Monday, 19 November 2018

Somewhere down the cray zy river...

Set out fishing under very heavy manners. Middle of the day, bright, cold and the sort of unfriendly wind the black plague (cormorants) croak in on. You cant turn down a couple of hours out though.

Headed way up into Jasper Farhquart country, mostly because it was near the car park. I'd donned the wrap round Polaroids due to the low sun and I'm not sure if it was a help or a hindrance. What I could see through the polarising lenses, and that you can't is a very low, clear river. With conspicuous lack of fishy activity.

Given the clarity, and the fact that I'm very tight with bait I thought Larry and Larrietta could get their third or fourth swim. Not so much blood filled now but  getting honky from the freeze, immersion, impaled by pike, freeze, immersion and repeat treatment.

I kept as low as I could, obviously to avoid spooking any fish present but also to avoid spending ages looking at  a beautifully presented  (decomposing) lamprey section in splendid isolation on the bed of the gin clear river with increasingly low chances of a green shape ghosting up, having followed the scent trail upstream. Now that would be very exciting to watch but having scanned a long way down any pike hanging around was very adept at camouflage. I did see however  just how a quick twitch of  a static bait might (as it often does) tempt that pike that had ghosted up and has been staring at the bait for an age grab it it before it escaped. And that how good a bait lamprey would be for wobbling, especially once it had got past it's vampire luring blood filled stage.

Standard river set up. which when inspected looked (or rather didn't) ok in situ. I gave up on drilled bullets, partly because they often got damaged unseen in the bore, nicking the line but also for ease of changing or removing the lead.  I tried removable sinkers but they often removed themselves. I regularly raid The Tackle Shop site for the longer John Roberts feeder booms (4 inch) as they bought up all his stock when he closed. I guess I could shrink tube the swivel links for neatness but with the Drennan swivel stops and crimped not twisted traces so rarely tangle that I don't even think about it. I go fairly heavy in the leads so the float can stay in place, even with a fair amount of debris  being washed down. I'd like to find some inch and a half polys as 2 inch is too big really on my waters. Then the Essex Scribbler can paint then for me. Which is a long way round saying I ran out of barren, fishless desert without a touch...

Having about an hour left under heavy manners dropped into the bridge pool and a swirling upstreamer fighting against the increased flow through the bridge and feeling several degrees lower in the shade and wind. I'd just turned to attend  the first rod having tightened up the second and noticed it had swung in a fair bit, even with a 2.5 oz lead. Picked the rod up and wound into a fish, small  feeling on the 3lb tc rod, dashing around then off. Larry was a bit scuffed around the hook free area. A jack or perhaps a brownie that had struggled to get the whole lamprey in? I recast then noticed the second rod tapping slightly. Could only be one thing having a peck on Larrietta. Ronnie or Regina  Cray. Thence followed a procession of the red plague. Sometimes double up. I stopped counting and wound in for the last time on 20. Larry and Larrietta, having done their duties were consigned to the maelstrom of clacking claws down there on the bottom of the pool. Ronnie and his Ronnettes? Carefully placed in the undergrowth a little way back to terrify the native fauna, it being an offence to return them to the water and with a fighting chance of them gettig back in after having ambushed  and savaged a herd of muntjac. I wonder why none were present just yards upstream? Perhaps the wedding guests  have very low food miles  seafood cocktails. On the bigger ones the tails were were a good inch plus.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Nearly man

Fancied a perch or two but  as I went to find the spool of Bayer  to load up the whip to catch the bait it wasn't in my bag. I did have some  small sardines from LIDL though, just a step up from whitebait
size ( and very good on the barbie).

First drop in and the float had hardly settled when it started to bob. I wound down and a perch  yes a perch  zipped into the margin and scooted off before shedding the 1/0 Aberdeen. A swim later and the float moved off far more purposefully and this little  feller  saved the day. It's not a red eyed pike, it's the setting sun reflected.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Boi done good again

Middle BureBoi, not content with a First last year has gone and got himself  a PGCSE from Sheffield Hallam. We have seen 6 graduations and have another 3 to go. The Little Un's will be pushing us round in our wheelchairs when their time comes. Super proud of all of them doesn't even come close.

I don't know why Stuart Lee keeps following us round and getting in the pics... and yes, they're all taller than me (Stuart Lee). Except of course the Little Un's. Who wont be.

Sunday, 11 November 2018


I am compiling some more old skool posts, and have been rifling through my albums (what are they dad?) and stopped at this to me anyway Leviathan of a chub. It was an atrocious afternoon with horizontal rain and driving wind. The river was high, and though not carrying branches and dead cows I knew I had to find a decent slack and perhaps have one chance. 

I did explore the downstream area but my eye kept getting drawn back upstream to the left. As the wind was banging downstream I was able to swing the 3 swan link up into the slack, knowing the wind would keep the line clear as the shot and large lump of paste arced in. I slowly tightened the 2oz screw-in tip just enough to maintain the shot holding and held onto my brolly pole.  I saw the line cutting back rather than the tip springing straight. The fish kept travelling down and boring under the floating mat in front of me. As the chub rolled into the outstretched net I really thought it could be a small common. Solid and pristine and a world away from the Colne and Stour chub I'd been used to. Even using 3 swan in a slackish bit of water was heavy guns. Bang on 6lb. And I did test those tubular scales when I got home. That was about 13 years ago. I haven't bettered it quite yet but in that stretch now the fish go 7's. It's much more balanced now as back then you could fish flake and only get chub bites except in small pockets. A good range of silvers (and spotties)  now.

For reasons probably incomprehensible I have only ever seriously fished upstream to a feature when chubbing less than  it would take a handful of fingers to count. Why? 

It's bang to rights boilie and pellet on there now so two rods in a swim one up and one down is probably common place. I can just see that line cutting back though.......

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Lamp light

The Warby Blue was to get an outing, but after a few confidence building wag and mag fish the reel disintegrated and that was that. A shame as  I was just thinking I'd save a few blades to winkle out a perch.

I'd bought some lamprey though and had three runs, all from one spot. One dropped but two plump and pristine upper singles were most welcome. Feisty things too, head shaking and everything.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Bread based content

If you want to see a simple method, executed to perfection with some cracking canal roach and hybrids as a reward then you could do worse than watch this.  I'll have the Warby Blue out this weekend on dusk.. I

A corker from George Burton of Float, Flight and Flannel.

Whilst I plot at least a couple of hours after the bigger Faintly Green Lagoon roach I'll start on this interesting combo. I know, it's only Grants blended but at £15 a litre I'm not fussy. I really enjoyed Robert Olsen's Tom's Book so I have high hopes for this.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Sky on fire

The usual couple of hours this arvo and after debating half way to the river to turn back to the very Little Water Left decided to stick to my guns. Onto the lower stretch and out with a couple of deads. Workhorse 6000's. Love the baitrunner click click purr...

Had to wait till the first move and an almost instant take on the down stream rod, baitrunner purr drowned out by the buzzer banshee wail. Lots of surging about before the smelt is ejected, hooks still attached. A decent broad back on that pike as well. 

Two more moves and a brief dazzling burst of red. Well in to last knockings. Rob the Plasterer is down there somewhere.

Tap, tap tap.  Crayfish? More insistent tugs. Lift the rod as the float begins to  move away. Wind and in, the rod slamming round. Fast and furious, head shaking and diving into the marginal cover. I can see the trebles, into the net and pull up the bank. A large belly and evidence of fresh otter wounds. 14 plus. Wonder what it's been munching?