Monday 28 February 2022

A Visitor

Yesterday I met naturalised Naaarfolk boi Wak Baines for a fish and catch up.

We started at nice bit of river ideal for trotting. Wak had several nice dace and roach on his oversized Avon float and centrepin before getting tangled up twice in an overhanging tree. The hazards of using a fifteen foot rod.

After a cup of tea in the camper we moved a mile or so downstream for some mobile chubbing. We took a short cut which involved hurdling a five bar gate.

Wak entertained me by suffering multiple indignities as he tried to manoeuvre his ample frame over the gate. Should have had the camera ready.

The first two swims resulted in precisely nothing for both of us. Disappointing as they are usually reliable swims.

We then sat on a deep bend and fished side by side casting downstream where it shallowed. Wak missed several bites which showed fish were present.

I cast way downstream and after a minute the tip went round and as I struck the fish came up and erupted on the surface, zipping this way and that. Not a big fish but a very welcome one.

Unusually, today we did not put the put the world to rights. I think we've all had our fill of it now. Just easy chat and relaxation.

We then moved further downstream to the absolutely-cannot-fail-massive-snag-swim. Of course we failed.

By now the sun had gone in ( well, you know what I mean ) and the wind had got up. It was a bit chilly.

We decided to fish the bend swim on the way back. Unfortunately some dick had decided so run the river off hard, so much so that the meandering Stour became the river Wye for a while.

I managed to wangle another energetic chub out the swim before Wak had to depart for baby sitting duties.

An enjoyable day with an old buddy as usual.

Sunday 27 February 2022

Hangin' Around

 "Hope I die before I get old"

My Generation -The Who

They didn't did they ? Neither did all manner of bands from my youth. They continued playing for thirty forty and in some cases fifty years.

Not very rock and roll  ? Heritage acts you say ? Maybe.

Last night I went to see the Stranglers, supported by Ruts DC. I first saw The Stranglers in 1979 and have seen them many times since. That's forty odd years.

I know you're meant to say it was better in the old days, in the first flush of youth, but I enjoyed that last night every bit as much.

The Ruts came on stage, three old blokes in hats. Old blokes until the first chords of "Babylon's Burning" blast out and suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up and you, and they, are ageless. They play the oldies, plus some new stuff that's not"alright"or "quite good", but excellent. A brilliant set.

We get a drink and then the lights dim and the entrance music of "The Meninblack" starts. A few minutes later The Stranglers walk on and immediately blast out three rowdy classics on the bounce.

I look at JJ, the man with surely the most recognisable bass guitar sound in rock and at a scarcely believable seventy years old,  still at it. Frontman Baz, the "new bloke" of twenty five years standing,  the ring master and crowd baiter.

After keyboardist Dave Greenfield's death last year it looked like the band would fold. He was irreplaceable.

Somehow they found Toby and hats off to him, he pulls it off. It's still The Stranglers.

Encore. Last song. Yes, same as always. JJ goes to top of the stage bangs the bass with his fist and then suddenly the intro to " No More Heroes" starts . The place erupts, the grey heads, bald heads, all going crazy like it's 1979. I'm in the mosh pit with other oldies jumping, laughing, singing. It's good natured and unlike the old days, you're unlikely to get your head kicked in.

Then it's all over. They line up, bow to the crowd and are gone.

A bloody brilliant evening.

Sunday 13 February 2022


Well, exploring more of this stretch of river, which sees a few lure fisherman, but I can't say I've ever seen more than a couple of people fishing for the chub or roach.

I wanted to go back and fish the swims near the bridge, where the ducks are fed industrial quantities of bread by visitors.

However, I started well upstream and opened my account ( new cliche alert ) with a big chub. How big ? On the scales 4.11. Same as the fish yesterday ?

A quick scale check proved it was the same fish, caught five hundred yards away. Very disappointing. Oh well.

Had a battered but plump fish in a different swim but it was slow.

 I fed the swims by the bridge with bread and as dusk approached flicked out a bait along the edge. The tip immediately rattled but these were small fish, roach I reckoned. Several bites missed and time to move.

Next swim the same, but second chuck I managed to hit the bite which proved to be a roach of no great size.

Next swim the same, it was paved with them, but no chub. Interesting, as you very rarely get roach bites at any other swims in this stretch. Ill give it a go with the float for them when there's a bit of colour in the water.

A few days later I was back with Turdy for a very short pike session. We tried a new swim which turned up a chunky jack but that was it. Enjoyable early morning chatting anyway.

I'll be back in the week.

Monday 7 February 2022

Buzzin' and Shakin'

Indulge me here, I've had a bit of a red letter day. The Suffolk Stour is a relatively lightly fished river with some decent fish present, but it isn't the Wye, Thames or Avon from a big fish point of view.

I'm doing a bit of work on the camper so I'm fishing close to home at the moment. When I say close I mean walking distance.

Yesterday on my morning run by the river I saw the slightest hint of colour, it was still clear but not crystal. Hmm, worth a go.

A couple of hours later I was back. There was very little flow. This section is not really classic chub territory, from a flow perspective anyway. On the other had there is plenty of cover and snags.

I started in one of my banker swims. Depth varies from two to nine foot, a huge snag downstream from a feeder dyke, you don't have to be a genius to realise they'll be fish here. It's good for pike too.

I was surprised I had to wait ten minutes but eventually the tip pulled very slowly round and the first chub was on. A nice fish 2.5-3lb.

I walked to the most upstream swim and two casts later a couple of average sized but immaculately conditioned fish were in the net. Blunt headed bruisers the pair of them.

I then tried a new swim where the river narrows, with plenty of cover on the far side, one of the few swims with plenty of flow today. A handful of mash followed by my flake and seconds later a cracking chub was on the bank. It's a tight swim so I put it in the net and re cast.

As soon as the bait hit the bottom the rod whacked viciously round in barbel style, and a very angry and rather large chub joined the other one in the landing net. Nice brace at 3.08 and exactly 4.00

By now it was well into dusk and I started the walk back, intending to have five minutes in a swim where the visitors feed the ducks. Also, there was a bloke fishing there earlier, so I was hoping it would have been pre baited for me.

No flow whatsever but plenty of cover. Bit of mash, cast out, BANG ! A heavy sluggish fish was hustled in. Blimey, 4lb 11 oz.

After all the commotion I thought any remaining fish would have been scared off, but I wanted to dry the net off so cast out anyway. Feck me a minute later I was in again. Believe it or not, another one of exactly 4lb.

Seven fish in a few hours with three over 4lb, brilliant.

It's the first time in ages that I've been really buzzing after a session. I've had loads of pleasant trips but nothing that got me on the phone to my mates before I even got home.

I even enjoyed the two mile walk home in the dark, waffling and jibbering about my success.