Who’s going to win, the Mudskipper or the crab?

Picture by Peer Doering-Arjes.

In last week’s email I jokingly mentioned mudskippers. Of course, I knew this would bring an immediate response from my worldly readers. My friend Peer Doering-Arjes wrote from Berlin to tell me that he had fly fished for them in Vietnam, although he hadn’t managed to find a fly that they were willing to take. I suggested that he was pulling my leg. He assured me that he wouldn’t dream of joking about something as serious as fly fishing for mudskippers and sent me these pictures.

Here are Peer’s friends trying out his fly rod for those finicky Vietnamese mudskippers. Which fly will they take? How should one cook them? Which wine would go well with them?

Picture by Peer Doering-Arjes.

Like me, you’re probably becoming obsessed with the mudskipper. As fish go, they ask more questions than we can hope to answer. Gurk gurk. Gurk gurk.

But don’t get your hopes up. We have no immediate plans for a range of specialist mudskipper rods. Here in Newbury, we’re suffering from a lack of water due to climate change, abstraction and carelessness, but we can still hope for the occasional trout, a wary chub or a barbel. The reign of the mudskipper is some way off.

What we do have is a fine selection of rods and reels available for click and collect (if you’re local) until the end of lockdown phase 2, when you can also call me to arrange an appointment to see and buy tackle, still outside, with a mask on and disinfected hands.

Like this spectacular 12′ 3-piece Avon rod that I made in 1992. It’s got a whole cane butt and a red rubber button, for heaven’s sake!

Like this spectacular 12' 3-piece Avon rod that I made in 1992. It's got a whole cane butt and a red rubber button, for heaven's sake!

Please click here for details.

We’re still working, legally, although back to split shifts for safety, so please phone either our landline 01635 552 916 or my mobile 07770 575 254 if there is something you’d like to discuss.

I’m afraid you can’t travel to Vietnam to hunt for the elusive mudskipper but you may fish locally and we wish you good health and good luck.

Edward Barder and Colin Whitehouse, builders of bonfires, makers of fishing rods, wearers of masks