Thursday 29 December 2022


Bully went fishing yesterday. It was raining and there were high winds, but he still went. Keen for an old bloke eh ?

I rang him and told him that I was going today, in better conditions and before I'd got the words out he said "I'll come too", then added " I'll just fish the afternoon ". I told him I'd be there at eleven ish and left it at that.

This morning as I was getting breakfast he sent me a text "I'm on my way, I'll be there by 10.30".

What a hungry bastard, he just can't get enough.

It was bright and breezy and the river was in good nick. Nice colour, still pushing through quite hard though.

We started in a couple of banker swims. First cast I had a chub about two and bit pounds, but after that nothing, as is usual in this type of fishing. Bully had nothing, the endless stream of dog walkers passing and ocassionally jumping in the water didn't really help. I mean the dogs, not the owners.

Today there were hundreds of them, I mean hundreds. Canoeists and paddle boarders too, out enjoying the countryside and having fun. 

You have to be a grumpy old sod to be annoyed about that. We were. Our own fault, if you want a bit of peace, fish early or late or not in the Christmas holidays.

Many swims where I'd expect bites were dead, I must have fished seven or eight swims but only had bites in two. Luckily I hit them both. 

Bully walked right downstream and wangled one out just short of 3lb. "Where did you catch that ?" I said.

"I don't know, it all looks the same to me" he said. Yes, really.

He walks around with a SatNav so he can find where's he's parked the car at the end of the day. It's very sad.

We ended with two fish each, the one below was the biggest. Not massive but a nice fish.

Great day to be out and you can't grumble when you both have a couple of decent fish.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

And Now....

The Loafer's end of year address.

On his 6Music evening show, Marc Riley continues to play the best of everything, old and new. Try these great choooones....

Wild Billy Childish - Bob Dylan's Got A Lot To Answer For

Orbital and Sleaford Mods - Dirty Rat

Vic Goddard - Up On Top

I think I've listened to The Bug Club more than anything. Every track is a corker. Check 'em out kids.

Watching the final season of The Man In The High Castle at the moment, well it's mid winter, if not now when ? Based on the Philip K.Dick novel ( one of Mark E. Smith's favourite writers ). It's well worth a watch.

2023 plans in very early stages, the van needs repairing first.

Got some ideas. Loose plans. Lots of stuff can happen to help or hinder plans, so you've got to be flexible. 

More social sessions with mates for sure, but apart from that nothing tied down yet, but all being well the trips will be as good as this year. We can only hope.

I've had a few local river trips recently. One with Bully when he managed a new p.b chub.

Remember he's only 4' 10" , so it's not a seven pounder.

I had some nice trotting for roach on one of the very rare occasions where the dicks that operate the sluices didn't cock things up. 

It's a lovely short stretch of river constantly interfered with by "the guardians of the river", but that's another story, which I'll bore you with some time in the future.

Best wishes to all in 2023.

Saturday 17 December 2022

Almost Done

A few days left of 2022. Lots of good things happened. When you sit down on a cold, dark December day it's sometimes hard to remember all the great times, when the sun shone and all the fantastic trips.

Like being parked up in the middle of Sweden in July, right next to a fish filled river. I got up at first light ( 02.30 ) and fished until midday, whereupon I retired to the van for a monstrous breakfast and afternoon nap. And then fished again in the evening. Did this for two months non stop.

5 countries fished.

13 different rivers.

3 canals.

1 Fen drain.

24 different salt water marks.

60 species caught ( exactly the same as 2021, although I may try and catch a rockling next week to beat last year's figure )

Lots of sessions with good mates, Waaak Baines, Bazza, Bully, Cocksy, Shanus and The Chesil General to name a few.

Lots of good weather, really lucky on that score this year. Throughout Scandanavia we barely saw any rain and most were T shirt and shorts days. As me and Waaak say, "Shining Times".

It really is almost impossible picking the highlights, but trotting for grayling in a fast cool river in Sweden, in the middle of nowhere, takes some beating. Especially when a moose crossed the river at dusk fifty yards away from me.

Fishing on a Norweigen fjord with light gear, catching all sorts and finishing the day with fresh mackeral on the barby wasn't too bad either.

Sitting next to Wak in July on the Middle Level getting ( and often missing ) loads of bites from silver bream whilst chatting shite was fun too.

"It's all magic my son". In 2023 I intend to fill my boots every bit as much as I have this year. I've lots of ideas and plans and have no idea which ones will or won't come to fruition, but that's all part of the excitement.

Before the year is out I'll be on the Stour after chub and maybe pike and like I say, maybe I'll target a rockling for the sixty first species of the year.

Thursday 8 December 2022

Strange Times

Strange times ? I think they are and not just because I'm a grumpy old fart.

For the past three or four years I've deliberately removed myself away from "The News". No newspapers, no Six O Clock News, just headlines on the radio, 6Music of course.

I used to be an avid current affairs hound, but I prefer selective ignorance these days.

However, two stories this week had me shaking my head.

Michelle Mone, or "Baroness Mone" ( in Old Blighty it is forever the seventeenth century ), an unelected member of the house of lords, as they all are, allegedly lobbying for a company to supply ( unfit for purpose ) PPE gear during the Covid pandemic.

Not only was the equipment useless, she allegedly pocketed thirty million quid from said company. She may be innocent of course.

Little Rishi said he was "shocked" at the allegations. I'm sure you were. 

In other news the CEO of Ofwat, the water regulator ( don't laugh ), criticised the water companies for chronic under investment in projects to reduce the ( legal ) pollution they inflict on the environment.

Seeing as Ofwat has been in existance since 1989 you would think if they had any balls they would have got the water companies sorted by now. But they are not there for that are they ? They are there to project an image of environmental responsibility that in reality doesn't exist.

The CEO is said he was expecting big improvements. Based on what he didn't say.

The fact that this continues with only few people giving a shit is profoundly depressing.

They say that people become more conservative ( small c ) as they age. Well this old fart is the total opposite of that. I'd have these feckers in prison. The ones I didn't personally shoot that is.

That's enough of that. Let's talk about The Fall.

I've been listening to some old stuff and pondering the genius of Mark E Smith. I fully understand why ninety per cent of people don't like The Fall.

Does this make any sense to you ? No ? Me neither.

Benny's cob web eyes !

More Fall ponderings soon.

Thursday 1 December 2022

Gissa Job

After the productive chub session I went back the following afternoon for another go. Yes, I know, greedy.

It was a strange few hours. Seven fish from three swims, with five from a previously chubless swim. A chubless swim that had an otter farting about for ten minutes too. After it swam off, the fish fed immediately.

Nothing big, in fact lots of small ones around 1.5lb. Bit of fun.

After I sacked off the prospect of labouring on a smeggy site last week I "had a word" with a bloke I know and this week I've been mainly bait digging for him.

It's a fecking killer and I've earnt nothing more than pocket money but I have to say I've liked doing it. Getting up early, on the mud flats, nobody about, lovely.

If I'm going to stick at it I've got to get better and fitter to get enough of the filthy lucre. Who knows what will happen ?

Colder weather on the way, so that may dull my enthusiasm.

I'm doing the outdoor fitness and recently started the guided walks too, so I'm hoping by spring I'll be earning reasonable money. By which I mean I can pay the bills and go fishing in the camper for four months again.

We'll see. I need a bit of jeopardy to keep it interesting.