Friday 30 October 2020

Hook pull.

River up, but steady and just the right amount of brown , that lovely bottle green is for later in the season. Thought I'd  search the bridge pool and the nice eddy where I had some bites last weekend. Fed  hemp and red maggot with back up caster and chop if the better fish moved in. They didn't as it happened. Plenty of dace, small roach and a few small perch  kept me quite busy. Had  a chat with a fellow  member passing by and as he busied himself with his lure rod  a couple of swims down an otter slipped past a tree and down a small mudslide into the pool. Most unusual in the middle of the day.

There'd been a couple of swirls  right by my feet when I'd returned fish and this time the dace shot off down the margins with something in pursuit. The next dace was soon lip hooked on a light float paternoster set up and in the slack just above my put back zone. It didn't stay there long, at first I thought  I'd hooked a decent perch but it was a small pike of about 3lb with another dace already down its throat.

Things quietened down fish wise then a small pike appeared right back in the put back zone, seeming to eye me up then head off into the flow once I'd fired the camera flash. I think it was the one from earlier  as it had a similar white marking on it's  right upper jaw. Very creepy.

I gave the glide below an hour as well, and was picking up some slightly better roach (no netters) when  the hook, a  #16 Guru spade end got buried  past the bend in my finger, right down the side of the nail. Barbed of course (micro barb), and though I could get some mini forceps to grip I couldn't twist it round enough to get the point back out. Began a painful pack down with a plan of getting home, washed and to our local  day cases A&E department. Bonus of living in a busy coastal area with a generous benefactor whose covenant excludes any closure. Made a deeper than comfortable rummage in my pocket to find the landing net handle cap and no stabbing of pain. The hook had either fallen out or more likely snapped after being weakened by the forceps, leaving the bend and point still in my finger  down the side of the nail. I guess if my finger starts to swell and feel hot to the touch it's the is sore now but given the poking and pulling I did that's no surprise. When was my last tetanus booster? 

Thursday 29 October 2020

Up shit creek

Up shit creek without a paddle I was. All the prodding and flushing in the world was not going to clear what turned out to be the poo berg of all poo bergs. The only saving graces were it wasn't backing up into Bure Boi Towers as previously and as I was too mean to pay  a call out fee a decent pressure on the garden hose and non metered water supply as I went it it all rear entry.

I should have done a before and after but that would have been too gruesome.  Suffice to say I won't be using the garden hose for its intended purpose until the spring......

And given the rain we're getting it may not be needed then garden wise. I had loaded the charabanc with  roach and perch in mind but it was wet, minging and cold so I drive round  a bit to find out that the pubs were full of half term diners and slunk back home. No fish is worth getting out for in that. 

Sunday 25 October 2020

Kicking the bucket.

Big wind forecast Saturday afternoon so down to the more sheltered reach to catch a few livebaits. Trouble was most were netters so only half a dozen roach and dace made the bucket. Twice the chubber dived into the depths and twice I missed. Next swim and another almost instant take and this time the fish stayed on. Not a monstrous perch but a pretty one. Then I kicked the livebait bucket over. 

Pre-prandial drive today with the Little 'Uns who were most intrigued by these errant pigs being herded back to where they'd bolted from then off to a local ruin to climb over all the history

Speaking of kicking over buckets (again), my seat twisted as I was reaching back for the landing net handle to net  a roach this afternoon and not only did I knock most of a pint of lovely fresh maggots in the river I broke the middle section of my trotting rod. Oh bugger I thought. Or similar. Here's a roach I caught before my  mishap.  Note the delicate shotting pattern...

Wednesday 21 October 2020

Sting in the tale

Those avid readers of my blog out there (ahem) might recall I completely wiped out my old faithful Drennan Tench and Specimen 13 foot Float rod trying to remove a tench from a bed of lily pads on the farm pond.

Sage and friendly advice told me I could probably source a replacement tip from Drennan but in my haste to keep on the tench I ignored this  and bought a zoo creature float rod which does the job but it's not the same.
Just so happened Monday that I was passing Dangling Indirect and asked if they could contact Drennan on the off chance that they still had spare tips despite the rod being discontinued and lo and behold yes they did. Deposit down and waiting on that I thought, especially as the queue for the MECCA next door was rammo with mint suckers, marker pens strapped together to do 6 cards at a time.

Got home and guess what happened to come  up in my Insta feed? Yup, brand new replacement version Drennan X-Tension 13 foot compact float rod. Butt section sides into the handle rather than unscrewing. Oh my days...

And to make it worse I was in Harris Sportsmail after work today and what was first out of the Drennan delivery? Yes, the very same tempting rod. I had a wiggle and everything. Just to satisfy my curiosity of course....

But I'd already put down my deposit on the original tip section  replacement so lots of dosh saved. But, right there in the display rack were the Vertex 13 and 14 foot waggler rods. .Just what I also (don't) need. And the 12 foot Twin Tip Duo 1lb tc. Again which I also (don't ) need. Badly. Probably a pair.

What is the meme? Please God don't let her sell my rods when I die for what I told her I paid for them?

Monday 19 October 2020

Dr, Dr, I have a terrible affliction...

Dr, Dr, I have a terrible affliction. I can't pass water.... Well sir, you are of a certain age, I'll just snap  on these examination gloves.. No Dr, you don't understand  oh lummee  wasn't expecting that, really Dr, I can't pass water without stopping to have a look or get the rods out..

You know how it is, half an hour to kill, the leaves turning brown, the smell of maggots in the air. I ran the 5AAA avon through a new glide, just pleased to take a break and it not to be raining. First trot and the float stutters and vanishes, a decent fish that I will swear wasn't a pike, just didn't feel like it, despite the hooklink parting just above the #16 spade end.

A swagger of small, vividly coloured perch and  a couple of dace.

And obligingly on the last trot of my allotted half an hour gamer resistance and this better perch graced the net briefly. Do daddy perch have prostrates? I very much doubt it.

Sunday 18 October 2020

i must have my perch head on

Fancied a breather from the trotting to keep my mojo fresh so headed for a local pond for a couple of hours on the waggler. Maggot not as hectic as I'd hoped, but it did turn up a few, wait for it, perch! Not caught that often on here so a dozen or so was definitely a turn up for the books. A few bubbles so on with corn, and of course a juicy dendro, and along with some decent skimmers a couple more perch, then this bigger one. Not quite in the same league as it's recent river cousins but still pulled  the string in that jagging way that they do.

And as the church clock struck six, with the float barely visible it slid into the gathering darkness and boy was my string pulled by this very determined tench. It's been mostly males this summer so nice to wind the tenching season down a notch with this female. 

Saturday 17 October 2020


I had a plan and it worked this time. Driving the Little Uns  round the coast in the murk and rain I thought I might not get out later, but like the sun I did. In fact the bub and braces and hoodie were a tad warm as I set about catching some bait. I was intending to set about perching you see, and these were just about small enough (though perch do have big gobs).

Standard perch set up, 11 foot Avon, 6lb line  a 2 swan chubber /loafer and a light trace to a 1/0 Aberdeen. Worked the near margin, no joy so  over to the far cover and half way down the float stopped,  bobbed once then sped up before disappearing. Sadly so did the bait as I wound down . I sent out a fresh bait and the float disappeared as it hit the sweet spot. Fish on then off but I did get  the the bait back, scuffed and  dazed. I moved down so I could the bait back in the bite zone and this time the fish, a small pike did stay on.

Near margin and blow me the float bobbed and shot away. A more jagged fight  and stripes in the water and a lovely perch was in the net. A Linda Lovelace deep throating  perch , all 1lb 2oz of it. Spit or swallow? Looks like one of those Billy Big Mouth Bass wall mounted toys.

I'd done what I set out to, and went out with the lighter trotting rod and double red maggot and what a good choice that was in the increasing gloaming. The perch were hungry and put up a lovely fight on the 15 footer  and pin, using the flow to their advantage until I wore them down. Here are the better ones .

And the biggest of the afternoon at a porky 1lb 15oz 

Back with chopped worm and caster I think.

Just one roach (such a different fight to perch), well over the pound but the 3 metre net handle got stuck as I shipped it back to get a better angle on the mat for a photo before weighing and it flipped out and away into the river. I said fuck quite a lot, to no one on particular except the attendant cows coughing behind me.

Friday 16 October 2020

Nearly man...

I  had it all worked out after seeing a no rain forecast. Graft early doors, listen to Yates on the radio box, stop for  a well earned posh coffee then an hour on the river. 

Rain mostly all morning. Coffee earlier than expected, very nice but 3.25? Deli a bit sparse too but if you like beans....

Pulled over by one of the village ponds that abound round the Birchams to listen to Chris Yates Reading the Water on  Radio  4  

To the river, portly piscator by mill pool resolutely keeping schtum on how he'd been fairing, not even a sausage proffered.

Rain begins, shelter under tree  brief break lovely rainbow.

Discover my estimate on quantity of maggots left  was about as accurate as Chris Grayling's grip on public money, Sparse baiting in two or three glides bought bites in everyone at least in between more  tree sheltering. I did have a bigger than normal strand of silkweed taken by a pike on the retrieve but it soon let go.

Next time....

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Out and about

Little piscine activity to report but just to keep things ticking over....

Autumn walk at Blickling Hall. Used the fishing car park, can't be doing with this pre-booking nonsense the National Trust has got itself into. No spontaneity left. Seriously asking myself if it's worth 150 quid a year anymore. Fishing looked  dull and wet (after I'd taken this). 

No fly agaric or conker pics this year so far but this is a start anyway

    Man's great folly

Soon be going to work and back home again in the dark. 100 miles a day. Before work business driving. These little stops help. 

Prodigal Son is training in to work every day at the moment. No conductors or ticket barriers. Free travel and almost empty trains the one and only benefit of (not) lockdown Britain.

Sunday 11 October 2020

On it like a bonnet

Friday and I'd had enough of endless video calls. Off to see Mr Pharmacist for his snake oil remedy and  back home to collect an Avon rod and a tub of worms, then down to the river. Jolly chap with wicker basket and crow quill avon float, shots strung out like shirt buttons. No syndicate ticket though. Where does it say I have to be a member? On that gate you are leaning on...oh. He did slope off tail between his legs.

Lots of water in the pool and a small slack well over, so 2x SSG on a short link and  a couple of worms on a size 8 and over we go. Quiver  nods as the shots find a slight hold, then lift to ease them to the next holding spot, jag jag on the quiver and instead of the expected perch a chublet was twisting and darting in the flow. All Billy Big Balls bravado and swagger even at this size. 

No more chublets  but a couple of small perch then this cracking rudd before the rain set in for good. No matter, head cleared from work so all good.

Saturday and I thought I'd search for a couple of sit and trot spots for future reference so headed up past the floating boom towards the road bridge and a deeper, sheltered straight with one slight dog led and a decent depth. Narrow and busy path and not much casting space, especially with a 15 footer, but in  a couple of spots enough to swing the float out. Double red maggot on a  size 18, a  steady flow but lots of tiny dace that just drifted down with the bait in  that flow, with just a slight increase in the pace of the float. Bumped  a better fish a long way down the trot just above the dog leg so moved down and quite soon into better dace, and the odd hand sized roach, beautiful in their autumn garb.

One that felt a lot better, hugging the near margin and keeping deep. It turned over the net, brilliantly coloured, drawing a gasp from an appreciative kayaker had a waters eye view of the whole event from bite to net  a mere paddle away. It was a lovely gold and red hued perch, all spiky dorsal, humped shoulders and a fat belly. Just like Crabtree said it would be..


Another quickly followed, a bit paler and a shade smaller. Watching them on the way in and rolling at the net out that recent lost Fen monster into perspective. It had been a goliath of a perch alright.

One last roach and a trip ending tangle in the gloom and rain set me homeward, head buzzing with perchy plans before I get my pike head on .

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Craw daddy

Saturday was minging, had half an hour on the river for some dace before it poured again but did find some nice deeper runs for another day.

Sunday minged too but I did take the Little Un's to catch some crayfish on classic crabbing tactics. Bacon it has to be they told me. It worked. Out Two Terriers way it's mitten crabs. Now they are big, mean critters.

Thursday 1 October 2020

it's raining again

First dryish forecast for days, hoped to be able to click on the out of office by 12.30....

On the way in stopped for a posh coffee, nice North Norfolk inspired vinyl wrap on the posh portaloo. I hoped it stretched to pan tiles  on the roof.

Out and about this morning which always brings me joy, sea so near yet so far on a prostrate stop ..No lovely hot Heacham Lavender sausage roll though, the mint sucking grey pounders were getting into  a kerfuffle with the Serco Trick and Not Trace QR code entry system and I couldn't force myself to wait in the miasma of Parma Violets (Not Parmo, we are a long way from the Boro) and mothballs.

Things conspired to push my early finish to 2pm, and I was famished having been sausage roll free but managed to find a Brays Cottage Pork Pie (Chilli) in Nanny P's Little Farm Shop on the way in one of the Rudhams. Very long and thin are the Rudhams. The Brays Cottage Pork Pies won't make you long or thin but they are very, very good. I'd say the Best. Ever. 

I must have followed ever other mint sucker not still kerfuffling in Heacham to my destination, a regulation 40 mph what ever the speed limit, hands clasped 10 to 2 on the steering wheel hence I ended up with less than an hour on the river as I needed to be home for the Prodigal's famed (he tells us) Chicken and Hock Pie, with the worlds creamiest mustard mash, ever. That's two pies, and two evers in  a  day.

I headed for the section just above the mill sluices and the protective booms, and with a lovely run just down the reed  fringe. Double or triple reds, and my over gunned 5AAA Avon, needed though with the brisk pull to the sluice .No wind so a joy to trot and a lovely mixed bag, just two small roach, the  rest netters, with metallic copper colouration, most unusual. They really pulled back against the fast flow.

A couple of vibrant chublets which I'd hoped for, and several dace, this out of focus one being the best.

A phalanx of hooded lure boys (they were spotty yoots) turned up, all Lynx and bravado but no nets, mats or forceps and bringing with them a sudden squall and fierce cold downpour so I upped sticks and headed for that waiting second pie.

The future on my river is looking bright, those roach are to die for and I can't wait for the chub to drop the let. They've spread into the tidal length now below the mill. I say mill, it burnt down before my time but the sluices remain and have a proper fish pass for eels and sea trout. But not migratory pies.