We've got a new contributor starting on Anglers' Net. A mutual friend put us in touch and described him as 'dead keen', or words to that effect. He wasn't kidding!
To say Shane Calton likes to fish is like saying Lewis Hamilton likes to drive fast – this guy seriously loves his fishing and seems to make sure he gets more than his fair share of time on the bank! Who can blame him?
As well as catching fish, Shane also seems to enjoy taking nice photographs, helping fellow anglers and writing. When I asked him for a few words about himself, I got more than the usual bog-standard paragraph, so decided to share his introduction with you below.
I'd like to say a big 'welcome' to Shane on behalf of Anglers' Net and look forward to seeing a great mixed selection of articles and reviews from him over the coming months.
Shane 'Cat' Calton
A bit about me; well, my name is Shane, but my mates call me “Cat”. I live in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. I am 37 years old and have been fishing since I was 4-5 years old. I started out by using a home made net made from bit of bamboo cane, a wire coat hanger a pair of old tights, turning over stones and a catching Bullheads and Stone loach at Somersall on the river Hipper, in Chesterfield, where I was born and raised. As I grew, so did my passion for angling and I soon progressed onto coarse fishing using rod and line at Walton Dam, catching Roach, Tench and Perch with my granddad.
At the age of 11 years old I started taking an interest in fly fishing, so I joined Linacre reservoir in Derbyshire, where I taught myself to cast the fly by watching other anglers. I then got books from the library on how to fly tie and taught myself to tie flies. The sense of achievement that I got from catching fish on my own inventions fuelled my enthusiasm and so all my spare time was spent fly fishing.
I went on to compete in casting competitions at game fairs and the like, competing with now professionals who I then used to beat on a regular basis! I still compete in the odd distance casting competition and have a few winning trophies to my name sat on the mantelpiece, but I get the most enjoyment from teaching people new to the sport how to cast a fly line out these days.
Fly fishing took me onto rivers like the Wye and Derwent, where I discovered Barbel, Chub and Grayling. I soon had the coarse gear out again and my weeks were now split between coarse and game fishing. Once the fly fishing season had finished and the winter came, I still had to be out there, so I started Pike fishing and each year my knowledge and understanding of each discipline has grown. It's like anything; the more times you do something, the better you get at it. I now like to think of myself as a good all-rounder who thrives on the pursuit of specimen fish of all species in both coarse and game angling.
I like to challenge myself into doing things that are a bit more pioneering than the norm. I like to fish a new venue each week as well if I can, regularly alternating from coarse to game and occasionally crossing them both over by targeting other species of fish using the fly like Perch, Pike, Zander, Chub, Bream and Carp. They are all great sport on a fly rod. Believe it or not, I have even caught Barbel on the fly!
I don’t profess to be an expert, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am above all, a very helpful angler and will always give good advice and assistance when asked. I am also respectful of all other anglers and the beautiful countryside in which we pursue our quarry.
Tight lines to you all for the future,
Angling Guide, Casting Instructor, Fishing Journo & Photographer