Thursday 16 March 2023

Over and out

 Last day and the mill pool looked inviting so that's where  I started.

Pleasant trotting if I avoided the catkins, all dace and not that big but sport anyway

Always put a can opener in case the ring pull fails.

The dace weren't having the corn so off to the Aquarium with another hopeful  to use it up. It seemed the residents of the Aquarium weren't having anything having mostly buggered off to the main river  and I had tiny dace and roach and  Hopeful had nowt.  

Bream and tench next I think.

Monday 13 March 2023

Corn fed

Absolute shocker of a wind all day. Thought I'd have a look see, rods in the back  just in case. The mill pool now free of debris, and a different gate opened. Bloke right at  the tail end, wading in a bit of lee. Nymphs under a big bright dry strike indicator.  Caught some nice dace as we talked. Simple cast, let the line come round and in a certain spot lift the rod anticipating a take.

Decided that it would be worth ago in the Aquarium for an hour and a half to see if the corn would pick out some better fish Difficult to keep the float steady even with weight down and this hampered my efforts greatly. More chance of a bite in a lull, and mostly it would be corn spewing chublets

The first roach I hooked l lost at the net and it was comfortably bigger than the 1.06 from Saturday. Did have a handful more but no real consolations for the loss.

Maggots just produced small dace and smaller roach. Tonight more rain forecast then sleet first thing but winds dropping by half. Think I'll give it a go again.

Sunday 12 March 2023

A bit more hay making

Watched the Youngest play football at lunchtime (2 goals)  so didn't get a rod out till late and popped in to the Aquarium for an hour. Someone had been on earlier  and using corn as this chub and a couple of roach were stuffed to the pharyngeals with corn.

I did loose a unit of a roach and swore a bit, in the main had mainly dace today with just the one perch, a couple more chublets and the odd roach. In truth I didn't try too hard as a few people were snooting  round for a last couple of days spots The male dace were sandpapery and the females pigeon breasted. Buzzards mewing and yaffles yaffling  but unusually no kingfishers..

Making hay

I was given a late pass out yesterday which of course I readily accepted and there was only one choice really, back to the Aquarium. You never know what might happen tomorrow so make hay today. This is as far as the day boats can get up the river, thwarted by the lock and to the right the mill pool (the Mill burnt down in 1963). A bit more beatific than on Friday 

It didn't take long for the float to indicate fishy interest down in the depths of the lock and the first of many roach was soon in the net. 

I'd hoped for a few smaller fish to slip on  a size 4 circle hook for a perch but even this size dace I thought was too optimistic. Didn't get many dace on this occasion but of those I did most were sandpapery males.

I did eventually get a smaller one, this did go out under  a 10gm bobber, but attracted no obvious interest. On the one occasion the  fish did scatter it had managed to avoid being inhaled by a dashing buccaneer perch by tangling on a branch. I did slip it back after this. The perch I did have were on the maggot and all around this size.

The obligatory chublet. 

The roach kept coming and I just can't tire of catching fish like this.

Two really stood out, one at a spot on guessed 1.02 and photographed by a passer by for me

And an absolute pearler that went 1.06.

Fantastic fishing for sure. The 'last' three days? Weather dependant, I'd hoped for  a trip down to Devil Dog Land but the Loafer tells me the Suffolk Stour isn't really that fishable so I might have a drive round today to check the Wensum and Yare. If not then be prepared for more of the same. 


Saturday 11 March 2023

Gift horse

Friday's weather looked ok for the for the afternoon so I planned to drop off parcels and have a coffee with Eldest then head off to explore the Upper Yare, where I haven't wet a line for  a while in the hope of some chub but a large dump of snow meant the parcels weren't accompanied by a bucket of liquidised bread (too cold to get hands wet with mash).it was a slow drive with quite slippery conditions as the snow had settled.  Enough to make Eldest fret about getting to the station but coffees done the snow stopped and the promised sun emerged. Stopped off  to check the river nearer to home and level and pace not too bad and angler free. 

Late lunch, chores done then off again but with maggots and just in case corn instead of bread. Aquarium swim as I could stash gear and shelter in copse if something blew in off the the North Sea. And I wanted to see if the roach were still in residence. Slow going, just one dace for my efforts before a heavy dump of hail hit and I had to take shelter. Possible cormorant damage, they have been seen hunting in this effective fish trap cul-de-sac trap before.

Moved down the lock to the gate once the hail had swept through. A serious piece of engineering that must only now be for flood alleviation given the low set footbridge spanning the lock. My companion from the last visit had been fishing tight to the gate with good results. I got bites straight away but was hampered by the overhanging branches (he had been using a shorter rod) and the accumulated debris and hail floes but there was a small branch free area to my left and I could fish more effectively though a prolonged snow shower had me scurrying for cover once more. More dace followed including this strange shaped one and an indeterminate. Perhaps the indeterminate was undecided fin-wise but I suspect it was a chublet .

But yes , the roach were still there, and in good numbers too. Some were showing signs of cormorant damage, others not but all required a net. Lovely seeing the flash of silver and red arising from the depths when they are hooked

The best was this absolute pearler amid the vast whiteness of my defence it  melted quicker than the earlier hail.

I finished off with a chublet

I had had a handful of brightly marked perch too, and a bigger one that didn't make the net but thrice the fish packed by the gate were sent flying.  A livebait rod will accompanying me next time. I  hope I can get some smaller livebaits in case the attackers were perch. Though a biggish perch will tackle quite a decent sized livio.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Long chuck

Kept very local yesterday, another weather dodging short trip, this time taking a pair of pike rods for a slow amble round the pond. Not sure where the extensive lily beds are, apart from a few early risers so  long chucks and twitch backs. Very shallow so floats order of the day. More of which in a bit. Cast off a few manky Morrisons cheapo sardines as unintended pre bait but mostly they stayed on.  Nothing in the first twitch back of both rods, bar spooking a couple of mud pigs. 

Friendly robin

The line on both rods was rhythmically lifting due to the wind action on the floats, which given the deep silt I hadn't tightened up to and so the rod tips were also nodding (nothing to do with being propped up high of course).I'd just sent a sardine  as far as I could with a 3/4 oz weight and sat down  to see the rod definitely not nodding slowly but much more violently and the buzzer signalling line being taken off the baitrunner. I gracefully rose from my super carpy garden chair, flicked off the anti-reverse and engaged the spool. Pike on. They can't do much more than bore off near the surface in 2 foot of water so lots of fun before I got it in the manky old 'pike' net I don't mind cutting trebles out of. The hooks fell out in in the net so a little scissor action  was needed but no dentistry required. No self-takery either as it wasn't that big. Pleasing though. I must have dropped the bait almost on it's head. Gloomy skies loomed so that was my short lot.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Blowing away the cobwebs

Sleet at least forecast for today but not reliably dry my BBC Weather crApp said. Salt pinch at hand. So I started the day worth a cobweb blowing away walk along Cromer sea front via the excellent Gangway and a  read of a Mabey over a good and good value flat white at 2.80. The sleet was certainly forming over an angry North Sea. And it was bloody freezing cold. And it did snow.

I looked at some mackies in Morrisons but they weren't that fresh so I'll see how my freezer stocks go between now and the last day. Couldn't find an inspiring tin of soup that wasn't silly money so had a pair of soft boiled eggs in a bap when I got home. Plunge in boing water for 6 mins, straight in cold water and knock the shell. Peel carefully and you will have perfect firm whites and when you split them the yolk will be runny. They will stay like that. You'll thank me.

Chores done and it looked fairly clear out still so went into Wroxham to top up the maggot stocks, and chanced me arm in the aquarium as it was free on one half. My right hand companions had more fish, mostly dace or chublets with the exception of  one very decent roach.

Me mostly roach, and three in particular belters.

I weighed this one at 1.03

I think theirs was bigger, it certainly was longer. Happy days indeed. And it was just cold without the bloody freezing bit. 

Monday 6 March 2023


Might have to accept  traces being twisted, not crimped soon. I can barely see to thread  20lb 7 strand through the crimp now. I cant miss the size 4 trebles though. I remember us using 10's and fretting about the slightest resistance.

It's sleeting outside so currently not enthused about loading up the charabanc. Hence trace making. If I do go it will be very local I think. 

Saturday 4 March 2023

In the abyss

I actually plumbed the aquarium swim today. It is deep.. didn't fish for long, long enough to hear the Canaries go 1 down at the New Den and to hear they'd just gone 3-2 up. Cold and  often wet but today I was mostly catching roach with a few dace and one tiny perch.

Tatty but a handful. Note the depth charge shotting pattern.

Almost mint. Double reds. As always.

Border patrols

Off down the jolly old A140 yesterday to check up on Dad and deliver parcels for onward transit. Journey negotiated with just two old man pee stops and one of these was to see how the river ran. Barely at all but with fish topping in my probable journey home spot I'd most likely try there later. Dad was bearing up but still some legal bits ongoing for him.

Reassured  I set off back, stopping for a very nice Broadside with a nice log fire in The Sun. Some London Media. types dong a promo shoot at the bar, all deffo not Essex Girl TOWIE clothing and story boards 

I looked over the bridge astride the border (not running down the Irish Sea) between Devil Dog Land and Pink Cottage County, a mean upstreamer and likely rain and  a very clear Stour shoved chub plans back in the mash bucket. I did wonder about the mill pool but it was chock full of club members (not) on this former free spot. I have yet to see any club members fish it. But I'm not a club member. So, my original plan then, the riverside stretch and looking for some semblance of flow. First spot and I mostly got my B560'S stuck in the tangle traps or my finger, requiring the big pike forceps and some blood and flesh removal so I moved nearer the car and at first found some tiny bleak. An imperceptible almost increase in flow and change of wind direction opened up a better sort of trot just as jobbing gardener The Loafer pitched up for a mardle and to admire the finesse of my finely balanced trotting set up. He even had a go, tempting this sparkling little rudd.

I had a mixture of dace,  roach, perch and chublets.  But thankfully no more bleak.

I think a pole would have been better as i bumped several, to much line on the bottom? but as it was a nice head clearing sit down and catch up with the emerging gardening Mogul (psst, no 'qualifications never got in my way Boi'). He's more of a job sizer upper and job getter and has the uncanny knack of never undercutting what someone might actually offer him. Good, a spring, summer and autumn's loafing needs paying for and that is true Essex nouse. He'd definitely look sharp on The Apprentice.

He then showed me his SAS you aint  seen me right forbidden  stretch which looks the actual dogs bollox. but I can't show you it obvs.

Friday 3 March 2023

Tackle tarts

Twitter convo recently with @YorvikAngler and @Togoch about the lure of the tackle shop and the unhealthy effects they have on our pockets, my last foray saw me leaving Dangling Indirect clutching these little beauties I have to snap up when I see them

I'd also got a tub each of my go to yellow peril and shocking pink 8mm wafters and was rootling about to see if there was anything else that I must simply have when I made  a grim discovery. A tin of actual yellow peril LIDL corn had slightly split and everything in the lidded bucket was enveloped in foul liquid and furry mould. Lidded bucket. You see, my catastrophising brain had decided the bath above my sacred study and tackle den had leaked. Then the unmistakeable stench of festering corn (Corm steep liquor anyone at tackle tart prices?) and the fact that I'd had to undo the lid all kicked in.

I've got to get  a pint of reds on the way down to Devil Dog Land this morning. I wonder what I'll come out of the tackle shop with as well? And the bath does leak sometimes. I'm marginally better than the Loafer at mending (bodging) things.