Tuesday 31 December 2013

This week I am mostly reading...

Just before Christmas a slim volume dropped through the door. Crowd funded I think you call it. Well. I coughed up some pennies along with a few more to Unbound to get The Lost Diary published.


 "Took the punt out after my meal and cruised gently into the weedbeds where lay, basking, the carp.." Yates writes in his usual languid style, and it's a world you'd like to be in for a while.

Treading similar ground (in fact probably the same foot steps) over thirty years on is this from Stuart Harris or The Sweetcorn Kid from Little Egret Press. The writing is a little  more functional than Yates to be honest, but again you can imagine being there with the green giant niblet as he soaks up the world that is according to Fennel's Priory and that is the writers gift after all.

I've got my eye on a few more Little Egret titles. Who needs the mammon of Waterstones?

Largest Bureboy (him from Peckham) searched me out this collection from Picador,which to be honest was a world away (or the other side of the Atlantic) from my usual nature led meander books which are of the Deakin and Mabey variety but so far has been a fascinating look at how the real wild west was found. Not a straight through read but a chapter snatched on the pot sort of book. Which is where in truth most of my reading gets done these days. A lovely book to hold, and already foxed looking pages. The patina of paper.....

I've also just started to read  this gem which I think was previously from Wye Valley Publishing. but out again as a paperback through Amazon. Two chapters in of 21 and it is thinking about getting into John Aston territory. That is very high company indeed. I am not surprised John Bailey is on board.

New Year approacheth so whisky and more Tom's Book calls....

Monday 30 December 2013


Several days away with a large proportion of  the family over the Christmas break on the edge of the Cromer Ridge. I won't show the devastation wreaked along the sea front as it is a lot of peoples real life misery. Suffice to say, the sea can be a vicious cruel and indiscriminate force.                                

The North Sea in a calmer mode a few short days later.

Base camp , with the highest floor just below the snow line

Heavy manners reporting restriction in force so not much human interest allowed in the smuggled out footage but the boy Tonton Macoute does what everyone does when faced with a huge expanse of water and a large quantity of stones at their disposal.

Cromer sticks out a battered but resolute square jaw.Tobermory has a lot to answer for but the colour box theme does lift out of the gathering gloom quite well

Perhaps a few more boats, trailers and tractors hauled out than usual as the old bors take a break from the crab and lobster pots

Some fascinating detail can be found  amongst the assorted haulage tractors. Not so much bog shed door blue (Hats off to  The Two Terriers) as North sea tarp.

A little less esoteric


And to finish the  industro porn

Finished off with a little  light refreshment

On the Huh. From one of Norfolk's many Beestons. This one reps somewhere  in the PE32 enz but the grain is from Branthill, just above Wells I think. A little yeasty warm out of the bottle but a pleasantly satisfying accompaniment to Blackiston's rather quite good haddock and chips.

Aternative arti shlock (actually I am quite pleased with this)

The blue bottle dead centre of picture adorning the wall was probably an instailation or something

Saturday 7 December 2013


Couple of hours on the Ant at Stalham Staithe this afternoon. Mixed offering of roach, perch, ruffe and this little skimmer.

The  float  above the half sardine positioned  just at the junction of a dyke dipped and then sped back into the channel at a rate of knots, and following a game scrap this solid pike was in the net. First blood to The
Essex Scribbler poly ball.

The bringer of the big tides that have wreaked such damage glints cruelly over the marina as dusk falls

The surge.

Walcott has been ripped open by the big storm surges. I won't pick over the bones of people's real life misery but this shows just where the sea can go when it wants to:

The hard defences on the horizon did little to hold back the surge and a swathe of debris  runs all the way across the field back to those bungalows. Debris? Propane cylinders and caged water tanks lifted like bath toys. That debris had been through and came from people's houses and businesses The water had then surged along the lane to the right and the seal sanctuary so a good mile inland. Walls knocked over like lego bricks.

Friday 6 December 2013

New dawn fades

Pre storm dawn

Sun set was a harsh affair, a real pike tooth moon and attendant dog star (or space station , I am never sure) against a cruel dark blue and low strung, vivid red streaks over the coastal bulge with the tide coming in nearly 2 hours early and already topping some areas.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Cold morning warm sky

Friday morning sunrise from the front of Bureboy Villas..wind sending clouds fairly scudding across the sky hence wavy telephone lines.

Sunday 1 December 2013


Usual weekend outing with littlest ones and found some maybe's..

This is a little boatyard just off the Ant. Spent half an hour yesterday listening to the Canaries managing a back to back home win and watching a chap having a bite a chuck on the whip, several nice skimmers, roach, perch and a ruffe. Sniffs of a rather decent perch as well. I think an hour  or two into dusk would be interesting. No one there this morning 

A bit further towards East Ruston saw this through the trees:

It is a syndicate I think but certainly looks nice and secluded even if just off the road.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Nothing doing

Took some of The Essex Scribbler's poly floats out on to Captains this afternoon. Spent 2  and  a half hours sheltering from the rain and not seeing the floats going away. Never mind. Here is a boring rods shot, it was all I had to look at as well.......

Friday 22 November 2013

Postie calls..

Glorious North Norfolk morning, late autumn colour. Thought I'd stop at  a gastro barn for a coffee. It was actually very good coffee.  Table right much rumours and murmurs of (political) war* past and yet to come. I'll dine out on that spot for a while. Wont slip into the ghastly "celeb" nonsense, rather a statesman of stature. Cheese and leek pastie to go, which was also very good.
*(You simply must check out Live at the Counter Eurovision by Misty in Roots by the way)

Home then, to"postie's been"or rather left a slip that package to be picked up. Which it had been.
Never mind Lure of the Float, or The Sweetcorn Kid with their artisan offerings. Just look what
The Essex Scribbler has just made and sent me..the real deal.

Drop-offs and polyball floats. Just right for the river. Determined they will get a run out this weekend.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Shad I stay..

Dank, dark afternoon, constant drizzle but mild. Had decided I really must try some lure fishing as it is something that I rarely have done. Had bought a couple of slightly bigger shads though you'd hardly say I had an overabundant stock of lures(there's a couple more in the old Woollies bits tidy).Fox Rage, 5.5 inches, 10grm head. That's all I can remember from the packet.

Dropped in below Hautbois Bridge, on a free stretch of the Bure. River looks just about perfect at the moment. Soon remembered why I don't lure fish much. Constant casting, standing to fish and much removal of weed. Having that said that when weedless the shads look the biz on the drop with a great tail flutter. Third likely area and the rod tip bent round, just where I had expected it, under an overhang of reeds. Head shaking and twisting in the clear water but the 6/0 didn't stay in. Looked jackish. It didn't fancy another go at the shad.. Need to give the method a bit more time, more often I suppose but I wont be rushing out to spool up with braid just yet. 

Thinking that shads work best when bounced along the bottom, The puffs of silt look really good and some weed hung up won't look so out of place.  Discover Norfolk'n'Good saying just the same thing. Not sure that I would have had less interest in a couple of sardine or smelt twitched back up the margin, or back from the far shelf under a float but I would have felt wetter, hunkered down.

Monday 11 November 2013

Weather report from Sonny Climes (Menorca ex pat joke)

Didn't get the full red sky in the morning effect by the time I'd got the camera out of the front door but what a  wake up call this morning...

Now, if those  Poplars on the skyline were bordering a meandering river and viewed over  a mature gravel pit.  Rod about to deliver a gorgeous, iridescent  straight off the quayside silver darling to break the mirrored reflection of that big Norfolk sky, skeins of geese honking out over the growing mudflats....off to work then.

Sunday 10 November 2013

A game of 2 halfs

Rather than schlep down to watch Col U ultimately crash out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking to the Blades after getting back to 2-2 I accompanied youngest original to Carrer Rudd on Saturday for what some were predicting would be Houghton's last stand. Fortunately we were not  forced to watch Ja Ja Binks dreadful ponytail flapping in the wind and indeed Big Sam had no striker to call on at all, turning out a 4-6-0 formation sort of led by Nolan and (Joe)  Cole. Which for the first half saw Naarich pinned down by relentless service down the left wing, and  West Ham's uncanny ability of being able to pass a ball to another player wearing the same colour. It was a pitiful display to be honest and I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like in the Ethiad last week against current world class internationals, not has beens but still better than you's.

I assume Houghton said something at half time or West Ham decided to sit down with Big Sam (he didn't seem to want to get out of his lovely green comfy chair after the break) as the boys in yellow actually discovered what to do with the lovely yellow winter ball.

How often have you come away from a game knowing that a 3-1 victory really did not reflect the game?   For Houghton a momentary relief I suspect and I would not want to be the wasp the bulldog that is Sam Alardyce was chewing. Or his shell shocked team in the bus heading back down the M11


Elmander being penalised just for running round like a headless chicken ( not getting near about six players with six semi-tackles in a row is not a foul ).

Howson's great dipping shot against the crossbar that led to Snodgrass's free kick. By the way Snodgrass. That beard. A disgrace. Trim it or get it off.

Pathetic Norwich mascots: never fear, Eadie the Eagle, you are still the one

Hordes of men stuffing down 4 pies for £2 in brown paper bags, whilst still standing inside Morrisons as if food was about to  become extinct

26+K people  managing about 4 chants between them in 2 hours

A moonlit River Wensum on the ebb tide looking in perfect nick and crying out for a pint of fresh casters

Not seeing: the actual foul for the penalty as an even larger person than me stood up at the wrong moment.

Being seen: appearing live on Sky and later on MOTD with the previously mentioned youngest original seemingly quite pleased  by Snodder's free kick, if not his out of control face fungus. I thought he was in Fleet Foxes for a moment.

Monday 28 October 2013

Nostalgia for days yet to come

Even with the big St. Jude wind it is still so mild. Even though we were being warned the week before that we have this to look forward to this winter....

Saturday 26 October 2013

Saturday 19 October 2013

Prryhic victory

Small window of opportunity: too short for the river and anyway, haven't replaced my mice nest polyballs yet. So off to Captains then. Damp but very mild. Some openish water in the Big Gap so started there.

Swim, like most of Captains is very shallow, but good value for a fish, or sometimes two. Two halves of a small mackeral, one to left and one over the small clump of lilies  mid swim. A lot of activity in central strip of weed, sizeable fish. Line tightened to drop-off on right rod and into a fast moving, heavy fish. I had not flicked off the anti-reverse and got pointed before I could, or think to slip into baitrunner mode. Think that if I had let the rod absorb the power might have avoided it. Leaving hooks in a fish is never pleasant and this was a good fish. You expect that normally a carp or tench could cope with a single left in, but a two treble trace is very different. I did once land a pike with a large goldstrike that had worked it's way out of the gullet and out around the pectoral fin. I only use the anti-reverse when I am casting to stop the bail flipping over and cracking off but these cheapo reels are not totally balanced and when not using baitrunner sometimes it is  difficult to stop the bail spinning round under it's weight with out locking it first  when slipping line in to the drop-off clip. Get floats and  use baitrunner....

Leftie was away next and again a fast moving powerful fish but able to backwind, and use the rod to absorb the lunges. Did get a knuckle rapper as the fish motored off in the margins. In the net first job to check if a second trace in fish but sadly  no.  A sturdy fish around the 12lb mark.

Looks a little leaner off the mat.
Hope the lost fish turns up soon and the captor can get hooks out.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Gratuitous and conspicuous consumption

Not a bad drop of local stuff. I always prefer draught and this is available in good old Narrrich from a hand pull but I was out of town so needs must ..plus you get a pint not a miserley 500ml or worse 330ml for the same money

Saturday 12 October 2013

Footwear is very important

Public notice, especially for the attention of Essex Scribbler.

I have never, ever , ever owned a pair of these :

As Peter Murphy once sung: "Shellys Shoes, shoes no man would want to wear". I second that for Derri boots... and socks with Crocs

Friday 11 October 2013

Winter on it's way

The start of the week saw temperatures around the 20C mark but that has been well and truly blown away now. Walcott Wall closed on the big tide with waves crashing over the roads. The garden  is somewhat windswept and standing water on the roads. Perfect conditions then for my annual October trip to An East Midlands Stillwater with Essex Scribbler. 

A chance of decent fish, plenty of tea (one of the only times I can be fagged to cart round my stove )and talk, well mumble in my case, and lovely scenery. What is not to like?

Essex Scribbler can explain the wind directions (over our shoulder) but a reasonably dry start was made after the tramp over the dam wall and we were fishing just after 7.30. Big winds and very wet was the forecast for the day but not too challenging for now...
Water several feet down from last year's trip with a big fringe of weed, quite busy with roach, then a drop into deeper water with a firm, clean bed, fishing from an obvious point feature. We have found an early morning spell usually occurs with a lunch time then early afternoon burst, often with 2 or three runs in succession to be the order of the autumn day so no need for lots of moves, hence the stove. Scribbler had a couple of line out of clips, we thought perhaps liners given the activity in the weed in front of us before my half mackerel,presented some way out was away. Probably not quite doubles but lightly hooked and gave a good account of itself in around the weed fringe.

The weather deteriorated and possibly due to the rain the action did not really happen. I had one further missed take on mackerel again and Scribbler a couple more out of clips.
This looks bleak but does not really do the worsening conditions justice and we decide to give it best by 2.30pm. The last rod left in was mine and a sardine, that had been recast several times was finally away after nearly 7 hours, the pike unhooked itself at our feet at around 6lb we thought. Came away with a pile of books, and rather wet gear. Another trip pondered before the fish do their deep winter hiding job.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Looking at rivers

Balmy October continues. Walked a section of the syndicate stretch  this afternoon, taking advantage of the clear conditions to suss out some piking spots. A lot less weed other than the cabbages than I would have expected. Similar story on the Wensum this year. I think some jigging and wobbled deads  before the proper flushes of winter and more colour  give me the confidence for some more standard leapfrogging.

Whilst not deep anywhere the dredged channel down the near bank still remains a prime area for a sardine. Must get some traces ready, and paint up some replacement poly ball floats/drop-offs to replace the entire collection chewed off the lines by the mice in the garage this spring.

An acute bend and a much bigger willow just downstream and as much of a banker area as my ineptitude will allow for.
That's a proper man cave in the boat house peeking through the trees.
Usually bypass this bend but did have a couple when I did drop in on it at the end of last season.
I do think that this s-bend section may be a reasonable area for roach or bream. The stretch was famed for it's very dark bream but I have not heard of many bream at all over the last few years.