Tuesday 28 December 2021


Monday was wet, very wet. I did load up the charabanc  but this was as near as I got to actually fishing. Though it was full I think it would have been fishable but the rain said no. Well, I did but the rain was bellowing in my ear as well.

Even wetter today and though I did contemplate getting some worms from Dangling Indirect for the last hour I knew my angling year had probably come to an end although I might sneak in an early start on the 31st to see if I  can add to my small year list. I think it's around a bakers dozen whilst the Essex Scribbler's list is around 70 odd.

Settled for Now at Least Prodigal, the Leeds  Connection and Oldest Little Un and I headed instead for the bleak coast and after a  couple of false stops ended up in Sheringham, Twixt Pine and Sea for coffee and cake in the Whelk Coppers. Which was nice.

Monday 27 December 2021

Bah Humbug and his reprieve

Haven't  been anywhere since Friday so here are a couple from my brief trudge round the muddy field over the back on Christmas night.

I would probably be a Bah Humbug if I lived in one of the middle houses and not join in the Christmas lights co-operative. Local wags are claiming that these festive peeps are the reason for a run of local power cuts.

Only comes out once a year but a classic BureBoi Villas starter. With Littlest'uns favoured sausage dog motif

Plenty of booze of course.

I'm not a fan of citra style  grapefruit hoppage but these locally brewed IPAs from Norwich'un were very nice. I often hear their summer events whilst fishing the Next Nearest Local water and may call in for  a tour and taster one day on my way to the NNLW.

The Settled for Now Prodigal and Creative continued in his quest for the Provincials to dip our toes into the heady soup of culture with this natural wine left and right combo. The Vino Verde stayed down the Commander  in Chief's end  but although we all failed to find the green pepper in our red down our end it was a very respectable drop

I tend to weigh in booze wise for the puds and cheese end of the meal so the Marsala from the Settled for Now Prodigal and Creative's braised carrots and caramelised shallot gravy and a cracking tawny port were sent round to the left as is decreed.

You can see why the Settled for Now Prodigal and Creative despairs about us..

Sunday 19 December 2021

Border skirmishes

I had some pre-lockdown errands down in Devil Dog Land, once finished dropped in on a very old stamping ground, the Essex/Suffolk border delineating  River Stour in search of a few chub, courtesy of the Essex Scribbler. I haven't fished this stretch for over 30 years and decided a nice pint of Adnams Southwold would be a suitable livener and so it proved, and at a very nice £3.90 as well. No London prices here.

I donned the winter gear, all beery breath and enthusiasm and set off down the water meadow in the foggy gloom. River low as has been run off for some engineering works and had it been 2 and a half feet higher would have been one long chub swim. As it was a couple caught my eye and  I put a couple of handfuls of mashed bread in both then out with a decent lump of flake on a size 8. 

Missed a couple of jangly pulls then  a more confident wrap round of the freshly mat white painted 2oz glass quiver, and a chub was on. I could tell it was a chub as it tried to get under the trailing brambles and that overhanging stump before I saw the coppery flanks and shocking red fins. Doubt if it weighed 2 lb but it  was a chub, and  a fished for chub. It was a Suffolk chub rather than an Essex chub but it would most certainly do.

Moved down to the next chosen swim, this time over to a classic fallen tree and though I had 3 decent bites I couldn't connect to what would have been an Essex chub, so back to the first swim just in time for the Essex Scribbler see me nearly fall in. He also saw me miss several plucks, and then sort of net a chub that would have been a very decent dace if was a dace, and as he left  shaking his head at my gross incompetence I had another chublet that would have been a dace record shaker at the very least with that bulk in such a short frame..

Now, I have 7lb chub swimming in "my" river but ultra low density and night time only it seems, and until the back up fish come though it doesn't float my boat. I've missed this simple bread fishing and I think I'll scale it down for the roach here in Norfolkcestershire but I will certainly be heading back to the Stour, and will pack a trotting rod too. And allow time for a couple of pints and eats.

Saturday 18 December 2021

All at sixes (not sevens)

Fog and mizzle, not even the halcyon blur of  a kingfisher could lighten up the gloom, mild though and not a breath of wind. River full to the brim but steady. Maggots nearly a month old and still going. Primed the swim and second trot a missed bite. Didn't miss the next one. Not a netter but what I'd hoped for anyway.  A freshly minted roach and a joy to behold.

Almost dark now and as I couldn't really see the float held back at the end of the run and struck blind. Five times this worked and five times I smiled to myself..

Even spotted a few rolling a bit further up the stretch to put in the swim bank. Gonna be dull with hardly footie on this weekend as Omicron starts to exert its effects..

Sunday 12 December 2021

Peacock azure

Funny old day, and surprisingly mild. If the river hadn't come up again I might have given it a go.. drove round a bit, just checking though. That is a statue squatting by the tree. I think....

And this is a blurry peacock lighting up the stygian gloom

Did venture  down to the canal, more in hope of a sunset shot but packed a zander set up to match the very restrictive piking rules. 

Used some of the tiny Adriatic sardines LIDL did a while ago, should really have sunk and drawn them, I'll know better next time. Enjoyed a watching a fellow angler catch his first fly caught pike. Think he
was late home for his tea as he shot off at a rate of knots.

Saturday 11 December 2021

Blind faith

I did wave a rod around after stocking up the bait freezer and riddling my 3 week old red maggots. No bait dropper employed but a scrag end pollan head down the edge of some furious brown ditch water, listening to the clamouring rooks making their way to their evening resting spot. Something did turn in the fast current but nothing disturbed the scrag end in the hour I poked it about in some slightly slacker spots. And of, course as I consigned it to the clacking claws of the waiting crays and folded down the rod the river visibly slowed, someone must have adjusted a sluice. Might be worth waving a rod about tomorrow. Or not. 



You can't see them here but I could. Three (it's often three) buzzards wheeling over that copse on the ridge. My work commute affords me many sightings of buzzards, red kites, kestrels on my way in and out of work. Thrills me every time, every day. And veeeeeeerrrrry occasionally a big ole sea eagle flies over Fakenham on its way to the North Norfolk marshes and coastal reserves (tracked by tag). Twice over my charabanc, and the last time being harried by a kite and buzzard for handy size comparison. They are biiiiiiig.  I can't see why people  still persecute such magnificent birds, trap crows and magpies and as locally recently earth up badger sets. But I'd happily see inland cormorants decimated. Nowt as contrary as folk.

Friday 10 December 2021

Not fishing

Haven't got any rods out of any description since the 1st  but have wandered about looking at other things which will probably pop up till I do wave a rod about again.

Lovely skies yesterday, and my car GPS told me I was at the dizzying for round these parts 13 feet above sea level. Nose bleed time. Looking towards Walpole Cross Keys and a bit further away Lincolnshire as opposed to Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. Though a high flying drone would see those too. I opted for point and shoot from the side of the car after checking on comms.

The Great Ouse, on the outskirts of King's Lynn and Palm Paper over the A47 bridge

Later, a closing time coffee and the bright lights of firmly in North Norfolk Holt

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Six of the best

The arse end of Arwen had filled up my river so it was time to find some stillwater pike to go at. Somewhere not to far from the car as rain was forecast, and with some shelter from the wind. I 'd planed to take the stove for  fresh victuals but the forecast put me off. It was gone ten before I'd squelched down the sodden clay path to the last swim on the river bank of the pond and got the bank sticks in. I had  half a bluey and 4 pollan  and a back up lamprey pack (I'm too mean to use them) and planned to work them back to the first shelf, twitching the float ledgered baits every so often as the weed was minimal though the leaf debris not quite so much. 

I'd bought the big coat today but I've got too big for it and ALDI don't do 2 x's up so it wasn't that comfortable but required anyway what with the wind and later the rain. I'd even donned a thermal layer. I'd just bought the right hand rod in a nads when the float dipped and line began paying out from the baitrunner. A spirited tussle and  tail walk before it was in the onion bag, my first fished for pike from the pond for quite a while and conveniently it had shed the trebles in the skanky onion bag. It hadn't shed this tiny eyed hook though. Very nice fish to kick off with. Plump. Like me

 A recast and twitch later to the same area and the right hander was away again. But so was the left. Set the hooks in both and concentrated on the right hander which really ripped my knuckles a few tines before it was safely tucked up in the skank net whilst I made contact with the second fish which felt a bit bigger  and it proved to be once it was in my shiny carpy second net. Again both fish had dropped the hooks in the net, not so nice in my shiny carpy one! Three doubles and it was only 11 ish

I lost a smaller one in the next swim and set about eating my pack up and that lovely LIDL tomato and chorizo soup, piping hot from the flask. Cheese and pickle in the roll. Sorted. But hot from the pan bacon and sausage with fresh tea would have been even nicer.

Rain commenced and it was proper rain, and  before I could nip back to the charabanc for the umbrella so it was a case of covering things up and hunkering down. Which was rudely interrupted by a run in the 3rd swim of my leap frog. Not sure what number swim it was from and I couldn't possibly say even if I did know..

Probably not quite a double but a nice long fish either way

A brief break in the rain and into the 4th and last swim, and a recast saw an instant take to he left hand half pollan. This one really tore about, and though short it was very fat and was the first on the Korum digital scales and went 14.05. They do seem to be feeding well. 

Back on then spot and something must have taken it's place damn quick as the line was snatched from my fingers as I see the baitrunner. Deep surging runs and dogged resistance spelt a bigger prize and so it turned out as I really struggled to lift it out of out of the water. One of the units at a very satisfying 20.09. Would have loved  a self take but the rain and a knackered remote meant  mat shots all round. 

Lovely ole job

Friday 19 November 2021

Gated community

 A lot of Norfolk is still owned by a small number of people. When I first started work up here after moving back in the early 90's I was staggered at first to meet families still living in tied houses under a feudal landlord.

I guess these days its the car washers and land workers that are being trafficked and under the thrall of their robber baron shady gang masters so that puts it in perspective.

And they don't add Capability Brown and Repton grandeur to the landscape we have come to love. I pass this gate most days on my long commute and it's a handy stop to relieve myself of the boujie coffee and check my tasks  for the day or log into the tyranny of the morning check-in.

And sometimes the home drive  sees this.

Sunday 14 November 2021

Witches curse

Them witches must have been hiding in plain sight yesterday and put a hex on (no such word as enduction Buh), I went back for the last hour today and the course of the glide had changed a bit, strong enough to pull the line off the pin but there seemed to be a surfeit of much smaller fish which grabbed the double grubs and drifted down in the flow. It didn't rain which was a bonus but it wasn't as much fun as yesterday, most of the time it  was like batting a small leaf back up the flow. Same mix of roach, dace and a pair of gudgeon again.

Witching hour ( 45 mins to be precise)

 The Saturday blues had me in their thrall, almost constant light drizzle with sharper bursts of rain. Two fresh pints of reds from Dangling Indirect and a few turning not so fresh ones burning a hole in the fridge and no prospect of pressing them into use despite the forecast showing 12 % chance of rain. 

Dangling Indirect though..currently victim to a cyber attack that diverts browsers to the long stay carp angler's favourite Porn Hub. Delicious irony there I think. And many a meme spawned. And of course since most of their online ware  is famously out of stock anyway no change there then....

All that aside I wanted to go fishing but not get wet and miserable. Chores done then a late lunch in a bowl and not the bankside flask. LIDL Deluxe Spicy Chorizo and Sun Dried Tomato (with added anchovy paste).  Cheap but lovely.

It wasn't until 3.15 that I was at the bridge pool and looking at a longer slack in the almost spot on conditions. There were even fish topping amongst  the drips from the poplars which were holding off the breeze. Banks slippery so standing to trot not really on and the dying back rosebay still obscuring some  of the trotting eye line making it a little difficult  and as the drips turned to rain the line began to stick a bit to the mid section where one of the flimsy single leg eyes had broken so it wasn't a well oiled machine in action but good enough for a bite somewhere on the trot. If it was as the bait was still dragging behind the float  as the back eddy straightened it was from a gudgeon and as I began to be able to effect some control down the glide it was from a roach or occasionally a dace, seemingly freshly minted with a roach like blue sheen and red rather than toffee fins.

I gathered a few in the shallow pan net  for  a farewell shot which came prematurely at 4pm as I got in in a tangle and rain robbed my enthusiasm to re-set the rig for the last 20 minutes.

As for witches in their hour of gathering, only a few bedraggled dog walkeresses but not  a besom or black cat to be seen.

I'd only used the old bait so that fresh two pints of grubs remain cosseted in fresh maize meal in the bait fridge. If the rain hasn't really affected the flow too much it's trotting again today, either back on the bridge pool which is obviously chock full of fish or perhaps prospecting for roach down on bungalow bend or a safer bet at the bottom of cyanide straight for  a chance of something bigger. 

Sunday 7 November 2021


Just  a quick walk around a local estate lake today, brisk cold wind but the beech trees still hold their burnished copper leaves.

One chap on the dam piking whilst being talked at very loudly by a passer by for an eternity and this neat and tidy bloke netting his 4th bream on a helicopter rig frame feeder and worm.

A cracking lunch was partaken of courtesy of Oldest. And that's yer lot.