Tuesday 29 March 2022

Point to prove.

The farm pond has been loathe to give up almost any of it's treasures and I had one more chance to winkle something out for the 2021/22 season. Small wafters  fished with small flat bed feeders though I had toyed with setting up a standard open ended feeder with a longish tail to fish corn and worms on the tip. Two rods  won out in the end. Things seemed different, surface activity and the odd patch of bubbles, though not over my bait. Skylarks singing all afternoon. Did they know snow (yes snow) was forecast for tomorrow? It snowed two years ago  and I think I caught a bream in it. 

Couldn't get any Spicy Sausage in 4mm for the feeder so I went for a krill/squid combo in 2mm. The 8mm wafters were from last year, so I added so a few drops of water to the pots to make them soft enough so as not to split them or split the plastic bayonet stops. Always pineapple on the left rod, tuna on the right rod to start with.

One of the most effective  feeder developments ever,  even I can catch on it. Sometimes, anyway.

Took a while to get some proper takes though, probably small stuff then this lovely bream with a distinctive tumour pulled the tuna bobbin up tight to the butt ring and the baitrunner fizzed. Determined scrap (for a bream) which I enjoyed..

Two neat little red spots on the left cheek too.

I recast both rods and hadn't even set the baitrunner when the bobbin was pulled out of my hand on the pineapple rod. Another barry, this time a male with spawning tubercles. Two better skimmers also fell for the left and right trick. Point proven? Not sure but nice to get on to winning ways.

Good enough for a celebratory Wherry and scratchings.

Monday 28 March 2022

Scratching for bits

I've been confined to barracks by Covid. Fortunately it's been quite a mild dose, and I've worked through it as well by the medium of Teams. Only just getting some taste and a minute amount of smell back. Food tasted like this.

even though it looked like this

Yesterday was the first time I've left the extensive grounds of BureBoi Villas for  a week. Just a quick drive round the syndicate beats to check for malingerers and chancers, of which there were none. Nice  to see the dace and roach on the gravels. 

Celandines and fresh and fiery nettles emerging.

Once the single LFT line appeared for the second day in  a row and the murk lifted late this morning I headed off to a nearby pond to see if it's inhabitants had woken up,  and it was tough going despite the gentle conditions. And the first ginger beer al fresco of the year which did register 6/10 in the presence of taste test.

A few small roach and a lost bream and the only thing to grace the stink net was this portly skimmer. All the fish felt like blocks of ice and surface movement was minimal though there was a brief hatch of something. Bream Slayer was fishless when I left but I'd expect him to have winkled one or two out  before he packed up. 

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Clearing away the cobwebs.

Thought I'd end the season where I started on a  lovely little urban stretch of the Wensum. 16th June was a real sweltrerer, and Monday was a no coat day. Busy little stretch but the bread feeders could at least keep some of the suicide squad ducks away from my lose fed and hook baits. White and red maggot, under a slightly undershotted float big enough to drag over the bait  over the bottom and that I could see with my aging eyes down the glides. Bulk shot down and a #6 dropper and a #16 wide gape fine wire spade end. B560, natch.

Bright sun, and pacey, clear water with little or no weed, find the cover and slightly deeper, darker water. Little and often, keep 'em chasing after the bait. And first run down bingo. A lovely little brownie, first of many and such variations and colours. And game little blighters, though a bit splashy at times

This was the biggest of the day and he/she/they sat there for a good time till I poked it with the net when netting a companion. Something to show a couple of the dog walkers, one who told me he used to live next to the Cherwell. Nice old chap, shirt, tie, jacket, light raincoat (yes) and a nice neat little tache and  a cap.  Classic Werthers sucker.

Of course I wasn't targeting them, hoping instead for roach and dace, and I began to think how best next season to get though the brownies to them. Bright things as you would imagine living in the clear water and a joy to behold.

20 brownies in and I thought I  needed a break and a change of swim. Cream of Chicken soup this time, nice and hot but a little bland.  Ginger beer time soon. 

And a nice swim too, with fewer overhead temptations for my float. These fish do pull back in the  faster water and are great fun to play on the pin.

More roach and dace in this swim though I did add another 10 brownies to the tally.


And this is the last fish of the season before it being drawn to an untimely end as after another tangle, line guard or not, necessitating  removal of the spool the ratchet pawl dropped out into the grass and was lost for good.  ( I have since cannibalised one from an old Ikon). 30 brownies. 12 roach and 6 dace. I'll take that.

Sunday 13 March 2022

Gets me out of the hoiuse

Mood much improved  I had a short afternoon on the river to see what was occurring. Amazing what a bit of sun can do for you. And views like this.

Too much coming through main sluice, I understand that the workings are in  a parlous state and as a result aren't really used effectively which makes the pool a lot harder to fish, rushes water down to the last sluices on the non tidal which means they are often open to and the river is often very low. But I don't live on top of  a river with real danger to my life and property. But I still  had a few casts rolling some worms around the back eddies.

And winkled out this tiny but lovely brownie. We have some absolute lumps on the river now and it will be interesting to see if any come out to wets and nymphs before the LFR kayakers get on them in June. 

I had pike on my mind, the river was low but not ripping through so headed down to the Noddy train bridge with a plan to work back up to the bend below the mill. Had a look over the bridge, but not a dace or roach to be seen on the gravels. Normally a sure fire spot. Where have they gone?

The Noddy train bridge with a Noddy train puffing by 

Often silk weed here so clipped on a lifter before swinging out the still frozen smelt. 

Was  was that a nod on the upstream rod?

It was  and a couple more before the float dipped and headed up to the  mill. No cray this one but a lively jack twisting and surging. Passers by took no notice at all. I'm an anti-social bugger so perhaps they sensed that...

Got to be something here?

Nothing I could entice and so it proved till half way up to the bend before a sudden chill wind had me heading home for a fish and chip supper.  Amongst the cray remains and otter spraints dotted along each likely spots I found something very rare. White dog poo. Now, white dog poo was common place and according to my parents was the wastes of that strange beast, the poodle. Oh how we smirked about it's name. And the owner was most likely to be awfully common and vulgar. We were told they probably said toilet, not lavatory and most certainly read the Sun. All that aside, when did you last see white dog poo? Or pooh as we were taught.


Saturday 12 March 2022

Epic fail repeated

 Wordle. One of those fads that once you start you just, well, carry on with. I think I'd got to about 18 straight "wins". Until yesterday. Simply ran out of lines. That threw my day into a slump of despair usually only portended by the sight of a single magpie that all the tipping of non existent hats and "Good morning Captain's" in the world can't resolve. Throw in a non-descript consultation with the Quack with appeasing chest and shoulder x-rays to come and a need to have the tribes washing on the line before I could head out, I was prevaricating,  not even livened by the Loafer's news of 3 chub in the bag. 

Got to the river to find two cars already there. No point following two loads of mash down each likely spot, not in the mood I was in anyway and the wind was doing my head in even more so settled for a bash on the pond to use up some hemp and caster but I wasn't really at the races. Made more grim by knocking over and breaking my bait water, breaking it and depositing most of said hemp and casters on the grass. Some interest but no hook ups on the second string bag down the edge which meant something was down there and probably "normal" or method feeders might be on the cards next time. Then it rained. Sodden stuff chucked  in the charabanc and bailiff duties performed  (one crayfish between three anglers reported) it was off home. Thankfully one of the tribe had sensibly got the washing in. 

Wednesday 9 March 2022


Changes a foot at Bureboy Villas  as the Commander in Chief  has gone back to work so things have to be fitted in round school runs, first opportunity to get out despite being off myself was today for the afternoon and though the river seemed perfect for trotting no bites occurred. Quick late lunch of tomato and chorizo soup back at the the charabanc before the short walk to the lock.

An altogether different story in the lock on the succulent white grubs from Dangling Indirect. I always go for reds but figured  these might show up better, and it seemed they did. I'd picked up the trotting rod in error from the boot which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The 15 foot rod and pin combo were perfect to drop the bait in along the far wall and  keep close contact to the float from the off. Like fishing the whip but with extras.

A bite every put in, nothing earth shaking but mostly bright as new pins roach and dace with some splendidly marked little perch and a chublet. Happy days. 

Monday 7 March 2022

Bright at least

Sunday saw a trip to what was the biggest tackle shop in the world once, Ken Latham's in Potter Heigham to spend some tokens. It s a a confused hotch potch now, I guess mostly for the Broads tripper demographic. I won't be buying these again but did also get a 24 inch landing net which I'd like to fill with a chub or two over the next week. So you might see it. Or you might not.

Home to an excellent lunch by the Creative, straight outta Slater. Big glass for the better than usual wine too. Nice and oaky. Just a taste for me though

I hoped to have a pike or two afterwards so set off for the top of the Syndicate beat albeit quite late. The river and surroundings looked perfect. Leap frogged a pair of smelt down but the river was speeding up and what were slacks weren't by the time I got to them. Really frustrating. 

Results? One cray, who was very reluctant to let go of the mangled smelt.


Friday 4 March 2022

A leap frogging we shall go

Probably walked 6 miles yesterday, spent a fait bit of time in each swim for  chubbing because of the activity on the tip. Today only a couple of hundred yards to the top of the stretch on a different river  but the order of the day was cast, twitch back and leapfrog mackerel top and tail sections. Well, until a fellow piker staked his clam half way down the reach. Half each, fair enough. Lightest of the leads today, 1.1 oz.

As well as the two standard rods across I had a zander type set up to fish down the near margin with a single circle hook and micro sardines.

Bit of  a struggle as the light set up didn't pull the powergum stop through the smallish rings in the Avon rod. I could have retackled I suppose using the lighter powergum as a stop, think I'll revert to the 12 foot All Rounders in future as the rings are  a decent size all the way to and including the tip ring.

Back to the main event and the first twitch back on the upstream mackerel head did the biz with this little snapper. A bit leeched up but a nice plump belly and a nice little scrap too. That was it but a pleasant  couple of hours.