The Lucky Dip Page

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.  quote:

"Idleness is the parent of psychology."
Friedrich Nietzsche

just a hook...just a hook...(and back to the top of the page) ...and a loaf of bread...and a loaf of bread just a hook...just a hook... ...and a loaf of bread...and a loaf of bread just a hook...just a hook... ...and a loaf of breadjust a hook... just a hook......and a loaf of bread ...and a loaf of breadjust a hook... just a hook......and a loaf of bread ...and a loaf of breadjust a hook... just a hook......and a loaf of bread ...and a loaf of breadjust a hook... just a hook......and a loaf of bread ...and a loaf of breadjust a hook...

2012 11th September 2012. Kingcombe.

So, 85 minutes tucked into the corner of the lake, both furthest from the car park. I fancied a change, down day, thinking time. 'Specimen lake' is clogged ((3×B) + (9×R)), and so much thick gloopy weed that even though I feel sure one of the cruising twennies could be crusted against some handy clump, all the spot where one might land one are taken, hauling over a margin shelf of week seldom works, one power dived and you shagged usually. I decamp not least because there are 30 fish crammed into a pool of much under an acre, it ought to be called "the barrel". Three coffees and two scotch eggs later, my pink quill lolls, marker for a cockle, a mussel and an anchovy. It's not moved although I'm periodically suspicious. Bread across the lake has slurped. Aha.

Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park

I switch to a fine antenna and touché and a miss. Hm. Another tweak later on. Well, if that's it - in three hours I'm off up the other end...coffee. Gone 4pm, but suspicious movement on a sliver of meat then a muddy swirl changes the game. And it bobs while changing the light carp to pure lift. Last coffee...Eventually, spooking a second, big baits mobbed, I switch to a '12', stout, small meat. A bite gets a bump, next one gets a rocket. The one after that a stripy....might stay a bit then.

Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park

I fish slivers of bacon grill and get a string of reasonable roach, which pass the time and then the lake is becalmed, the interval between bites goes all Fibonacci on me and after some deliberation I decide to trade the line on the GHSRE for 6lb and a tiny bubble float with a size '12' and try for some of the rising fish which are not carp but on the odd clearance look to be very good roach or rudd. I linger too long in this decision, but two abortive casts see smaller fish take the free bread and the third sits flat in a dark shadows cast from the other bank and a heavy eddy encircles the float and the bait winks out of existence and the bubble float jerks one way and then the other as I pick the rod up. Everything goes heavy...

...and stays heavy. I have to cede and retrieve for several determined runs, then have to walk to get the angle to keep a obdurate object from getting under tree and various banks. This goes on for some time and even when only ten yards are left, the fish bores and tries out my 6lb, with the rod putting about as much in as the line will stand. Eventually on the point of netting, the bubble shows and the fish, 17lb of common, gives in once in the net. Not bad. It's too dark to do anything now, so I trudge back up the hill, pretty pleased with that.

Higher Kingcombe Farm The swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe Farm The swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe Farm The swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park
Higher Kingcombe Farm The swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe Farm 17lb on 6lb line, always nervy.

2015 3rd November 2015. Belfry Coarse Fishery, Belfry Pond, Sussex.

Belfry Coarse Fishery, Belfry Pond The non-car-park side of Belfry pond Belfry Coarse Fishery, Belfry Pond The non-car-park side of Belfry pond
Belfry Coarse Fishery, Belfry PondBelfry Coarse Fishery, Belfry Pond

2013: grayling 11th October 2013. Barton's Court Lake. Back down to earth - I've spent a full hour on the water before tackling up. Chat and netting one for a fellow, the naughty'n'nice McBreakfast, re-spooling the 6lb, tidying out the food-rubbish. After yesterday's shaft of winter, which left my body shaking with cold, under dressed moron, I'm thermalled, tucked into the SW corner, proper rod, 12lb through. Just seemed a good spot, with yesterday's cold and this morning's fish-tail wind - the worst for shooting - it's a likely spot while the day's pattern emerges. Might perch it later. Might not...

The Scottish Correspondent(TSC) arrived and opted for my swim of two days previous as he too had a bone to pick. I'd opted for my corner while the fish-tails dies off and some kind of settled pattern emerged and wwhile we were chatting my lob-and-mussel high-tailed with the float in tow. I missed off course. TSC ambled off and I fished the heavy rod on, missed another, let a hour tick by then swapped to the GHSRE and 6lb line and a one-cockle hook of some type. I almost immediately got a bite which went very heavy and the fish determined to get under the tree on my left had the rod doubled up and the line singing in the wind but somehow, it didn't break (the GHSRE does this...) and I had another good double. This augured well. Wrongly as it happened.

Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake - back to reality Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake - back to reality Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake - back to reality

I'm not certain, but I may have run down a black cat on the way in, spilt salt and not thrown, been hag-squinted, jinxed, hexed and then incorrectly greeted lone magpies...as it was, over the course of the day I lost six (6), yes SIX more carp to hook pulls. I couldn't buy a bite on the heavy rod (interesting) - but the next cast on the GHSRE had another large fish doubling the rod, all but beaten, if not visible, ten heart stopping wind whining long minutes, then the hook pinged over my head. Several came off after a few yards at most. I changed the hook three times, larger, smaller and with a few perch to ease the pain, one ¾lb perhaps, several other gobbing worms longer than themselves, I lost another carp mid-afternoon that lumbered off down the right hand bank like a feather-foot pulled dray and I'd turned it 30 yards off, my game thought I, but back came the hook. I could have wept. At some point TSC brandished a carp through the trees at me, good man yerself, I didn't envy his pitch - the wind had settled North East with a gap in the trees opposite delivering the teeth of a wintry wind - although I paid a heavy hearted visit after this last loss. I plodded back to my pitch, fished until near dusk with my now nearly luck-less lucky quill laid flat, see-sawing on the chop (no strike until it dived), with my fourth hook, a wide-ish 12-ish thing and a cockle tacked on the point. The heavy rod leaned on the rushes and at one point the rat that was hopping along the water's edge sneaked through by the bait bin and jumped clear into the air when I moved, both of us rapt. Later the rushes the other side twitched a bit and I thought nothing of it...when finally a snaking bite came, which lumbered, I'd given up hope and simply played the large fish with small expectations and when I saw my unhatched and uncounted chicken it was common and in the end just over 15lb, so I finished then, on the up and carried gear in relays down to the Laird's pitch. All over too soon. Should have been, should have been...

Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake - back to reality Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake - back to reality Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake - back to reality

The heavy rod was missing it's size 4 and the three mussels left on...gnawed through and nabbed under cover of dry grasses. Sneaky bu88ers, rats.

2018 ''Crossroads'' 17th February 2018. Mappowder. Three halves of an afternoon. It was too nice a day to resist, so I rooted through the fly-fishing bag to transfer over those bits that are part of both kits then nabbed some frozen bread and cockles. You can almost guarantee having Mappowder to yourself winter-time, plus being in the middle of nowhere it's good for the wildlife. Thus it proved.

I ambled over to 'Pheasant', walked the lake, annoying the voluble geese, then set up in a casual way, float-banding a quill, tying on a hook, pinning a cockle, and lobbing the whole into the margin while I thought about fishing. I watched the geese then turned my bag out to see what was inside. Meanwhile, the flat-float twitched twice but otherwise didn't move. I located the relevant bits, removed the 'porcy', slipped on float-stops and a mini-swivel. I located some fine 8lb hook-link braid and threaded on what looked like a size '10'. I loosely furled the last two inches of the braid, then combi-knotted it to the mono., so the hook-link was about 3" of looped furled braid. I clipped on a blue pole-float, a fettled foundling, 2 × no.4 shot then fished bread-flake for a time. As the rucksack-rifle had turned up the thermometer, I checked the water temperature. I didn't really need the thermometer to tell me the air was 7°C warmer than the water and that the ripple-patch on the opposite bank was a better bet. So, de-camped.

Mappowder LakesThe thinking pitch and the distant and more productive ripples Mappowder LakesThe flat-float Mappowder LakesFishing properly now Mappowder LakesThe second pitch
Mappowder LakesThe view of the afternoon's first half

The bank was too steep for the chair, so I sat on the un-hooking mat. I cheerfully fished laid-on bread, the little blue float pleasingly set at the same angle as the waves. The sun was warm, the wind necessitated a coat-zipper and carp came along at respectable intervals, not so often it was a nuisance but often enough to keep you watching the float. I was glad of the decision to fish the MKIV 'G' with 8lb on the 'pin, the 2-3lb fish could be removed smartly, although several 5-6lb fish bent the rod somewhat. I re-resolved to make a long handled disgorger, so I can poke the hook out without faffing about with the net. A raven appeared in a tree behind me, and ran through the oddest sequence of guttural utterances along with clicks and glottal stops. Fun though this was, I slithered down the bank to check out the interesting pool in the stream, made some mental notes, then re-decamped.

Mappowder Lakes The blue float in the waves Mappowder Lakes The MKIV 'G', the Kingpin and the tiny float-box Mappowder Lakes The largest carp. It was dark, looked feral and frankly, underfed.

I squelched back to, then around Spring Lake and reconnoitred the pond at the bottom of the spinney. I cut the loop of braid near the knot and carefully retrieving the hook from the wet grass, snell'd on a new hook that looked like a '14' and clipped on a little orange cork-ball bobber. For information purposes I fished for an hour using a few pills of bread and a couple of cockles and though the water twice moved in an interesting way, nothing came of it. I'll be back when it warms, there's something in this pool.

Mappowder Lakes The pool behind the spinney Mappowder Lakes The little orange float next to the rotting rushes

I'd planned to head home, but passing one of the last swims in 'Spring', I recalled several brown goldfish caught during a cold evening a few years ago. Hm. I flicked a few bread pellets in and carefully plumbed the depth, setting one no.6 at the top of the hook-link and the other 1" from the hook. A robin arrived to beg bread. I gave it a piece and while I waited, used a wooden ruler to flick crusts into the middle of the lake, to see if the carp would come up to play; which they did, but merely toyed with said bread. The little float sunk 1" then rose 1½". I struck, untangled the hook-and-line from a hazel branch, and re-cast. Some time passed and there was much dithering then a gentle submergence and the result was, disappointingly, a slender honey-coloured common of 3lb of so. I knelt on the wet ground, drew it to the edge and tweaked out the hook, saving the net. I recast and listened to a pheasant's short surprised squawk, followed by the sound of a thudding wing-beat slowly fading with its owner; whether a fox, mink or stoat got the bird I couldn't say. See, 'good for wildlife'. Blackbirds cautiously picked up their evening song and the float bobbled a bit and went under. This was a small humpy common also about 3lb, so I spared the net again, and decided that was good enough. Plus I couldn't feel my finger-tips.

Mappowder Lakes The view from Peg 1 at 'blackbird' time Mappowder Lakes The little orange float waiting in vain for a brown goldfish.

It occurs to me that the two 'lakes' are 'ponds' and the 'pond' is really a lake. Heh. Cool day.

2009 15th November 2009. Milton Abbey Lake. I wasn't going out today, this weekend even, as there was a threat of rain, but as the Buglangler was going to a party at Milton Abbey and going back and forth twice would barely have made any sense, I bunged the 550Chapman 550, a half-loaf and a tin of corn into the car and popped in for a couple of hours. The car park manifested several anglers so I headed for the pump pool.

First thing to say is that the lake is choked with weed. It's been an issue on-and-off for a year or two and I didn't see a clear swim, although there were a few with gaps. Weed rake next time. I set up a simple float rig and baited a gap in the weeds and spent two hours watching an immobile float. Kingfishers in a pair skimming in formation crossed the pool and occasional fish showed themselves further out with gentle swirls.

Milton Abbey Lake Milton Abbey Lake Milton Abbey Lake Milton Abbey Lake Milton Abbey Lake Milton Abbey Lake

Just once a vortex near my feet snitched on a passing carp, but bread left for its next circuit never moved. Everything stayed mill-pond flat, until dusk crept and my float drifted slowly left, dipping a shade, stopped, went the other way, sunk slightly, came up and then came to rest. And that was that for the day. I went and got the Bugangler as the bats came out to play.

2012 4th March 2012. Barton's Court Lake. Out on the Tundra. Rain, then snow, 7°C plummeted to 2.5°C in quarter-hour, frozen matcher-men peeling off, those the most hardy the winners today. Grim of face, fun fun fun. I'm committed to the day, ticket paid, just 'Desert Island Discs' (Patsy Rodenberg "...the guy playing Claudius was a murderer and he spoke, 'Oh my offence is rank, it smells to heaven', and he just broke." Wonderful programme.), then 'Just a Minute' to stop me fishing. They'll be up this end if it stops I tell myself. Either way - I'm on the bank in 30 minutes.

Two long-liners are fishing from the carp ark, car park, in van, engine running. Pointless really, what have we come to that this is angling and it's ok. I pitch in the sleet, madness, carp arker gets one, what are the odds, they listened to what I said. J.The Laird of Dunbar over the other side, winter in his face, let's see where they are then. 8.3°C water, 3.5°C air, suspect the fish may move. I'm rather regretting not putting the thermal breeks on myself...thawed sleet dripped off the seldom used brolly, soaking my left side, no wonder I'm cold and it's 2.5°C now...a carp has rolled under the tree to my left 10 yards maybe a tangle of roots forbidding a cast, but still...

Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake
Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake

Then the squall passes and the air's back up to 4°C in a blink, even that a warm breeze. Lucky we have cake. At 4:45 having decamped up the bank, water's 8.5°C, weak sun, 8.7°C now warming I've dropped to a size '10' and maggots, I'll take a bite from anything now. I'm a moron, should have gone back to my JAFHJust Another Feckin' Hotel room for the thermals and a dry shirt. I've started a routine of mini-calisthenics to keep me from developing hypothermia (I ache the next day as a result). The sun's out and I'm almost up to 'just cold'. At least I can move my fingers now...

Barton's Court Lake Barton's Court Lake

It occurs that the match fishers that caught were at the lee end, but I can't face the stiff walk to the back and the icy wind on my back, perch in the trees occurs and I can't face a different rod and reel with fingers I can't move - poor calls both in hindsight. I was, as they say, glad when I'd had enough, a shade before dusk, not so much it looked like 'giving up'. Proper blank for J.The Laird of Dunbar and me. You need those - and I enjoyed it. Really. Hare-minded.

2009 16th August 2009. Luckfield Lake, not a blank. Technically. I didn't know Laurel and Hardy went fishing.

Nemp and I got here later PM and fish were cruising around unconcerned and we set up on the far bank with trembling hands...all was well until two lads turned up and spend half an hour knocking in pegs, rests and pods and then, bored, one started whacking the bank with a stick. Nemp stood up, which is quite a long way up and suggested quiet was the correct order of the day. Tool late for the fish, but eventually, after Abbot and Costello went on, I got one which fizzed about for a bit, then bit the mussel, and despite the LRH No 3Estimated T/C of 4lb+ and 12lb line on the 'pin, the hook came away on the first rush.

Luckfield Lake Luckfield lake comedy fishing Luckfield Lake Luckfield lake comedy fishing
Luckfield Lake Bubbling... Luckfield Lake ..got to love bubbling...

One late bite more or less impaled a careless roach of about 8oz, but that was the day done, could have been so good, with a little peace and consideration.

2009 20th June 2009. Luckfield Lake. Reeling a bit from losing three first time, but like a challenge, so came back with stronger tackle and a grimmer countenance. Spent about 45 minutes trying to get a crust in the right place on the third swim round but the wind, current and distance defeat me, so I return to last week's swim. I managed to miss a few takes (as I go on I realise that there are a lot of carp that can't manage the bread first go) and then also hook one on-and-off at the far end of the big lily patch. I then watch a three foot long fish amble about my next perfectly placed crust before a moorhen tries to nab it.

So, after a few happy minutes extracting size 4's from the vegetation behind me I wonder right around the far side, and after a few abortive and unique casts to get under one branch and over another, place a crust just the other side of a single pad on the edge of the jungle and when I get a slurp, power the fish out of the lilies and then batter it (metaphorically) into the net leaving bits of shredded vegetation and swirls of mud under my feet. Yay. A bit more than 10lb of dark common. I wander back one swim to the scene of last week's carnage and sticking on a lump of pasted-bread, take tea and then as the slack line twitches, a dark brick-pit tench. I knock off another tench, move to home base swim for the last floater and get manked by a big fish as darkness falls, failed hook knot. No change there then.

Luckfield Lake A bit more than 10lb of dark common Luckfield Lake a dark brick-pit tench Luckfield Lake ...move to home base swim for the last floater

2013: grayling 10th February 2013. Mappowder, 'Pheasant lake'/'Spring Lake'.

Il pleut. Ignoring that, I yomp across the wattle-and-daub meadow and settle into the warm end (by 0.8°C), a rare brolly day. There's naff-all colour anywhere, but a tinge everywhere, so I'm banking that the waters been at 6°C more or less for a fortnight so, settled. That and the new dedicated carp pin which now has the '44's 6lb and there's an old quill flat out, as it looks the part. A 5" Harlow, needed adjustment to the ratchet and the spokes dremmel-brushed. Handles added. Not a trotter at 30 seconds but a perfect margin pin.

Jack H. levered himself off as I arrived and perhaps an hour later is still elsewhere - as are the fish...tea perhaps? I switch to worm and mince a mussel or two. There's a flock of fieldfares in the hedge behind me, across the field. Chatter chatter. Pleasant, the sound of denuded winter hedges.

Wind now warming, so decamp and find two torpid carp under a tree and fish the nearest gap, nab three, miss two, prick one. The float slips off while I type...excuse me for the moment...

Mapperton, Pheasant Lake The Flat Float Mapperton, Pheasant Lake Mapperton, Pheasant Lake Mapperton, Pheasant Lake Mapperton, Pheasant Lake

Suddenly the wind drops, the riffle that's dragging the quill at an angle, subsides. Thirty still minutes later I decide to try for a goldfish in Spring Lake...an hour ticks by there, punctuated by the barn owl flying ten yards in front of me, on some long glide from right to left, turning its head as it drew level, nodded at me. I miss a bite, then spend thirty minutes drawing carp to the top and missing them. I missed another bite on the bottom, then with the rod over my knees I watch a mirror slurp a crust only 6' away. I swing a piece of flake a foot from it's nose, it took it. Well, all is grey, myself included, I doubt it could see me. A squabble. A blurry picture. I nab another common, perhaps 2½lb, last knockin's a goldfish, assumed, blurry snap again. Cold feet.

Mapperton, Pheasant Lake The big old Harlow reel Mapperton, Pheasant Lake A collage of carp Mapperton, Pheasant Lake Spring lake, nearest the car park...

2014 26th May 2014. The Wetland. There were the two on the 13thSurprisingly nice, probably from the original stocking, then five today (33). Two at 3lb and ¾lb (35) were taken from '5' two weeks ago and two ¾lb from '4' with one escaping (38)...

The Wetlands Good stripes son, show 'em off... The Wetlands Five more The Wetlands ...from this tiny pool

It's a tiny pool, perhaps 25 yards square...amazing really. Little breeders.

2010 carp October 2010. A Child Alone - The Memoirs of 'B.B.'. star rating 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.

2010 carp 19th June 2010. Arfleet. One back pit ghostie (yay) and a lost double. Flat calm on the front pit odd. Nothing moving at all. [C/1/0]

Arfleeet MillsOne of the burnished leather ones

2017 swivel 11th January 2017. Kingsbridge, Packhorse.

The air had warmed to a balmy 9°C and there was a fresh wind so, wanting to fish water with movement, I took the remaining worms and some better than expected maggots for a dip. Initially it all felt 'right', it was just good to see waves after a month of flat still water, so I cheerfully fished in a stiff breeze for two hours, keeping the rod-tip on the float, so its apparent upwind drift could be ignored. One carp rolled giving me hope, but nothing else. I worked through my baits ending with one maggot on an '18' and when even this didn't flicker, conceded, went for a stroll, picking up what I thought were two drifting boilies, which turned out to be oak-apples on a leaf. Huh. All the mixers I'd flicked ('spooned') were bobbing in the margins, untouched, so I headed for the other end of the wind.

Packhorse Lake The windward end, with its encouraging waves... Packhorse Lake ...and the float. Packhorse Lake The peculiar oak-apples.

5.1°C here, warm enough, 5.9°C directly opposite where two trickles of metallic water oozed across the path. Next swim down 5.1°C. I pick up an old shell from the gravel deposits, seed the reeds with mixers and head back to the second pitch. The sun is low, bright, the wind is fish-tailing and I've seen one fish, a carp, at the other end. Not a ripple otherwise. I wait. I've caught fish on less promising days, but today feels like an empty promise. I muse wandering with worms as at least I'll be moving. 3pm, two hours is plenty of time for a change. Hm.

At 3:30, with my body temperature sinking, neglecting to bring a flask and half of my thermals, I decide that no fish at 4pm would send me back through the two gates (which I loathe). Naturally, I get two dithery bites on maggots both of which produces small rudd. Enthused, although not warmed, I persist to the first tendril of dusk and the rising moon, but that was it...I must work out how to get my camera to take the scene exactly as it looks.

Packhorse Lake The leeward end... Packhorse Lake ...and its first float.
Packhorse LakeThe very old shell, Packhorse Lakethe wind-driven sky... Packhorse LakeThe 'bag' Packhorse Lake...and the bad moon rising.

I raise my core temperature yomping to the car, but not as much as I'd like. The STThat's the Small Technology', or for the hard of abbreviation, 'smart phone'. produces "Gimme Shelter" which is apposite and I ponder a bucket of bread-and-hemp, the best cold-water spadge, which had slipped my mind of late.

2013: grayling 9th July 2013. Just stuff...

Carp rigs for the orthadox angler Carp rigs for the orthadox angler Carp rigs for the orthadox angler Carp rigs for the orthadox angler Carp rigs for the orthadox angler Carp rigs for the orthadox angler

A few words on the simple carper - I usually set up the rig seen above left:

Put a mini link swivel on the line between cheap latex float stops, generally 2 above the swivel are enough with 3-4 below and a couple of 'sliders' to protect the knot or anchor a shot on the line.

The braid hook-length is combi-knottedThe JAA magic braid knot... to the mono - the one shown is about 14", I planned to bottom fish that morning. There's a tell tale no.4 and a no.8 midway to the hook to stop the braid being stirred up when the fish is about, which avoids liners and foul hooks. Once you are over 3" on the deck it's best to do this.

If I'm planning a "very flexible" day, I tie a 1-2" hook-link, which generally works OK for floater fishing as well.

Two of the float stops are placed against the knot to protect it and if I need any shot for the float I put it between the float stops by the link swivel. I keep short lengths of 14lb and 12lb mono tied to the zip on my coat - I squeeze shot over that to groove it and then can pinch it by hand on my mainline without damaging it.

This rig can be endlessly varied with no effort at all. You can go from tiny floats (shown) virtually sight bobbing, jam on a cork ball for floater fishing, slip a swan shot on the mini swivel and slide the back stop up the line to light ledger and or even bung on a bubble float for small baits 'off the top'.

So with a pocket full of shot, a few floats (shown), a few cork balls, some hooks (in your hat), a reel of braid, a small sharp knife and a loaf of bread you're sorted.

I've been known to skip the mini swivel and put a pair of 8mm cork balls on the line, float stops either side, one red, one black (coloured with indelible markers, red, black and gree, always in the bag), especially if the water I'm planning to fish is shallow.

P.S. At the end of the day, you push all the bits down to the trace (make the line wet first), nip the line of with about 6" of mono, and next time you go out you can thread the whole lot back onto your main line by knotting the old line once over the reel line. The float stops last a good while then...thrifty me. I'll often put the whole lot onto the reel spool and once you've threaded up by the bank you're ready to fish. I keep the braid and use those bits for shorter hook-links, as the cost of it is simply daylight robbery.

2013: grayling 22nd August 2013. The Stour, Shillingston. One of those short trips between Dad's Taxi drop and pick-up, made shorter by rain - the right bank is thickly overgrown, a border of some past crop of oilseed rape blocking sight and access at most points along the river, not a bad thing on the whole, but one must watch where one treads, steep banks and 8 feet of water even in summer flows. I find a spot nearly opposite the old station (I silently curse Dr. Beeching and his report) and spend an enjoyable time plucking small roach on bread from 7' of water. The Woodsman arrives on his bike, comedy almost and proves my point on the hidden banks by cycling past me twice, a diminuendo of creaks and rattling rods...

We opt for a swim at the bottom of the field, a good one for chubs and perches and I carry on with the small roach while TW tries worms out as minnow bait, although I suspect that wasn't the plan. The grey heavens creak open, promised, but still, then the fares 'text' saying the fete has packed due to rain so I have to leave, pity. TW'The Woodsman' (keep up) went on to Luckfield for a greyer evening (but plenty of tree cover) and managed a 14lb'er, so that's OK then.

2012 22nd June 2012. Luckfield. Odd day, torpid carp, the 'Woodsman' got one I baited up for him and I lost three eels, I'd guess one of them Tungeru or something like.

Luckfield Lake No-Luckfield Luckfield Lake No-Luckfield Luckfield Lake No-Luckfield

2011: crucian 12th October 2011. West Compton. It's the AGM, so I take the excuse given to pop over for the afternoon ahead on the assemblage. I sit on the dam in the sun and extract a steady stream of roach. When it's clear any moving carp are in the shallow end, slip into the trees on the paddock bank and lose a 4lb fish on a size 14 and a grain of corn, roaching while setting up the GHSREGreat Hexagraph Salmon Rod Experiment, the little hook pulling away when a dispute about the relative merits of a lily patch became critical and then later catch a small common which gave its all followed by, a sink of the sun later, by a small grass carp.

West Compton The lake from the dam West Compton the quill West Compton the carp

Then despite a growing feeling that the time was now, nothing else happened...except for the grass-snake which too-and-fro'd under my feet, until, gaining courage, crossed my line to make for better hunting.

West Compton the flat float and the bubbles West Compton the top of the lake West Compton ...and the oddly small grass-carp

At the AGM, KP showed us the feather-and-boiling-water-trick then later on, a suggestion of a few chub to thin the small perch and roach was met with spluttering indignation from a member who didn't think river fish should be in a lake. Grass carp, not native to the country, thats fine...'all sorts'.

2010 carp 20th September 2010. Tangerine Days. LEDM...it's so nearly a pun on 'L'Etang du Morinais'...

Having got in a 1:30am, I potter about the chalet for a bit at 8am or so and then take the ESP, Cardinal 66s, a size 4 on 14lb for a walk to the lake with some mussels, I sit on Point de Chasse, and the water is very low, and nothing sirs either my bait of the mist on the water, the clear sky already hinting at the heat to come. I wonder around the back of the lake and sit in a gap and free-line some more. Mike arrives, tells me the fish are feeding up and down the East bank and that there's plenty of soaked maize in the boathouse (all good lakes have a boathouse). I head back for some toast-and-butter, toast made in the frying pan, good blackcurrant jam and fresh coffee, I cunningly brought my own pot.

I head around to the Point des Epines as it's on the right bank, in the deepest water and fish are rolling under the trees. I bait up with handfuls of hemp and tease three maize grains onto the no. '4' and two bit of corn to cover the hook shank and flick it in, lay the rod at an angle to the bank and enjoy the sun filtering over the trees and the slightest of breezes in my face. Coffee. Ahhhh.

L'Etang du Morinais ...the slightest of breezes in my face. Coffee. Ahhhh.

While I'm sitting there, by degrees, I sent up a Hex Avon with 10lb line, planning a simple subtle float rig for later on, something that will easily adapt to roach fishing when the mind needs a break. While I'm picking out a float a bow wave cruises past heading towards the corner, away from me. I change my float choice for a self cocking quill with some tip buoyancy. Fish move elsewhere contributing to a sense of impending action, while I tie on a braid hook-length, a size 8 and dapple the braid with a marker pen.

At which point the line streaks off the spool, I pick up the rod, snap over the bail make two turns, check the line is still cutting away and bang the rod over my shoulder, or would have done if a great weight didn't stop it ½-way there. Said weight bores 40 yards out into the lake perhaps angling a tad left-wards. I haul it back a little and it heads under the tree on the left and a haul-of-attrition develops as I'm not sure what the snag situation is, or what I'm dealing with and we go back and forth three times or so and then the fish decides on the open water again and it gets twenty yards, then I flip it on it's head and see a big 'twenty' mouth and as we near the net, one step toward me, two back, I revise this to 'upper twenty' and then when the fish flops in I'm not sure...I heave the fish out onto the mat, big deep bodied lumbering fish, 40lb 12oz, check it twice and check the sling twice. Well then. "1". My hands are shaking a bit...

L'Etang du Morinais Leviathan, beached...40lb 12oz L'Etang du Morinais ...stunned I was...40lb 12oz

After a while I decide to try Point Parfait as the fish are moving there and visible on the surface, but despite a few nudges and tweaks nothing firms, so I opt for late soup and fresh java and spend another ninety minutes baking in the high bright sun but nothing twitches into life. I'm too hot, so try the original swim, and after baking some more, move around the back of the lake, Point Pomme de Terre, put a 14 on the Hex' and catch roach in the shade with the serenity of man who caught his biggest fish two hours into a week-long fishing holiday.

L'Etang du Morinais Point Parfait L'Etang du Morinais Point Parfait L'Etang du Morinais Point Pomme de Terre

When the sun has slipped behind the trees at the west end, Coup De Soleil, I slip back to the first swim and free-line more maize, I push my hat down and listen to the crickets' chorus and the symphony of insect drones and finally a magpie and a jay arguing like an old married couple on the island, 100 yards off, could have been ten over the still water. At last light I drag back for a shower, several cold Corona-WFL's LEDM'Corona-with-feckin'-lime and a chicken pie. Bed, frazzled. [C/1/1]

2014 21st December 2014. The Nadder/'The Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. Midwinter mixed nuts.

The Nadder'Pond 1', The Wetland The NadderThe first swim The NadderA bunch of wild brownies, good sport all The NadderAn interesting but unproductive swim The NadderAlso interesting, but unproductive

A couple of hours on the Nadder prodcued these four spotties, the largest (top right) twice the size of it's fellows. They came to worms and bread, and I didn't get anything else. I ambled back across the (stock-free) field and parked just to the right of the 'Umbrella Swim' tree and caught steadily for the rest of the afternoon.

The Saxon PondsThe winter-view from the 'umbrella pitch' The Saxon PondsThere's a float in there somewhere The Saxon PondsThe rest, key-sized to 8oz The Saxon PondsEntry for the smallest perch of the year The Saxon PondsOne of this year's, fending for itself The Saxon PondsBig head shaking cannible ('big' for this pond)
The Saxon Ponds A find roach just over 1lb The Saxon Ponds A big brass-tinged roach, 24oz or so. The Saxon Ponds Midwinternight

2011: crucian 7th March 2011. Bartons Court, The Kennet. JH met me at the gate and I got a guided tour of the river complex here. It's a magnificent landscape of drowners and drainers and water meadows, idyllic. The bright sun didn't augur well for actual fish but JH certainly knows the place like the back of his hand, which augured well for later.

I tackle up by the car while JH wanders off back to his stashed rods and a well known angler pulls up beside me. I apologise profusely for my mostly carbon float rod and he instantly replies that he will avert his eyes. I pop on my float, a clear stubby thing, the water is shallow and clear and the sun is bright, I feel no remorse for this, it's going to be tricky fishing.

I set up in the pool at the top of Parson's Ditch and head up the Upper Park Stream, try a few casts just for the feel of it. I follow Heron's Delight to it's confluence with the Willow Stream and Sharmans' Water and spend a while trying for fish in the sluice into the Heron's Delight, then a few casts on the wider expanse of Sharmans's above the sluice there, again for the feel of casting off-the-reel, rusty but like the proverbial bike riding.

I park at the top of the narrow sluice into the Willow Stream and drop my float against the far bank and steer it under brambles and into a niches in the bank. Second trot I miss a bite, third I hit a fish, not expecting the orange-tip dip to be a bite, which pulls and is gone. Several trots later I get this brownie, then lose a good grayling and then land another trout, perhaps a couple of pounds. Tapped out I spend an hour mucking about below the sluice on top of the canal arm....

Barton's Court, The Kennetsmaller is surprisingly, better Barton's Court, The Kennetjustanotherbrownie Barton's Court, The KennetI love these types of spots - the top of the 'Willow Stream' Barton's Court, The KennetMore of the glorious Kennet - the top of the 'Canal Section' Barton's Court, The KennetMore of the glorious Kennet - the top of the 'Canal Section'

...with nothing resembling a bite and then make my way to where the Old River is fed from the Willow Stream and spent another 45 minutes trying to get one of the small perch out of the Willow Stream under the foot bridge. I hook one but it wriggles off.

I break out the coffee and steer my float through the maelstrom here, aiming to float my tackle over the gravel bar at the pool-end for a grayling. I lose a hook on a post and after 20 odd minutes of broadly speaking, circular trotting, the float buries in the whirlpool heart and I get a lively trout of a fair size which keeps me busy on my 3lb and light float rod. A fish is a fish. I debate feeding and trotting the calmer stretch which has a fine glide under the bank and JH appears and we vote for lunch, which in my case is several chunks of "Rocky Road" supplied by the 'Marmiteangler'.

Barton's Court, The Kennet A whole bunch of stockie trout Barton's Court, The Kennet is there a smaller one anywhere? Barton's Court, The Kennet down the bright stream... - 'Heron's Delight'

I re-start on the Heron's Delight run in the full sun and bag a trout, a tiny grayling and then a big trout which takes me more than a few minutes to get in as it's 15 yards downstream when I hit the stumbling float. I work my way down the river picking up more trout (and a disgorger) and even at the confluence of this stretch and the main river I can only get trout although I spot a lone perch of 1lb several times but my worms are not to the required standard I guess. I finish up with two trout caught at 40 yard on bread trotted along the bottom - a satisfying piece of trotting if nothing else. I give in and head for the perch swim with JH where we fishing out the last 90 minutes, he having (I think - correct me if I'm wrong please!) four perch to 2lb 2oz and I get one bite only but at 2lb 10oz - but I'm pretty pleased with my day. Two 'coarse' and a dozen 'mugfish'.

Bartons Court, The Kennet2lb 10oz, big stripey. Well, for me anyway.

Bangers and mash in the Carpenters Arms with fishing books and real beer. Proper finish.

2007 JAA's third year 5th August 2007. Milton Abbey. Quack. Hot (and there's a match on Pitmans's) so I head for Peg 12 in so far as it looks fishable, weed and colour wise. Peg 1,2 & 7 look good as well, but the swim by the car park never appeals even when fish are there. I'll give this an hour though at least - I pass the time in trimming some swan primary quills which will make fine pike floats. A few patches of bubbles have gone past keeping me alert. The float with it's cargo of cockles and a worm is unmoved. It feels fishy though and I have hemp paste as well if nothing happens by 6pm (it's 5:50 already). It's still warm and there's no breeze to speak of.

A walk around on arrival did find a few carp sunning themselves on pegs 4 & 5 and a small group of 5-6lb fish on peg 10 under a newly fallen tree. The water is weeded for the most part but quite clear, which highlights the colour of any feeding spots. Roach are all about and some, large enough for my size 8, vanish occasionally by my float...did I mention it's hot? 24°C on the shade and I'm not in the shade. Very hot. An hour to fish time I suspect.

I flick paste into the water in preparation for a swap at 6ish. Another apple and Nempster's come and gone and I've had a 1lb roach but that's the only fish by 7:30, fish are about tench, bream and roach not head down yet. The sun has dipped under the tree line and it's cooling now, the quiet noise of the wildlife off to bed. After 20 minutes my paste has gone so I switch corn and cockles. I get a bob, nothing, re-cast and then untangle the tree, re-cast and get a 1lb roach right away. Ok then. 8:05, A tench cruises past, I get a 1lb perch which gives a good account of itself, taking several yards when it felt the hook. Better. More tea.

Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey

Encouraging. A crow jeers from a distant tree. Hah! Hah! Hah! Nyaah! There's a big tench right in front of me 4lb+ and I slide a hand onto the rod butt and air tightens around me. A distant owl, lonely. 'Bobble'. Bubbles. A distant quack. The float dips and stops and I have a good tench on which mires me in the weed, so I drag it through into the net, the prize announced by an owl call. The tension vanished, I miss a fast bite. Drat. A large tench surfaces, mills about and then ambles off. A carp potters past the float then a pike of about 3lb. 9:04pm. Dusk and things rustle in the bushes.

Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey

There's an owl calling behind me and a jackdaw in the distance. Perfect. A mouse scuttles across the front of my feet and I feel it hit my rod. Another tench passes by and small roach are still about, vague flake shapes. Another tench by my float and the tension rises again, two sharp bobs and then I have a small one a bit under 2lb perhaps. Last of the tea is taken and the float is dancing in the gloom. Nearly time. And then with the light going the float evaporates, apparently and after a lively tussle and some lump of weed, this tench, right on the bell. Home.

Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey Milton Abbey

2008 23rd December 2008. South Drain. Piking without actual pike. A hare-brained and pre-conceived trip, which saw me up with the frozen lark and dibbling sprats under a float in the South Drain. I put 12lb line on a Kingpin and was using an LRH No.3 which is quite pike-like and despite the early morning frost and mist, which is supposed to foreshadow great piking, didn't get a run as such. The South Drain looks the part with said frost, ground mist and the flat reclaimed mini-fen behind.

This is where the resemblance ended and despite trying my luck in every swim I could reach and eventually trotting the Frome at Redcliff, where I'd parked, after three hours it was clear I was not destined for a traditional pike. Or any kind of pike, come to that.

The south Drain, WarehamThe south Drain, Wareham
Southdrain Pike Hunt...1
The south Drain, WarehamThe south Drain, Wareham
Southdrain Pike Hunt...2
The south Drain, WarehamThe south Drain, Wareham
Southdrain Pike Hunt...3
The south Drain, WarehamThe south Drain, Wareham
Southdrain Pike Hunt...4
The south Drain, WarehamThe south Drain, Wareham
Southdrain Pike Hunt...5

As it was barely coffee time I headed over to Holme Bridge and spent a further couple of hours trying out odd holes and a big eddy upstream of the bridge...and then tried under the bank downstream of the bridge...none of which got me a snatch  GCC1 Another ruling from the Geneva Comedy Convention of 1887 - when using the word 'snatch', a bit of a leer is encouraged as well as a slight pause, less than ¾s, more than ¼s, before the next word. The disputed '1936 Amendment' also makes provision for a double waggle of the eyebrows, the so called 'Groucho' amendment.. Ah well...really good fun though.

2013: grayling 24th June 2013. The Lower PondYes, those ponds.

The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond...
The Saxon Ponds 'More of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon Ponds 'We have a barn owl

2005 look here23rd September 2005. The Brickyard, Sturminster Newton. I went here on the recommendation of a friend and had some misgivings that it might be a bit of a 'puddle'. In truth it is a bit, although in it's defence there is a little variation in depth likely due to it being an old brickyard, the lake being the hollow that the brick-clay was extraced from. But there are poorly prepared swims and litter all over the place. I don't mind picking up rubbish (especially discarded line) but if I'd set to here, that's all I would have done for a couple of hours. The lake is mature though with plenty of margin vegatation and some small islands, giving it plenty of features.

Anyhow, I picked a point on the north of the small lake (½ acre perhaps). From the edge to three rod lengths out the depth was a shade under two feet and the water had the dense even colour that clay lined lakes with too many fish in them often have. In it's defence there are trees around the edge and several beds of bulrushes.

There was plenty of fish movement, so I tackled up two rods, a carp rig, with a pole float, large chunk of meat on a size '6' and the Avon Rod with another pole float and a 6lb b/s rig and a size '10' for single grains of corn. I baited up two areas one alongside small clump of the bulrushes with predominately meat chunks and the other area an inshore swim just to my left, under an overhanging bramble clump. I spent an hour trying to turn bumps into bites with the Avon in the near swim and then switched to the far swim and the carp rod. After the best part of 2 hours with only a bump or two to show, I switched back inshore.

I had my first firm bite about 10 minutes later and got a hard run into the left, which I turned and the fish made of to the right and the hook came out. I may have said something rude. Certainly 5lb+. I stuck with the near swim and alternated sweet corn with half slices of pepperami and was rewarded with a small roach about 1oz. These are present in large numbers and hoover up most of any bait thrown in well before it hits the bottom. A light pole rig and maggots would have cleaned up on these.

I carried on and over the next couple of hours caught six crucians up to 2lb (none of which were free from 'battle scars') and another little roach and lost at least one other crucian. It was about 7pm then, so I put down the Avon and fished the near swim with the carp rod for the last half hour.

The BrickyardBrickyard crucian The BrickyardBrickyard crucian The BrickyardBrickyard crucian The BrickyardBrickyard crucian The BrickyardBrickyard crucian
The Brickyard Brickyard crucian The Brickyard Brickyard crucian

I had and missed a quick bite, then as the light was fading and the air was getting quite damp, I moved the float to within two feet of the bank, so I could see it. Well you never know. Five minutes later the float slid away and I struck and my only reward was a big swirl and a large bow wave heading into the middle. Certainly never know for sure what that was. Time to go.

2010 carp 29th August 2010. Arfleet Mills. One in the back and two in the front. GCC1According to the terms of the Geneva Comedy Convention of 1887, this remark should immediately be followed with the words "Oooh...Matron!" in a whiney nasal voice.

I'd planned to go to Wytch Farm but having spent 45 minute in Bank Holiday traffic and got there to find an un documented match on. WDAS need to communicate better, I've seldom seen so much indifference to the rank and file membership from one club.

So, Arfleet, only because the alternative was crossing queues of cars to get to Luckfield. The back pit had three anglers, fishing quietly and I opted in the end to fish at the far end. The last angler offered to move his ledger for me and this rare but welcome act of consideration settled my mind, but in the end he didn't need to move it as I opted for subtle float fishing in the margin with occasion trips to the corner for a crust dip. The lake is almost covered in birch seeds and spacers which against expectations are keeping the fish off the top. I try one crust under the bush in the back corner and after a few dummy rises miss a strike. I return to the float rod and watch the float for 30 minutes, during which a gust of wind brings more seeds down like snowflakes, covering tackle and water alike. I try to get the bait down with a blob of plasticine, but the floating debris is too thick and buoyant.

Arfleet Mills seedy Arfleet Mills you could walk across this Arfleet Mills you could bounce a float off it

I retie an 8lb braid hook-length and stick on a shot. I return to the corner, get two nudges and the bait is pulled down, giving every impression of a struggle to do so. I wait 'one elephant' and heave-ho and after a dogged fight, during which it's not clear what I have, net this small common, one of the smallest I ever had from this lake. I alternate between the two options two or three times as the afternoon wears on, but with no result on either rod. Odd to not even get a Rudd. The courteous ledgerman has a couple more, making him up to 7 fish over the whole day, which is a great result on this lake, but about 6ish they pack and I miss the only bite on the float with tip blinking out of existence too quickly for a carp. I hope. 30 minutes after the party depart the fish start to move again, with swirls and nudges patterning the floating carpet and I catty bits of bread to try to get them started - despite the reluctance of fish here to take bait in clear water, I believe the thick cover today will change the game. Just when I think the tide is turning, a man and two boys turn up at the other end and showing themselves to the whole water, fish in various ways and the eddies and swirls ebb away to nothing again. I give in, collapse the Avon and 7:30ish opt for a couple of hours on the front lake.

All to myself, I go right around the back, put the chair up, pour tea and 3 yards back from a narrow gap in the reeds, lob a crust into the lilies showing there, perhaps 4 feet out. I kneel on the damp grass and with the rod tip resting on the rushes wait and watch, and after a while ripples from the right suggest a fish, maybe. Time passes and I tune out, watching the bread, then suddenly it's gone. No warning, no bulge, no sounds, just gone. I wait half a second and bang the rod up as the line tweaks and after a short thrashing net this ghost carp, which fought under it's weight but weeded fish often do. Perhaps 8lb.

I take more tea and put a bait the other way which doesn't move and in the strange fading light, try for a time in the lilies directly in front, with no result and then with the light almost evaporated, a crust in mid-water, halfway to the lilies, this on the basis that fish are moving and they can't see the line either. I stand, screened by the bush on my right and watch the bread and in wavering light, this is hard work, but time passes, the crust survives the attentions of the Rudd and then rudd-ripples turn into a gentle wash and the bread sinks out of sight with barely a sound and 'one elephantom' later the water explodes and I've got a bigger fish on which, banned from long runs on account of snags, bores back and forth in front of me while I edge it towards the top, finally breaching it's head and then to the net. 13lb on the scales.

Arfleet Mills little fish are sweet, as 'Old Bob' used to say Arfleet Mills the only ghost around here...mostly Arfleet Mills belter at last light

Good enough. The bats are interested in the rod tip now and there's first a barn owl then the squeak of a careless rabbit up the lane. Time to go. Driving back along the dark lanes, with their floating pale owls and barking hares, it occurs to me that this swim, now overgrown from its inception two seasons back, is a belter. There's three narrow channels out of which to fish, but tall rushes and bushes almost completely hide you from the water and trees behind keep you off the skyline. [C/3/1]

2012 11th September 2012. Kingcombe.

So, 85 minutes tucked into the corner of the lake, both furthest from the car park. I fancied a change, down day, thinking time. 'Specimen lake' is clogged ((3×B) + (9×R)), and so much thick gloopy weed that even though I feel sure one of the cruising twennies could be crusted against some handy clump, all the spot where one might land one are taken, hauling over a margin shelf of week seldom works, one power dived and you shagged usually. I decamp not least because there are 30 fish crammed into a pool of much under an acre, it ought to be called "the barrel". Three coffees and two scotch eggs later, my pink quill lolls, marker for a cockle, a mussel and an anchovy. It's not moved although I'm periodically suspicious. Bread across the lake has slurped. Aha.

Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park

I switch to a fine antenna and touché and a miss. Hm. Another tweak later on. Well, if that's it - in three hours I'm off up the other end...coffee. Gone 4pm, but suspicious movement on a sliver of meat then a muddy swirl changes the game. And it bobs while changing the light carp to pure lift. Last coffee...Eventually, spooking a second, big baits mobbed, I switch to a '12', stout, small meat. A bite gets a bump, next one gets a rocket. The one after that a stripy....might stay a bit then.

Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe FarmThe swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park

I fish slivers of bacon grill and get a string of reasonable roach, which pass the time and then the lake is becalmed, the interval between bites goes all Fibonacci on me and after some deliberation I decide to trade the line on the GHSRE for 6lb and a tiny bubble float with a size '12' and try for some of the rising fish which are not carp but on the odd clearance look to be very good roach or rudd. I linger too long in this decision, but two abortive casts see smaller fish take the free bread and the third sits flat in a dark shadows cast from the other bank and a heavy eddy encircles the float and the bait winks out of existence and the bubble float jerks one way and then the other as I pick the rod up. Everything goes heavy...

...and stays heavy. I have to cede and retrieve for several determined runs, then have to walk to get the angle to keep a obdurate object from getting under tree and various banks. This goes on for some time and even when only ten yards are left, the fish bores and tries out my 6lb, with the rod putting about as much in as the line will stand. Eventually on the point of netting, the bubble shows and the fish, 17lb of common, gives in once in the net. Not bad. It's too dark to do anything now, so I trudge back up the hill, pretty pleased with that.

Higher Kingcombe Farm The swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe Farm The swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe Farm The swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park
Higher Kingcombe Farm The swim furthest from the car park on the lake furthest from the car park Higher Kingcombe Farm 17lb on 6lb line, always nervy.

2015 6th April 2015. Packhorse...lured by a big swirl...

...I return with two lighter rods and tell myself I'll fish for perch and 'bites' in alternation. It's blue-sky sunny and clear. Hm. The mill-pond water is 9.9°C and remains that way for two hours, then a breeze whips up the surface and the temperature goes to 12.5°C in a trice and creeps up another half a degree during the afternoon. I get all sorts of bobs and bumps, so scale down to a scrap of cockle on a '16 and forth time lucky get a fine roach of 1lb 4oz. I persist, things go quiet, so fish under the tree for bites and at 5pm get another big roach, this one longer but also 1lb 4oz. Miss a few bobs and with the gorse shadows lengthening across my swim, I put on "The Last Cast" float with a big lob for perch, miss a couple of twitches then hit a fine solid bite, leading to a fine solid 1lb 6oz roach. For a brief period I fished both rods, missed bites on both rods, took the Avon down then fished an hour with the 'perch' rig, not a twitch. And that was that, had enough, even with an hour of daylight left.

Packhorsework work work... Packhorseroach the first 1lb 4oz Packhorseroach the second, 1lb 4oz PackhorseTree branches, several. Fishing under for the use of Packhorseroach the third, 1lb 6oz

2009 28th March 2009. Silent Woman. Another afternoon with the Nempster. The weather was pleasant for March and it was good to be out. The downside was that the lake, again, was completely dead.

Silent Woman Alert to the point of tautness Silent Woman Doldrums

While there was some limited movement, contrasting with 12 months ago when any bait was plagued with rudd and roach and small carp popped up often. The thick green weed beds are gone as well. It might be that we are failing to change our ways, but we moved three times today, and although a solitary carp showed later in the day and Nemp managed two tiny rudd, it's hard to avoid the thought the lake's best days are behind it and some sea-change has occurred, perhaps run-off, eutrophication or rising acidity. Ah well.

The Lady of the StreamThe Lady of the Stream...(and back to the top of the page) Thymallus ThymallusThymallus Thymallus The Lady of the StreamThe Lady of the Stream Thymallus Thymallusgrayling The Lady of the StreamThe Lady of the Stream Thymallus ThymallusThymallus Thymallus The Lady of the Streamgrayling Thymallus ThymallusThymallus Thymallus

In Summary


There are 28 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:

"To go fishing is the chance to wash ones soul in pure air, with the rush of the brook or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity to tackle makers, patience to fish. A mockery of profits and ego, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men, for all men are equal before fish"
Herbert Hoover

Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Carp? What addiction?a very subtil fish Carp? What addiction?Watch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Carp? What addiction?if you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it.
06:20am on 2018-05-21 JAA