Thursday 30 June 2022

Pressing the pause button

Sometimes you just need to stop, get that car outta that gear...and what better way to press the pause button than by a quintessential English village pond catching little scamps. The cormorants have gone and left a new breeding ground and revitalised stocks. Lighter tactics next time for a bumper haul and  a picnic from a wicker basket under the shade of the chestnut tree. And the roach are still there TT......

Monday 27 June 2022

Crowded beaches.....

 The perils of living in a tourist hot spot. Crowded beaches full of grockles.....

Tough place to live but someone has got to do it.

Sunday 26 June 2022

Variety pack

Headed for sort of running water for a short session this afternoon on our only local canal, which is slowly being reopened and the large lagoon above the lock, overlooked by gentrification writ large. Quite what the loft livers think of us hoi-poloi cavorting about in front of their very expensive windows I don't know. And the hoi-poloi today included me with my fishing tackle, paddle boarders, organised wild swimmers, a large and raucous hen party and yoots jumping in. 

Despite the din, fish were topping in the choppy water in that rudd like fashion and the reeded margins were alive with spawning roach or rudd.

Given the bright sun and strong wind and the majority of my maggots being casters I went spray wag (a puddle chucker with an option of slipping a float rubber on the insert tip to fish the upside down float if they wanted it on the top). In truth the wind just pulled the float and the floating casters through too fast but I didn't do too badly. None of the lumps but enough to keep me busy. Some lovely big swirls at the floating casters.

Rudd are the fish of the moment and our prettiest fish I think and this was the first of the short session.

This roach was very plump and I wonder if it was them spawning though it seems very late.

The only dace of the session (I have heard some chublets have got on via livebait buckets as well) and a few are to be se n in the streamier reaches near bridges

In the end ii came in a bit closer as the float drifted through a bit slower and the bites were far more positive. The inevitable perch (this one has had a lucky escape from teeth or claws) if the bait got down the layers. 

And several hybrids close in too so there must be some bream somewhere.

And this rudd and the roach were my parting shot as the bait had gone,

Job done .

Quick bash on the island and typically no real activity until  the curfew loomed. A warm but swirly and troublesome wind so no puddle chucker thus time round. One bumped on the strike and  just the one bream before time to go. Which was also hastened by the return of the inept mallard and it's diving and thus bait robbing mate.

No matter, just nice to get back on Golden Pond and to soak up the sights and sounds. I had to to tactfully advise a person with bins, shorts and wellies that standing on the very busy roadside in an attempt to glimpse an apparently very rare downy emerald was tantamount to a suicide bid, I made do with this much safer glimpse of a black tailed skimmer, rareness not established. Shorts and wellies; sort of socks and crocs. And un-ironic bucket hat. 

The rhodos and flag iris are now gone over but still beauty to be found.

Brave the hordes of post furlough water sports enthusiasts today on one of my river tickets? Maybe.

Sunday 19 June 2022

A quickie

Got an hour in after the rain yesterday, shame I chose the hour the local Yoots came out to play in the pool after their turkey twizzlers for tea. Didn't put the small dace off though. Stuffed with them. Bigger baits required next time.

Plenty of other (slightly) bigger stuff chasing about the whiter water, and mostly these I'd say. No where  near as vibrant as their Wensum cousins. Made the ratchet click though (a bit anyway).

Saturday 18 June 2022

A day without bream

The Glorious 16th dawned with still quite a  crocked back and a less than enthusiastic Commander in Chief so I didn't set off till after 8, any chance of any sense of normalcy about my gait firmly abandoned. After a coffee in my normal watching café I arrived by the river to see the whole world feeding the ducks and feral chickens. Good, the ducks wouldn't be in  the water. for  a while (couldn't be sure about the people, it being an urban spot, with roasting sun).

My go to first day spot was a bit tight but first trot and the world looked a little better, if not my back. And it being the upper Wensum a lovely little wild brownie was pulling the string. Trout are very pretty, and very easy to catch which is why I guess fly fishing was invented to inject some pretence of skill. (A bit like mullet) Even so, I do love catching them, they seem so exotic.

The roach were there too, and again a game little battler in the 15 footer and the pin on the second trot.

I was finding the tight spot a bit tricky with my back, and though the roach and trout were feeding well  I decided to look for a spot where I could sit for  a while, and as the near bank was quite over grown I couldn't easily sit to reach the shaded far bank pools so I crossed over the bridge into the park stretch to trot down to the pools. At which point half of Fakenham descended to spend a couple of hours paddling, chucking in sticks and generally fecking up my intended spots. Which was nice. Seems to be a furlough legacy from that first hot lockdown period when everyone discovered rivers. I did find  a spot I could sit in without too much mayhem and had a nice spell with roach and trout competing for the twin maggots (reds and whites on a #16 B560) and a single dace

I have written before about how different some of the roach look, especially on this stretch and some today caught the eye as looking dark and bronzy, almost like the colouration you get on small carplets in clear weedy waters.

The trout tailed off, and the roach became increasingly cagey as the sun got higher too and in the clear shallow water I could see that though they homed in on the splash of the little chubber float they were wary of it, and the bait dragging behind. The swims below are choked with weed until the winter but the roach potential is really good, and you can get some decent bags of dace in the faster water. And of course so many trout.


With a bit more depth and  some semblance of the bait traveling in front of the float they were easier to fool but in the end I resorted to laying on with a decent sized shot in that bit in front of me to act as a bolt with quite good effect and some better roach too. The stones have loads of life on them too.

This last fish  of the session was a real munter. A split dorsal, but  a clearly defined caudal fin anomaly, like  a fan tail goldfish and very strange scale pattern. A few decent sized mongrels were put in the adjacent lake that look similar, perhaps some got put in here too? I took pictures of 17 fish but caught many more. This part of the Wensum at least (only a handful of bendy miles from it's source in West Raynham) is far from dead as many would have you believe along its whole length.

Time for  a drink and a bite, and long enough a walk for my back to straighten from the car through the wild flower meadow of Fat Cow. Just burgers, loaded fries and ice cream but very boujie. Would be lovely on  a warm summers evening with the lights twinkling and swifts swooping low over the meadow.

And as we are  Norfolk perhaps less surprising as we do du different, not often you come across these by the side of the road. A Jaguar, once a common sight and sound in and out of RAF Coltishall. They used to turn over my house in Worsted in their speed reducing fly round into land if the wind was right. This one has it's airbrakes deployed.

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Star spangled

As I type this drivel my lower back is in spasm and if I stand up I look like a crab that has shit itself. Strong look but putting my Glorious 16th river plan possibly in tatters. Lakes round me are closed for spawning so that's my go to if I can manage it.

I got out twice at the weekend, and  didn't travel far, and if the scenery is like this why would you? I just love being on Golden Pond at this time of the year.

Saturday came, and the Test was being unkind to England. Headed for my Island Paradise, and as it was a facer (warm but vigorous) i went for the twin bobbin approach. Bit of a struggle to get the 8mm pellets out where I wanted them, they did a delicious waggle dance as the gusting wind caught them

Plenty of activity, missed takes and a mud pig ploughing through the left hand pads before shedding the barbless QM1 but 3 fish did grace the stink net. The bream have had spawning bumps on and off since April and this one was no exception.

A very bronze bronze bream.

And the fattest little tench I have ever caught from Golden Pond, spawny I'd guess.

Sunday and the Staging was free, so the Puddle Chucker set up was employed  for another trio, this time just bream. And netfulls of tiny roach and rudd to scoop up at will.

 Looking down Golden Pond to my Island Paradise

Saturday 4 June 2022

Tree stars

Boris being booed by Royalists and sightseers as he entered and left St Pauls has been the highlight so far of this week of puff and nonsense. Madge is plainly not well, and Charles if anything looked worse. Back to Boris boos, sadly more fuel to the fire of Nadine Dorries' bonfire of the Beeb and Channel 4. I charitably assume that her assume her swaying like a palm tree in no breeze is due to vestibular problems but there is nowt worse than the fury of a woman scorned is there?

I did wonder why crowds were lined along the A12  as we took the charabanc down to Devil Dog Land to meet the Olds, it became clear as all  the assembled Essex Bois, all gillets and flat capped decamped from the boozer we was in to see a very low level pass by the flypast headed down to that there London to possibly say goodbye to Madge for the last time.  This picture on the wall of traditional English pastimes made me laugh in these days of the mat police and single species holier than thou nonsense.

As well as catching up en famile presents were transferred from boot to boot as in those dark Covid days and some snap was partaken of.

Speaking of Essex Bois I was intending to deliver the Loafer a reel I'd picked up for him from the Fens along with a couple of hours of the flood tide after bass  and flatties on the North Norfolk shingle but he sent me to the wrong car park and after two miles trudging up and down the shingle I drove round just in time for a cloud burst so my rod remained firmly in the charabanc boot and not resting proudly on the second hand beach spike I'd found in Anglers Corner. The bass I did see caught would have struggled to compete with a swing to hand but still nice roach. 

Also in Narfulk and a lovely afternoon spent tucked away on Golden Pond in a little corner spot. Still close to the incessant road noise but enough tree cover to deaden some of the din. Those pads in the middle do need to come out to maker it safer to land fish on my lighter gear and it did make me hustle fish in a bit quicker.

Having said that, I was catching bream and apart from one that spat the barbless hook, and one that did get stuck in  a pad for a bit they don't tend to charge for cover like tench or mud pigs. Just the 4 but very nice indeed. First one to snot up my lovely new net

Net snottage continued with this one with a twisted upper caudal lobe, an old friend and a little more battered than last time it graced the stink net which was hanging up in in the occupied Island Paradise hence the deployment of the new net. I'm going to have to soak it in washing up liquid so it doesn't become the new stink net. I really got it because it had a deeper pan and I vainly presume to catch more than one chub from a swim at least once for a brace shot this winter.

The back of the swim was a carpet of fallen rhodo flowers and I must get round with the Nikon on a sunnier day before  the rhodos and flag iris go over.

Here's the final two. All fish courtesy of my old and dwindling bag of Source minis, over a bed of Spicy Sausage 6mm pellet fished under a 4grm Puddle Chucker in about two feet of water. Toodle pip.