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Articles by John Olliff-Cooper

John Olliff-Cooper

John started his writing career with Angling magazine in the late 1960's, since when he has contributed to most of the better-known hard copy magazines.

Flirted with modernity for a few years, then panicked at the shallow hype of it all, and fled through 180 degrees. Having been properly brainwashed by 1950's Crabtree, John has completely eschewed the use of modern rods and reels for all his British freshwater fishing, and is delighted to admit that his angling life is now a happy attempt to recreate the Corinthian bliss of bygone days.

Loves: his family, Victorian ideals of fineness and duty, the (apparent) loyalty and company of his friends, whole-cane butt rods, twelve-spoke Aerials, roach, misty summer dawns, Under Milk Wood (Dylan Thomas), Mozart, Richard Strauss, Puccini arias, the books of W.M. Hill, the word-craft of Paul Boote, Georgian architecture and furniture, generosity, flats fishing, Vaughn Williams, long thoughtful baths, passionate lovemaking, Boss shotguns, roast lamb, sea food, long trotting, the paintings of David, and the French impressionists, freelining for chub, hot-water-bottles, picnic lunches on the river, gudgeon.

Hates: unkindness, selfishness, flashiness, garish advertising on clothing, ticky-tacky architecture, 1930's Nazi art, carp-fishing buzzers set at more than 40 db., unreliability, garlic, cold soup, cold hot-water-bottles, people who throw litter out of cars, wishy-washy characters, the expressions - lunker, dog's bollocks, shed-full, like like like - the Australian question inflection ('I'm just going fishing?), trainer shoes, bass speakers in cars, negativity, dumbing down, political correctness.

Among business interests, owns a flooring supply company.

The Zeiss Contax G2 Camera

JOC inspects the new offering from Zeiss

The Essential Anglers’ Hat

Get a head then read on...

Nearly There - and some disgraceful elitist rantings

‘Sir’ John raises some hackles and risks a punch in der maurf from the aliens who surround him.

Choosing a Split-Cane Barbel Rod

JOC considers the traditional tools for the job.

Freezing Day – Hot Lady

The title gives it away. Everyone knows that the Grayling is called The Lady Of the Stream.

A Fundamental Change For Fly Rodders

The man is loopy. Or speaks a lot of common sense. Make your own mind up after reading John Olliff-Cooper's latest theories on double-handed fly-rods.

Psst. I’m Gonna Tell You A Secret

There's a very special centre-pin reel just coming out. JOC lets us in on why it is so special

The Ultimate Throw-Away Line

Don't discard this... JOC looks at silken threads

Cheeky Chappies & Friends

Who? Crucians of course!

A Stream of Fish

The traditional approach

Wallis Casting: In the Steps of FWK (part 2)

How to sling yer 'ook with a pin

In the Steps of FWK.

The Wallis cast

Book Review: Angling – the solitary vice by Fred Buller

JOC takes a look at his bookshelf

Seychelles 4 - Blue Bandits, and the Genuine Miracle of St. John

GT's milkfish and bluefin

Seychelles 3 – Lightning Bolts and Black Bruisers

The islands of dreams

Bernard Venables – Lest We Forget . A final salute from John Olliff-Cooper

Bernard Venables has died.

Seychelles Two - The Deep Blue

Last month, I waxed lyrical about the amazing bone-fishing of the Seychelles. It’s quite new, the bone-fishing. The fish have always been there of course, but it’s only recently that anglers have discovered the potential of these gleaming coral atolls of the Indian Ocean, with their creamy powder-puff lagoons, filled with Bombay Sapphire gin

A Stranger in Paradise


The Lucky Strike

JOC looks at an old Lucky Strike rod

The Felton Family Seduction

JOC dives into the traditional tackle again



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