Saturday 18 December 2021

Back on the River

Back running and back on the river. Had a niggly injury that's been stopping me from getting out running properly, but, fingers crossed it seems to have cleared up.

I text Trotty and asked if he fancied a longish slow run and being the keenie he is he said yes. We started at the tidal end of the Stour and headed up river, we'd had plenty of rain so the water had flooded the meadows.

I took the opportunity of setting poor old Trotty up to cross streams and ditches that were thigh high in water..."don't worry, it's not deep" . He is the epitome of stoicism, uncomplaining and with a never changing poker face. Total opposite of me haha.

I bloody loved it running through the water and the mud, proper trail running and one of the best things about winter for me.

Looking at the river, up a couple of feet and pushing through hard, I reckoned that in two or three days it would be about spot on. Midday Tuesday the new chub rod was taken out of the bag and ready to be christened.

The river was still a day off perfect but I was still ultra confident of a few fish.

Bit of mash chucked in the first swim, then I baited a couple more places before getting ready to cast out. Big lump of bread flake, couple of swan shot swung out in to the steady water adjacent to some snags.

I expected a bite immediately and was ready when the new quiver pulled round as something unseen snaffled my bait. Strike. Missed. Same thing happened next cast. Poor show.

Third cast and I made contact and the rod hooped over in a pleasing curve before a chunky chub hit the net. Wunderbar.

I had fish out the first five swims and was on a bit of a roll. I've done alot of chubbing over the years and do think they're quite easy fish to understand and catch ( usually ) if you do certain things right.

Bait. You can't beat bread, on the hook and as feed. Don't give that old balony about your special recipe cheese paste being the doggies dooh daahs either. Seriously, I think bait is one of the least important things when it comes to chubbing.

I ended up the six decent chub before somebody pulled the plug at the downstream end and turned a near perfect river into a muddy torrent. I'd caught enough by then anyway.

Saturday 4 December 2021

The End

The end of 2021 that is.

December. Darkness creeping in by mid afternoon, feels like things are slowing down, drawing to a close.

It's been an interesting year. That can mean many things simultaneously.

I've spent a total of more than four months away in the camper and enjoyed every day. The GUC and Kennet-Avon canals in spring,  bass and tope fishing in north Norfolk, rock fishing and mini species in south Devon, chub and barbel in the Wye valley, the west coast of wales and an amazing couple of weeks on the Llyn Peninsula, a truly stunning place.  

On the very tip of the Lynn, running low on supplies and not being keen to move whilst the weather was gloriously hot and calm, I lived on barbequed mackerel and pollack for a week ( washed down with cider ).

Five of my mates came out for a few days fishing over the course of the year.

Turdous for tope fishing in Norfolk, Chris B for bassing and drinking ( "Shall we have another" ?  ), again in Norfolk. A huge walk across " the desert " just to reach the water, but what a feeling, standing in the surf with breakers crashing all round you.

Goozgog joined me in Dorset on the rocks in mid summer and then later in September. Lots of chat and loads of fish.

Trotty also came to Dorset, for trail running, not fishing. Let's just say he was not prepared for the severity of the hills. But he loved it. Finally, Wak Baines got a two day pass in October for a trip to the GUC , where he nabbed a cracking zander in the last chance saloon. As we always say, " Shining Times ".

By the end of the month I'll be on sixty species for the year. I got as big a kick out of catching the gudgeon, ruffe and mini species in the sea, as the big stuff. Perhaps more so. I spent endless hours in rock pools in south Devon, peering in to the gin clear water watching and catching various gobies, sea scorpions, and wrasse. I love it.

I spent over a week without moving in one place, the camper parked on the edge of the beach, watching and hearing the sea change and fishing every day. One evening meal consisted purely of fish and nothing else. Red mullet, mackerel and bream. Bit of black pepper and lemon juice and that's it.

I've missed loads of stuff but don't want to bore you any more than necessary, so to finish I'll give you a list of some more good things in 2021. 

Aldi Cheddar and Chilli crisps ( and their sea salt and black pepper ).

Woodgate cider.

The Man Utd soap opera. Especially the episide when they lost 5 - 0 at home to Liverpool.

Empire by Jeremy Paxman. Well worth a read.

Going to the first gig for eighteen months. The East Town Pirates ( singalong pirate punk ) and Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons. A great night, no face masks, no silly ordering by app on your phone. 

A Hero's Death - Fontaines DC

Singularity - Jon Hopkins - ANNA remix....yeeeeeahhhhh boiiiii

Holm Sound - Erland Cooper

Chaise Longue - Wet Leg

Anything by Bicep

There's loads more stuff but we'll be here all night. Pour yourself a glass of something, have a listen to those and then tell me yours.

Lots plans for 2022. Well, not plans, hopes really.