This page will produce approximately 25 randomly selected diary entries every time it's loaded. These are in random order, i.e. not in chronological order, so of course some of them are out of context...they are filtered to remove most of the 'non-fishing' entries, most 'fettlingI fettle therefore I angle' entries are included though. Just because.
In the spirit of the 'Lucky Dip' here is a random rqNot 'random' in the true sense of the word, but a random pick from a selection of quotes that I quite like. There will be Prachett. And Nietzsche. quote:
"There were 183 of us freshmen and a bowling ball hanging from the three-story ceiling to just above the floor. Feynman walked in and, without a word, grabbed the ball and backed against the wall with the ball touching his nose. He let go, and the ball swung slowly 60 feet across the room and back - stopping naturally just short of crushing his face. Then he took the ball again, stepped forward, and said: 'I wanted to show you that I believe in what I'm going to teach you over the next two years.' "
Michael Scott, as quoted in "Caltech Grad's Donation Honors Late Professor"
|Proper Float...(and back to the top of the page)||Another proper float|
8th July 2015. Pond near Mayfield. It's a secret, club rules or something like.
|This pond is very nicely set out - the is a path all around - gravel but hey ho, and plenty of boarded swims. It look idyllic on first glance, but the walk around gave me that 'don't quite know where to fish' feeling, which I've come to associate with 'not much of a chance'. The surface was a bit too calm and the water, despite depth seemed to me to lack colour. Never say never though.||The morning zipped past but the only bite I had was on a worm for the almost inevitable small perch. At midday, I was thinking it was a 'Wheeler-Feynman' perch. 'The Thane' was trying to persuade a carp in the northern corner to take a surface bait, but at the point I thought to decamp, this hadn't worked.||I parked across the lake in a new pitch and tried again, on the basis that if one side and end was a dud, despite occasional carp leaping at range, the other might be a better bet 100% correct as it turned out.||'The Bag', twice the morning's. The rudd is stunning, if small and apologies for the state of the perch, but it twisted out of my hand, presumably trying to bite my arm off. I took my leave about four o'clock, I had a longish drive and I felt the fishing wasn't going to pick up any time soon, although I pondered a late dibble at the solid common mooching under the left hand lily pads, but it didn't seem like it's heart was in it. On the up-side, England were in the ascendency in the first test. so that's all right then...'The Thane' reported sport remained as was, a day or so later. Funny flat day, you get those.|
7th September 2014. Dairy Farm. Carp. Moon. Bats.
|...pitch #1||An 'indignance' of perch||...and the inevitable 'nuisance carp'||Tea, tin mug. As The Lord intended.||...pitch#2|
|...pitch#2||A customised rod rest with bite indiciator||The 15lb twit...||...and the swim it came from||The moon and the bats.|
8th July 2007. Silent Woman. Lots of small hungry carp, Nempster, Nempster's uncle and a startled deer. Good day.
|The Lower Silent Woman Lake||Deer me...|
27th December 2009. Court Barn Farm. Chapman 500, Kingpin and a box of maggots. First time here, but there's a good head of fish I'm told, it has the advantage of a heavy spring flow (so no ice) and I get the place to myself. Put a 4lb trace on with a size 14, OK, for some that's heavy gear. I plumb up five feet of water in the lee of a tree-bole, barely keeping the wind off my back. Cold cold cold.
|chilly, cold, nippy, brass monkeys...||1, 2, 3, 4, what is it we're waiting for?||...chippy, fresh, blizzard, tundra...||1 of 23, part of the collective|
27 Perch, 23 rudd and a roach. Good.
18th April 2015. 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. An antidote to the asininity of office life. Hard graft, bushwork, lily root toting and planting, spreading lime...when did my back age ten years more than the rest of me?
|the upper pond, drained and dredged||the upper pond, drained and dredged|
|one of the bunds and silt||the upper pond, drained and dredged||one more pike out the Wetland...as it was on my way home.|
23rd April 2010. Lower Sharnhill. St. George's day. Why are there dragonsEurope, India, China, Middle East, they're everywhere...but I have a theory?
I take a spur-of-the-moment half day holiday, bundled a loaf into the bag and tramped across the fields to the lake with a floater rod, a flask and a 'pin to go with the Avon. My plan was to fish on the bottom and divert for the fish on the top.
|....from the south bank opposite the island||View of the north corner, from the south bank||Some carp mooching in the weeds, north of the island||View from the north corner of the lake - last knockings||View from the north-east corner of the lake at dusk - best time of the day|
I settled on the south bank in front of an evergreen, keeping me off the skyline and even without bait the fish are poking around in the weed and the 50p sized embryonic lily pads. I stick on a size 6, 12lb through and skitter two carp out around the 4-5lb mark, skull dragged through the weed. Half an hour in and two up. Despite the bundle in the margins, fish are still about despite the very hot sun, so I try to the left and after some delay and two missed takes bank a couple of fish in the 1-1½lb bracket, setting a pair-pattern for the day...I go right again and miss several takes on bread, partly due to the curst crust on the loaf rendering the bread soluble in five minutes and partly the thick weed, which has the fish munching at the beard, seeming not able to get a clear run at it. I try further to my right, against a small path of vegetation with clear water around. I get a take right away, and the fish power dives into the bottom and the hook hold goes. I mutter something rude, try again and the same thing happens. All in pairs today.
I put on mixer biccies with added hemp and in the same spot get two in quick succession which got the full Monty strike, both about 1½lb...then takes tail off and after a bit I put 0.24mm on the 12lb main and get miss two takes, up the hook to a size 4, and get two about 5lb. Two by two...the sun is dipping a bit and the biccies are harder to spot than a really hard to spot thing on the same colour background, so put three floaters on one hook then miss take after take for too long, so I call it quits and head for the east end to fish off the bottom. I don't of course, fish are about so I put on a lump of bread and fling it right, watch it for a long 15 minutes then it bobs several times, vanishes and as I lift the rod the line is arrowing off. This fish, free of weed, bore into the middle pulling 12lb line off a clutch set at 3lb or so for 30 yards. Then it swings about and I'm dingbat winding, then to the right, more line torn of the reel. At the end of a violent five minutes leaving bits of weed and boils of silt all over the water in front of me I net a thrashing common, a little over 10lb. Pick of the day.
I ought to bottom fish the dusk but with enough movement on the top to entice, I try again, a bit further out and the next take is like the first, but this fish fights harder than the first, blistering pace and extraordinary power and after the dust settles, the fish is not even as the previous, a lean mirror of 6lb, but I've had less trouble with fish at twice that weight. Amazing. Lacking perspective now and spurred on by the big double that stands briefly on its tail before slooping into the middle, I fish the disintegrating bread until it's too dark...I manage a few cups out of the flask, remembering it only in the last hour.
carp #1, 4-5lb...1
carp #2, 4-5lb...2
carp #3, 1-1½lb...3
carp #4, 1-1½lb...4
#8, what is this two-by-two thing?...8
best fish today, a little over 10lb...9
lean, mean, swimming machine......10
With hindsight, four were lost to hook-pulls and missed as many as banked but here small carp plague, nudging and nurdling baits, some over 1lb can take bait, but are hard to hook with baits meant for their grandparents and great-grandparents. I MUST bottom-fish the lake for the bigger fish, before it's boilie bu88ered. [C/10/1]
October 2010. A Child Alone - The Memoirs of 'B.B.'. I've tried once or twice, probably as a 'displacement activity', to piece together his life and family background and it's much like trying to get hold of an irritated 4lb eel. Still, a revealing read, for all that.
3rd March 2012. Barton's Court, The Kennet. Here gudgeon, gudgeon...so the great Path By The Waterfogies all, age not withstanding gudgeon match drew on...after everyone'd admired Redfin's self made rods and reels, obligatory, all wandered. I can't speak for other's fishing, but I strolled along the Park Stream, bumped one off, then plucked a lady and two trout from the pool opposite the lawn and then headed for Gunters which only produced minnows but delighted anyway, then a nicked perch from the swim below the bridge at the end of Parson's Cut, Redfin was here, perch, roach, dace to the good, Seanm self-introduced, and I had the grand sight in clear water of my little 6oz'er jagging, fins splayed, a picture I'd have paid for. Lunch, soup from Nobby, and if you saw a bunch of slightly not as young as they once were's eating cake like kids and admiring rods and reels, then that might have been us. Many many cakes were on display (Moley) and the official best cake award went to Seanm for a magnificent home made jam and cream sponge. Our thanks to Mrs SeanM.
|Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet|
|Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet|
|Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet||Barton's Court, The Kennet|
I bumped the same lady off on Park Stream and headed, pausing to duck the hail storm, to the pool below the bridge at the head of the Kennel stretch. I got lost then until the best part of 4 o'clock with two great grayling, one almost 1lb, three 1lb spotted Herberts. A short foray down-stream, yielded a big brownie and big pike coasted by, so I had another Lap Sang at the pool and camped next to Seanm for a bit, fat chewing, then bagged RuxleyThe Laird of Dunbar perch spot for the dregs of the sun. RuxleyThe Laird of Dunbar turned up and barely 30 minutes later I missed one, flung 'Reggie' up the bank, missed a dibble and the recast size '6' flounder bundled with worms whipped under and the thump was right and the jag was right and this was a good one. Well then. Seanm bade f., Redfin also and that was all, a 4oz'er enough for the day. Just me and RuxLaird of Dunbar then, plus 3lb 2oz perca, but you knew that. Sorry Rux!
4th April 2015. Packhorse. A grey day, perhaps the water's still chilly, I pick the windward, a reflex, stick on a worm, cane, pin, quill, cut up the rubbish in my pitch, pour coffee, put my feet on the boards and pretend not to watch the float.
9.8°C in the water 11.7°C out. Warm end, probably good. I flick bread pills under the tree on the left and around the float and wait....and try a change of side, a coffee later...then bread on the hook....I muse on a worm at half depth drifted down the lake...twice the quill, pink tipped with three black threaded bands, riding on two of them, has dipped to the very tip, then stopped, an ironic bow. Hm. I went for a wander, learnt little and resumed under the tree, my heart leaping suddenly as a fat mirror head-and-shouldered between the float and the nearest branch, casual, as if thinking "Angler, yep, thought so..." I was obliged to put down the rod rest head I was carving out of a plastic bank-stick label. No bite came, so presently I switch to a sight bob and a lob. More coffee then.
|the pitch...||...and the pink quill|
A lob on the right then, time passed, the float travelled, its dip a surprise, a poor strike, the head shaking thump weighty enough to raise hopes but the rod is stiff for stripes and a big swirl saw freedom for one and disappointment for the other. Double drat. I fished on, a little disappointed, alternating sides, bread and worm and when the small technology said 'time to go', I'd barely put the flask in the bag when the float vanished. Another head shaker, played on the ratchet, not the rod. Right on cue. Awa'.
Hard to shake off the feeling that carp was checking for a bank-side presence.
|loooking down the 'marginaliser'||the rod and the net||...and the perch|
But wait...it's another Wheeler-Feynman perchWhat are the odds?...
30th May 2010. Luckfield Lake.
The water was all mine but covered in catkin fluff. I don't think one end is going to fish better than the other, always fancy the lilies for a good fish, so go to the far end and park myself. I'm immediately mobbed by moorhens and chicks, who've clearly been hand-fed since the last trip, so give up and drink tea until they wander off, then essay the odd cast and after a log wait get crust sucked off the hook, that fish never returns but the birds do. I drink green tea and wait and after 1¾ hours, give up, having only fished for thirty minutes. I headed back to the tree-scene of last week's scrabbles. Inevitably the moorhens follow which made my tactic of trickling floaters into the tree branches less than 100% effective. I fumed, imagined moorhen a l'Orange. Bu88ers. Eventually, after several near takes from fish nosing among the fluffy floatsam, I miss two as the blasted birds home in on the bait. By now, vey pi$$ed off, so go for a walk around the corner, debating going home. I stand on a cut-swim and a vole runs between my feet and tumbles 18" inches into the water providing a mental freeze-frame of it spread-eagled upside-down. Hitting the water, it paddles frantically and erratically across the lake. This cheers me up for no good reason so I go back, try a bit of flake suspended on a handy branch and perhaps twenty minutes late a nose appears, checks, swirls takes the whole piece on a size 2. I bang the rod over, pull hard, got a bit of a lock, so drop the rod to change the angle and the fish comes out and mindful of the right hand side snag, pile in into the net, 9lb of slightly foxed mirror. OK then.
I wait for a bit more and with the light closing, swap the 12lb line for 14lb, re-tie the hook, check the point and wonder around to the narrow cut between two bushes which promises carp for the bold, off the lily-patch edge with perhaps ninety minutes fishing left. The first bit of floating flake dropped between two pads on the edge sits for twenty of them, before a fish shoulders its way through from the right and, no preamble, gobbles the bread. I thump it out the stems and play it to a standstill in an 8' circle then scoop it out, the second 9lb mirror of the day. Better.
I re-bait, wait for a long time, nothing happens so tow in the bread, re-bait and get a succession of interested bumps. These die away, although my heartbeat doesn't. A fresh flake and mangled cast leaves the bait 12" from the pads, with one lone pad between me and the bait On the point of retrieving, the pads start to sway and as it's very dusky, trust the light to hide the line. It does, and after a final wobble of the green, the ripples subside and the culprit is under the bread. Which just vanishes suddenly, so I pick up the rod tip hard for a firm tussle in a 10' radius, all swirls, lunges and dives to the bottom, finally netting the commotion which is the pick of the three, 12lb of common in the flash.
|'one'||'two'||well worth the wait|
Where's leviathan when you have the hang of it? Too dark now, even for white bread, so last out, but for the bats and Brock, who explains without words the mystery of the gate that clanks in the dusk, but then no-one comes to fish... [C/3/1]
23rd March 2016. Vale Farm
|Small perch that mug large baits amuse me. When this stops happening I'll hang up my rods.||I'd opted for the left-hand lake as you approach them, it was deserted and I liked the look of the west corner, it looked deep, had an interesting colour and enough branches to suggest a chance of a perch. However, barring the small and amusing it yielded 'parp' only, this the first of three brightly coloured and very hard fighting fish.||The pool stayed this still, until midday. Just nice to see a float on't.|
|The second of the 'parp'. The contender for 'third' third took 30 yards of line off the reel in one searing run, then the hook came out.||As I said, just nice to watch a float some days.||'Parp' the third. 'Parp' the forth was a pectoral fouler, so didn't count.||A decamp to the main lake alongside the Thane, I opted to fish under my feet. I nabbed a carp which I slipped right back, not even a snap.|
|Still funny||Lots and lots and lots of rudd. This is about a tenth of them. After having a whole lob or two stole, I switched to a '14' and fished an inch of lob-head on the 'LHSRE' and put some Secret Bait on the MKIV 'G' S/U. Fishing the floats barely two feet apart, I could actually watch them both.||I, of course, hooked a screamer on the light rod, and a mighty and swim-destroying battle ensued, until the hook came out. Pah. I nabbed a few more rudd and perch and then as the light went, this carp, which preferred a couple of the Secret Baits.|
While all the above was going on (hint 'tool-tip') the TOS, after a slight diversion to retrieve some hooks left at Bishop's Green (funny, the only thing I've lost for some years was a mini-bits box at the same place - the worst losses were two original Hildebrandt fly-spoons, far better made than the ones following their takeover), was feeding a variety of carp with mixers and extracted a good half a-dozen in the 'north of 10lb' range.
9th September 2006. Arfleet Mills. Arf arf. Having an afternoon pass I headed for Arfleet for a change and set up at 3ish on a swim at the end of the lake, nearest the path. For a good hour and a half or so I caught a succession of roach, rudd and perch on corn and hemp paste, with one perch making ½-¾lb maybe and some nice rudd.
|example rudd||quite a nice perch|
I used a small paste float and was fishing in around five foot of water, with the level looking to be a foot or so down on my last visit. Relaxing into the fishing, a chap then turned up for a night's carping, went around the other side and then the tent pegs went in. Two more arrived. It was frankly, not unlike the Omaha Beach landings. One set up next to me. Mandatory shouted conversations went on. More hammering.
Then, the chap next to me whacked out his bolt rig and got it halfway up a 40 foot tree, not 15 yards across the lake. He arced the rod to free it. I kept down. You have to wonder. After a bit it came free and 'thopped!' into the water three yards out from the suicidal one. Apparently "that scared all the fish in the swim". Eff off, it did. They'd run for it half an hour back. I'd given up any hope of a margin carp already. His erstwhile companion did the same a bit later on. It's not like you can miss seeing the trees. At 8pm or so, I gave up and went home, but did bank a couple of nice rudd about ¾lb in the last hour (which I neglected to photo), which both took half a mussel 'on the drop'. On reflection I should have moved to the lower lake for the peace. Danglers.
28th December 2008. The River Frome, Holme Bridge. The pursuit of the phantom grayling. So I blanked, but made no notes, so that's the whole story in the pictures.
|Holmbridge Snipe Hunt||Holmbridge Snipe Hunt||Holmbridge Snipe Hunt||Holmbridge Snipe Hunt|
14th October 2007. Silent Woman. No pike, but some nice carp, all in a bunch at the end. And dirt bikes farting all afternoon in the next field. Lovely. I've been here since 1:30pm and have just managed, in the weeds near the gate, to extract a plump carp (it's gone 5pm now). There is motocross going on next door which is not exactly improving the stillness here. After several hours of nothing, with signs of pike I had tied on a quill and wire trace and the first cast with it gets a (pike) rise at the float like a porpoise. For a moment I think I have my fish but not to be. I persist with the size 4 and the 25lb wire for a bit longer and get a sliding bite on the far side of the reed bed that I assume is a pike but it's a common of 6lb or so, but the hook pulls, probably as it was never in properly - well 'BB Denys Watkins-Pitchford aka 'BB', the author of "Confessions of a Carp Fisher"' caught them on wire...
I start putting bread around the float to attract the rudd, in turn to attract the pike. Despite my float vanishing in various ways along with several promising lunges I get nothing so try some bottom fishing with worms under a 'spectre' just for fun...maybe the pike won't see the float...I feed the near swim anyway. Amazing. I get a 'run' and get a 4lb common. Rebait and recast, seconds later get a dark mirror of the same size, which I have to play 'fly fashion' as the spindle pulls out of my 3500GTe Shimano. Pah. You'd think that wire traces would stop you catching 'em...
|Silent Woman||Silent Woman||Silent Woman|
Back on the 'pin but further out...debate a heavier float and rifle through the box and miss a run. Bugger. More tea. The air temp. has dropped to 17°C in the last hour, the water is keeping at a constant 16.9°C more or less as it was when I got here. Sun now low and but lighting this end...bob-dip-bob and a better fish that heads out and circles right so I skip it across the weeds and right into the net, OK, not usually how it's done.
|Silent Woman||Silent Woman||Silent Woman||Silent Woman|
Right then. The bikes have quit, "it's nice when it stops". More tea then waiting ensues. Calm descends like a settling bed spread. I remind myself the fish here are fairly wild more or less and simple is usually best. The float tweaks and here is number five, 6-7lb at the net maybe. Very decent but slow and it takes my five minutes to net after getting the fish in front of me, all slow lunges and wallowing. I extend the net handle three feet with one hand and trick it in the end. No. 'Six' is a 3lb common, promised more on the first run, miss a bite while trying to get hooks out of tub in the box. The next cast gets a large rudd, so switch to a size '8', the air has dropped to 3°C less than the water, a squirrel squawks alarm in the distance. Not a classic dusk sound, a perch bite next unless I miss-guess. Another bob and then a perfect bubble, tension mounts, more bubbles, check reel, hand on rod. Nothing happens for several minutes. Now I think about it, not seen a carp for a bit.
There were flaunting most of the afternoon in the weed both sides of the lake. Last cup of tea, a few more bubbles, last squeak out of the flask and check bait. 6pm, start to pack, enough today, even with dusk still only partly on the way.
22nd December 2017. Mappowder, Spring Lake. Too quiet. I kind of talked myself into going out and in my mind I wanted a gentle 'fish for bite' type of session. I had a wander about and went down to the filed pond below Spring Lake and it looks clear and lifeless, although I know it has a lot of rudd. I pitched on the north side and stuck on the usual 6lb through type of rig and in the first hour picked up a couple of carp on pinches of bread. Then, curious about bites I couldn't get hold of, scaled down to an '18' and extracted to extract cold roach and gudgeon. After another hour, this palled a little, although carp were now appearing, even the few bread pills and cockles enough to get them mooching over. Hm. The water was flat calm, there wasn't a breath of wind, the bank was soft and so I ran an experiment. I raised myself a few inches of my seat and dropped back. A ripple spread across the lake. I stamped one wellington firmly. More ripples. I stamp the same wellington gently. Even then, I could see ripples emanating from my pitch. For the last experiment I stood up and walked quietly behind the tree, waited a few minutes and walked 'normally' to my chair. Yep. Ripples. See, they can hear you…
|The inevitable float with occasional bubbles.||Some of the catch|
|That's as flat a water surface as you'll see|
I re-commenced fishing, nabbed a couple more roach and then realised I was a bit bored with the place's near domination of small carp, so packed. I will try the field-pond at tench-time though, just to be sure.
21st February 2012. The Great Hexagraph Salmon Rod Experiment: Part 1. Once, on a whim, last year, I bought a 15ft 10-12aftm Hexagraph Salmon rod, which was going quite cheap and got cheaper as it had a ferrule split (alluded to elsewhere) and even after the B&W repair, it was a good deal.
|Cracked up#1||Cracked up#2|
I don't know if you've ever waggled such a thing, despite a slender appearance, it's got real steel. I put the two top sections together and gave them a bend and waggle and thought, hm, that might make a stonking carp rod. Power, flexibility, good looks. A bit like me. I didn't have the heart to cut a chunk off the handle section, probably some sort of crime anyway, so am having a handle knocked up to give it a try. I shall change the snake rings as well.
Pictures and so on will be posted as I go - if it's a disaster and doesn't work then I'll re-en-snake and keep it against one of my longer term ambitions, to whit, Salmon from a Proper River in Scotland. Here is the butt design and the reel bands.
1st November 2016. Luckfield Lake...I fancied 'fishing for bites' among autumn leaves. Dithering I eventually went for Luckfield for no good reason. It had the leaves. Tons of them, trapped by a combination of the line now stretched across the lake for the aerator and swirling winds caused by the much needed removal of some trees. Still. It was exactly the sort of day when wondering around with a loaf of bread would have caught four or five good fish, or failing that balancing chunk of flake on top of the leaves and waiting...but that wasn't what I wanted. I thought to give peg 2 a try and fished pinches of bread-flake after a bite-less hour on cockles. The afternoon went by pleasantly with a kingfisher, two field-fares popping up and down the hedge behind me and a woodpecker thocking on a dead branch. The bread removed a dozen carp of about 1lb, plus one small bream and while it was pleasant work, this was eleven more small carp that I've ever caught here, which is a worrying development - can't help feeling this still pretty venue is well on the way to becoming just another carp puddle. Pity.
|the view from the south-east corner||...the leaves...||...and the float||The view from the pitch|
|...coffin...(and back to the top of the page)||...barrel...||...coffin...||...barrel...||...coffin...||...barrel...|
There are 17 diary entries above. This will vary a bit as this page's 'engine' takes a fixed number of files and then removes the non-fishing ones, so the remainder varies. I might fix this later, I might not. Bonk the 'refresh' button on your browser for more random diary entries. In the ongoing spirit of the 'Lucky Dip' here is a random rfqNot 'random' in the true sense of the word, but a random pick from a selection of fishing related quotes that I quite like. fishing quote:
"The best time to go fishing is when you can get away."
|A bunch of hooks found in my pike box...(and back to the top of the page)||A bunch of hooks found in my pike box||A bunch of hooks found in my pike box|
|12:40pm on 2018-07-19|