Saturday 18 May 2024

Norfolk gems

It's warming up and so are the ponds. Lovely to see fish bubbling and early morning mist rising and drifting wraithlike over the milk warm surface. Cow Parsley everywhere and the May Flower turning pink, flowers set to turn to fruits. Except this particular morning in a pea souper along the A47 and A11 and into the Brecks before the sun won. Many muntjacs skilfully avoided. Stand-off at the gate with an interloper struggling with wet pay envelopes and padlock till we went left round the Crabtree Society bog shed (no blue) and an open entrance. The Loafer looked on incredulously.

Fish tight to cover and find holes in the (prodigious) weed was the Loafer's instruction. The indicated spot seemed fishless, the far side of the swim soon bubbling but weed to the surface, luckily a fish grabbed a soft hooker on the drop and I'd got half of what we had come for. A lovely unmarked tench in a ball of hornwort.  Split cane and cat gut? Not for me today.

Pressure off went to watch the Loafer go about his well honed business and this lovely little crucian, the other half of our intended quarry.


I'd found a decent clear patch, big enough for two floats (one peacock and one plastic) so we both fished together for my last couple of hours, eating, listening to cuckoos and the distant Snetterton race track and talking the usual bollocks. Being 60, or being nearly 60 for a start. And Mark E Smith. The man, the myth, the...and catching fish. Don't get much better than that.




My first crucian for decades.


The Loafer stayed on and added another 4 crucians and 6 tench to his tally. Cracking place, cracking day.


Work loomed (bah humbug) but once finished nice family meal out. Perfect.

















Monday 29 April 2024

Another year propping up the EFL

Desperate times down in the basement of pro football at what the die-hards call Cuckoo Farm. It had come down to the last game and just one point needed to avoid the drop into the oblivion of the National League where many frequent visitors to the old Layer Road slowly rot to death. Not a sell out as it was against Wrexham, you'd have thought Cowling would have done a kids for a quid to get the place rocking but then again. The South Stand was full though and it was a wall of Essex Boi sound, gilets, caps and Stone Island all the way.


The U's played what was probably the best game of the season. Sutton were one down on 14 mins and it was party time on 35 minutes when Chilvers (one of our own apparently went on a mazy run down the left before cutting back in on his right foot to fire one low to the keeper's right and his near post. Sutton gave it a good go over at MK Dons getting to 4-4 in the 91st minute. The only time our drummer fell silent was on the 92nd minute when Crewe dribbled one in lamely down the far (North) end to send the Crew fans scatty as it was the point they'd need to secure a play off spot. From the kick off we more or less passed the ball to Crewe for what seemed a pre-planned two minute keep ball ole fest whilst Col U watched from the safety of their half.  Sutton fans would have been foomin. Final whistle and celebrations all round the ground. Funny old game football

Little 'Un is now another member of the BureBoi Col U tribe (we do have two Canaries, a Gooner and a Scouser for balance).







Sunday 28 April 2024

Double bubble

Quick stop on  the Munter Pit on the way home from work. Bloody freezing, bib and braces and the big coat but still felt cold.  More wood smoke, pop guns this time  and "you're not getting any bloody sausages now". A few twitches then the bobbins were away at the same time. Unhooked both in the net to save smegging up the mat. A  pair of male bream, both with spawning bumps, one on the yellow pineapple  wafter and one on the shocking pink tuna wafter. Time to get home, so cold the slimy wet net never got a stink on  in the back of the charabanc.








Thursday 25 April 2024

Everything has gone green

Love early spring. The still low sun backlighting fresh verdant reed, iris and alder leaves. Froths of blossom, even the conker trees are breaking into flower. Shame about the rain, wind and it is so cold this year though. The garden can sod off and fishing is a bit of a chore. Not much to write home about really.

The wood smoke almost autumnal, the shotgun a bit worrying (the mutant water).

I detest this mallard pair who've been about for a few years now on Golden Pond. The male is a nervous bugger, always waiting to be told to do, rather like a Prem linesman. The female is constantly diving on any bait I put in. Hateful things.


Sought solace on a pea green mud pig puddle for a change, this little thing at least put up a little resistance.


Still struggling with the krill and squid, think they've changed the recipe but the cheaper carp pellets seem stickier and hold better in the mould.
 

Made one decent feeder full to fool this lovely hybrid from a different, clearer pond the next day.






 




Sunday 7 April 2024

Munterama. or a face only a mother could love

Given the warmer, drier conditions I thought I'd check out one of my daily commute waters for the odd early finish raid. Small urbanish gravel pit not far from my brownie river.  Still quite boggy and thus a  little uncomfortable to fish but as it was shorts weather things always seem a little better. I had bought the method rods still set up from last year  and some frozen and several times refrozen Krill and Squid method pellets from last year too. Which was probably why they wouldn't mould properly and the wafters were left dangling rather than being buried  in a nice mound of pellet on top of the feeder. I suppose I could have opened a new packet but I didn't. Stingy bugger me. I need to retackle and clean the rods and reels too. Maybe.

Anyway, the pit threw up a couple or three of it's mutant inhabitants. Not a club  to pursue a rigorous and vetted stocking policy. Quite of few of the grass carp they stocked to clear one of the smaller, weedier pits on the ticket seemed to have transformed  into chub.  

This one looked very strangely coloured in the water, but jagged around nicely.  I've just seen that they have stocked a good number of crucians from  a local growing on water. I'm itching to grass then up to the Crucian Association just for LOLs  on Facebook. A page for one eyed swivelling loons if I ever clicked on.one.


And this bream was a shocker. Tiny mouth, and thin as a razor blade


This one was bream shaped but with a very raggedy tail.. Getting ready to spawn more mutants too.











Tuesday 2 April 2024

Bits

I've had to come to terms with some unexpected changes and as ever I'm best in my own uncomplicated self-found comfort zone so mulling over what next or at the very least what different? Some warmer drier days will probably cast a more favourable light and maybe new rewards.

In the meantime I'll treasure the more mundane and these little jewels aren't that bad as it goes.


















Monday 1 April 2024

Glimmer of hope

Thought I'd give Little 'Un a taste of the pro-football high life whilst Col U are still clinging on to their EFL status by the skin of their teeth..again. 3 fifths of the Elders joined us for a tour round North East Essex to take in White City, the Barracks, Layer Pits and Abberton before a misty eyed drive down Layer Road past  the old ground and the Drury Arms.

Parking a formality with ANPR we fought our way through the massed ranks of Essex John Boys and Taffs from the Valleys to slake our thirst with a pre match pint of standard footie lager.


Our out of town sterile concrete bowl was built on clay and has always been beset with drainage problems  but this season three games have been postponed  due to a waterlogged pitch and the sight as we took to our favoured S3 Row M seats was shocking. The club have had to apply to EFL to alter the dimensions of the pitch and the new playing area looked to be about the size of the pitches Little 'Un is playing on. The old Layer Road pitch was like a billiard table. This  was a disgrace. The games in hand may prove handy though as it's very tight down in the basement with the U's, Grimsby, Sutton United and the Footballing Vegans all there and there abouts for the two drop to non EFL oblivion slots.


Newport County, resplendent in what I think is the only acceptable away kit (black) set out to spoil and time waste from the first minute with constant giggly fouls, collapsing to the ground (at one point 4 players were down) and probably the longest goal kick preparations ever. The referee, Sunny Gill had been subbed down from the Premier League for signing autographs at half time and on this showing wouldn't be fit to ref Lille 'Uns games. Grimsby and the Vegans  conceded early doors but Sutton had taken the lead and when Newport  scored the softest goal ever before the break things were looking glum, sending a pair of the Elders off in search of a concourse pint. 

Col U stated the second half in a much brighter manner, and despite  not getting two of the most  blatant penalty decisions found an equaliser to send the Newport keeper deeper in to time wasting mode . How we laughed when he slipped when taking a kick after changing which side he took it from.


Sutton had conceded and then taken a lead and we were second from bottom. Gill awarded a very conservative 8 minutes extra time and the siege of Timewaster's goal continued. A surging run down the right and Mingi blasted one over the short keeper at his near post into the roof of the net and the South Stand erupted.  Think Little 'Un enjoyed it. Best fan ever someone said outside. 2-1 and our first home win under the  Cowley brothers.

Queues post game at the ticket office for the next home game against promotion likelies Wrexham. We are going to the last game against Crewe Alexandra. Our fate maybe decided  then but what a relief if we do survive. Might be a good sized crowd too.

Thursday 14 March 2024

Last whimper.

Tuesday was Fens day, to act as ghillie for the master printmaker John Richardson, he of Two Terriers fame. I got as far as Fakenham before it became evident that the rain was set in and only likely to get worse. 


Wednesday looked better and apart from the bastard wind it was, with waves coming back up the drain against the flow. Which eventually stalled then backed up too, the rising levels sending islands of debris back towards the lock. John has honed his Fens approach to a drifted dead (or live) bait and when conditions suit he discards  the pegged float and wobbles the bait. Two years off and he'd lost none of it. A follow on his first retrieve had us hoping for a good day.   The pike and perch hadn't read the memo.


The ancient Hardy cane float road came out too, but the resident fish were so tiny they couldn't manage the  tiniest scrap of punch and for the first time since he has had it it recorded a blank.  We will do it again when it gets warmer. Tench perhaps John thought.

Never mind, the Upper Wensum was bound to have dropped enough for a last day bash at the dace today. In fact I'm sure it has. A puncture, recalcitrant wheel nuts and  a useless compressor has paid to that though. I'll have to finally update my fly gear and get some chest waders to have a proper go for the browns come April. I am now contemplating using some of my left over cheese paste for some rustic cheese straws...

Saturday 9 March 2024

Away day

Thought I'd check up on the Old Man and make sure he'd had a feed then catch up with the Loafer for a fish and a mardle.

Stopped off for a trot on a reliable banker with  a convenient bankside parking spot. Spring is definitely here, along with a mean Easterly March wind. Corvids chacking and cawing in the spinney, water a perfect bottle green. Not a bite. Usually full of roach, dace, cbublets and bleak. Very strange.  Couldn't get an inside table at the nearby farm café  either. I turned my nose up at the offered outside table having seen the poor sods sitting out there in their coats, hats and scarves, dew drops on their noses..

Took The Old Man to the Greyhound for a pint and a decent sandwich and talked about future funeral arrangements as you do. Lots of interesting stuff too about his school days for balance. We even ate the green stuff. No dry roast peanuts today but I was tempted briefly by their warm pork scratchings which are always nice. Next time.


Back past the now renamed 'blanker' spot and to the small car park almost under the constant roar of the ever rushing London bound traffic. The ever hungry Loafer already on the fish with several plucks at his flake drifted in close before making contact with this splasher.  Always one to do different the Loafer shuns the usual black disposable gloves for these fetching blue ones. 


We trudged down to the next baited swims (Ii trudged, the  hungry Loafer strode purposefully) and I opted for the lower of the two and opted for a 2SSG link which is double what the loafer uses and trusty flake with almost instant indications.



Missed a nailed on chub bite then converted the next for a slightly larger splasher.   


I stayed on a bit but converted no more chances then slid my way through mud and a poxy gate and bridge over the old feeder stream of Lunker Hunter days where I caught my first ever chub, much the same size as  this, blind in one eye, on crust bounced under a raft which at time felt like the biggest fish in the world.

Next swim meant a mid stream cast so more weight and there were fish there but the bread was a bit dry so on with a lump of cheese paste and in no time a proper stabbing bite and and a much better chub was on. 


I gave it too much respect and it lodged itself under my feet in an undercut, much poking about with the net freed it and I bullied it into the net now being more expertly wielded by the Loafer. A proper chub this one.

 


Job done I settled down to watch the Loafer set about some roach on  a scaled down cage feeder rig. 


Lots of bites on flake but frustrating with many missed. However this lovely fish did trip up. Plans hatched to try to convert more bites next time.



A cracking day, made even better by the ever faithful A12 Esso garage diesel at a queue inducing 1.459 ppl. A tired but happy Bureboi.




 

Thursday 7 March 2024

Old spot and another new spot

I'd been eyeing up  a couple of new spots on the upper stretches of my 'other' river with dace in mind as they gather on the gravels and cleaner runs and I reckoned it would be fining down enough by Wednesday and the weather looked ok. In fact I set off in cold wet fog and when I did get to the town stretch the river whilst down still looked a bit brisk so I drove up to Chicken Town and revised my dace plans a tad as I was bound to have to work my way through a fair few browns to get at a few dace. In the trees the fog hadn't settled and the big coat was soon abandoned though the neoprenes stayed on. Without polaroids you might think the clear runs were barren but a sprinkling of reds (and the odd white) were soon working their magic and with more control from the pin the bites were slower as the fish weren't having to chase the hook baits quite so fast. As I expected the first trot bore fruit and one of the Loafer's fab little balsas  blipped under. No surprises as to the culprit, this fab little starburst wild brown. Chubby little thing too

 
They kept coming and I was soon into double figures including this biggest I'd get before moving to the next likely spot with a decent root structure and a deeper pool across.
 

As I'd hoped some dace were resident amongst the browns, as evidenced by the flash of silver as something twisted after the passing grubs. An altogether different fight, twisting and jagging rather than than the juvenile dashing about of the brownies.


A further 16 trout and 7 dace followed before I decided to head back to the town stretch and a quick pint and dry roast peanuts (lunch of champions) amongst the day time session drinkers on two pints at a time courtesy of Brexit Tim. A chocolaty thing that did the £2.29 job. And yes, the toilets are upstairs.

 

Across the road and the first trot down the wavy crease and the hoped for dace was twisting and turning in the fast current and in the net. A plump female as were most  that followed with only one definite sandpaper rough male


And this absolute unit of a she dace.


The trees above were little troublesome so I dropped down below by a pampas grass, a shorter run with several roach amongst the dace and this, my 29th and last brownie.


I also bought back a leaf that turned out to be a minnow.

 
I still felt the first run looked the best so went a shade up out of tangling tree reach and give it my best for the last 30 mins and popped a few in the net for a final shot.


I'll have another go before  the end of the season weather permitting