Wednesday 29 November 2023


Very short session yesterday. After a couple of frosts and the colour dropping out the river I thought it might be tough.

It was, but I wangled out a nice roach in a normally "chubby" swim

What was very interesting, was that there were loads of roach rolling ( if I was an expert I'd say "priming" ) as the light dimmed, despite (?) the plummeting temperatures. Lots more activity that I've seen in better catching conditions.

And on that grammatically mangled note I'll sign off.

Thursday 23 November 2023

Tale of Two Rivers

Now where have I seen that blog title before?

The other week a very nice chap invited me to fish his local river.

He's fished it all his life and has caught mind boggling numbers of huge chub, plus monstrous bream and perch. Fish of a size my river rarely, if ever produces.

I knew what to expect and as we walked the semi urban, canalised, pretty uniform section I can't say I was excited.

It looked in good nick though and we fished all afternoon and well into the evening. Neither of us had a bite. That's big fish angling for you.

During the fifty minute drive back along the busiest, most unpleasant road in East Anglia I reflected, yet again, that it ain't all about the fish.

The following day I was back on the beautiful Suffolk Stour and fished "The Forbidden" stretch all afternoon, seeing only a single dog walker.

I tried a swim I've not fished for years and was rewarded with a bite a chuck, mint conditioned roach that will not have seen a hook before.

I'll go back and have another go soon and see if I can find some bigger ones. On the float of course.

Further downstream I managed to nab a couple of nice chub before embalking on the ten minute drive home on traffic free country lanes. Smug git 😄

Some cold weather on the way so it might makes thing a bit tougher in the short term.  We'll see.

Saturday 18 November 2023

Quick Trips

I managed to find a shoal of roach on the river the other day. Lovely swim, with a variety of water ranging from very fast to practically slack. 

Not huge fish but very good size for this stretch.

I was well chuffed with those two, it was in flood and extremely coloured and I do like those conditions for roach. Light quiver rod, micro cage feeder and bread flake this time.

I'm hoping that one day I'll get a monster from this river, I've no idea if they exist but you never know.

Yesterday I was up early, had a six mile walk-run along the water meadows in glorious sunshine before rewarding myself with a corking breakfast.

Then it was off for a bit of trotting in what looked like absolutely perfect conditions.

It was a bit of a struggle and although I managed three chub, two of those were at dusk on the last few casts. 

I was back using the 12' 9", Drennan IM8 Specimen Float rod, twenty five years old and still the best float rod Ive ever used. I'm not as yet convinced about the fifteen foot Cadence I bought a while ago. I hate the tiny rings they insist on using, they impede casting and trotting efficiently massively in my opinion. 

Another thoroughly enjoyable day.

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Good Day, Bad Day

I say "day", the first session was for an hour and a half. I was definitely not fishing today. Oh no, a six mile walk-run, a big midday fry up and a relaxing afternoon listening to football on the radio. That's what was happening today.

Great run, even better fry up and I relaxed for, ooh, about twenty minutes before I was bored.

Looked out the window. Wasn't raining. Hmm.

Half hour later I was casting out a big lump of bread flake in a "new" favourite swim. First cast a nice chub, then a couple of smaller ones. 

A couple of rattling bites and I changed to a smaller hook, hoping for a roach. First cast, tip pulled slowly round and a nice roach was on.

I finished with three chub and a roach. A very nice, very short outing.

Yesterday I went to another stretch, baited up and was full of confidence of a few decent fish.

In short, I lost a rod rest ( subsequently found ), a thirty year old pen knife ( subsequently found ) and a leg and foot off a very old lightweight chair ( not found ). How the feck a six inch bit of metal and four inch diameter foot can disappear I don't know.

I fished for three hours and into dark without so much as a touch.

Win some, lose some.

Sunday 12 November 2023

In The Groove

As I've said a million times before, it's not just about the size or quantity of the fish.

It's about going somewhere scenic, or at least peaceful, with a bit of mystery and ideally with no other fecker fishing ( apart from a good mate of course). Sorry, I'm not usually anti social at all, just when I'm fishing.

I've been fishing the local river, the gear and bait always ready to be grabbed for short sessions. Ten minutes from the house, travelling light, nabbing a fish or two, its my type of fishing.

Cooky came along the other day and managed to hook and lose two decent chub through "user error". I could say more but won't. Another time I'll spill the beans.

I used the fifteen footer for a bit of trotting and managed to hook a nice chub. Unfortunately, the strike resulted in the rod getting thoroughly tangled in some brambles. An unholy mess. The chub, of course, was lost

Just before dusk, in the umpteenth swim, the float buried and a beautiful roach surfaced. It was in pristine condition and was probably the biggest I've had from this stretch.

Yesterday, I fished on a gloriously sunny, cold afternoon. One swim produced two nice chub in two casts, but in the other swims I was biteless, except on a sweeping bend, where roach were hitting the bread each cast. I missed most of them. Well, you will do on a size six hook with a quarter slice won't you ?

As soon as the sun disappeared the temperature plummeted and the water meadows were enveloped by a low lying mist, the only sounds being the honking of geese and the gentle calls of teal on the flooded washes.

Oh, and the faint sound of 5Live as I listened to the football on the radio. That's messed up the purple prose, eh ?

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Floods and Chubs

I've never seen rain like it this early in the season.

My part of the lower river takes three or four days longer to settle down than stretches only five or six miles upstream, due in part to a couple of tributaries draining in to the main channel.

At the moment a friend fifteen miles upstream tells me it's normal level and now clear. Not here Guvnor.

Today it was going through like a train but with a perfect green tinge that tells you that you will most certainly catch chub.

Fishing any available steady bit of water resulted in a few bites and I finished with four moderately sized chub. Bit of fun on a short session on a sunny afternoon 

I also had a ruffe the other day. I love 'em.

I'm hoping to get back on the "Forbidden" section later in the week if the rain stops and the flow eases.

I'm taking my mate Dicky Boy who wants a decent river bream, so the pressure is on. Wish me luck.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Mixed Bag

In the morning I pre baited my river "bream swim" with about a dozen big balls of groundbait with mixed seed and sweetcorn. The river was still pushing through a bit hard, but the colour was just about perfect.

I returned in the afternoon and half heartedly fished a few other swims before settling down in the baited pitch. Nothing. Not a twitch, so I moved up and down the stretch searching for a bite.

It seemed dead, but this section is not exactly heaving with fish, so not it was not entirely unexpected. 

Oh, the photo above ? Chubby you say ? The chub didn't think so today. 

Back in THE swim and after a short while, a bite ! A nice chub and one who had been gorging on the sweetcorn. 

That's more like it.

As the flow was so quick I used a dropper to get the bait down in the right spot and next cast I was in to a fish that could only be a carp. It fought long and hard and when I netted it I was disappointed to see it was a poor old bugger, ottered and no doubt an escapee from a lake in the recent floods.

More bait introduced, but no further action until dusk, when, as the sky cleared and the mist rolled down into the valley, several fish rolled close in.

A huge full moon rose over the far bank alders throwing out shadows over the flood plain. The tip knocked twice and pulled round, resulting in a smallish bream.

My now it was a bit chilly, I was hungry and there was rugby on TV, so I packed up and headed home.

I'm not going to be breaking any records on the lower river, but it's local, scenic and unfished so ticks alot of boxes for me.

You'll not be surprised to know that I'm going back this evening for another go.