Saturday 29 June 2024


Well, a mini heatwave at least. Four days of baking temperatures up to almost thirty degrees in the east of England.

I'm sure one of the red tops will have posted a photo of a packed Brighton beach with "Phew, what a scorcher !" as the headline. Happens every year.

Brits basking ( its always basking, same as anyone drinking or partying are always "revellers"), the Mercury hitting 30C, Met Office warnings, all the clich├ęs coming out. Standby for warnings of  swimming in "rip tides"and Margate being hotter than Madrid.

I spent almost the entire day laying outside the van on the reclining chair, listening to podcasts and audio books. How civilised. I thought I'd wait for the temperature to drop a bit before getting on the river.

Speci Boy was joining me for his first session targeting rudd, so I was hoping for plenty of action and activity.

First swim the floating bread was attacked by hoardes of mostly small fish,  with SB getting off the mark with a nicely conditioned fish of half a pound or so. 

Walking along the raised flood bank, the evening sun giving the wheat fields a beautiful golden glow and the willows starting to cast long shadows over that flat calm river it truly was a perfect evening. 

Well, almost perfect. The mozzies were on the rampage again and I was once again glad of the head net. Looking a plonker is a small price to pay for keeping the bastards at bay.

We found a group of fish that were intermittently feeding, although it was proving difficult to catch one of the better ones, until SB's rod hooped over as he pulled into something bigger. Hustled through the lillies it was soon in the net.

Not a massive fish, but a real beauty and at 1lb 13.5 oz a PB for SB. Job done.

We kept moving and searching and in "The Tree Swim" we saw a extremely large fish bow waving towards the the floating bread.  I so wish we'd have caught it as it was bloody massive. Another time maybe.

I looked up and saw a barn owl quartering the opposite bank not twenty yards away, that unmistakable ghostly vision slowly working its way along the reeds into the distance. We'd seen a kingfisher earlier so a good night on the birds too ( go on, guffaw, pretend it's 1985 ).

We packed up deep into dusk, the starlite glowing, the evening close, warm and silent, the end of a gorgeous day in June.