Monday, 4 July 2022

Into the Valley

No, not square jawed fisherman's gansey wearing Richard Jobson's Valley but just a different valley, reached by a winding flinty path and nestled under rolling downs is a little jewel. Poplar fluff and sycamore keys litter the  neat little pathways carefully picked out of the encroaching verges and crushed water mint and rosebay willow scents fill the heavy, warm air. We've had rain and the scented ripeness is pregnant with expectancy, heightened by clusters of bubbles and rocking reed stems, swaying in no breeze.  

I press the short sticks in the verdant sward and hang the red bobbin on the lines, having laced the swim with dark, sweet and oily groundbait. I've avoided baiting up with trembling fingers because Rod Hutchinson  did that many many years ago and instead of my sausage like digits I've impaled neon wafters on  the barbless QM1's, and pressed them into neat little quenelles of tiny things purporting to be krill and squid. These things.

Under armed out into the general area of the banquet I've laid out go two little parcels of attraction, with the waiting sting in the tail ready to catch in an enquiring mouth. It's not long till the left bobbin is dancing and the alarm is sounding. A decent nodding battle, and a solid bream is hustled into the waiting net. No pathetic swimmers roll and capitulation from this hidden jewel's denizens of the deep. A good 6lb I thought but it made good its escape before I'd readied my Nikon and the next encounter
(I'd say from a mudpig)  saw a spat out feeder whistling past my face in a shower of spray.

The Nikon did have an outing for the next one, and this time a very impressive roach bream hybrid made me me work hard for my prize.

The rains came and went several times, I only had the snotty, slimy unhooking mats to shelter under till the showers passed  and they became even more snotty as 4 more decent bream tripped up. Solid things and no pushovers. 

And this very feisty male tench. Now he really did charge about looking for the pads to hide in. Lovely hump back too.

I did spot a jay hunting from a post, taking a big lob worm, and ether a small rodent or a frog/toad. picking at it on it's perch.  I also saw a gormless pigeon land on a branch, break it and almost flop backwards into the water. A Fosbury Pigeon?

I'll certainly return. But not with an umbrella. I hate them. 


  1. Been a long time that I took the big umbrella, I much prefer just sitting it out. Very Huckleberry Finn, cracking Tench too.

    1. Yes, but that wet gear to dry at home. I just like any tench.

  2. "The scented ripeness is pregnant with expectancy". Is that so Mr Craptree ? 😆

    1. Don't think Crabtree had pregnancy on his mind when he went out fishing with Peter

  3. That's a very impressive hybrid.