Sunday 7 April 2024

Munterama. or a face only a mother could love

Given the warmer, drier conditions I thought I'd check out one of my daily commute waters for the odd early finish raid. Small urbanish gravel pit not far from my brownie river.  Still quite boggy and thus a  little uncomfortable to fish but as it was shorts weather things always seem a little better. I had bought the method rods still set up from last year  and some frozen and several times refrozen Krill and Squid method pellets from last year too. Which was probably why they wouldn't mould properly and the wafters were left dangling rather than being buried  in a nice mound of pellet on top of the feeder. I suppose I could have opened a new packet but I didn't. Stingy bugger me. I need to retackle and clean the rods and reels too. Maybe.

Anyway, the pit threw up a couple or three of it's mutant inhabitants. Not a club  to pursue a rigorous and vetted stocking policy. Quite of few of the grass carp they stocked to clear one of the smaller, weedier pits on the ticket seemed to have transformed  into chub.  

This one looked very strangely coloured in the water, but jagged around nicely.  I've just seen that they have stocked a good number of crucians from  a local growing on water. I'm itching to grass then up to the Crucian Association just for LOLs  on Facebook. A page for one eyed swivelling loons if I ever clicked

And this bream was a shocker. Tiny mouth, and thin as a razor blade

This one was bream shaped but with a very raggedy tail.. Getting ready to spawn more mutants too.

Tuesday 2 April 2024


I've had to come to terms with some unexpected changes and as ever I'm best in my own uncomplicated self-found comfort zone so mulling over what next or at the very least what different? Some warmer drier days will probably cast a more favourable light and maybe new rewards.

In the meantime I'll treasure the more mundane and these little jewels aren't that bad as it goes.

Monday 1 April 2024

Glimmer of hope

Thought I'd give Little 'Un a taste of the pro-football high life whilst Col U are still clinging on to their EFL status by the skin of their teeth..again. 3 fifths of the Elders joined us for a tour round North East Essex to take in White City, the Barracks, Layer Pits and Abberton before a misty eyed drive down Layer Road past  the old ground and the Drury Arms.

Parking a formality with ANPR we fought our way through the massed ranks of Essex John Boys and Taffs from the Valleys to slake our thirst with a pre match pint of standard footie lager.

Our out of town sterile concrete bowl was built on clay and has always been beset with drainage problems  but this season three games have been postponed  due to a waterlogged pitch and the sight as we took to our favoured S3 Row M seats was shocking. The club have had to apply to EFL to alter the dimensions of the pitch and the new playing area looked to be about the size of the pitches Little 'Un is playing on. The old Layer Road pitch was like a billiard table. This  was a disgrace. The games in hand may prove handy though as it's very tight down in the basement with the U's, Grimsby, Sutton United and the Footballing Vegans all there and there abouts for the two drop to non EFL oblivion slots.

Newport County, resplendent in what I think is the only acceptable away kit (black) set out to spoil and time waste from the first minute with constant giggly fouls, collapsing to the ground (at one point 4 players were down) and probably the longest goal kick preparations ever. The referee, Sunny Gill had been subbed down from the Premier League for signing autographs at half time and on this showing wouldn't be fit to ref Lille 'Uns games. Grimsby and the Vegans  conceded early doors but Sutton had taken the lead and when Newport  scored the softest goal ever before the break things were looking glum, sending a pair of the Elders off in search of a concourse pint. 

Col U stated the second half in a much brighter manner, and despite  not getting two of the most  blatant penalty decisions found an equaliser to send the Newport keeper deeper in to time wasting mode . How we laughed when he slipped when taking a kick after changing which side he took it from.

Sutton had conceded and then taken a lead and we were second from bottom. Gill awarded a very conservative 8 minutes extra time and the siege of Timewaster's goal continued. A surging run down the right and Mingi blasted one over the short keeper at his near post into the roof of the net and the South Stand erupted.  Think Little 'Un enjoyed it. Best fan ever someone said outside. 2-1 and our first home win under the  Cowley brothers.

Queues post game at the ticket office for the next home game against promotion likelies Wrexham. We are going to the last game against Crewe Alexandra. Our fate maybe decided  then but what a relief if we do survive. Might be a good sized crowd too.

Thursday 14 March 2024

Last whimper.

Tuesday was Fens day, to act as ghillie for the master printmaker John Richardson, he of Two Terriers fame. I got as far as Fakenham before it became evident that the rain was set in and only likely to get worse. 

Wednesday looked better and apart from the bastard wind it was, with waves coming back up the drain against the flow. Which eventually stalled then backed up too, the rising levels sending islands of debris back towards the lock. John has honed his Fens approach to a drifted dead (or live) bait and when conditions suit he discards  the pegged float and wobbles the bait. Two years off and he'd lost none of it. A follow on his first retrieve had us hoping for a good day.   The pike and perch hadn't read the memo.

The ancient Hardy cane float road came out too, but the resident fish were so tiny they couldn't manage the  tiniest scrap of punch and for the first time since he has had it it recorded a blank.  We will do it again when it gets warmer. Tench perhaps John thought.

Never mind, the Upper Wensum was bound to have dropped enough for a last day bash at the dace today. In fact I'm sure it has. A puncture, recalcitrant wheel nuts and  a useless compressor has paid to that though. I'll have to finally update my fly gear and get some chest waders to have a proper go for the browns come April. I am now contemplating using some of my left over cheese paste for some rustic cheese straws...

Saturday 9 March 2024

Away day

Thought I'd check up on the Old Man and make sure he'd had a feed then catch up with the Loafer for a fish and a mardle.

Stopped off for a trot on a reliable banker with  a convenient bankside parking spot. Spring is definitely here, along with a mean Easterly March wind. Corvids chacking and cawing in the spinney, water a perfect bottle green. Not a bite. Usually full of roach, dace, cbublets and bleak. Very strange.  Couldn't get an inside table at the nearby farm café  either. I turned my nose up at the offered outside table having seen the poor sods sitting out there in their coats, hats and scarves, dew drops on their noses..

Took The Old Man to the Greyhound for a pint and a decent sandwich and talked about future funeral arrangements as you do. Lots of interesting stuff too about his school days for balance. We even ate the green stuff. No dry roast peanuts today but I was tempted briefly by their warm pork scratchings which are always nice. Next time.

Back past the now renamed 'blanker' spot and to the small car park almost under the constant roar of the ever rushing London bound traffic. The ever hungry Loafer already on the fish with several plucks at his flake drifted in close before making contact with this splasher.  Always one to do different the Loafer shuns the usual black disposable gloves for these fetching blue ones. 

We trudged down to the next baited swims (Ii trudged, the  hungry Loafer strode purposefully) and I opted for the lower of the two and opted for a 2SSG link which is double what the loafer uses and trusty flake with almost instant indications.

Missed a nailed on chub bite then converted the next for a slightly larger splasher.   

I stayed on a bit but converted no more chances then slid my way through mud and a poxy gate and bridge over the old feeder stream of Lunker Hunter days where I caught my first ever chub, much the same size as  this, blind in one eye, on crust bounced under a raft which at time felt like the biggest fish in the world.

Next swim meant a mid stream cast so more weight and there were fish there but the bread was a bit dry so on with a lump of cheese paste and in no time a proper stabbing bite and and a much better chub was on. 

I gave it too much respect and it lodged itself under my feet in an undercut, much poking about with the net freed it and I bullied it into the net now being more expertly wielded by the Loafer. A proper chub this one.


Job done I settled down to watch the Loafer set about some roach on  a scaled down cage feeder rig. 

Lots of bites on flake but frustrating with many missed. However this lovely fish did trip up. Plans hatched to try to convert more bites next time.

A cracking day, made even better by the ever faithful A12 Esso garage diesel at a queue inducing 1.459 ppl. A tired but happy Bureboi.


Thursday 7 March 2024

Old spot and another new spot

I'd been eyeing up  a couple of new spots on the upper stretches of my 'other' river with dace in mind as they gather on the gravels and cleaner runs and I reckoned it would be fining down enough by Wednesday and the weather looked ok. In fact I set off in cold wet fog and when I did get to the town stretch the river whilst down still looked a bit brisk so I drove up to Chicken Town and revised my dace plans a tad as I was bound to have to work my way through a fair few browns to get at a few dace. In the trees the fog hadn't settled and the big coat was soon abandoned though the neoprenes stayed on. Without polaroids you might think the clear runs were barren but a sprinkling of reds (and the odd white) were soon working their magic and with more control from the pin the bites were slower as the fish weren't having to chase the hook baits quite so fast. As I expected the first trot bore fruit and one of the Loafer's fab little balsas  blipped under. No surprises as to the culprit, this fab little starburst wild brown. Chubby little thing too

They kept coming and I was soon into double figures including this biggest I'd get before moving to the next likely spot with a decent root structure and a deeper pool across.

As I'd hoped some dace were resident amongst the browns, as evidenced by the flash of silver as something twisted after the passing grubs. An altogether different fight, twisting and jagging rather than than the juvenile dashing about of the brownies.

A further 16 trout and 7 dace followed before I decided to head back to the town stretch and a quick pint and dry roast peanuts (lunch of champions) amongst the day time session drinkers on two pints at a time courtesy of Brexit Tim. A chocolaty thing that did the £2.29 job. And yes, the toilets are upstairs.


Across the road and the first trot down the wavy crease and the hoped for dace was twisting and turning in the fast current and in the net. A plump female as were most  that followed with only one definite sandpaper rough male

And this absolute unit of a she dace.

The trees above were little troublesome so I dropped down below by a pampas grass, a shorter run with several roach amongst the dace and this, my 29th and last brownie.

I also bought back a leaf that turned out to be a minnow.

I still felt the first run looked the best so went a shade up out of tangling tree reach and give it my best for the last 30 mins and popped a few in the net for a final shot.

I'll have another go before  the end of the season weather permitting


New spot, better than being at work.

Bit like the Loafer, making the most of the last Hurrah.  Tidal still the best bet on Monday, a couple of hours trotting with an outside chance of breaking out the feeder rod. One of the few accessible bank spots below the always soggy Coltishall Common. the tide does sometimes have an effect, even this far up but there is so much water still in the system it seems to mostly be on the ebb of late. 

First trot this nice little roach  and I thought things could only get better

In terms of bites it did, but most were tiny dace and roach and even a tiny perch. Lots and lots of tiny roach and dace. Every trot with most hit except when tying to pour and drink the warming soup of the day. LIDL have bought back their deluxe tomato and chorizo though I'm not sure a lot of chorizo was involved, certainly not an extra 50 pence worth. 

Nice and hot though which it needed to be cos it got colder and colder once the rheumy sun started to disappear. Chilled me to my bones. Too cold to piss about getting groundbait mixed and having a few chucks with the feeder though in hindsight I think I would have got through to some better fish.

Here are a few of the (slightly) better ones.

Sunday 25 February 2024

Pond dippping

Rivers are still cack and it has been cold so I have had a few desultory pokes about on a few localish waters without much conviction or application. So my rewards have been as meagre as I deserve. Well sort of meagre anyway. 

Three bites on Tuesday and one hit. A very lovely roach indeed. Double reds on a #16 B560

Next short trip three further bites, two tiny roach and this slightly less tiny hybrid.

And next time out, even colder but more bites though hard won merest dips of the dotted down waggler with 3 small (not tiny) roach and seven perch all of which thought they bigger than they were.

On a more positive note we went to the gastronomic Mecca (no bingo) that is Fakenham Wetherspoons and as well as a small but delightful steak and kidney pud I checked out the upper river levels. Might have to put a rod in the charabanc for a just in case if the rain holds off.

Friday 16 February 2024

Use it or lose it

We've got another tier of management now, and managers have to prove they are managing  things so no more carrying the odd day of leave over now cos you've bee worked so hard you haven't had time to take it so it's use it or lose it. Today was a use it day but I only had half of that day to call my own and what with the lower rivers being fecked I set off on my usual 50 mile one way commute to stop off on the upper Wensum where I knew the river would be in  better trim. Didn't buy diesel as it had gone up 6 pence a litre overnight. Did buy a breakfast though. Not the Morrison's Ultimate even though it was a very reasonable 7 quid. I had to tip the beans out of the poxy ramekin everywhere insists on using these days.  One of everything except the liberated beans. Oh, and TWO pats of Lurpak which really is overpriced  these days. I think that sausage is nearly as cremated as the Loafer demands. 

Quick spin down to the river and the omnipresent  feralish chickens which feature in most of Norfolkcestershire. Big buggers too.

One of the members was up to his not fly fishing tricks, using a strike indicator and no shot down to the single maggot. Roach in one eddy and little browns in the opposite eddy today he said. 

I've noticed that the lovely little wild browns are increasingly predominant so it was nice to hear he'd had some roach. The river was faster than usual but clear so it was a case of finding a few darker looking patches to indicate a bit of depth.  Should have taken the rod with the pin out of the Charabanc to get a bit more control of the 2 swan loafer  (the Loafer's loafer) but as it was the little wildies didn't mind chasing the bait. Only fished two swims but as usual lost count in the end.  None would have made 8oz but what beauties they were and game scrappers even on a beefier than needed 13 foot Drennan Carp Float rod I'd bought from Fenman Mark Barratt when I was waiting for a replacement tip for one of my Drennan Tench and Specimen 13 footers.

Did find  a couple of dace and I'll try a couple of the more sedate spots before the season ends. Whispers of smuggled in chub now too. 

Monday 5 February 2024

Down in the dumps

Pat MaGroyne sent back this sneaky shot from Long Stratton of an early doors win for Little 'Un, a cracking corner for a first minute opener assist  and that trademark break down the left wing and a fierce drive from outside the box to seal the win. Hit the post as many times as Nunez too.

Which meant that I should have been a very happy Bureboy. I was until I saw the river. About three feet down and all the exposed silt and banks were a mass of otter tracks. Everywhere.

Still,  I'd had to work hard for my pass out so down the stretch, working both margins with twitch backs for two and a half hours. 

Not even a crayfish nibble. Word is the upper stretch is also seemingly barren, with only the occasional huge brownie to pull the string. 7 plus huge, more than one looking at the pictures. I've a half a mind to get a Deeper or get Robbie of the North to have a kayak up and down with his Sidewinder just to see what is there now.. Aside from floods and severe snow I'd always get runs and often doubles and a handful of twenties. That was till about 2 years ago Lots of fry this year and some pockets of dace. The trout are getting big on something, probably filling the pike niche. Make the most of the good times, you never know when they might go.

Saturday 20 January 2024

Sports report

Pat MaGroyne, Famous Sports Reporter was sent off to that there Suffolk to cover a cup game today, He seems to have been kidnapped but managed to get a few garbled  lines out which I can't really enlarge  on what with not being a NUJ card holder or anything but he did get some hastily shot reportage out which might be OK without causing  a pens down all out strike. 

The Theatre of Dreams, masquerading as the Team Lauren Lou 3G Arena. Not a bad surface to play football on but not one for a 20 yard knee slide to the corner flag  celebration.

Which is probably why Little 'Un made do with a run to the half way line, finger raised in a Shearer style emotion fest. The goal?  A nice ball over the top beating the offside trap for Little' Un to run on to, drop her shoulder and rifle home  a fierce left foot first timer across the keeper's despairing dive and bulging the onion bag with a satisfying plasticy rustle to silence the home crowd of 16. But no man with a dog.  A physical encounter with plenty of corner argy bargy and one full on slap and a  stern talking to from the Man in Black. Youngest Boi, formally known as on Ton Ton (Macoute) who climbs out of his non-job seeking pit once a week to run the line needed his wits about him but stood firm and resolute.  A draw would have been a fair result but the home team dealt a late killer blow with a well worked goal.

I think that's what Pat said. No ransom demands yet, I think the Bureboyville Chronicle will have to send out a different reporter to cover Little 'Un turning out for the Sunday Team up the Fine City of Norwich. The Commander in Chief is sharpening her pencil as I type. No 3G pitch, more a mud bath with a 1:10  slope at one corner. And 50mph Storm Isha winds.