Sunday 30 October 2022

Like a well oiled machine

I'm of that age when it's time to start caring for my parents, who are having a rocky time and share some of the load with my younger brother so I'll be up and down the dreary A140 for a while. Rods or cameras in car just in case anyway. Today it was wet as well as dreary, and finding the Stour in Stratford St Mary static and gin clear I moped around the chocolate box village of Dedham as the rain turned to drizzle before  checking out the mill pool. Plenty of small stuff topping with a flash of bigger below so I headed back for a quick pint before getting the rod out for an hour before heading off to see the olds. A very mediocre pint of Broadside as it happens.

Anyhoo, I set about the business of coaxing the float down an even more mediocre leaf strewn Suffolk Stour. The Loafer turned up to see me put on a shambolic display of ineptitude. He claimed a sort of victory by at least looking accomplished whilst having a go with my rod despite  not being able to hit a barn door with a banjo bite wise 

I at least could hit most of the bites despite failing at everything else, a small perch, some lovely roach and the odd rudd/roachy type thingy. 

I think a lot of the small fish topping were these, bleak.

We need a couple of really big floods to wash everything through and some frosts to kill off some of the rank bankside stuff like the willow herb that is still everywhere

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Shrooms and stuff

Stopped for a break and then to make some work calls, whilst there is still some on the way home light. Sheringham Park is one of Humphrey Repton's finest designs, up on a ridge overlooking Poppyland and the glorious North Norfolk Coast. Sylvan glades and all that. I prefer mainly beech and chestnut plantings come autumn but these are more ornamental parkland species than productive forestry.    


I've probably missed out on a what has been a very good fungi and shroom year but I have found a few without really looking. Might even do some ID and get some proper mini  lighting next autumn (good for dusk self takes too).

Monday 24 October 2022

You blanker

Leap frogged down one bank of Golden Pond. The shady side so I couldn't bask in the glorious low afternoon  sun. Saw and covered a few moving pike scattering roach but they weren't tempted by my halved sardine. 

Saturday 22 October 2022

Net gains

Spur of the moment dash to the mill pool. so spur of the moment that I forgot my landing net. Less haste more speed next time. I did several tip risking swings to hand but nothing that needed careful hand lining in. More drop shotters and a fellow trotter in situ, I gloatingly observed to myself as I packed up in the damp gloom that I was the only one to have caught in the the hour I was there. Pride has come before my next fall.....

Corn doing the business again. 

Wednesday 19 October 2022


Up here at the top of the tidal I doubt here is much salt even in surge conditions, a bit further down past the avenue of trees and on to the common the tide does sometimes hold back the flow (and of course lift up the weed). Cruisers do make it  up to the lock across the field but I was in the mill pool proper for some last knockings sport.

I knew I'd be under a tree so I left the 15 foot Greys at home and took my Tench and Specimen 13 footer to team up with the pin. and of course a 5AAA balsa. I took a bag of old premixed groundbait from the freezer, laced with corn and hemp leftovers and some turning maggot/casters My dendros had turned into a mould covered mess. 3.2lb bs Floatfish of dubious vintage straight through to a #14 wide gape fine wire spade end. 

Just 2 drop shotters and a solitary SUP  user for company and most pleasant it was, warm enough for a  hoodie only through till the dew fall. Bites came from various parts of the trot down the big back eddy past the fish pass and along the sill but mostly where the groundbait was hitting bottom and tumbling along along the rocky bed.

Corn bought mostly roach, the majority around this size and mostly in tip top plump condition and fighting nicely in the strong current.

A bunch of casters/maggots tended to attract more dace than roach as I expected and again in perfect condition.

I don't think you can beat the pin when its off the rod tip with a decent flow taking line off the spool, and thumb pressure allowing the bait to slow and raise at will and you do feel every twist and turn of the fish.

I saved the best till last, a handful of a dog roach that really gave a good account of itself to the watching remaining drop shotter. Biggest they'd ever seen they said. I think that autumn is the best season by miles and it's when trotting really comes into it's own. Happy days.

Monday 17 October 2022

Slay the fatted calves, the Prodigal has returned

Our last trip out with Shane the Gentle Giant, back from Canada was on the eve of the first Lockdown or thereabouts when we emptied an Essex estuary of its roker stocks and nearly got caught out by a sneaky ebbing tide flooding back down a newly breached channel. He only just left Blighty with hours to spare before Spaffalot shut us down.

Covid is (for) now just an inconvenience and our naturalised Canuk Gentle Giant Prodigal was back to visit relatives so The Loafer aka The Essex Scribbler and I arranged a day on our Undisclosed Midlands Stillwater. I had run out of fatted calves to slaughter so a pack of LIDL's finest Cumberland sausages and a pint of milk (nearly a quid these days) were stashed alongside the dead baits in the cool bag  and said sausages were later devoured along with some Essex Braaahn Sowce courtesy of The Loafer. He missed the memo about spare mugs so the loving cup was passed round through the day, with quite a mountain of used teabags building up on the retreating shores of the 400 acre UMSW. Tales of yore, and disbelief about the shit show unleashed on us by this cringe worthy Truss administration flowed, and special ire was saved for the Facebook numpties that inhabit the local sea angling and broads angling groups and of course Des Taylor. 


Less than half an hour in and The Loafer's sunken float paternosterd lamprey section was attracting some attention and first blood was offered to the Prodigal, more used to walleye than northern pike these days (and he's after Fraser River sturgeon next year).

Note the pathetic toothpick of a rod being brandished by the Prodigal. And that's not perspective, he really is that much bigger than The Loafer and I. Back to the toothpick, very inferior when compared to my sawn off 20 quid jobs. Told you he was twice our size....

I had drop a drop off drop off with no  resulting run and that was that. Oh, the Sacred lamprey had their run out to self macerate  then back in the freezer. We dodged  the day ticket collector. Phew at 25 quid  apiece unbooked. That's 2 and a half  20 quid jobs. And the Loafer ID'd some fellow angling brothers from Eastern climes with his bins from 500 yards, mainly cos they were sitting round a table on picnic chairs 

Saturday 15 October 2022

We're doomed...

 I'll leave this here.

Wonder if the robotic Jeremy *unt will prevail?  And good old Miriam Margoyles.  Well said.

Sunday 9 October 2022

Quick shot

Only a brief outing yesterday, in decent sun just to not be in the house really. River very clear still. Don't see this daisy like plant anywhere else. Unless it is a daisy then...

Just trotting to see what was hiding in the weed for future reference. A few "eyes" that barely troubled the float  

And this immaculate little roach. 

Far more fish in the tidal pool and I'll be back with some corn, hemp and dendros to get through the "eyes".

Monday 3 October 2022


Saturday afternoon saw me puffing along a rosebay willow herb choked riverbank looking for some gaps and clear water for a few short trots. It was hard  work and I soon got  a tangle behind the spool of the pin. I carefully removed the locking nut and put to one side and set about untangling the newly spooled Floatfish. I heard a ping and luckily the ratchet pawl had dropped on to a bare patch of ground. Working out how to put it back in, and where the circlip should go led to much sweating and cursing and in the end I tackled down and put everything safely  away and  managed in the end to figure it out at home. It has happened  before and I'd cannibalised a pawl which must have been a bit smaller so worked free? Anyhoo I have a spare pin so I've swapped the spool on to the factory spec pin for now..

Sunday was a kids day and we found some nice autumn colour. Fill in flash essential given the low autumn sun. I did have  a quick look at a stretch of river further down and access much easier so I'll  give it  a look in the week before the frosts kick in.