Tuesday 29 March 2022


Yes, that's me. Greedy for everything I like. I was keen to get back to the canal but the forecast, following a week of very warm weather, was not good.

Anyone sensible would leave it for another time but not me. Bollocks, I'm going.

First day to be fair ( Brian ) was very nice. Had some nice big rudd again, one good silver bream and several skimmers 1-2lb ( or is that classed as a bream in these parts ?), plus perch and roach.

Had a go for the zander in the evening and after missing a few runs I snared a litlun. I'm sure the missed runs were from fish of similar size.

Hungry boy Chris from Stansted joined me the next day, turning up with a ludicrous amount of gear. He had a sort of wheelbarrow type affair the matchman use when they transport their four bedroomed platforms to their woodchip covered swims in search of something called an "F1". Bred to keep small, is that right ? Apparently they catch so many they bring two or three keepnets.

Less is more. Honestly. 

Anyway, Hungry Boy thought the  wheelbarrow thingy was great until he had a puncture on the way back. He moved very much slower with one flat. Especially up the steps. Oh well, he should have bought a rucksack.

We really struggled. The temperature was probably down 8-10 degrees on the day before. It was a bit grim.

We had a big rudd each, skimmers, small perch and roach but it really was slow. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

After Chris had left, I cooked a huge pasta dish, washed down with a very nice Cotes De Rhone, consumed whilst listening to some damn fine music on Marc Riley's show on 6Music. If that's classed as a poor day I'm a lucky man.

Saturday 19 March 2022

Good Times, Bad Times

The first road trip of the year, down to the canal, a three hour chug in the camper. BBC weather on Monday told me it was sunny all week, by Tuesday they said that, actually Wednesday it was going to pee down. All day. They were right on that score.

I arrived early afternoon and waited for it to stop. It didn't. Never mind, I'd wait until Thursday.

Walking to the swim my pre made up rod got caught in a tree, a gentle nudge and it was free. Half a mile later I arrived at the swim and found it'd snapped off, my favourite bobber float too ! I walked back to find it.
No sign of it, walked back to swim only to find it on the ground. How it got there I don't know.

Never mind. Relaaaaax.

I started to set up my impulse-purchase-but-not-very-good-pole. Oh dear, I appear to have left the top section in the van

And so it continued. No zander, just a handful of roach and rudd. It was dry and I was fishing but to put it mildly, I've had better days.

Second day I awoke to bright sunshine. An absolutely gorgeous day. The Turdster was joining me for the day and we set off for a couple of swims close to the campsite.

I picked a swim on the basis that I could sit comfortably on the sun. Yes, watercraft in action.

The pole was set up reasonably professionally, I even had a pole winder and a proper pole float. I'm da man ya know ? 

First drop in and the float buried and a cracking rudd around the pound mark was in the net. Great start.

After that, amazingly I had a fish a chuck for and hour and a half until we packed up for lunch.

A dozen big rudd to 1lb 10oz, eight bream 1-2lb and several silver bream. As you can see from the photos the fish were in absolutely immaculate condition. I was well chuffed.

Oh yes, and Turdy caught a decent rudd on a rubber shad too.

The afternoon session wasn't quite as good but let's not be too greedy. A few good rudd, roach and silver bream. And still no zander.

A glorious day in the sun, as you can see from my Fergie like port drinkers face.

I'm looking forward to getting back there in April.

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Last Hurrah

The last day of the season arrived and I set out on a glorious spring day to a fast flowing stream in search of minnows, broon troot and peace. I got them all in spades.

The stream is set in beautiful woodland and today the resident wildlife seemed to be enjoying it as much as me. Buzzards, a kingfisher, loads of song birds and the first summer migrant, the chiffchaff. Or chiffchaffs, there were lots of them.

Little nine foot rod and a bobber float, drifting with the flow downstream, unhindered, amazingly, by any wind for a change.

Five or ten minutes a swim then a move, my type of fishing being a rather ( extremely ) impatient type. I had plenty of brownies, roach and some big minnows , then I hooked a tiny fish an inch long. A three spined stickleback ! Wahoooooo, I wanted one of them.

Sitting in the sun, just the birdsong, nobody about, I got the I-wouldn't-want-to-be-anyone-else-or-be-anywhere-else-in-the-world feeling. You know the one ?

A break to see the olds at lunch and then down for a last gasp session on the Stour. Ooooh, it looked perfect. But the Stour is a temperamental bastard of a lovely river and until the light really had gone I remained biteless.

Dusk worked it's magic and fish started topping. Yes, topping. Rattly bites on the spinning rod. Not an ideal tool but it's what I had. Holding the rod and touch legering I wangled out  two very decent roach and a chub.

A great way to end the season. A day of prep and then a short three day road trip in the camper. Fishing of course. Can't wait. The fire that never goes out

Monday 14 March 2022


Does anyone go lobbing any more ? Or is it down the tackle shop or mail order ? The motto for most people these days in all things seems to be, in the words of the dead Kennedys, Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.

I hate buying worms. Get your own. It's part of fishing, find a compost heap for reds and brandlings or get down the local cricket pitch or park for lobs.

Thing is, conditions have to be spot on. Must be mild, wet ( or at least damp ) and not too windy. And don't go out too early, its got to be properly dark.

Yesterday was spot on. I was creeping around the cricket pitch, slowly and carefully with a not-too-bright headlamp.

I reckon you get about one in four you see. They're mega sensitive to light and vibration. There were loads, I had half a bucket full when I heard a dog walker stop and stare, no doubt he heard my cries of " ooh yer bastard!", etc, as the feckers alluded me.

Anyway, I got enough for several sessions on the perch and aching back asides, it was good fun.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Burning Up Time

Last few days of the river season, we're running out of time.

Sacked off work to get on the river. Two biggish chub in the first ten minutes, sun out, skylarks singing, booootiful.

It being spring, the weather changed in about five minutes, it clouded over and the wind got up. I wangled another chub out of the " banker " swim and after being pestered by about, oooh, a dozen dogs with owners unable to control there so cute, so amusing, shite machines ( I'm a dog lover, it's the useless owners that get on my tits ) I packed up.

Quick coffee with the now sixty year old mate Goozgog in a very twee tea room and I decided to have an hour trotting.

As expected it was a bite a chuck. Roach, dace, chublets, rudd, perch and lots of bleak. Another one ticked off for the 2022 species hunt.

Anyway, two days left, time to squeeze in a couple of sessions I reckon.