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Young angler Henry Grayling in TV show

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: October 11, 2012

KEEN ANGLER: Henry Grayling, soon to be a television star, pictured during his trip with angling correspondent Wayne Thomas to Bratton Water

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Wayne Thomas

MR CRABTREE Goes Fishing was a long-running cartoon strip created by Bernard Venables, the angling correspondent for the Daily Mirror.

A spin-off book sold more than two million copies during the 1940s.

Its evocative illustrations and prose portrayed an idyllic rural scene in which Mr Crabtree taught his young son, Peter, how to catch fish.

It inspired anglers and has continued to do so as the book has been reprinted on several occasions.

A new television series and accompanying book, Fishing In The Footsteps Of Mr Crabtree, is intended to build the legacy and introduce a new generation to fishing.

Angling expert and author John Bailey is to play the part of Mr Crabtree. And, as reported in the Journal in May, Henry Grayling, 10, won a competition to star as Peter in the first episode of the series.

Henry, who lives in North Tawton, is a member of Barnstaple and District Angling Club with his father, John Grayling, who lives in Barnstaple and helps run the family fish and chip shops in Fremington and North Tawton.

The competition attracted 4,500 letters from entrants, who were whittled down to a shortlist of 50 who had to produce a one-minute film showing why they should play Peter.

Henry's passion for angling shone through in his film and he was one of four young anglers chosen to play Peter in the series.

I met Henry at River Reads bookshop in Torrington, during a signing by River Monsters TV star Jeremy Wade, and was impressed by his keenness and knowledge of angling at such a young age.

I arranged to meet him and his father for a session at the picturesque Bratton Water trout fishery.

For more than an hour trout showed contempt at our efforts, repeatedly leaping high out of the water just feet from the rod tip.

Henry fished with confidence and patience beyond his years while I wished ever harder for a trout to succumb.

Then, on casting out a small black Montana nymph, there came that delightful moment of deception – a trout swirling upon the fly as it landed on the water.

The pristine brown trout was everything a trout should be with golden flanks decorated by black spots and a broad paddle of a tail.

Henry told me about his adventures during three days of filming in Norfolk where he landed some superb specimens to be revealed when the TV programme is aired later this year.

To find out more about the series, visit www.mrcrabtreegoesfishing.com

Zyg Gregorek, owner of Angler's Paradise, has landed a huge northern bluefin tuna, estimated at more than 1,000lb, while fishing Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia.

The huge fish brings Gregorek's tally of fish weighing more than 1,000lb to four, with tiger shark, six-gill shark and great white shark already recorded.

He intends to add to the list when he sets out in search of the elusive Greenland shark.

Back at home, anglers have been making their own dreams come true at Gregorek's popular complex.

Steve Gliddon, from Holsworthy, targeted the specimen carp of Kraking Carp Lake and was rewarded at 4am when a hefty mirror carp of 39lb 8oz took his trimmed-down pop-up boilie, fished in conjunction with a PVA bag full of pellet and crushed boilie.

Stuart Hutchings won Stafford Moor's 36-hour specimen carp match on Joseph's Lake with a total weight of 229lb 12oz, consisting of ten carp to 21lb 11oz. Chris Hutchings was runner-up with eight carp totalling 214lb 12oz. Brendan Phillips was third with 204lb 4oz.

Ilfracombe Match Group won their annual contest against Bude Pirates.

The second leg was fished on a cold and windswept Bude Canal where Kevin Wilton's 17lb 8oz bag led the way. In second and third were Andy Gray (7lb 3oz) and John Lisle (7lb).

Trout anglers have been enjoying some great sport in the clear waters of Bratton Water.

Dave Heal, of Minehead, landed four brown trout and a blue trout for a total bag of 15lb 4oz. The fish were tempted using a shipman's buzzer and a Griffith's gnat.

Diary dates

Saturday and Sunday: Triple Hook Club Late Croyde to Foreland Open – mixed brace – fishing 6pm to 6pm, weigh-in Royal British Legion 7.30pm.

Sunday: Combe Martin SAC boat and shore competition, fishing 7am to 7pm, weigh-in Rising Sun, Lynmouth, 7.30pm.

Wednesday: Bideford and District Angling Club midweek rover.

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