Monday 29 January 2018

Low water dace

It's getting near spawning time and how I look forward to those  pigeon-chested and sandpaper scaled dace. Saturday was foul and this was just about the most enthusiasm I could muster during my charabanc  trip with littlest 'un.

Would Sunday be any better? I wanted a couple of hours on the Greys 15 footer and given the gusty wind  I would team it up with a fixed spool. The  pool was free if low when I got there and the with main push coming down the near bank I dropped down on to the second tank trap concrete block to fish over to the back eddy. Anyone who has read Bailey and Miller's Chub and Dace will know those blocks

Tackle? 3.2lb bs Float Fish straight through to an #18 Carbon Match spade end under a 7bb wire stemmed Avon, undershotted to cope with the boily water and rough bottom. Bulk mostly down.

Bites from the off, and even at some range the twisty dace visible in the clear, cold water as the hook hit home. The dace came in many colour variants,  some making me check for a convex anal fin given the deep red of the fins but no sandpaper skin and their general plumpness was more fit fish in a balanced system than swelling ovaries. This one nearing the traditional toffee colour.f

A more determined tour of the fast pool  signalled what was on the end of my line, and indeed it was going well. Salmonids spawn a lot earlier even than dace and this one was in need of a spring conditioning. I guess a wild fish. Big tail.

I had to retackle as the extra length of rod saw me tangle above in an elder, and though I got my Avon back I'd run low on BB's so stepped up to AAA's and what I thought was a fresh #18 but perhaps not. With an increasingly swirly wind and more water coming down the main sluice I struggled to hit the still plentiful bites. I'd simply got the presentation wrong and bite conversion suffered as a result. I did retie a new hook and things improved but once I had  surrendered my favourite Avon to  a snag I gave it best and had a little wander with the camera.

Saturday 27 January 2018

So you've made your first kill now...

Working for the clampdown.

Some one has been busy in the garden. One of the doves I'd guess. Whatever it was (probably) Ms. Sparrowhawk has had it for her breakfast. The female sparrowhawk is noticeably larger than the male.

Sunday 21 January 2018


Just taken delivery of a new 15 foot Greys rod to widen my armoury so off out I went into the wet and gloom with some reds that were mostly caster. As I crossed the bridge below the mill a fish rolled so mind made up. It was gone 4 and already the gloom was descending so I reckoned only a few trots  worth of light left. The flow was fairly stiff close down so the extra two feet of rod came into play to peel just that bit more off the pin to allow a cast to the slower  zone and once I'd sorted the depth the float stabbed under and that characteristic  near grayling corkscrew struggle and a rather red finned dace was in my hand. Next fish felt different and when it neared the net I'd have almost said skimmer or little hybrid but it seemed to be a deeper and paler than normal dace.

The rod? The two extra feet do make a big difference, especially holding the line off the water. Not a rod for close quarters stuff to be sure. It has a short removable lower handle section, perhaps to help balance the rod if it's in the hand for a long period? Need a more thorough work out, and with  a fixdie too, and may be far bank waggler will come in to play. Very nice to play fish on. Don't fancy my chances with an errant pike though.

A very brief light show this morning out the front of Bureboy Villas.

Murk soon prevailed.

Saturday 20 January 2018

He who dares.....

Rods were in the boot despite  Thursday's forecast hoolie as it was forecast to drop right off just about early leave off.  Hoolie it was and a power cut cut short my posh coffee opportunity on the way in..Work demands when I got there past several fallen trees meant they stayed in the boot however. 

Thursday's graft meant Friday was a goer from lunch though but the forecast was  for  a sharp frost, and the drains do get a lid on quite quickly. Rods in the car none the less and as the sun rose the black ice formed slowing the journey considerably. I was fortified with some power resumed posh coffe so  ploughed on, if a tad gingerly. Work worked  I headed the 15 or so miles westward and was pleased to see the majority of the local drains free. Border lands  here and though I had not quite crossed county lines the beer beckoned me that away. A pint of Elgood's Cambridge. 

Given the many miles of Fen waterways and the usually steep banks means for the short time angler at least safe access is the prime factor in choosing a spot. 

Armed with local intelligence that catch and take was fairly standard in the town reaches I headed to a flatter area just below a lock  jealously guarded by no fishing signs, ostensibly for safety but  to my mind to reinforce the primacy of boating access. Bleak House would be a good description being as it is in the arse end of nowhere.

Looked lovely but that biting  wind........

Casting round with a shad revealed that the cabbage beds were fairly dormant but induced no interest.

Given the relatively benign weed  I opted to twitch the pollan back from the far shelf or back along the near cover. Sometimes the urge to cast to a certain spot, even if its only a couple of yards from where the bait currently is has to be heeded. Urge spot.

A sudden localised spotting of rain round the urge directed float turned out to be either scales (pollan shed scales everywhere) or oils drifting up from the bait as it was picked up from the bottom and the float began to head back down to the town stretch in the jaws of this plump snapper. Got the fins and frame of one that might make the big time unless it gets banged in the head, stuffed in a plastic bag and chucked on a barbie.

Job done in my eyes but always worth hanging around just in case. In this case the worth waiting for was the brief sunset behind the pollards.

I 've got a new 15 foot float road burning a hole in my study and I am itching to get it river tested. Tomorrow? 

Saturday 13 January 2018

Criminal damage

On a whim headed right up towards the end of the syndicate stretch. Shocked to see that someone  (presumably those guardians of nature  the Environment Agency) had taken out all the far bank cover right down from the Mill to the first bridge.  And left it all along the near bank. Looked worse as the  river was being run down. You can see it's about 3 feet down. At least it wasn't  total chainsaw carnage. Note to hobby grazers. Flood plains flood. 

As I cursed the river began to run off even harder.  I did have two fish on briefly, defintely pike not broon trooot and one take that didn't really develop right at my feet as dog walkeress wondered if she would ever see an otter and didn't I find them just adorable? Ok, last hour with flake and lobs on the bridge pool (by now puddle). Cue loud shrieks and splashes as family having fun throw big flints in the river, right on the primed crease . Bollocks.

Monday 8 January 2018

When in London

Returned son to London Town on Saturday.  Goldsmiths. Gleaming spires of academe and all that. No ring necked parakeets this time


London prices boi. All the geezers were dahn the Den, Millwall being at home in the FA Cup.. Anything can happen....

Think London prices are catching on in Kings Lynn. £3.50 for seven chips. And why gastro places never use a 0. As in 3.5. Even worse, a pint for 5.2. Which I didn't buy. Coffee was good though for 2. See, even I'm doing it.

Sunday 7 January 2018

And the beat goes on

Slightly longer trip today, and the snood had to work hard to keep my head parts warm. ENE with wind speed in the high teens. Just the one sign of life after a recast. For a small fish on a 3lb TC rod it certainly took a tour of the river. Lovely clean fish. Still on the blueys even though I have a pack of very expensive lamprey lurking in the freezer now. Next time.......

My erstwhile chubbing companion had two missed pulls on flake (he told me). Seemed to be more  like crust cubes being struck off and floating down to be fair. He wasn't even wearing gloves. Another member  had a stonking great thing with spots on it, 7lb of wild broon trooot. Fan flipping tastic  Not sure if he was wearing gloves, or a snood. His ghillie went in up to his waist netting it for him. 
More stinking mud than ice cold water but even so.....

Saturday 6 January 2018

In the bleak mid winter

6 C on the car temp display. God only knows what the windchill factor was. There were poor buggers working on the fields behind me. Bet there won't be many post-Brexit. Still, farmers will be paid according to how they look after the land, not by how much they own.  By 2026. According to that odious twerp  Slithey Tove  Gove. Watch out Gove, the Blobs haven't forgotten.

Rain ahead. And behind.

Deli jam porn. I love the Tiptree logo. Essex of course.

Thursday 4 January 2018


Tuesday and against my better judgement, the red morning sky and forecasts of heavy rain from 12 I set  off with too many plans in my head. The river was rushing through the mill and a boat from way upstream was wedged in an eddy.

I decided on the faintly blue lagoon which looked calm and inviting I am sure you will  agree.

One faint dip on the waggler and nothing at all on the blueys and so I upped sticks to the river, thinking the rain looked a lessening possibility. Most of the water was actually coming down the forbidden creek rather than the main river and I found a nice run with even paced water and searched hard with  stick and red maggot. Just the one dip again. More determined dipping on the down stream bluey and  a spirited tussle ensued. A pike of 7-8 which unhooked itself as I grabbed the trace to chin it in. Not my by now good old friend then. And with that it began to rain. And rain. And rain. The bib and brace got a good testing and I could face some more wet chub sessions with less gear to dry at home later. The chub? Not interested in the slightest in double or treble lobs and I didn't even get to the stinky cheesepaste into dark stage. The cloud base was so low I couldn't see the corvids noisily searching  above for their roost. Perhaps they couldn't see it either.

One plan next time.....

Tuesday 2 January 2018

Charabanc trip

We do call New  Years Day New Years Day in Norfolk. I was dispatched by the Commander in Chief to stay out till lunch time with the Little 'Uns so that's what we did. 

Moody skies over Morston.

Stopped off at Bayfield Hall where we saw some dormice and a nuthatch

Too quick for a photo so handy the menu had one on.

We'd seen some daffodils at Beeston Regis  so not surprised to see the first snowdrops of the year too.

I imagine that this is an ice house, being as it is next to the lake. If so the Glaven which flows through the lake is cooling the base. Clever stuff.

The main event round here is the Cromer fire works so we all headed off after lunch. Windy so getting clean and crisp shots was difficult and of late the sand has been replaced by pebbles making the foreground less helpful too. Great display though.