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.