Tuesday 29 December 2020


Out en famille on Sunday to Cart Gap. Cart Gap? Its a gap in the sea wall for carts. We don't stand on ceremony here in North Norfolk. Its a long stretch of concrete and rock armour Norwegian granite blocks with extensive marram dunes behind, and further on from past Sea Palling just the marram dunes which are all that stand between the cruel North Sea and untold hectares of Broadland.

Anyhoo, tide in so clambered on the rock armour to make the short hop over to the concrete wall and as I landed right knee went one way and the rest of me the other, stopped only by my left wrist and rather a lot of pain. I managed to get up, and I hadn't broken my glasses or camera so that was a bonus. I could even walk, after a fashion.  My left arm was suitably hidden from the  Little Un's eyes. The scene of my debacle. Well, just after anyway. And no, it wasn't me behind the lens. It was the eldest Little Un.

I did manage a couple of shots, to stave off the inevitable trip to Minor Injuries later. Bush Drive and all the other communities hunkered down behind, and often in those mirrams are an eclectic mix, thumbing their noses to planning and conformity.

Artisan salt marsh lamb? Not round here Buh, honest old sand blasted chuck eggs. If you bring an egg box anyway.

I nursed the charabanc home somehow  and as waves of pain built, my wrist became more deformed and my knee ballooned I gave up my plan to sleep on it and was taken with haste to the afore mentioned Minor Injuries Unit and within half an hour  or so was x-rayed and back-slabbed. I didn't mention the knee as I reasoned I'd walked 2 miles on it. Bad enough not being able to drive..

Post procedure pick-me up.

If you are fortunate enough to have a Minor Injuries Unit near you do all you can to lobby for it's retention. 

Saturday 26 December 2020

Flud -u-like

No fishing yet over the break. Not surprising given the dump of rain we've had, with more to come. We are now in Tier 4  as well as of an hour after midnight today. This was this afternoon. 

Meanwhile, Christmas night sunset was glorious.

Now, I don't spend much on a bottle of wine as a rule as a  LIDL Shiraz at £3.99 is dependable and quaffable. But a visit to Plonk in The Gangway in Cromer pre Tier 4 madness saw me pick up this deeply intense  (French so a tad dry for me, bought up on oaked New World reds ) Faugeres with some pepper from the Syrah for the suitably reduced Bure Boy Villas Christmas lunch gathering. Terroir may or may may not be a load of old schist but this was a belter and if the viticulturist believes enough in it to put his or her heart into getting the  best out the land then the proof of the pudding is in the drinking. Worth nearly 4 LIDL dependables? I'd say so for a one off.


Sunday 20 December 2020

More dace

Had half a pint of reds to use up before we all go into Tier 800 after our one day of festive fun and a no deal feck fest so dropped a little further down the reach to what we call Iron Bridge. Noddy trains whooping but none crossed so perhaps they were just doing  a static Santa Special up the line at the terminus.

A feeder runs in from the right which is just as well, as these days the main flow comes down a side leat from above the mill behind that bush making this section a tad moribund and the pin needs a little encouragement to pay out line. Double reds on a B560 #16 fine wire wide gape spade end doing the biz. Bites mainly coming as the float skirted the trailing branches  and just beginning to pick up pace as the influence of the feeder came into play. Lovely firm dace, I did hustle  then in a bit faster than I would normally do as there's always at least one set of snaggle teethed jaws waiting to snap then up and indeed one pike did put on a show for the passers by before spitting out a mangled little dace. A splendid hour and  a bit and here's a few of them, and a sneaky roach and chublet.


Saturday 19 December 2020

God speed you little silver darts.

Struggled up on Roach Reach yesterday, a 25mph southerly bombing up the straight. It helped with holding back the float but 15 foot of carbon hard to hold. 3 seen bites and a couple of sucked maggots for my troubles. 

Wind dropped a tad and more south south west but bright after lunch today so dropped below the mill to see what I could winkle out. I'd bought along the tip road and some worms but as ever reached for the Greys 15 footer and pin, with a pint of maize pimped reds.

In hindsight the Shimano Hyperloop rear drag might have been a better choice, with the swirling currents and wind it was hardly running  a shirt button strung out shotted 6 no 4  stick down off the rod tip but you work with what you got. Didn't feed much as the (mainly) dace were in a hungry mood and chasing the maggots down as the 3 and a bit AAA sunk through the water. Wiry buggers, twisting and turning in the flow, and in the hand.

I'll have to take some time to document the many variations in body and fin colouration as well as shapes but today it took some effort just to keep safely perched on the sloping concrete tank trap 4 feet above the swirling foam flecked current below me.

The recent floods had bought down some large woody debris, and I had to resort to the Matchman Hook Tier a few times. A bit rusty this one, I lost and then found it  again 364 days apart. Right were I had left it..

Found a few roach today, mostly small but this showed up and the darker red of the fins pointed to some dalliances in the gene pool.

Saved the best to last with this lovely pigeon chested little beauty. Either  a worm infestation or getting ready to spawn, early as dace are this would be astonishing. A few sand paper rough males would confirm the latter.

Sunday 13 December 2020

Using my loaf..a bit.

Rain incoming my app told me so I packed a brolly (hate them) and headed for Twin Tips favoured spot. He wasn't there so the bread was unloaded from the charabanc to lace the crease along the main flow via  a 20gram cage feeder.

Bites came from the off, but either my reactions were too slow, or the tip too unforgiving but I couldn't convert any. There  were plenty of fish there it seemed but very frustrating. I swapped from flake to worm sections, tipped with  red maggots and the bites became more bold, and hittable as they hung on a bit longer. Roach and dace, nothing requiring a net but bites converted. Id like to say it was bucolic  but there was a driven shoot in progress and  a man trotting cockles (?) under  a sliding float that would have looked in place off Eddystone Light and someone making serious splashes above the  red bricked bridge. My bellowed what the feck are you doing was met with an indignant "fishing". I  imagine with a very large magnet.

A drizzle set in then abated so I swapped over to the 15 footer and though the wind (a sneaky one) meant line control was hampered I had enough to search the crease better and the size of the roach and dace increased enough to warrant the net most times.

A glance at the watch and I had an hour and three quarters to get to Roach Reach and fish before it got to dark to trot so I bundled everything into the charabanc and was soon sliding along the muddy path. Sheltered here so no troublesome wind and fish were already rolling. A familiar figure in Second Best so I found a respectfully distanced spot and set about checking the depths and building the the loose fed  red maggots up before starting a feed /trot regimen. They wanted it just at the end of the run by a bush and every other trot usually produced a coconut, this red eyed jewel being the first to grace the net.

Apart from one little un they all needed the net and the rain held off. The familiar figure and I both thought it would come tomorrow. Two pulled back harder than the rest and what lovey roach they were

Last trot, couldn't see the float properly but struck when I thought it  had reached the sweet spot and fish on!

Back in the charabanc in time to hear Naarich  maintain their place at the top of the Championship away at Blackburn so all in all a grand afternoon.

Sunday 6 December 2020


 A cup of cheer to warm my cockles after doing battle with the leaf situation on the Western terrace.

It was  then gone two before I headed the Charabanc along BureBoy Villa's sweeping gravel drive, scattering forelock tugging baler twine belted retainers and out along the muddy lanes past  a frozen over Golden Pond and  a mist enveloped Roach Reach and then back over the river to Peacock Towers.  

My side of the bridge was not quite so picturesque and already in the gloom of the Poplar stand. Bank high, but fairly steady and the colour  slightly dropping out, boding well for midweek  if the cards fall right.

It's often otter spraint, not dog shit that you have to watch out for along here and today was no exception, right by where I'd plonked the low chair. Very dainty evisceration of  a nest of signals alongside the quite fresh turds. Very sweet smelling legend has it. I'll  have a retainer to test that out

I ran the Avon through a couple of times before changing over to a cage feeder with coarse crumbs and some crushed hemp, with small dendrobenas and two reds on  a #12 B560 spade end. The techie stuff often comes out when the piece needs padding.....  

The only three bites came right on dark, and were missed. But I did see a big brownie chasing roach or dace in the far bank eddy, it came out three times and  big enough for me to make plans to return with a small live bait. or two.

Saturday 5 December 2020

Sound system

Thursday saw a lot of rain and yesterday we had a white out so it wasn't surprising the river was up and filthy so a short session on a local farm pond was in order. Maggots mainly though I'd packed dendro's, hemp and corn and a prawn rod down in front of the died back pads just in case. Needn't have bothered with the prawn rod.

Flat dotted down (not a breath of wind) and just the merest dip or lift were struck and mostly successfully. Pale roach, some perch and a couple of skimmers. I'd been putting a few in the "new" net  just to get a  quick end of day shot and  several times a mid doubles pike tried to get at it's contents, so much so that I let them go in the end.

I'd forgotten how cold it gets in winter, and my toes and fingers were tingling. Full thermals next time out. Cold or not it was lovely listening to the plop of the kingfisher diving, the roar of the nearby weir  and the sound of Tier 2 allowed non-elite football being played again over the meadow. 

And a lovely flask of tomato and chorizo soup, courtesy of LIDL.


Sunday 29 November 2020

Something to brighten up the murk

Looks like Bo Jo is getting beaten up by his backbenchers and gonna have to magic something up, well at least in their seats to climb down a tier or two. Will we ever know how many billions have been spaffed up the snouts in the trough cronyism wall?

Meanwhile here in deepest North Norfolkcestershire it's been grey and murky. Ventured out for an afternoon piking yesterday but as I had to go back twice, once for an unhooking mat then a pair of wellies so I wasn't expecting much. Perhaps that's why nothing much happened. A bluey halved was sent into several likely spots with only one half hearted take that I missed and a few bangs on the tips from crap coming down in the current.

The oxtail soup was uninspiring and the kingfisher I saw just a dark blur.

Grey, murky old Saturday. Not even any Noddy trains  as it's still Lockdown and no interesting dog walkeresses either.

Still murky today but a trip to Sheringham with the Prodigal and half of the Little Un's for a take away Grey Seal coffee and  walk up to the summit of the highest mountain in the world, Beeston Bump. Well, it's been called that on Google Maps till very recently. Some jobsworth has taken it down. The Google Maps  keypoint, not the Bump. Norfolk nose bleed territory, oxygen required.

Here is the converted toilets Whitehouse and Mortimer stayed in, see what they've done with the name? Wee Retreat if you can't read it.

It was getting dark by the time I'd got my trotting house in order, having forgotten to defrost the whizzed up bread so maggots it was under the trusty Advanta 5 AAA Avon and it didn't take long to get bites, and lovely roach too, really lighting up the murk, even more so in the light of the flash.

Then disaster, netting this one and the net fell off. Glued, not riveted I found out. Shoddy. I can't see why trout anglers use those tiny little short handled tennis racquet things on the bank (ok wading I suppose), almost impossible to net a fish unless on a manicured lawn. The Special  Place is not a manicured lawn, more a muddy gap in the reds which I have to cover up each time I leave. Not having every bugger in there...


Quick lash up job with some tape but not very secure.


Just about secure enough for the best and last fish at a cracking 1lb 9oz that surprised  a passer by. Which makes a mockery of my secret squirrel attempts. Funny blue edging to the dorsal, anal and caudal fins.

This is the closet you're getting to a location Buh.

Sunday 22 November 2020

Maggots got the blues..

Right grey old day Saturday, well mostly anyway. Windy and cold, but dry. Which was nice. Little Un's, me and the Commander in Chief headed the charabanc Blickling way for a pre booked Lockdown 2 walk.

The Bothy.
The sun did make  a brief appearance. I spent a happy year working here out of the West Wing a while back.

More Lockdown 2 shenanigans with some click and collect maize meal for the maggots and some Korum running rigs then off to the Sheltered Reach to catch a few livebaits. 

The bottom end of the Sheltered Reach wasn't that sheltered so it was cold and windy. Plenty of bites on the livebait snatching gear but mostly too big really for the livebait bucket. (1st World Problems). it was was busy down that end, 12 lure chuckers all in a row. A non lure chucker asked if I wanted his left over  maggots, which of course I did but horror of horrors some were ..BLUE. Like those blue worms you some times find blue maggots are for me at least a fish repellent big time. No different  this time round either. Back on those reds and bronzes (Paler than the cancer causing ones we used to use till our hands were stained orange. How on earth was chrysodine allowed for use?) and  a few more perch sized dace were consigned to the livebait bucket. I'd left it too late truth to be told in the quickly gathering gloom and it was quickly to dark see the chubber trotting down though it did lay flat a couple of times.

A lot brighter today so  bright I headed for the Mill first, planning to wait till the sun dipped before heading to the Special Place.

It was a bit a trot, starting off with a few roach before the dace moved onto the maggot mania raining down on them. Reds or bronzes  on the size 16  Kamasan B560 naturally......

I slipped  on a pair of blue maggots just to confirm my theory and was secretly a bit miffed when the 5 AAA Advanta Avon stabbed under. That soon changed when the fish I'd hooked  made a run for the white water and charged around the pool. No acrobatics so surely a chub?  If it was it was one with spots and an extra fin. An out of season brownie in fact.

A sudden chill as the sun dipped behind the poplars so sticks were upped and I headed off to the Special Place, hoping  not to find a white haired Agrarian Boi in the Special Place perched on his blue Shakespeare seat box. He wasn't, or my new twin tipped acquaintance. Flat calm and roach already rolling. This time they were the trot and though the float was going through a bit too fast for my liking with no upstreamer to help hold it back I was getting bites and with the bright evening sky could see the float well into dusk.  A high average stamp with barely any that were swingable.

It was getting darker  now and  just as a pair of kingfishers and a bat just managed to avoid each other the float below dipped and this one did pull back and kite to both margins. One for the scales and it went a very pleasing 1lb 2oz. And no, not on blue maggots.

Bread on the tip next time, well into dark.