Wednesday 24 January 2024

Somewhere On The Horizon

Yes, its there in the distance, actually not too far away. Spring.

As I unloaded the gear, the first sound I heard was a great tit calling, followed by the drumming of a greater spotted woodpecker, both sure signs that spring is near.

I had nipped out for a couple of hours to The Forbidden Stretch. The river looked absolutely perfect, that lovely green tinge to it and the air temperature was knocking on double figures. I was very confident of a fish or two.

First job was to bait the bream swim, so in went four several hard balls of groundbait laced with maggots, seed and sweetcorn which I'd leave for at least an hour for them to settle and get their heads down.

I walked a bit further downstream to a deep area full of snags and cover. The weird thing is there is only one swim out of four or five, which all look fantastic, that regularly produces fish.

First cast in the banker swim I missed an unmissable bite. As usual.

Second cast I was on the ball and an average sized, perfectly conditioned chub was in the net. That'll do for the chub, I wanted a bream ( yes, really ).

The wind had dropped, I could clearly hear the "chucking" of the fieldfares as they skipped along a line of riverside alders and in the distance I could just about make out the faint sound of a tawny owl.

First cast in the pre baited swim with a tiny cage feeder and I made a silly mistake. I stood up, unzipped the bib and brace and had a pee and yes, mid piss the tip went round.

Luckily I can multi task, so I gracefully  swooped down, picked up the rod and hit the bite, whilst ensuring the the admittedly not-quite-so-powerful-as-it-was stream of urine continued to end up on the bank and not inside my troosers. Netting a slimey bream with your old man hanging out most definitely warranted a photo, but you will probably be glad that it didn't happen.

Anyway, one of about 3-4lb in the bag.

As the light slipped away I had another a bit smaller before packing up and slipping quietly away along the flood meadows bathed in moonlight.

Lovely couple of hours on the bank.

Order ! Order !

Yes, order. Or more accurately getting organised. 

The "day bags" are not a problem. I've got a lightweight river bag, predator bag, lure bag, fly bag, sea bag, etc and don't take, say, forceps or scales from one to another because you know what will happen when you go to look !

No, its the back up gear, spares, rarely used stuff, etc, that's the issue.

I've got loads of boxes but until yesterday there was no system, it was " in there somewhere".

Also, fishing gear was in the house, some in the garage and loads in the motorhome, so I'd often no fecking idea where anything is. Very annoying. 

I spent several hours creating some kind of order and even labelled the boxes and took photos because the order probably won't last long.

This is just a fraction of it.  Everything from pole floats, mullet flies, several hundred feeders, god knows how many lures and 200lb traces for conger. Some of it will probably never be used again, but "you never know".

As an added bonus, I found many things I thought were lost, including a couple of classic home made drop offs which I'll be using before the season is out. I reckon they must be thirty years old.

I also sorted the rods. I dare not count them, but I do know that the spinning rods alone now number a total of ten. Well, they shouldn't bang them out so cheap should they ?

Can't resist a bargain.

No fish were harmed compiling this post.

Toodle pip.

Saturday 13 January 2024

All Change

Two weeks and I've still got the hideous lurgee. It's making me even grumpier than normal.

I've had a couple of poor sessions on the river. I'm having to acknowledge the dream of big, uncaught chub in these two stretches is just wishful thinking.

There's plenty of fish, but considering the amount I've fished it, the number of four pound plus fish is tiny. 

I need the belief and possibility of the chance of a big'un to really enjoy it and keep the hunger going. 

I can travel forty five or fifty minutes to the upper river for a realistic chance of five pounders with the outside chance of a six pounder. 

The down side is I hate driving for more than about ten minutes for short sessions.

What to do ?

For me, usually it's either fish local or have a proper road trip in the camper for anything from a few days to a month. Roll on the warmer weather so I can get out in the van.

Bit if good news though. I've joined a syndicate with four small lakes within a couple of miles of home. They're ( surprise, surprise) carp orientated, but I'm going to have a go for the big ( well, they look big in the photos ) perch that inhabit at least one of the lakes. I've a feeling the other lakes may have a few too.

I'm told they're are big hybrids and decent roach and rudd too. May be a wild goose chase, but they look nice and are situated in a quiet valley away from the great British public. A good job too.

As soon as this very cold weather fecks off I'll give it a go. Be nice to have a change.

Monday 8 January 2024

Laying Low

Happy new year one and all.

I've been laying low with this hideous lurgee that's going about. It's knocked the stuffing out of me and I've been mooching about like an old bloke. Which I'm not, obviously.

I lay in bed coughing and spluttering the other day. Farting about on the phone, watching fishing videos and I somehow end up buying two more spinning rods which I definitely dont need and some lures. Which also I don't need.

Got a short term boost with the retail therapy from the comfort of my bed anyway.

Felt better yesterday as I watched Liverpool beat Arsenal after Agent Hevertz had sabotaged the Gunners plans. What a bargain, £65 million for a goal shy Chelsea reject. 

River is bank high. That's an under statement, its the highest I've seen it ever. 

It'll be a few days before it's worth fishing.

2024 plans taking shape, lots to do, places to see and fish to catch.

I suffer from cold hands in the winter, especially when I'm flake and mash fishing.

I've started wearing latex gloves which keep your hands dry but don't impede hook tieing and fiddly tasks. It's a total game changer, dry hands and no wind chill equals warm hands.

I don't care if it looks like I'm about to perform a bankside ( should that be backside ?) rectal examination. Try it. The gloves, not the rectal examination. 

The next post may contain fish if the weather gods are kind. Toodle pip.