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, 16 September 2012

Down Shropshire way

It was Saturday 8th of September, myself and Lady J were heading up the M40 to destination River Severn for a weeks chill out. My Brother and his partner(Mel) were in tow and we were on course to meet up with my parents for a full English at 9am at a cafe in Bewdley. After all arriving safely we were soon tucking in and filling our stomachs to brimming point before heading off to grab some supplies (food etc) and then it was off to the pub up the road for a quick pint before heading to our bank side lodge that was to be our home for the week.
The lodge is in the most beautiful of settings, fifteen yards from the front door to the rivers bank down a private single track lane surrounded by tall trees leading to open fields with an abundance of wildlife complete with as much peace and quiet you could ever wish for (including hit and miss phone reception) lovely jubbly. Fifty or so yards behind us sits the historic Severn valley Railway that chugs and smokes its way for 16 miles between  Bridgnorth and Kidderminster following the course of the Severn as it goes.

Daytime's were to be spent out and about with the good lady and plans had been made as to where we fancied visiting during our stay. The evenings were to be my main fishing hours although a couple of early morning sessions were also snatched while leaving little Miss sleepy head all tucked up.  
Bridgnorth,Kidderminster,Shrewsbury and Worcester were all on the hit list as was the West Midlands Safari Park and any other little stops that we fancied along the way.

Bridgnorth cliff railway

Just briefly while on the subject of the safari park, to the amusement of Ma and Pa who were situated in the rear of the truck ( Dad wouldn't take his hairdressers car in case it got licked to death) certain obvious areas we were allowed to have the car windows open and others ie... the lions and tigers etc.. we were not! As I pulled up to a free roaming giraffe I casually put the window down to look up at my new found friend only for the wind to gust and blow my cap clean off my barnet, leaving the car was a little intimidating to say the least but fear not I did survive.

This fella was after one of my rhubarb and custard boiled sweets!!


Back to the fishing side of things and as I said earlier, most evenings after filling my belly I could be found situated in one of the many beautiful swims that stretch through the nearby fields and each time I ventured out I would at least try to fish a different peg unless I felt otherwise or had one of them hunches us anglers get. Lady J joined me on most evenings and by the end of the week she could still be found out there well in to darkness and intensely watching the rod top and even admitted that she was enjoying it and could see why us men have ten last casts!

In her greens.

Over the years usually one calamity will happen and this year was to be no different!
The time was roughly 9ish and all was quiet apart from the owls occasionally hooting, myself, Paul and Dad were all spread out with about twenty yards each between us, the two girls were out there with us also.
All of a sudden Dad let out a cry and was laying on the floor but because we couldn't see we could not get the full effect of what had just happened. It turns out that Dad stood up and stepped up a ledge to take a pee but in doing so his foot slipped into a crack in the ground and he fell over on to his back, to make matters worse he'd got the little fella in his hand and was mid flow, so all we heard was "oh no I've just pissed all over myself "!! Laugh? we nearly pissed ourselves.

All three of us caught on most evenings, sometimes one,two if not three or so barbel with the odd chub thrown in too even Jackie got in on the act and wound a splasher of about three and a half pound or so in on the last evening when four fish came to my net in a couple of hours angling

It was refreshing to see fish of this size.

All in all we had a great week that as always is over too quick, between the three of us we managed thirty or so barbel and half a dozen chub, Dad knocked out the best fish at 9lb 12oz followed up by Paul with one bang on 9lb. My best of the week just scraped over the 8lb mark, not massive but still made me smile and gave me the buzz that the bite always does.
Talking of making me smile, Thursday evening while sitting out under the stars watching the isotope on a clear night while sharing a coffee poured from the flask with Lady J,(ain't I romantic) I said those four little words "will you marry me" and thankfully she obliged with a "yes" .

My best of the week.

All in all the week was very enjoyable, with gorgeous surroundings and great company.
And the little lady did say "yes"

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Respect your elders

 The barbel gear has been packed and readied for my trip to the River Severn this Saturday coming, it is a yearly affair with the family that that lasts the week and coincides not only with my daddy's birthday but also my parents wedding anniversary. Days out in oldy worldy towns,walks, pub grub complete with a few beers and hopefully a few barbel to look forward to so I'll keep you posted on that one.

My latest efforts have been just a couple of short trips back to the Grand Union canal in pursuit of its unknown roach potential, just how big could the silvers be in this dirty old strip of water?
As mentioned in a couple of earlier posts, I have had the odd dabble with punched bread but this time out I had decided to take out a gift that was given to me a couple of weeks ago in the shop by a customer.
"These are what you want for roach boy" as he placed a dusty old jam jar on my counter. "35 year old they are" I looked at him a little bewildered and proceeded to try and take the lid off! "elderberries" he said " give them a go and if you want anymore I have five more jars at the ready" .
Sunday and Monday past I decided to take my berries along with a jar of hemp just as feed to two different sections of the canal and had very promising results. Sunday was a family affair with Lady J and two of my boys complete with a picnic to the park in Berkhamstead which just happens to have canal on one of its banks so it'd of been rude not to throw a couple of rods in the truck, one for the boys to share and drown a few maggots and one for me to give the berries their first outing.

The boys sat there thrashing the water to a foam and pulling gudgeon and perch out on the maggot probably six fish to my one but as I kept telling them "its quality and not quantity lads, tortoise and hare, tortoise and hare". Pictured above seemed to be the average size of silver that was crossing my palm so I was more than happy with that.
Monday morning I headed to a section that is just a long jump from home, again just armed with hemp and berries and nothing else so I wasn't tempted to stray from the plan. The peg that I chose to park my bum consisted of quite deep water due to a run off sluice that was situated behind me so the water in front of me was roughly 4/5 feet deep. The sun was just breaking through and the cut was very still so after plumbing up and flicking a couple of small pinches of hemp out I carefully chose a berry for the hook.
It was probably twenty minutes or so before the pole float bobbed under and the first roach of the day came to the net. I was now content and over the next few hours a steady flow of roach were caught and were of a good average size of six to eight ounces or so, two fish stood out though, one fish of 15 ounces and an absolute mint conditioned 1lb 8oz corker that  had me not only smiling from ear to ear but also gave me faith in my new found bait that will now be in my roaching armoury as another alternative. Please excuse another picture laid on the grass as due to me travelling light I have not been taking the camera and just using the phone for my shots, still it saves my ugly mug ruining the trophy shots eh? 

1lb8oz Berry good