Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Dogging anyone? Perhaps that's why Cummings went to the Castle.

This is our bustling Market Town in Alert Phase. Should look like a proper Market Town from the 15th. And with two opticians (emergencies only) I haven't a need  to drive 30 miles and back to see if my eyes work enough to drive to London.  

This bridge gets struck at least yearly. You'd think hauliers would make sure their drivers read maps or set Sat Navs for high vehicles. We do have thee bridges for one rail line in town but this one gets most grief.

Anyway, my next after chores trip was a little further afield under no bridges as my local is a carp dogging fest at the moment, intermingled with bream dogging. Just an hour and down the edge with  a wafter (Source) and bag  and basic shop bought rig. I have never learnt to tie the grinner or a loop tiny enough for the hair loop on a knotless.

I'd only just set the bobbin when it was pulled out of my hand by this female of 4lb 6oz.  Several of the bream and tench on this water have that black spot. It's not the snail spread black spot though, just one single black mark, a bit like St Peter's thumbprint.  An empty fish, perhaps the tench have had their dogging fest already.  

Sunday, 24 May 2020

The source of the River Nile.

Social distancing measures have meant buying tackle and bait in person has become a different experience. No more mooching around, with a definite purchasing intention but the shopkeepers eyes burning into your neck willing you to add several unplanned and probably more costly items to your sweaty palms or basket. It's now 2 metre queuing, orders at door then in to pay by card and out again. I think my bank balance will be healthier. And no loutish boors clogging up the space dispensing largesse and loud opinion about F1 's, Matey whose been bivvied on the Point for 3 months and making Farage a national treasure.

Anyway, managed to get a bag of national treasure for myself. The Source of Everything. And Spicy Sausage pellets, equally seminal. 

Following our first family rode out since lockdown along the North Norfolkcestershire coast, me in the navigators seat  and the Commander in Chief behind the wheel I fired up Mark 2 for an al fresco feast. Blooming lovely it was too. 

Despite finding the Source of Everything the humble golden grains would be the chosen bait for my post feast foray, fished under a waggler over hemp. Steady rather than spectacular fishing but very pleasant with mostly roach and the odd skimmer or hybrid on most casts.

I must remember to get some more B560's next time  I head for Angler's Corner, #12's are just right for 2 grains of corn with their wider gape and easier to unhook without a disgorger than the finer B520's which I'd use for caster or maggot in #14 or #16. They are not tackle shy on here. 

Only once did I need to flick off the anti reverse as the just set clutch came into play, plodding rather than surging and a lovely pre-spawn bumpy male bream took the Korum's to just under 6lb.

Wine o'clock called so it was back to BureBoi Villas to lay out the wet net, mat and sling and try something other than our usual LIDL 3.99 Cimarosa Shiraz. Nice label. Nuf said.

 Not a fan of shell-on peanuts though.Too much phaff for too little reward. And too much chaff.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Another bridge

As well as Bozza sanctioned fishing we can now travel without feeling guilty. In this case conscience still clearer as the Charabanc was negotiating the motion sickness inducing fen roads that feel like riding a switchback as the tarmac snake sloughs it's third or fourth skin in undulating waves on official business. Not at night fen roads for me.

At one point the road takes an abrupt deviation over the Middle Level Main Drain. Abruptly enough to need a set of traffic lights. Some serious rudd sporting near the reeds, until a sheepish angler type scouting for swims apologetically shrugged as he succumbed to ducks and drakes with his Little Un.

It seems that you need to be Lubed up round these parts. And  you get thanked for leaving litter.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Off the mark,

The Commander in Chief didn't seem impressed abut me taking up Bozzas's instruction to go state sanctioned fishing on the new normal 13th of May season opener and I only had a scant hour the next evening. two tench that unhooked themselves to save me the bother and then this scruffy pike of about 7lb which fancied a (make do mini Source replacement) boilie  Home for wine o'clock too.

Rhodos are breaking out

Sunday, 10 May 2020


Bridges. What is it about bridges? Any angler worth his or her hemp (and not the ridiculously expensove Nash Bait Himalyan Pink Rock Salt essential for any carper's bucket of munga) just has to stop to look over the parapet of a bridge if they can or tag it as a spot to come back to, ideally with polaroids on and a handfull or two of bread, even if it has to be liberally laced with that Billy Big Balls salt.

The charabanc is occasionally pressed into work-a-day service with neccessary permisions slips and the magic logo on the corporate lanyard in case Plod fancy a word. I'm tracked I'm sure anyway through the corporate mobile working device I'm suppplied with so my journeys always follow the straight and narrrow and if  not, for a break the discrepencies are calculated and deducted in the ledger.

I haven't stopped to look over this bridge carring the road over the Heacham River before (some Norfolk rivers have the River as a suffix) but my old man urgency symptoms made for a neccessary pee stop, Nikon not in hand whilst the cow parsley was ritually annointed. The water tumbles over a lovely riffle producing a pee inducing sound that would come in handy when the late night dam effect comes into play. Down past the poplars is the Lavender grotto and within the cafe are found the most glorious hot sausage rolls, the ones that that you want with milky coffe, straight back to childhood Saturdays when Granny and Grandad's coppers jar might have built up just enough for a 1/72 Airfix kit. It was always home coooked  fish and chips on a Friday there after Grandad had come in from his skilled tool making work somewhere in Coventry (Herberts?) and if we were lucky some pop from the stone floored pantry in a half pint beer mug.

This is the more bucolic upstream view.

Another day (two days having been spent working in a virtual world up in the lofty garrets of BureBoi Villas) and another valley,  that of the River Glaven.  Across this plain and what was at one time part of a harbour and navigation reaching much further inland is Cley-next the-Sea. Which it isn't near any more. And it's pronounced Cliy. Not Clay.

The upstream view from  a lovely red brick bridge, proper Norfolk. Round here houses are mostly soft red brick, double thick with no damp course or knapped flint, mostly with pan tiled roofs and occasionally thatch. (Norfolk Reed of course) The pan tiled ones often have Flemish or Dutch gables.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

One swallow, so summer on hold

I found my first swallow at last yesterday, right where I thought it might be. Hawking round the expanse of water as dusk fell, skimming the roof of the charabanc. Just the one though. Two prehistoric creatures also flapped in slowly, alighting in the marginal cover and adopoting the old man stalk, then stiffening into strike mode. I could make out an ever larger shape behind. A common crane or a large branch catching the dying light? It didn't move and wasn't in company so probably a common branch. 

Should the swallow's mates arrive, along with the screaming swifts scything through the sky then summer will have come after all. Should we be eased a little out of lockdown, and providing the touted age limits fall right then perhaps the pond will still hold a few jewels come or soon after the glorious 16th. Still that awful guano on the drooping willow and a few carp cruisng but the gin clear water revealed no ravening hordes. No Alan Sugar gyroscope in the Dabbling Duck beer garden either. That first pint won't touch the sides, nor the lined up next one.

A bit futher down the road on my essential journey the trusty Sat Nav voice alerted me to a forgotten Norfolkcestershire treasure.

Dread to think what it will have done to the grass but the Little 'Uns love the pool. We are not on a meter thankfully and the filter unit is working well. Today is the first time in a fortnight they haven't been in. Mainly because it has rained all day. It needed too.

Look, no twigs.

Sunday had been warm enough for a meatfeast, but a bit hollow without the extended tribe in attendance. Might have to get the Engineer to knock up Mark III to cope with the fatted calves and the vegan equivalent when they can return prodigally from various corners of this Sceptred Isle. Even if  it is in December.  

The spuds will have been lifted for sure. Yet to break through.

It's a rum old do as they say round these parts.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

It must be a Thursday

Thursday seems to be my out day at the moment, and yet again I could hear the keyworker clapping in the distance. No cuckoo though or skimming swallows or martins which is what had drawn me to this sheet of water, a ponded section of canal, a rare thing indeed in Norfolkcestershire. It's the North Washam and Dilham Canal, slowly being restored. The feed mill is now broken into des res accomodation,  the frontage catches all the evening sundown and the rear would catch this backglow behind what is locally known as Ebridge Mills. I guess they get the sun up for breakfast.

The main event the front line dwellers feast on, and probably feast too of an evening. I would.

Thousands of person hours are going into restoring the lock gates, and once lockdown loosens enough the boat trips will start again. 


Fishing is free in the traditional season, with rudd, perch and bream mostly. Pike rules are rather restrictive.Like most pike rules these days, either stuck in a hazy past or  in a new fangled fashion not science led lash up. Speaking of which, how will we get those UV rays inside or clean them lungs with that bleach Donald? Now that we know the anti malarials might kill people without malaria. I'm keeping off the tonic anyway. Ice and fresh squeezed lime juice is what a gin needs.