish to confirm their ability.

After you’ve invested a lot of time, skill and practice nothing beats the feeling when you see that fly dip and feel a tug.

The sheer joy of landing a fish has to be the most magical moment of all.

Sea fishing’s deadliest catch

Fishing is one of life’s simple pleasures. The feeling of taking home an impressive catch after a long weekend sea fishing is the definition of satisfaction.

Then there are some creatures out there that will ruin your day if they get tangled in your sea fishing tackle. Check out this deadly catch:

Great white shark

great white shark

The Great White Shark
Source: KQED Quest

The Hollywood celebrity of the marine world, the great white shark’s fearsome reputation has damaged beach trade around the world after the Jaws movies.

Apparently these cuties are quite calm, but when provoked will even take large chunks out of humans. Keep that fly rod outta his face — you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Box jellyfish

Box Jellyfish

The Box Jellyfish
Source: Desktop Wallpapers

Box jellyfishes are so beautiful as they glide through the ocean all angelic and jelly-like. Actually they are rather large and have about 15 tentacles — each of which can grow three metres in length with up to 5000 stinging cells.

Those stinging cells are highly venomous and the acute pain will put you into shock. Not something you want to take home to meet the parents.



The Lionfish
Source: Albert Kok

Prowling through the blue jungle like he owns it, the lionfish generally has a smug look on his fishy face. And that’s because he has a mane of venomous spikes that will cause curious folk some serious pain.

If it makes you feel any better, the stings aren’t deadly, but they’ll certainly spoil your evening.

Frilled Shark

frilled shark

The Frilled Shark
Source: Kainita

This scary looking fishy hangs out downtown in the depths of the deep blue, so hopefully you’ll never feel the weight of his considerable bulk on the end of your fly rod.

Considered living fossils, frilled sharks are virtually unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. They probably taste horrid then.

Blue-ringed octopus

blue ringed octopus

The Blue Ringed Octopus
Source: SAS Potato

This one’s quite a looker really and those blue rings sure are lovely. But when it’s angry, it turns yellow and the blue rings get even bluer as it transforms into battle mode.

Battle mode is bad as it’s venom will cause respiratory failure, which means you won’t be able to breathe on your own for a few hours. Not such a big deal if somebody can breathe for you though — erm, hello?



The Stonefish
Source: Walknboston

If a fish could laze about all day on the couch playing video games, then the stonefish would be that fish. Ugly and unmotivated, the stonefish even has the nerve (a venomous one) to sting you if you give it a kick up the backside.

Be careful where you stand as basically the deadly neurotoxin in their glands can cause temporary paralysis and death. How rude!

Cat Shark

cat shark

The Cat Shark
Source: A Creative Explosion

Found in dreamy oceans the cat shark is an extremely agile predator and is able to jump out of the water and hunt small land rodents.

Although quite freakish to look at, the cat shark can be sedated by some heavy stroking and fuss. This one obviously isn’t real, folks.

Fishing reels and other subjects to avoid on a first date

first date

Avoid certain subjects when fishing for love
Photo: IT Thing

First dates are exciting occasions and can potentially change your life.

They can also be very uncomfortable, like a job interview — especially if you start talking about things you shouldn’t really talk about.

Here are some rocky subjects to avoid if you’re fishing for love.

Fishing reels

fishing reels

Don’t talk about fishing reels on a first date
Photo: Fishtec

Your new stunning Airflow V-lite fishing reels might just be the talk of the Fisherman’s Arms and stop anything that moves in the water, but just don’t talk about it on a first date. Unless you want to be told to ‘sling your hook’.



Don’t talk about stuffing animals on a first date
Photo: Wthirdpower

The art of preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of animals with lifelike effect is indeed one of the more alternative hobbies. But it might not be the best thing to bring up over an intimate Sunday roast for two. Get stuffed!

Stamp Collecting

stamp collection

Don’t talk about personal licking addictions on a first date
Photo: Collectiblesxgifts

Talking about the world’s rarest stamps can be an engrossing subject and collecting can become a lifetime obsession once you get started. It’s not exactly a passion stoker though and first dates won’t want to hear about what you lick in your spare time.



Don’t talk about train numbers on a first date
Photo: Al Crowcombe

If organizing a first date at the Paddington Station cafe hadn’t already started the alarm bells ringing, then turning up wearing an anorak and binoculars should do the trick. First class to Singleton, please.



Don’t talk about kids and marriage on a first date
Photo: Favim

Stating that you’re really looking forward to getting married, buying a semi-detached house in Suburbia and having lots of pets and children is about the scariest thing you could start talking about on a first date. Don’t be surprised if the bill arrives before the starters.

Annoying things avoided by sea fishing

sea fishing

Sea fishing – for complete annoyance avoidance
Image: Shutterstock

These days there’s just so much to enjoy. In fact it’s quite impossible to get bored what with the Internet and television and the buzzing social enclaves found in cosmopolitan towns and cities.

Oh isn’t life just swell! Well actually some people don’t like things being swell. It’s sometimes a relief to get away from the media smog and the jib-jabbering masses. And the best way to do this, is to scoop up your sea fishing tackle and hop on a boat.

Here’s just some of the annoying things you can avoid whilst sea fishing:


traffic jam

Sea fishing – no roads, no cars, no traffic jams
Image: Shutterstock

It’s great to own a car and be so mobile, but there’s a problem when everybody else and their dogs own cars too. Not only can they not drive as well as you, but they clog up the roads with their people carriers and hatchbacks and quickly transform mobile to immobile. There are no cars when you’re sea fishing.

Enthusiastic dogs

fishing dog

Over-enthusiastic dogs won’t spoil your sea fishing
Image: Bigstock

“Don’t worry, he’s a big softie,” are words that shouldn’t be taken as truth when a 50-kilo canine comes bounding towards you. Especially whilst you’re quietly fishing by a riverbank. If you want to prevent dogs from scoffing your pack lunch or belly flopping on your bait – head to sea for fishing.



Get off the information super-highway and go sea fishing
Image: Bigstock

It’s amazing and contains a global brain that can tell you everything about everything and keep you entertained from dawn to dawn and you can watch programmes and play games any time of the day. But you can’t eat it, so you’ll be just fine without it.



Sea fisherman catches whopper – read all about it.
Image: Shutterstock

There’s rarely any good news in the newspapers or on the 24 hour news channels. So avoid the doom and gloom of society and create your own good news by catching a whopper in the salty air.

Mobile phone networks

mobile phone signal

Out of service and into sea fishing
Image: Shutterstock

OMG! Isn’t it so cool that you can like get a phone signal anywhere? You can text your friends and tell them how cool the Himalayas are and take a picture of the Dalai Lama as he shares a special moment with you — how great it is to be connected all of the time! Well, lets be honest, it can be a little tiring after a while.

Cute children

Kids messy party

Had enough of the kids? Go sea fishing
Image: Shutterstock

“Isn’t she lovely?” Well, yes, and I sort of don’t mind her playing with my possessions, but she is kind of destroying them by chewing them and that constant bawling is kind of annoying and yes, I do have a headache. Is it time for a spot of sea fishing?

How to survive up fisherman’s creek without a bivvy

Image source: Shutterstock.com

Survival- it’s a messy business
Photo by Shutterstock.com

Imagine the scenario: after a satisfying day’s fishing far away from civilization, the cold, dark night begins to creep in so you decide to get your bivvy erected. Trouble is, you’ve forgotten your bivvy — Doh!

It’s too far to walk home, the light is fading fast and the cold is beginning to snap at your bones — what do you do? You transform into Ray Mears and build a bivvy — obviously.

The decision

well built bivvy

A well built bivvy will help you survive
Photo by Dominic Alves

Survival is about making decisions — choose the correct steps in a survival situation and you dramatically increase your chances of survival.

If presented with a situation where you’re cold, wet or exhausted, building a shelter is one of the most important moves you can make. A good shelter will shield you from the elements and also hide and protect you from wildlife.

Using the terrain

tree shelter

Ready made bivvy
Photo by Chip 2904

If you don’t have much time and the terrain is favorable, then work with what’s already there.

Caves or overhangs can provide shelter from the wind and rain, tree branches will provide an instant canopy of thick cover and fallen or standing hollow trees can be used as sleeping burrows.


beware crocodiles

Read the signs
Photo by Dale Mastin

Before building a shelter you need to decide where you’re going to build it.

Keep away from potential hazards like dry riverbeds and cliff tops and heed warning signs. No really!

Working with what you have

Photo by Shutterstock.com

Use what you have – hopefully you’ve remembered your knife
Photo by Shutterstock.com

Using what you have or what you can find is essential in a survival situation. There may be debris around you can use like bits of old rope or ripped plastic sheeting.

If you’ve brought basic tools like a multipurpose survival knife, fishing wire and a good torch, then things should be a lot easier. And don’t forget your poncho …

Poncho Shelter


Pack a multi-purpose poncho
Photo by Gary Leeming

If you’ve brought a poncho with you or happen to have some plastic sheeting, then you’ll be able to make a simple shelter.

The objective is to make a shape like a tent with the poncho and get underneath.

Simply run a length of rope under the poncho, attaching each end to a tree and then stake the sides into the ground with sharpened sticks. Or attach each corner of the poncho to four trees like in the picture.

Field expedient

stick bivvy

The field expedient bivvy
Photo by John Bointon

If you’ve come truly unprepared, then the field expedient shelter is probably your best bet as it is built using only natural objects found in the immediate vicinity.

The first step is to make a simple frame using a long ridge pole, which can either be supported by placing one end on a rock, tree or Y-shaped branch stuck in the ground and the other end on the floor.

Next create ribs by leaning branches along the ridgepole, which can be secured by vines or reeds. Then cover the frame with pine boughs, leaves and smaller clumps of foliage to provide insulation.

Handy tips

Avoid sleeping directly on the floor as you will lose lots of body heat; instead insulate the floor with pine needles and grass. Place rocks or stones heated on a fire inside the shelter for extra warmth. When you’ve built your shelter, get a brew on and cook a fish supper.