Thankyou for taking the time view my mutterings.

"We sit on cowslip banks, hear the birds sing, and possess ourselves in as much quietness as these silent silver streams, which we now see glide so quietly by us"

Sunday, 28 February 2010

A pair of Ace's

Means as though I had a bailiffs meeting at 10am, there was no need to rush about so bread was thrown into the toaster, kettle was fired up and I was soon pondering as to whether or not put the tackle in the truck? It was belting it down with rain as I looked out of the kitchen window and a North Easterly wind was blowing. Do I or don't I?? Conditions were not looking the best. "Sod it, lets have go for a few hours".

In it to win it and all that!!

Gear was loaded and the flask was made, I then grabbed a bar of chocolate and off I trotted.

The meeting did not take too long and I was angling by 11.30. I decided to sit on the back of the wind and fish to the end of an island that was hopefully giving our scaly friends a bit of shelter?

The rain was still tipping it down and the outflow pipe at the far end of the lake was now actually an inflow pipe and the water was actually bubbling as it was pushing from the pipe back into the lake and even a spray could be seen such was the force!! With this happening it led to all swims actually being flooded and things were not looking too good at all!

Up with the brolly, get comfortable and make the most of it, at least it was fresh air. To begin with I decided to feeder fish to the island and put a second rod being a float rod down the margin to my right and just let it sleep with the off chance of maybe picking up a decent perch. Things were quiet for an hour or so and my worm and maggot cocktail that was being fished to the island margin had not had a single knock, smaller hook was taken from the tackle bag, worm taken off and replaced with two juicy maggots. Have some of that!!

Not long after the change, one or two taps started to appear on the rod tip and soon enough I started to swing a few small roach and perch into my waiting hand. The float rod that was fishing with a prawn was not looking too lively either so this was changed to half a lob tipped with a fluro pink imitation maggot!! Sounds more like it should be at a disco than at a lake!

As the hours passed with the rain still falling small fish were still coming to the feeder with the odd 10 to 12oz roach making it pleasing to the eye when all of a sudden out of the blue the float shot off like a ski, "eh up" it was not the hoped for 3lb plus perch but a toothy water crock of about 4lbs and on light tackle it gave me a good run around that Zola Bud would of been proud of. Mr pike returned safely and looking out and up it seemed that the sky was clearing so to celebrate a brighter looking day I grabbed the flask and saluted four geese as they splashed past squawking as they went.

While enjoying my PG tips and having a smoke the tip on the feeder rod gave a promising bang round that was different to any other I had witnessed and the strike was met with a more promising pull from whatever was attached the other end...

Soon she rose up from the deep margin and on first sight I thought "that's got to be two pounds plus". A quick weigh and the needle settled and said 1lb 14oz. She was in mint condition and worthy of a quick picture, then one last look before slipping her back. Happy days!

After that capture I decided to reel the float rod in and just concentrate on the feeder rod, just maybe a few better fish had started to find the dinner table?

The next hour or so saw a few more roach up to the 12oz mark come to the maggot offering but, as before, a different and more savage bite occurred and this proved to be the last bite of the day which turned out to be another immaculate looking roach which weighed in at 1lb 4oz to complete a very enjoyable end of February day made complete with a pair of ace's!!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Learning new tricks!!

After being picked up at 4am sat nav was saying two and a half hours to destination. We were heading North West to the beautiful Teme valley for a guiding lesson and a giggle with good company. We pulled up in the arranged pub car park to find a guy stood outside his van brushing his teeth! "Morning" he said, get out your breakfast gear, put a brew on and chill out for half hour, then we'll wander into the pub to get the tickets. "rivers looking nice" he said and i'm Trefor and you must be my students for a couple of days? Tref was about 5' 4" complete with hat and boots and from that point on I knew it was going to be a little bit of an experience and nothing too serious. Now, Tref's been angling a long old time and knows every trick in the book, so off we trotted to get the tickets, then back into the car for the two minute drive over the road with us following, up a lane to a gated field "shut the gate behind you" he shouted! Now we were driving straight through a field only to be greeted by about fifty cows! Before we can bed down for the night we're going to have to move them out of here and into the next gated field!! I'll go in the middle you two take the left and the right, and we'll herd them up the field and through the next gate! Great i thought, this old boys having a laugh. After about fifteen minutes and the cows all split up like the red arrows we decided that we would sleep in the next field and leave them to it, boots were now covered in crap and a little bit sweaty and I looked at Steve and we rolled our eyes and just chuckled.

We opened the boot on the truck and this time Tref rolled his eyes, "bloody hell, your going home tomorrow" get one rod, one net and your tackle bag leave the rest in the car". "Follow me".

First view of the river from its steep red stained banks and it looked awesome with its twisting slow moving bends flowing into fast shallow rapids before settling down into a long straight which looked as though the depth evened its self out at a nice pace with trees littering the bank at intervals. Tref insisted that we put our kit down once a quarter of the way through the field and told us to tackle the rods up with a straight forward running set up with a 2oz lead complete with a braided hair rig with no loop, with this he opened his bait bucket, grabbed four or five good hand fulls and told us to put them in our pockets and take three out for baiting the hook and lobbed a tube of superglue us, stick them on like this and let em dry while I tell you the plan!

The sequence was this.......... park your bum in the swims I suggest, put the hookbaits out and throw in thirteen freebies, give it twenty minutes and if no knocks or taps have occurred then move down the field and repeat the sequence again...  "We'll have em".

We walked past a certain area to begin with while we angled further down the beat and in this time Tref walked back to it and baited the margin of which was only 18" deep and the far bank had a fallen willow. Fifteen minutes past only for us to hear a shout of "wind in lads and bring one rod and a net with ya"! On finding Tref standing on a high bank looking down into the shallow margins pointing like a crazy thing! Chub coming in from the left, 1, 2, 3. Barbel coming across from the willow, "give it five then abseil down the bank and perch yourself on the tree trunk but go quietly and I'll tell you when to lower the baited rod, but first let me mold this big chunk of plasticine 2ft up from your lead". This old boy ain't all there I thought but it's his rules so I'll abide. "Right, go, lower it in about there" he said while flicking two pellets out, get yourself comfortable and I'll narrate as to what is happening from up here but be prepared for the unexpected he chuckled. Right Derren its going to go any minute get ready to whack it!! With that my arm was nearly wrenched from its socket and a big puff of silt exploded and the fish boiled on the surface for a bid to freedom to the far bank cover. Soon i was in a very uncomfortable position wobbling on the tree trunk rod in one hand, net in the other try my hardest not to fall in and have them giggle at me like a pair of kids. Luckily for me all went well and my first Teme barbel was stalked, weighed and returned. "Who says you cant catch em in daylight hours? you just got to find em, and feed them a little and then whack em boy!" "come on, back to the sequence and we'll try here again on our way back". Derren 1, barbel 0........Thanks Tref, you ain't as silly as you look Ithought.

The moral of this tale and it goes for all types of angling is..........

Keep it simple and find em!!!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Going back in time

I think I was about 7 years of age and all I can remember was sitting under my fathers 45" umbrella that was wrapped with a clear plastic cover and held down by a couple of home made pegs. A pair of 1.25 rods complete with mitchell 300's on a set of old heron type buzzers. Bait was par boiled spuds fished with a scattering of jolly green giant!! We were sat between a pair of tree/bushes on a small sand pit in the heart of Bedfordshire and the rain was coming down when one of the old fellas home made bobbins (I say home made as they were in fact fairy liquid bottle tops) hit the rod butt. After a small amount of commotion and dad saying "get the net lad" there in the bottom was a smooth green fish with red eyes.

"It's a Tench mate, get the little scales and the bag from the bottom of my seat box while I unhook her". This particular catch was 4lb 8oz and I can remember dad getting an old rag from one of his well used tackle bags and holding and returning it to the water with the use of a wet rag and not allowing his dry hands to touch his prize. In those days we used to sit up most of the night with huge expectation sipping tea from a flask and waiting for day break as the best time for a Tench (according to the books) is dawn. Still mornings, allow the best viewing for fizzing,bubbling and occasional Tench rolling!

Moving on in time and it's now February 2010, the weather has been cold, wet and horrid since I don't know when and my thoughts are already thinking about chasing "old red eye" for the first time in many a year come the spring. Thoughts of un-caught doubles are lighting the fires and have set my mind ticking on how to outwit such fish!

Tackle has changed but thankfully not too much, the basics are still the same as they ever were and I for one can't wait to be sitting under my brolly on a damp and misty spring morning waiting to rekindle those same thoughts from 1977 when as a boy, my eyes first set sight on a red eyed Tinca!!