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"

Monday, 4 October 2010

Shades of the Severn and a bump in the night

Although this is a delayed post the event is still etched firmly in ones mind.
It was a trip, an annual trip that takes place the same week of every year to the beautiful River Severn.
This was a special trip for me as Carl (my eldest son) was also booked in on the adventure.

The break was between Saturday 11th Sept and Wednesday 16th.
Carl, had taken to carp fishing waters close by in our hometown in Bedfordshire a couple of years ago but this was to be his first time fishing for barbel, and you could tell on journey up that he was a tad excited about the few days that lay before him.

After a brief stop off in Stourport to fill up with a hearty fry up and to collect our day tickets from Marks tackle shop, we then set off for the last half hour of the journey to find the middle Severn and its beautiful surroundings.

On arrival it was noticeable that the levels were very low and the gin clear water was rippling over the rapids just outside the cottage gate.
As I opted to unpack the truck, Paul and Carl went for a short stroll across the fields just to get a feel for the place.

Also in the party were my parents who were in fact on their tenth visit but unlike us were to stay for the entire week and enjoy the peace and quiet after we had departed.

Dad had strick orders that daytime was for outings with the boss and evenings were his hours to play on the water!
So that first evening, after one of mums Shepard's pies(well actually they came from Strattons the butchers) we all set off with tackle in hand, I decided to sit with Carl for a while just to get him up and running.

The rigs were simple free running feeders which were packed with a simple mix of hemp and hali crush groundbait that was spiced up with flaked and powdered chili, 3mm halibut pellets and a good glug of liquid spicy sausage.
Two foot hooklinks down to a size 8 or 10 Pallatrax hook and to complete the set up, two or three elips pellets were glued to the simple hair rig.

His swim consisted of fast water on the far bank above a gully that was between a couple of overhanging trees, Paul had set up in the swim below and soon both were angling and chilaxing.

At one stage Carl's eyes were fixated that hard on the rod end, i thought the isotope was set to melt, "don't worry mate you'll know if one hits you" i said.

I left them to it and wandered back to the cottage to grab a single rod that was set up for trundling a lump of meat through the pacier water.
On walking back past them half hour or so later it was confirmed that Paul had netted two and Carl had bagged one with all three in the 4/5lb bracket, the smile on his face said it all and i wasn't surprised when he was usually the last one in every evening.

Day two arrived, flasks were made, bait was mixed and off we set again, we only had the morning as it was Ma and Pa's anniversary so a trip to the local pub to sample its ale and to fill  our stomach's with a carvery was the order of the day.
That morning session I managed to hit the net with one, but one noticeable thing had changed, the river was rising and no rain was had, not for us nor for them further up towards Wales.
Occasionally, the reservoirs further up in the hills get emptied and with that, gallons upon gallons of cold water comes racing down the river.
The colour had changed and soon it looked more like the colour of tea, the tinge looked good but the sudden change of temperature seemed to have had an effect but by the following evening she'd risen a couple of feet at least.

This change made the fishing tricky to say the least and although we did manage a few more between us that day, they were hard earned with a few moves being made just to search 'em out'.
That evening, I decided to try the deeper water in the top field with the thinking that maybe they'll feel more at home with a bit more depth while the colder water flowed ten feet above their heads,
This decision payed off for me as three barbel graced my net and only because tiredness had set in at around 10.30pm i decided to call it a day, Paul and Carl stayed out for another hour or so and managed at least a fish each.

All was quiet back at the cottage, one last smoke and a brew was had before turning in, my eyes were burning after the fresh air had taken its toll.
The boys arrived back and settled down, they were getting up for the dawn bash, I was getting up whenever (god I'm getting on a bit) I woke?

Little did I know what was about to happen next...........Just gone half past midnight, in my state of comatose , I woke to the sound that only can be described as terrifying!!
Mum had decided to have a pee stop without turning a light on and rather than turning immediate left back towards the bedroom, she decided to go second left which just happens to be the staircase!!!
Off the end she flew, crash, bang, whack and a yelp!
All of us ran from our rooms, wondering what the hell had happened?
Paul near shat himself as he was bedding down on one of the sofas, and all i heard him say was......'what the bloody hell are you doin'?

Mum, bless her was in a crumbled heap and could not move, dad was stood there in his boxers and at that point i did not know what i feared most!!

The paramedic was called due to the fact of her head hitting the wall, knees were grazed and fingers bent back causing some swelling.
Eventually the blue light arrived, we had all got dressed in fear of scaring them to death, checks were done and on saying her name to complete the task she decided to nodd off!
'Come on Brenda, lets take you for a check up'
Dad went in the ambulance and myself and Carl followed behind, two miles up the road the back doors opened and out popped dad who was now feeling travel sick!!
A 50 mile round trip was had, but gladly all ended well with the checks being fine, apart from some bad bruising.
We returned to our beds at 4.30am!
A stair gate was then erected for the rest of their stay!

The river continued to rise the next day and after the previous nights event, I had decided to take it easy and kick back a little, but the boys, well they got up at sunrise and were back out and at it.

By the Wednesday we'd managed about thirty fish to upper eights between us, Carl had lost his barbel virginity, mum was carrying a few bruises and dad, well he's just dad but at least he got his ride in the blue light wagon.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Get the kettle on mate, I'm gagging. Part two

..................Before i forget, i must add at this point that earlier in the afternoon on that first day, our in house weather forecaster Mr Steve Beale had said as we looked into the distant clouds that were gathering "we should be alright it looks like it'll miss us"!!
How wrong was that statement? Direct bleeding hit, as big black clouds drew in, water was literally bouncing off the ground and soon become hail stones the size of golf balls!!
Myself and Trefor not being the sort to take the mick, of course said nothing about this event as after about half an hour or so it cleared and was soon forgotten!!

So day two began as we woke at just after 6am, guess what? we put the kettle on!!
I had a bath with a baby wipe while waiting for the kettle to sing and watched the mist rising from the damp fields, all was quiet apart from the odd chub rising.

Tref insisted that we toughed it out in the same pegs due to the baiting strategy of the previous day 'surely some things got to move through us today?' I thought to myself.
Right!!....New day, new head and a fresh cuppa!! Lets have it!!

By 7am the rods were back in position and by nine we had devoured bacon and sausage sarnies and was just sitting back watching the world go by when out of the corner of my eye I could see Steve's rod trying to leave us, 'fish on' I yelped.
A short battle commenced and soon we had our first babel in the back of the net, she came in at upper sevens and this had given us the encouragement we were waiting for so we celebrated with yes you've guessed it.......A brew, but this time round we dunked biscuits too!

To be fair I think we all expected another fish quickly after, expecting a pod of fish to be moving through together, but it was a whole two hours later whilst i was ambling back from a wander a few pegs up looking for fishy movements and managing to net a chub of about the 3lb mark when a call was cried out to say a boat was coming.

It was on this call and on seeing Steve winding in but looking like he was weeded up, that it soon become apparent that he was indeed into another fish. He'd actually picked the rod up to wind in and at that precise moment his rod lunged over and as they say.......' the rest is history'

Steve had just caught his new personal best barbel at 13lb 5oz!
He looked like a startled rabbit!
It was one of those angling moments when nothing else really mattered and 'did that just happen?'

A quick couple of shots were taken, Steve was still not saying too much and left myself and the Westy fella to lie the fish up in the margins for a well earned rest.

I'd like to just say again at this point..........well done fella.

Lunch was had, more tea was had but nothing else looked forthcoming apart from some horrible looking black fluffy things in the sky!!! Yes.......clouds, rain clouds!!
Steve this time kept quiet and we took the pee just a little by asking if they would miss us but no reply was had!

We'd set a time of 5pm to call it a day but at 3.30 it all became a little too much, wind, rain and the lack of tea had ended our trip.
So for me, I didn't get my first Avon barbel but I saw two, with one being a right beast!
I will return as I have a score to settle and I won't be leaving it too long either.

Thanks to Elaine for the grub, thanks to Steve for saving the day with a clonking fish and great company that will live in my memory forever along with the other great angling events I have witnessed over the years.

And last but not least thanks to Trefor for keeping us upbeat and amused with his story's, but most of all for...........Making a lovely cup of tea!!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Get the kettle on mate, I'm gagging. Part one

4am arrived and on turning the key to the truck thoughts in my mind were of a virgin river to me.
The Warwickshire Avon was calling, but first I had to stop off and collect a certain Mr Beale.

As planned I drew up outside his shack at just after 4.30 and he waved me in for a brew!
Little did I know that this, my second brew of the day was setting the scene for the next 48 hours.
Let me explain, for those that do not really know me, tea is my second love......gallons of it can be consumed and I still won't get up for a pee in the middle of the night!!

Truck was loaded and we headed out of Milton Keynes bound for the M40 with no postcode, all we had was a field somewhere on the Avon where Mr Tref would hopefully be waiting with the kettle on!

One hour and twenty minutes later after black thunder was ragged off the clock and we drew up through a farmers field with only one vehicle in view, true to his word there he sat at two minutes past six waiting to greet us, "how are you boys"? "thirsty" I replied while shaking his hand.

This particular section Tref had been doing well off the past few weeks and from the off he started his confidence strategy, explaining the plan of attack for the next couple of days.
With the tea consumed and the time now seven(ish), Tref made the call to get tackled up.

Open ended feeders with a mix of groundbait and pellet, free running to a slightly longer hooklink than normal was completed with a size six hook and two or three glued pellets on the hair.
The plan was to feed small with the feeders and loose feed a dozen or so pellets with the catapult every 45 minutes or so depending on how events unfolded.

Eggs and bacon  were now singing in the pan, kettle was on and we sat back watching the tips as the water was running from left to right.

The day was pleasant with sunny spells but the wind was blowing straight at us, causing a ripple on the surface that made viewing very difficult to say the least.

Most of Trefs captures from this stretch so far had been in the afternoons, mainly between 1 and 5 pm and surprisingly nothing was occurring during the evenings?

Mid morning and the odd boat started to show , which in turn meant winding in, re baiting and focusing once more.
Tref would, in spells sit there and tell us one of his many tales, some recent some old but boy does he know how to tell them, as plenty of times both Steve and myself would be rolling around with rib ache.

That first day was indeed very quiet, but Tref kept us upbeat and encouraged us to hang in there, "the methods been good, and we just need a pod of fish to move through us" he said.

At six pm we lit the gas under Elaine's chilli con carne and whacked on the rice to boot!
I must just take this opportunity to thank her for this, and as Steve was feeling slightly under the weather this only meant one thing........I got more!!
A bottle of red completed our little snack and a relaxed manner was restored once more.

This set us up for the evening and lit the flames once more that just maybe we might be able to get Tref a barbel  in out of favoured hours due to the form book.
We angled on till roughly 10pm and all we managed for our efforts was a small chub for yours truly and a bream of about a pound for master Beale of which a certain Mr West found highly amusing.....................

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Speak soon

Warwickshire waits

Just been confirmed that my two day break with Trefor is to be on the Warwickshire Avon.
Not once have I stepped onto its banks so hopefully a new treat is in store for me.

I'm off to sort my gear!!

Speak soon,

The master guide

Some of you may recall this time last year of my two days in the company of a angling friend (Steve) while being guided by the legend that is Trefor West.

Well its that time again!
Early hours of this coming Wednesday the 18th August will see us heading to a destination that is still to be confirmed.

If last years Teme trip is anything to go by then it should be a giggle for a couple of days, with the odd fish thrown in for good measure.
Trefs ways are so simple and straight to the point but at the same time hard work, constantly on the move every twenty minutes or so following his sequence if nothing has occurred.

Steep banks, the walking and putting up with us customers must take its toll?
But Tref loves it and you can tell by the way he puts his points across that it still excites him to see a customer put one on the bank and pass on his years of knowledge.

For anybody that is thinking of booking a guided barbel trip then i recommend that you give Tref a call, you wont be disappointed.

I'll update after the event if my sides are not hurting me too much.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Wearing out 'the old uns'

Although commercial carp lakes are frowned upon by some, they do have their place in the angling world.

A couple of times a year myself and and two work colleagues book the odd day off in the school holidays to take our 10/11 year old's carp fishing.

I would just like to say here, that I know it's not every body's cuppa but for the sake of the junior angler they're a god send!

It was noticeable from the point of the first fish that was hooked by each of them that their angling skills in terms of playing fish had progressed so much due to practice.

'12ft zig rigs are not the easiest it has to be said for playing fish for lads with such short arms and long rods'.

Joe Briars
I'm not going to bore you with a blow by blow account of the day as over a hundred carp were caught and all but a couple were wound in by the lads, while us old un's kept casting out fresh bits of 'plastic grub' and spent most of the day spodding to keep the fish out in front of us.

To say us old un's were knackered was an understatement!!
The wind, the spodding and and twelve hours on our feet had just about done us, but the boys loved it.

A big well done to Jason, Joe and Louis but just remember when us old un's are even older......Please take us fishing and make sure you show us the way and catch us some fish!!

Well done to Jason, Joe and Louis.  "Top angling" <",)))>{

Doubled up with luck

On this occasion whilst planning at home, I decided to try things a little differently.

One jar of chillie hemp, a small handful of corn and a scattering of 1mm pellets were placed into a bucket and mixed.

The plan was to bait drop my chosen swim on arrival then leave it for an hour or so while i took a wander down the beat.

A two rod attack was decided upon (which is against the grain for me usually), so ten large droppers were deposited to the chosen spots, one to the left hand tree that runs along the fishable bank rather than out and the right hand rod was placed just upstream, again to a tree but this time the said branches run to the centre of the river causing a crease.

After my stroll I then started to tackle up, both rods were baited initially with three small glued pellets, a pva bag was then attached and the small Stonze weight was gently lowered into place.

After about twenty minutes or so it soon became clear that Ronnie and Reggie (crays) were very active and very hungry!!

Both rods were wound in, and the baits were replaced with two large pellets which in turn were then wrapped with a big ball of Elixer6 paste.
The idea of this was just to give the baits a bit more of a chance of lasting a little longer while Reggie was having his feast, but twofold he would also be picking little bits off to give me a bit more attraction flowing downstream.

It was now dark, the cray taps continued and the odd chub tap had occurred.
11.30pm just as i was pouring one from the flask the right hand rod sprung round and slackened off as just as quick.
A shortish fight took place but soon I was unhooking a nice little fin perfect barbel just shy of seven pounds.

Things then went very quiet, and after texting my brother who was a little further downstream, to say we'll give it till 1am.

Just after 1am when I was thinking of calling it a day, the tip on the left hand spot rattled a little.
Paul then pulled up behind me, and to the words of  'I'll just give it five mins mate' 'something has just shown an interest'.
We were just sat there chatting about the findings of the evening when the left hand rod whacked over and nearly left me as the result of it!

A good fight pursued with the fish trying to stick me in the snags either side of the swim, the tackle held firm and we soon had a barbel in the net that weighed in exactly eight pound on the nose, and to date is the best one I've captured from this new stretch.

Now, was it the hemp mix or the paste? Or both? Was the paste still on there when the fish took even?
Or were they just having it and i got lucky?

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Back on running water

After feeling a bit of pressure of Church lake carping, this morning myself and Jason headed back to the Gt Ouse.

No early start was had, as the bacon butties were calling us.
Arriving at the river  around eleven (ish), we strolled a couple of fields down after passing one other angler of whom I know and after a brief chat and landing a small common river carp for him we headed to our chosen plot.

The water has no flow at the moment so baiting up is done by hand rather than a dropper and after releasing a couple of handfuls I was soon casting a small feeder complete with hemp and a couple of pellets attached to the hook end into the chosen spot.

The bait had roughly been in the water forty five minutes when she rattled round and i whacked it!!
Soon in the folds was a nice looking chub of around four pounds or so of which Jason held for a quick couple of shots.
Second cast, after resting the spot for half hour, all most immediately the tip banged round resulting in another chub of which we weighed in at 5lb 4oz.

Just a couple of weeks ago the chub were looking tatty after their spawning efforts but these two were scale perfect and looking fit as fiddles.

Another hour was given in said swim but after these two causing a bit of disturbance we were soon upping sticks and moving back towards the car.
On passing Malc and having a quick chat and a brew from the flask, he explained that he was only getting a few perch after banking the small common earlier.

We decided to settle (or I did) in the peg that produced the small barbel the previous week.
I fished it for a couple of hours with no proper tugs apart from crays and chublets having the odd go at the bait.
The last hour or so was spent climbing a couple of trees looking at certain clear spot that have come to light in the past week, maybe fish or was it birds that have cleared a bit for us exposing nice little gravel runs in between the mass of blanket weed.
The areas are now etched firmly in my mind for future sessions.

I'll be back on the beat in the coming week all being well.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

An honour

I have just returned from a carp session that lasted three nights at Kevin Nash's Church pool.
I had been lucky enough to have the invitation through my place of work

After being greeted at the gates, shown where to park up, myself and two work colleagues were soon emptying the truck load of gear and loading it into the small trailer that was attached to the back of a quad bike.
A short journey followed that led us past the factory and through Kevin's garden, past his stock ponds and copse lake until we finally reached Church pool.
First impressions were 'wow'.
I would say, the lake is roughly four acres in size, surrounded with a mixture of trees, plants and flowers to which make you really at ease.

Although nowadays I'm not an out and out carp only angler, this was a session I could not turn down.
For I, like many others grew up reading Kevin's writings, and the inspiration that he has given to our sport is only reached by a select few.

A quick tour round the pool was given, and we'd soon decided where we fancied pitching up for our three night stay.
The pool itself only has a few swims in selected areas and with no more than four anglers aloud on at any one time we decided to fish three out of the four banks between us.

I chose a bay that the light wind was pushing into after seeing a few lumps leaving the water, Stu chose a swim to my left further up the bank which covered a nice amount of water with two small island at about sixty yards.
Young Jack decided to go opposite Stu to cover that half of the lake, at the far end of the lake on one corner was a no fishing area that was to the surface with weed and a bit of a safe haven.
While we were all getting the tackle together in the blazing sun (my truck was saying 32 degrees) large fish could be seen leaving their home in many places.
Excited? 'was I'.

The swim I had chosen, had one of the islands ends about thirty yards in front of me, from the top of a small crack willow i looked out into the forest of weed that was about a foot below the waters surface, i wandered down the bank a little further to another tree to get a view from a different angle.
'They'll do for me' I muttered to myself.
Two spots, of which were probably twenty yards apart but only fifteen yards out.
Rods out and it was time to sit back and take it all in.

After only a couple of hours a whistle was given, it was Stu and he could be seen leaning into fish which soon had him tucked up into one of the weed beds.
The boat was fetched but soon the fish was gone (barbless rule in place), but no sooner had that one gone, one of his other rods that was only place an underarm cast out, was away!!
'Blimey, this session could be a good un', I chuntered to Stu.
After no mishaps, the fish was soon in the net and looking a little bit special.
The scales read 37lb, and she was a peach, with a few shots taken, she was soon being returned to her home. A can of beer was cracked open and well done's complete with hand shakes were given.
That first night, the lake seemed to be alive but it soon become apparent that the fish were leaving the water in front of me and heading in the opposite direction!
I tried getting to sleep about midnight, but every time my head hit the pillow another fish could be heard leaving the water.
Three o'clock was the last time i looked at the time on the phone and all to soon my eyes were open again at 5.45!!
The weather had changed, and we were now witnessing a heavy deluge of rain (how longs that been due?).
My end of the lake now seemed very quiet, too quiet!
Still, I was their to savour and chillax and that was what I did.

After lunch on that second day, I heard a splosh!! On looking up I could see that this was no fish!! No, this was young Jack Brown up to his neck in water, rod bent and hanging on to an angry carp.
I was now turning into a Gillie man, and after a short dash to Jacks peg, we were soon netting what turned out to be a well scaled mirror that was pretty as a picture with a weight of 32lb 4oz.
Again, shots were taken and i returned to my home wondering whether I'd get one?
I must say here, I wasn't overly confident as my swim/spots could be seen clearly and if the fish didn't return back to my end of the pool then I wouldn't get a chance.

We had grass snakes gliding about during the day but by night, all that could be heard were frogs!!
Frogs that Kevin had heard and liked the sound of when he had fished a lake many years ago and decided he wanted them on his pool, each one although identical they all had their own calling sounds, and on the last evening all was quiet and after a hefty dinner, my back end was giving me a few moments, well, what happened next did make me chuckle, as i was lying on my bed just watching the water, i let one rip to which the frog which lived to my left, let out his danger call, this then started the whole lakes frog population off as one by one in formation they sang their tune!!
 I trotted up to Stu's swim with my cup in hand to tell him that I had started the frog song, but i would also like a cup of tea, please!

We were just sitting chatting when my receiver sounded, as the left hand rod played its happy tune.
I can tell what your thinking here, but your wrong!
This did not turn out to be one of the lakes giants, in fact it was even an ant!!
A small common of around the two pound mark was netted!!
I had caught one of Mr Nash's baby's. Still, a fish is a fish and I had persevered with my two spots in the weed and that little fella had saved my blushes.

The rest of the night was quiet and no other fish were caught, two thirty's and my sperm were all that had been out and soon enough it was time to pack up and say our thanks and farewells to Kevin and his team of lads that looked after us so well  and made us feel truly welcome.

It was an honour to have the chance to fish and sit and chat with Kevin, to hear his tales.
So through this blog, once again I will say...............
Thanks, it was a pleasure.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Small is beautifull on a warm evening

As planned i picked up the Intrepid piscator at 7pm for a quick session on the Gt Ouse.
The cows were on the move when we arrived so we followed them down the fields following the course of the river to the end of the beat, we had dumped our tackle off half way down the stretch and decided to have a wander to make sure of where we wanted to angle.

No need to rush, it was so hot and both of us were of the opinion that if a bite was to be had then it would be late in the evening, the river is very low and clear as you would expect after this heatwave we have been witnessing the last few weeks, conditions are far from perfect but just to fish as the sun leaves us for another day is a picture in itself.

We wandered back to the tackle and apart from a small mirror carp and a rather large heron flying above, nothing else was to be seen.

We chose a couple of swims towards the weir end of the stretch with a little bit of depth,flow and oxygen.
9.00pm and the first cast was made and fifteen minutes or so later a chublet type of bite had me striking into thin air!!
I then threw a few tit bits in, re baited the rod and ambled down to Keith with the flask in hand and rested the swim for ten minutes or so.
Keith was having fun with the crays and bats and after a quick slug of tea I returned and flicked out the already baited rod.

10.30pm as I was watching small fish hitting the surface it soon become apparent that something was trying to pull the rod from its rest!!
Straight away I could tell it was no Ouse monster as this little blighter was dashing around all over the place at a hundred mile an hour.

This was soon to be confirmed when in the folds lay a pristine little barbel of just under five pound, the pellets had scored again just to keep my confidence up.

The pair of us angled until 12.15am with no other activity, and by 1.30am I was tucked up in my bed thinking small bar of Ouse gold.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Time well spent

Since the session with bro, I have angled only once more and that was a short Sunday bash back on the syndicate stretch.
We did not arrive till 11am, choosing a bacon sarnie with no rushing about before the day on the river.
By which time the sun was blazing and conditions were not the best, still its better for an eleven year old to be out in the countryside than sat in front of the x box!!

The first couple of hours was spent in my rubbers, wading and looking for spots, features and maybe something for later it the year.
Clear areas, depressions and anything that might just look like a feeding area for chub/barbel not just for now, but for when she's holding a bit of colour with extra water to boot.

This i find, all adds to the enjoyment of not only captures but sessions also.
At school it was called homework (of which we hated) but this is for enjoyment and its all part of the jigsaw puzzle.

Jay started to grizzle that we were not angling yet, but with bright sunlight and low conditions i explained to him that it was an opportunity not to be missed. He said he understood, but was itching for us to drown a bait as soon as possible!

A few bits of bait were deposited in certain areas before we chose a spot not too far into the section.
We angled with just the one rod as it was a tight swim and not long after placing the bait a few dark shadows could be seen drifting in and out taking he odd morsel of bait.
On closer inspection, these turned out to be river carp, not massive, but pretty river carp.
Fully scaled, linears, commons and even a ghostie had drifted in for a bit of grub.
But apart from the odd tremble on the rod top, nothing gave us the wrap around we had hoped for.

We stayed put in that swim due to the activity in the hope that one might trip up, but alas, it didn't.
We fished till 4pm but just could not entice a take.
'Next time dad' Jason whispered to me, 'atleast we done our homework' and with that I replied 'yep', 'and your going home to do yours' and  he just chuckled.

Bro shows me the way to go

The pace on the syndicate stretch had dropped out even more than when i last visited just a few days earlier so with this in mind I decided to along with my brother visit a stretch on the only other ticket I have purchased this year.
The last couple of years i have managed to winkle the odd barbel from this beat to low doubles, Paul was yet to have one from it, with only chub being slid over his waiting net.

After stopping off for a healthy kebab on the way, as this was an after work session and time was not on our side. We were soon fighting our way through the mass of shoulder high stinging nettles, with mozzie's buzzing around our ears!

We both chose a couple of pegs towards the end of the beat that had a bit more flow than the rest of the stretch and were soon getting the odd tell tale tap from the crayfish that inhabit the river.
Paul had the first bite within an hour, which turned out to be a small chub.

For some reason, when I think I can get away with it have been throwing out two rods on slightly different methods just in case I'm missing out somewhere, but will only do this if the swim dictates that I can get away with it comfortably. Some of you might suggest that I'm doing myself no favours, but I'll learn.

Half an hour more past and the time was now 9.15pm when a shout could be heard from just upstream.
'I'm in bud' was the cry, so i wound in, grabbed the digital and lit a smoke and ambled my way to him.
Just as I entered the swim, there he was standing in the waters edge with his back lying against the bank complete with a barbel in the folds of the net.
'Is it a good un mate' I asked, 'looks good and hung on a bit' was his reply.

We rested the fish for five while we sorted slings, scales and his camera out he then lit a smoke of his own, sat down and gathered his thoughts while I quizzed him to the 'what on and where from'.

Soon the fish was being returned to its watery home after us recording a weight of exactly 9lb's and I left him to wallow in his glory.

On returning to my swim, I took five minutes out with a tea from the flask and waited for the glued pellets to dry as I pondered  where to place them once again.
One rod went back out over the baited area and the left hand rod was placed just upstream with a bag attached and the rod top was tightened so that a drop back would show.

Time was running out and to be fair I didn't think a bite was going to come but thankfully it did and it was the upstream rod that bounced into life and after a short tussle a chub of around three and a half pounds was in the bag.
Angling is a confidence thing and I'm a firm believer in, that as long as your getting bites regularly then your doing it half right and sooner or later that big bite will come.

We both gave it another half hour or so but no more fish were forthcoming so I gave the call that it was time to face the nettles once again.

Top angling bro.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

An old friend so soon

As myself, my brother and the Intrepid piscator (Keith) strolled slowly across the fields yesterday evening happily chatting our tactics, the one thing came to light was the amount of different species that was available to us in this shortish beat of the Gt Ouse.
There was only one other car in the car park on our arrival at 7pm and we passed the said angler in peg 2 looking rather chilled out with rods poking skywards awaiting that tell tale bite.

Keith had decided to bring his cane rod complete with center pin and a simple tub of worms and fish for a few stripey's and ambled to the far end of the stretch.
Myself and Paul stopped halfway down in a section where a few trees scatter the far bank, the thinking behind this was with the weather so hot and the river very low, that the fish might just be held up in a bit of cover.

After about an hour I received a text from Kieth saying he had taken a couple of pristine looking perch and was getting a few chances also.

Paul had now moved from below me to above, and again a few texts were coming my way saying that it was like an aquarium in front of him, with chub, carp and a few roach boiling and taking the odd morsel from off the surface but the rods were quiet.

I had seen a couple of bream, carp and a tench scoot past me on the inside line moving from A to B but thus far the rod had remained quiet.
We had planned to fish till about 10.30 but at 11.05 I was stood at the waters edge complete with rod playing what turned out to be a chub.
After resting, unhooking and weighing one thing was noticeable........It was the same cheeky chevin that I had caught on Sunday morning with my son!!

The weight was 5oz lighter at 5lb 12oz, and although I'm not really into recaptures I was happy  to get another bite from the stretch just to keep the confidence up.

I'll be back on the beat Saturday for a late one.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Lucky chevin on fathers day

On arrival to the car park, my son Jason and I were surprised to see there were no other anglers present.
The plan was to fish  the bottom end of the beat and work our way back towards the car park, but as we approached the swim that I managed the barbel from on the opening day I was suddenly drawn to it like a magnet.

This was Jay's first visit to the stretch and on his first sight he said as we walked across the fields "this looks sexy dad", I chuckled to myself and replied "lovely ain't it"

After getting him to crawl  army fashion into the swim from the high bank we soon got settled in.
We didn't rush, I poured a cuppa from the flask to share, lit a smoke and proceeded to throw a small amount of baits into the area I intended place the hookbait.

The swim is low to the water with a hole in the reeds so that the rod can be poked through at a nice angle to the watery spot.

Rod was prepared and was soon angling, we'd been sat there probably twenty minutes enjoying the warm sunshine and chucking grass stems at each other when he piped up "you sure there's fish in here".
Again i chuckled and replied "patience boy"
As we were watching a couple of dragonfly's dancing past, the rod quivered a little before taking on a nice curved bite.

"Is it a barbel dad"? (Jays never been with me when I've had a barbus) "don't think so mate" I replied.
Soon we landed what turned out to be a bream of around the 4lb mark, "at least we've had something" he said.

A few more baits were thrown out and left to settle while i re baited the rod and prepared for our second cast.
We didn't have to wait to long before the rod end was trying to leave us, and the strike was met with a bit more resistance.
Jason was soon passing me the net and as the fish hit the surface for the first time, I could see it was a large Chub that would look more at home with a saddle strapped to it's back!

We left it in the net, resting in the margin of the swim, while I sorted the scales and the camera out.
6lb 1oz the reuben's recorded, and soon the fish was being returned after a couple of trophy shots taken by "Jason Bailey Burr".
After giving it another hour in that swim and with no other bites occurring, a move was then decided upon.

Again I decided upon a move to a swim that I had finished in a few days previous, a slightly faster current is on the far bank which kicks out from a near bank tree and this meets a slower moving near side of which in turn creates a crease.
New Zealand were playing Italy in the world cup and we sat there chatting and watching little taps on the rod tip that were being caused by Ronnie and Reggie!
We gave it until 4pm before the flask, juice and cheese sarnies had run out and  enough was enough and trotted back to the car happy that we'd wet the net and had a good a good day of it.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

My lucky geography jumper & floppy hat!

As planned the alarm rang its god awful tune at 3.15am, clothes had been piled the night before so that was easy... June the 16th had finally arrived and with the new section fully in my mind, I scooted downstairs and flicked the kettle, my tea cup and flask had also been pre-baited the previous evening.

The journey to the Ouse from my house takes roughly half hour even with traffic so at 4am I should be able to fly?

Truck was loaded and off I set for my new challenge.

The plan was for me to angle from 4.30am till roughly 4pm and I'd be starting at the far end of the section and working my way back towards the car park by mid afternoon.

When we say 'this is the best time of day' there could be no truer statement, the fields are damp, the sun was making its way up and as I passed the herd of cows I thought to myself 'I wonder what they're thinking'?

From the car, the walk to the furthest swim is probably only ten minutes or so and as I neared I could not believe the amount of hares that were darting around in all directions.

My choice of  swim was where the river narrows between nearside foliage and far bank bull rushes it looks a classic and as this was the first time I had angled here for barbel this was to be my starting point.

I took my time before casting out into the new season and was making the most of this special day in the angling world.

As I was baiting my rod I just happened to look up as a kingfisher whizzed past, he was obviously looking for his breakfast and would undoubtedly catch something before I did!

Rod was cast into position and with that I grabbed the flask and poured myself a tea, lit a smoke and toasted the river. A cuckoo then decided to sing its tune, I thought to myself 'can there be a better way to spend your day'?

'I think not'

Apart from the odd tap and rattle on the rod top from the crayfish (of which there are an abundance of in this section) nothing else happened. The time was now 8.30am and a move was decided upon.

After ambling up the river about 100yds my next port of call was a sexy looking bend with a far bank tree with a canopy that comes a quarter of the way across the waters surface.

I decided to take a chance in my new swim and angle with two rods, as the potential and offering looked too much for just the one carbon stick.

Rods were poked through the reeds and baits were placed either side of the feature, again I settled back and chilled out, taking in the new scenery.

9.15 and the right hand rod jabbed round, I panicked (first bite an all that) and struck at thin air!!!

I sat back, slightly miffed at the recent 'going ons', lit a smoke to re-gather my thoughts before gently casting the rod back into it's position.

I had just sat back down and before I had time to say 'barbel', I was into something!!

After duelling with 'Mr Fish' for a couple of minutes she was soon being slid over the waiting net, my legs were trembling a little (the first of the season does that to most anglers). After laying the net back down in the margin to let the fish recover for a moment I lit another smoke while 'I' recovered for a moment!

The weight does not matter one jot, the Ouse barbel are often hard to come by so all fish no matter the size are very welcome. 6lb 8oz was recorded, a couple of shots were taken before lying her back in the margin to recover a little more.

I continued to fish the swim until around midday; nothing else happened apart from the odd chublet tap, the sun was now at its warmest and I decided upon my final move of the day.

I passed another member on my way, he'd not even had a knock and was just lying back on the grass enjoying the sunshine and after a brief conversation I left him to it.

Swim three was a typical choice, with faster water racing through the far bank and slower,slacker water in my margin next to an old raft.

Back to one rod I went and placed it just a flick out, where the two currents met, I then just sat back and chillaxed.

There were no more happenings apart from 'our little clawed friends' taking a chance of a free meal and at 4pm I packed the kit away for another day.

As the title states... during the closed season I purchased a new 'floppy hat' and a 'jumper' only for my close friends to take it outta me.

Well now my friends... 'they are my lucky hat and geography jumper' and I'll continue to wear em!

It might just be the luck that's required.

Have a good season and above all........Enjoy!!

Monday, 14 June 2010

I'm excited!!

As I sit and write this short piece there are twenty six hours left of the traditional  close season.

The past few weeks have been spent cleaning tackle and preparing for the glorious 16th of June.

The last seven days I have walked the new beat a couple of times, looking for signs of activity to help me decide as where to start the my new 'quest'.

I have planned for a twelve hour session to see in the new season but am also using it 'just to get a feel for the place'.

New surroundings, new swims and new conquests are always head scratching times in the angling world and each session is a learning curve for the next session.

New faces and friends will be made complete with new tales of past and present.

The stretch has more features than you could 'shake a stick at' and a potential of multi species to good sizes of which include barbel, chub, perch, carp and pike.

A fish to suit all conditions is the overall view and this will dictate how I spend my time for the next twelve months.

Only two different tickets have been purchased for my running water fixation and this covers ample water to fulfill my passion for peace and quiet.

On my last reconnaissance trip just a couple of days ago I was taken back just a little as the beat is in quite a remote country side spot but as I wandered through the first six bar gate into the second field I was taken back by the sighting of a couple thirty yards away that were cavorting with no clothes on!!

Now as an avid angler I never gave them a second glance... Yeah right!!!

I casually strolled on through trying to keep my water eyes intact with the river so as not to lose the tinted colour through my glasses that is needed for fish spotting.

Further down the beat a 'splosh' was heard and on closer inspection, up from the depths popped a terrapin!Great I thought, obviously someone's unwanted pet, although sights like this are not seen in your everyday world by all - 'us anglers get all the best views ya know'.

Anyway, enough of my mutterings.....

I will try and keep the blog as up to date as possible for those of you that take the time out to 'follow my footsteps' of which I am grateful.

I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I do casting a line and writing about my happenings?

Monday, 31 May 2010


"He was a great friend of Charles Cotton of Beresford Hall, who built a fine fishing-house near the famous Pike Pool on the River Dove, over the arched doorway of which he placed a cipher stone formed with the combined initials of Walton and himself, and inscribed with the words 'Piscatoribus Sacrum.' - the words mean ‘sacred to fishermen’ and are also carved onto the 18th-century fishing temple beside Cromford Bridge.

A game of chess

My tenching has been very hit and miss due to the time I have given it, nine acre pit for sure has a few that live there but how many and what size I'm not sure?

The numbers of bream in the water does not help the cause either as they seem to find the gourmet before anything else gets a chance.

The past few weeks the lake seems to have been busier than usual and some how lost its appeal and only fellow anglers will know what I'm talking about.

June the 16th is fast approaching and the excitement of running water is starting to grab hold of my thoughts...
I have three tickets for the Great Ouse all with varying potential for different species (barbel,chub and perch) with the odd chance of a fluke carp thrown in too.

So with tickets purchased I have now started to clean up the tackle and re-spool where needed.

The next couple of weeks will be spent tying rigs, getting the tackle to a bare minimum and sorting the baits that will be needed to hopefully net a few.

Evening walks will take place to try and get a feel for what lays ahead and hopefully a few fish of some description will be spotted (saying that, come the 16th they'll probably have vanished!!).

As anglers know only to well, this is what keeps our minds ticking.

Let the games begin.......