Congratulations go out this week to Pat O'Reilly, angling writer, author, conservationist and first class fly fisher on being awarded an MBE for his services to angling and conservation.

The New Year has started off with major flooding in most parts of the country, only the north west of England seems to have escaped the misery of people having their homes flooded. The forecast for the coming week is for dry, cold weather with frost and snow in some areas. Under these conditions I choose to fish for chub and grayling, both species will feed in Arctic conditions. I've caught both species of fish when the water temperatures were down to 34 degrees F.

Chub are the perfect quarry under cold conditions. Some writers suggest chub give only give tiny movements of the rod tip in low water temperatures. I've only had this happen occasionally, most of the bites from winter chub are usually a small tap on the rod tip then a good pull - bites which are easily turned into fish. My first choice bait is crust. I use a short link between hook and weight, often the weight is just 2 inches from the hook.

On a bright sunny but cold day with clear water, grayling are an excellent quarry, they can be fished for with nymphs, dry fly and bait. For the latter I suggest you use sweetcorn and float tackle in pursuit of this delightful fish. By using sweetcorn, I find you don't hook so many 'out of season' brown trout. Most of your fly fishing will be with weighted nymphs, around mid-day you will often find a few grayling rising to take small flies off the surface. I suggest you then try a small olive pattern. A Greenwells Glory is a good choice.

New Water

Keighley AC have a new stretch of the river Aire for 2003. It's upstream of Kildwick Bridge left hand bank looking upstream. Season tickets cost just 20-00 a year which includes some stillwaters and other stretches of the river Aire plus many miles of canal fishing.

Take a look at this weeks Anglers Mail. On page 5 Tony Miles is pictured with a super barbel of 18 lb 9 ounces from the Great Ouse where Tony was fishing with a new bait. On pages 6 through to 9, it's the battle of the baggers. On page 10 you can learn some good ideas for catching chub from John Barford. New Gear, Tackle on Test and User Reports are featured as are fresh and saltwater angling venues. Carp fishing, being so popular, is well covered with several pages of pictures and text on your favourite species. On pages 34 and 35 you will find a Special Report Fishing forecast for 2003. It's based on the stars such as Scorpion and Capricorn - personally I feel this was wasted pages which could have been filled with some good fish catching ideas from real experts. Despite this, it's still a good buy at just 1-00 from your newsagent.