Tuesday 23 February 2021

Chelsea Tractors needing aqua lungs

God only knows how much snow and rain was dumped on North Norfolk by Dora and the Eastern Beast but a lot of  it still sits on the land (well, no snow now). I have never seen so much standing water on fields and verges and that's not from flooded rivers. This was the scene in Chelsea near the Sea (Burnham Market)last Thursday, and the local news says it still pretty much the same still. Nearly a km of large bore pipes and 3 full time pumps on duty when I went through.  

Did source a lovely pork pie though, you know, the ones with that fab jelly in. 

Must take a book or two to exchange when I 'm passing on Friday. I'll pack wellies. 

In King's Lynn meanwhile even the CTV  needs a protective grille.  Smart name though.

Monday 22 February 2021

Back in the game.

First full weekend on the water and no big coat required either...No landing net either first attempt. I fancied an afternoon on the waggler on a local farm pond but all shut up when I got there so back home to get the river gear having found a sheltered reach out of the strong wind.  River still pulling and though I searched the pool and a run below with trotted maggot and worm on a straight lead no joy. Pleasant though to be out.


Second shorter session on the next mill pool down, shorter because the slightly more locals than me fancied a paddle where I was trotting. Broke the 2021 duck though with these small but perfectly formed residents.  Both put up a show for the wading gallery. Chub and brownie ticked off the species year list.

No big coat though rain stopped play a couple of hours in, this time where the main river, a feeder to my left  and side leat join leaving a reasonable quiet  portion and two faster runs. And a noddy
train bridge to shelter under as I broke the tackle down before making a break for the charabanc.

Double red maggot doing the business, and a cracking haul of dace and roach to add to the species list.
This was only visibly hen dace getting all pigeon chesty with it (as well as gorging  on reds chub stylee).

A couple of sandpapery males gave away their CIS identity amongst the indeterminates.

I'd planned an array of snow drops and celandines in my shots today but my perch was precarious on the narrow path. Only a picnicker (hear the curtain twitches of the Stasi snitches) and I know how big we thought the roach was that I lost at the net but here's a couple of the nowhere near next bests. Scale perfect even with a leech in attendance.

Think more than double this one, and maybe some more. Grrrrrrrrr.

Roll on the 27th. Off for two whole river filled weeks (no local enough open still waters), weather permitting. Some say bluebells pushing through all ready Crazy times.

Sunday 14 February 2021

Lazarus reprieved

Been tidying up junk since we are marooned by snow drifts, the wind still rages, sending impassable drifts from the fields to block roads in mere minutes. There is rain incoming which should help and  temps set  to move towards near double figures. Fired up the Nikon 40 battery and  for now at least the battered old thing works again. Abuse has left the lens connections damaged but I've an inkling that a replacement lens (the kit 18-52mm did ingest  a serious amount of water when the whole lot went in the drink) might be a part answer.  When I do occasionally resurrect it Lazarus like I'm amazed  by the depth of colour and simpler focussing when compared to my equally abused Nikon D3300. I'll see how much life is left in it before looking for a second hand replacement lens to try.

Fired of a couple of auto shots and  pleased with this one. And that's the shelving that collapsed when I was having my wrist set and I have put back up, hence the tidying. Love the pictures from Colchester United's proper old Layer Road ground. The first Championship season vs Norwich City. The Norwich defensive wall knew what was coming even before the free kick was taken (Paul Docherty with his head in his hands, voted worst player ever by Spurs fans when he was a forward for them, and certainly the worst left back I have ever seen in a Canaries shirt, there  are some pro players who you wander  how they ever became pro, he was one  and I like to think Gordon Ramsey would have been similar if he ever did  actually get to play first team level for Rangers,  but that's  only because he is such a knob). Amazing zoom on the bridge camera I had then. Anyway, the U's won 3-0 and had to arrange a taxi home for the Canaries physio who was left behind when the team bus drove off without him.

Friday 12 February 2021

The cup that cheers

I did venture to the river yesterday and the snow did lay crisp and even, apart from mole tumuli and the scuffings of walker's feet. The mill pool was fairly benevolent though not quite as calm as the proverbial.


I trotted for a bit but found using a catapult almost impossible due to the weakness and warning pains in  my left hand so searched a while with worms on the tip but surprisingly with no interest at all.  

I moved down to a bend where I had caught my first ever Norfolk chub, nearly a pound bigger than any chub I'd caught from the Stour and Colne before my exile. 4lb 12oz on meat on a day of horizontal rain and I couldn't believe the stabbing round of the screw-in quiver tip. I'd rested my rod against  a fence  post long since gone due to the severity of the down stream gale and it was this that stopped the old Sportex 1.25lb tc Avon following the tip round into the river as the chub tore off. Thinking back it must have been over 20 years ago, nearly to the day. Today chosen as the near bank run was close enough for sparse loose feed.

Just as well as snow, as it does found its way into the the the bait box causing a wet sticky mess limiting further bait dispersal distance. Good job I'd decanted a small quantity only not having access to  Mike Newey's patent maggot warmer. Pre disaster maggots below along with for a while redundant catapult

A few small fish did top and I had 4 definite bites just before the glide shallowed up with sucked maggots but none connected with. 

A warming flask of LIDL's finest range tomato and chorizo soup didn't kindle greater enthusiasm but I'd been out which buoyed my crunch back to the car. Neoprene gloves, even when fingerless, what a game changer.

I didn't catch the glorious shepherds warning red sunrise most seemed to have seen as a grey murk swept in from the North Sea bringing more snow but the glass is rising, so my pike trip this afternoon should at least be dry, even if very, very cold. 

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Fingers crossed

It's snowed non stop since the weekend and some roads are still blocked by drifts and abandoned vehicles but as you can see a mini thaw has begun.

So much so that I ventured out in the charabanc to check road conditions and river levels (we have no local gauges to watch online) and though the river was very high I was surprised to see the main mill pool, though really full was not really flowing hard which meant the river was being run off hard down a side channel a couple of hundred yards above the mill. I nearly turned back for the gear but didn't.

I figured that the forecast deep frost would bite pretty quickly giving my healing wrist gyp and trotting fingers and also hold back a big dump of snow melt and if the gates to the mill weren't opened overnight I'd have longer to have a go at a benevolent mill pool tomorrow.

A crunch across the fields before tea confirmed the plummeting temperatures and made the melt in the mouth beef shin ragu welcome home even more comforting.

Monday 8 February 2021

White out

It's snowed here, a lot and it's still snowing. I see Insta and Twitter is full of individual snow flakes, such is the technical capability of phone cameras and bolt on lenses these days.

You'll have to make do with this from me. I'm not fishing today, and probably not tomorrow, but I do have  a couple of pints of reds, some larger dendros and lobs and of course some deads just in case..

I'm here all week anyway so who knows.

Sunday 7 February 2021

Bottled at sauce

Once more I can get behind the wheel of the BureBoi charabanc, courtesy of  a rather brusque sawbones diagnosing Colles fracture healage by dint of her cold, efficient 3D imaging abilities. X-ray? the timid attendant mumbled forlornly and fruitlessly. 

However, we are being lashed by intense winds  (50mph+) having had torrential rain yesterday and await a forecast white out that had the local mouth breathing populace queuing like so many slaughter bound cattle round several blocks to panic buy, all Pac-a-Mac clear rain hoods and gout ridden noses drooping over plague masks with their dripping gouty noses and rain obscured and steamed up glasses..

So, rather than sallying forth to tempt the ravenous hordes of dace and roach that have been waiting for my attention I am admiring the dead level and well braced shelves I put back up yesterday and contemplating a click and collect Dangling Indirect bait order for the week ahead.

But before I do venture out (the Little 'Uns are pressing for a healage testing bike ride before the snow arrives) I'm procrastinating with this post about the king of all table sauces, HP sauce. Not generic Brown sauce, or even (probably) Deli procured Artisan offerings but the real deal HP sauce. I think it's the tamarind that does it. 

I know Heinz tommy sauce is most peoples standard go to, and for me with take out fish and chips and lashings of vinegar yes too, but for your brekkies and what ever time fry ups or bankside sossidges these days it just has to be HP. 

Tuesday 2 February 2021

You can take the Boi out of Essex....

I'm definitely on an Essex roll, as well as Gillian Darley's Excellent Essex I had to You Tube  Jonathan Meade's Joy of Essex which was satisfyingly Essex cliché laden in his inimitable stylee

And lo and hold on BBC Radio 3  The Essay: Ode to Essex with Billy Bragg's Metropolitan Essex, Ken Worpole's Brightening from the East, obviously Darley's The Essex Way, Lavinia Greenlaw's Refusal of Place and Washed up in Essex by AL Kennedy. 

Most excellent.