Sunday 27 February 2022

Cold Comfort Farm

Bright, cold and fierce wind. River being run off way past its bones. Slight bit of shelter on the staging with a high bank behind me on the farm pond. I had to fish quite overdepth to beat the undertow and bites were hard to see, just a brief lift of the float. I connected with two, both small roach. Left over hemp and groundbait bagged and in the freezer. Some may be deposited in the Suffolk Stour on Monday.

A well known long since escaped Harris Hawk, trailing jesses nearly flew into my windscreen on the way to the pond and I was treated to a goshawk flying over the poplars on the dam. Kingfisher too, catching the brilliant light of the low sinking sun.  

Thursday 24 February 2022

Snow drop

Got to fit all my leave in and when I chose today the weather had looked ok. Then of course it rained till after lunch and the wind was back, I had to pass the river on the way back from Dangling  Indirect (I'm starting to build my stillwater bait stocks up) so a rod and bits were in the boot just in case. The lock was free so I opted for an hour there to see if the fish were at home. Maybe a few were, it took ages to get a bite on double reds 9 foot down and that was in a sustained hail shower, it was a chublet and I bumped one soon after. And that was it.

Bit too much water in the pool today, probably will be spot on by Saturday.

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Different strokes

No lines wet this weekend but we did decide to travel to Carrow Road to watch England Lionesses play Spain in a round robin tournament with Littlest Little 'Un as she likes a bit of footie. Forgot that as it was a Sunday the whole of East Anglia would have flocked to our Fine city to sample the destination shopping experience it offers, as well as the 15,000 who'd come for the footie so no place to eat was available so we made do with a pint and  a coke. The only "beer" available amongst a sea of hoppy IPA  and bog cleaner tablet lager, this was locally brewed and not a hint of Citra, if I hadn't been driving later a couple more would have followed. 

Riverside is usually a throng of green and yellow on match day as another 11 thousand souls would be swelling the nylon shirted noisy oik phalanx heading to the theatre of dreams. Today's mass migration was an altogether more orderly affair. Not so quiet in our seats in the infill as the Engerland band were right next to us and it was a blessed relief to be offered the chance to move in  to a quieter  section which would have been 30 quid not the 10 quid we'd paid. The roofing kept us dry but the cold did sneak in towards the end (it was a coat not coat and jumper day being a barmy 12 C when we left the Mighty Mighty Walsham).

The footie? Well, as expected it was a case of 25 ponytails (including the pitch officials) nodding in unison and some nice neat triangles from the Spaniards. Local girl made very good Lauren Hemp came on for the second half and lifted the Lionesses with a decent shot that hit the far post with her first touch but that was really as good as it got. 0-0 a fair result. 

15.000 people must have been queuing for the Riverside Car park ticket machine so 6pm curfew at Weatherspoon's was missed and with a sigh of despair I drove to the Golden Arch, half of which was fill of Deliveroo and Just Eat  lackeys waiting patiently for the take out orders to come up to stuff in their insulated bags.  You pay people to bring this muck to your house? Yes I know, I eat and drink occasionally in Spoons...  

Friday 18 February 2022

Eye of the storms

A bright false dawn had me doubting Eunice's power but I knew what was coming as soon as I got there so back home I headed, and needed a stop to stretch my legs and refuel with essential boujie coffee, and as the bright low sun illuminated my passage brightly I pointed the mobile at a few things.

A proper Butchers this one and some fine meaty wares were on display. Quite fancy those ready to bake sausage rolls for next time. Allards of Holt if you are likewise tempted

If you work in a Butchers you'll come home stinking of mince like Barry in that sharply observed Northern Aherne/Cash sitcom The Royale Family, if you work in a Deli you'll probably come home stinking of the Bishop, or his cheese at least.

Since Lockdown 1:0 I've never again darkened the door of a Barbers, preferring the thrill of  a selfie buzz cut  front of  a mirror resting on the fruit bowl and saving many quids, and minutes of forced conversation so I doubt if any if these products will ever be applied to my balding pate and ironic face fuzz with a badger hair brush, or by the artisanal fingers of a leather aproned, heavily tattooed hipster bearded Tonsorial  Artist or his Nemesis in the Hut.

Glorious light which was soon replaced with savage skies and truly terrifying winds which led to the roof of the LIDL I was later queuing in being partially torn off much to our collective consternations. Fortunately I made it home from said store laden with essential supplies, namely scratchings and crackling, wine and whisky as it's a Friday and the Commander in Chief always has a whisky on a Friday. With Coke. So I'll not be offering the Jura.....

Sunday 13 February 2022

Bastrard wind, again

Last year, and this early chunk of Freedom Year have been dubbed low wind years. Not round here Buh. None of us like rain but the only good wind is a warm south westerly in late summer or autumn. I hate the bastard wind. Sunday would have big wind and rain so I braved the  hoolie up on roach straight.  Liquidised bread in a cage feeder  and flake on a size 10. To be honest I'd never have seen a roach bite on the 1 oz. tip I don't think but it was nice to get in to a bit of a rhythm with the feeder whilst for waiting for a possible dusk lull to get the trotting rod out

The lull was imperceptible but enough to spend half an hour trying different trotting depths with just one missed bite and affirmative stretched double red maggots at just off bottom depth. Perhaps I should have fished maggot not flake on the tip. Next time perhaps  though my spy by the mill is worried about the extent of the cormorant and otter presence, seen when walking out every day. I did see three of the black plague heading over, and otter tracks in every muddy indent to the reeds. However, like the millions of litres  of raw sewage being discharged by the water companies to preserve the shareholders profits and the culling of zander  at the behest of Canal and Rivers trust and whatever bycatch MEM pillage and sell on to fish merchants whilst doing their dirty work for them these is sod all we can do about it. Not while the Environment Agency continue to look the other way and fell miles of riparian habitat.

Sunday 6 February 2022

Small reward

Bastard winds again. 40mph but no rain. No roaching either. Set off across the flood plain with the wind behind me at least, headed for the Royal Confluence which marks the half way point though with my short pass out I'd only be fishing the top end. A series of slow bends and reed stands, and an area that has served up to different twenties for me in the past. Home in the past  to big bream, famously dark with red fins legend has it. And recently some serious pioneer chub have been rumoured. A pair of still to me exotic looking egret and that old ditch stalker a great, pterodactyl-like harnser (heron) quartering the wetland behind thee raised banks 

Standard  float tactics, over to the reeds or twitched back up along the near margin. Been lashing up some basic pop up lifters but they need some work still. Manky Morrison's mackerel the bait of choice today. 1.50 for three so that's six baits. Manky but tempting enough for a decent brownie to have an abortive slash at as I brought one in at my feet.

Worked along with no further response from trout or pike till just before curfew time, and after  a twitch on the near bank tail section a shrill sound from the Ron Thompson alarm and the baitrunner signalled something was heading down stream at a brisk rate. Good resistance and boring about in the decent flow, a short and solid snapper saved the blank and upped the species tally. Long walk back against the wind.

Saturday 5 February 2022


Friday off. Most excellent. Rain stopped play till lunch time, charabanc loaded with the following plans;

1. Liquid Lunch

2 Try and track down spare locking nut for my ADVANTA RVS pin

3. See what was coming out at Wroxham on the tidal for future reference

4.Check if the lock was free for some simple fish catching (the joy of FB location clues)  

5. If lock slot busy head up to the Royal Confluence for an Essox or two.

The route to Dangling Indirect handily passes the Horse and Groom where a pint of Lacons  or Woodforde's bitters and crisps can come in at around a fiver. Eerily quiet, cars and vans being loaded. Another sad victim of harsh economic times.  So I stumbled into Dangling Indirect purely because of my dyspraxic clumsiness, and not because of any hint of beery breath. Bingo...damaged stock check produced the Holy Grail of a spare nut for the pin. Hallelujah. |

And as the  next pub was by the river...dire place the Kings Head, a non descript (could have been anything) Abbott and bland scratchings set me back £6.30 and mental note made to never go back. I suppose if you had been cooped up in a cruiser for  a week anything would be a blessed relief. Must have been a quiet day for pike guiding as no boats and Fox/Savage Gear/Westin camo clad clones pilling into Maccie Dees.  Instead a line of middle aged blokes pillaging the (smallish) roach and occasional perch stocks. All seemed to be vlogging live or engaged in Zoom banter with each other. Most strange. Might be worth a go though whilst the salt surges push the fish up into the town  and marinas.

I'd walked off most of my poor beer so headed along to the disused lock at the top of the tidal. Two others walking that way but stopped by the back stream so all systems go.  Hadn't packed  a whip so simple swing out waggler an see where hey wanted it. Deep as you'd expect from a lock and clearly a decent respite area from the flow and frequent flushes of the main river, I'd hoped to get into a few chublets and the first fish didn't disappoint. Or did it? Brassy scales, dark tail, cigar shape and coral fins. But not really convex anal and dorsal fins. Chace or dhub?

I'd added a couple of roach and dace when my downstream companions joined me, having been evicted by two forceful cold water swimmers who clearly regarded the picnic table and the pool below the  lock as their own personal space and woe betide any encroachers. 

An entertaining couple of hours followed as my similarly middle  aged brother of the angle and I amassed a considerable haul of "silvers" and a couple of  perch. Me conversing with passers by and he patiently retrieving his uncle's tackle from the same tree, time after time after time. I hadn't  got my big coat out of the charabanc and was glad of the thermals, bib and braces, Aldi hoodie and Aldi neoprene gloves.

Another indeterminate.

Best of the bunch

Most pleasant. Species list for 2022 now dace, roach, perch and possible chubby thingy.