The Lucky Dip Page

This page will produce 25 Lucky Dip 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:

"In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep."
Albert Einstein

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

2018 ''Crossroads''   16th June 2018. The Saxon Ponds. At 4am, I wasn't overly mithered, but did it anyway. Coffee (pre-loaded pot), eggs (fried) and toast, front-door, car-door. I wasn't first, Garry was already tackling up on the north bank and we quietly shouted greetings. I tackled up with my lucky crucian float and the soft-tipped GTI float rod, built a twelve-month back and racked since. I caught a crucian ten minutes later, then a couple more, this burst of auspiciousness correctly predicting the day's course and I continued to catch steadily in the grey light, mud-coloured water and occasional patches of bubbles. The first four fish helped me to understand I'd missed a ring on the top section, so I was obliged to unclip the float, re-thread...you know the drill.

The Saxon Ponds The Upper Pond in the grey dawn light (5:19am) The Saxon Ponds The Upper Pond in the grey dawn light The Saxon Ponds The lucky crucian float, gathering itself for the long day ahead

A very solid crucian in the 'a bit less than 2lb' category came to hand, really testing the rod's fine tip. Ten minutes later one of the long lean 2½lb swim trashing machines came out, not without some entertaining moments. I nipped out another small one, watched the apologetic sun rise then had another nerve and weed-shredding big crucian. I opted to amble around, via a fine foxglove, to see how Garry was faring.

The Saxon Ponds One of the big crucians The Saxon Ponds One of the Upper Pond's long lean hard-fighting tench The Saxon Ponds Another of the big crucians
The Saxon PondsIt's just a nice tree The Saxon Ponds'The Pitch' in the early sunlight The Saxon PondsThe sun comes up... The Saxon PondsThe fine foxglove

Garry was good enough to lend me his 'guest seat' and while he'd had activity, even a bite as I watched, his day was thus far slower than mine. Jim turned up at 8:45am (ish) and was rebuked for his sloth. Hands were shaken, Jim went off to fish and I left Garry to it shortly thereafter and returned to my seat. Sport remained steady, with two large tench mid-morning and another thumping crucian, perhaps a shade larger than the previous. 'Steady'; that is, as I said to Pete when he arrived with a bucket for any spare roach and small crus; "The right rate to ensure you become tired from fishing before you are tired of the fish." Peter went on, pausing only to move a few crus and roach to the bottom pond (sprat-sized roach were ever-present).

The Saxon Ponds Many crucians The Saxon Ponds Many many crucians The Saxon Ponds Many more cucians
The Saxon Ponds Tinca tinca two The Saxon Ponds Tinca tinca three

At noon (ish) Jim called 'lunch-time' and he, Garry and I drank kettle-tea and munched shortbread biscuits. We quickly worked out Garry's cunning scheme, to wit, bringing a 'half-kettle' capacity mug, so to ensure tea for all, his cup was filled last...all had caught so all was well and good.

I pondered calling it a day, grimy eyes, the hay-fever medication wearing off, 4am is feckin' early. However, despite looking less active the swim produced another string of crucians, another large one, then another, the last arriving as Jim came by, pour encourager les pécheurs.

The Saxon Ponds A very fine crucian The Saxon Ponds Another very fine crucian
The Saxon Ponds Perfect crucians The Saxon Ponds Perfect crucians The Saxon Ponds Perfect crucians

This last 'biggun', determined to visit all four corners at full pelt, trashed the swim somewhat, so I wandered up to chat with Jim and we fixed many of the world's problems (you should see some improvement by Tuesday lunch-time). Garry went on around that time and although I fished for a little longer, my concentration had fled. So I bade Jim farewell and pottered off for an apposite fish-finger sandwich and a Talisker. And sleep.

Fine place, fine company, fine day. Very fine.

2007 JAA's third year  22nd April 2007. Milton Abbey. Mojo on holiday today. A good way to ease out of the weekend is a nice evening session in the warm, so I head for Peg 11 to discover Nempster in residence with his old mate, so opt for a cut in the tree a bit further on which I've always wanted to fish. I catch a 1¾lb roach (with a suspicion of abramis about it) more or less right away and this augers well. Unfortunately, I have left my mojo at home so only get two bites between then and 6pm and one of those when my ticket was being issued. I missed both of them, nominal sitters, by a mile.

A carp spends the afternoon working the overhanging branches on the far side of the channel and I reckon to tempt it eventually and give it a trail of hemp to follow to my side. At 6pm or so I get a bite that I hit and after a lively squabble bank a 5lb on the nose tench. Cracking.

Milton Abbey 1¾lb roach maybe... Milton Abbey fishing in the dark

I then go into a totally 'out-of-phase' period and variously tangle line on the reel, round the rod tip and a tree, costing me a Jack Hilton Size 8 and miss about six bites which ought to have resulted in fish. You end up trying too hard when this happens and I did. I managed a 1lb roach, a 6oz'er and a small tench, 2½lb maybe and then with the light fading I missed my last bite, a sideways slider and got the large swirl of a well spooked carp I'd wanted all along. Bu88er.

Milton Abbey 5lb tinca Milton Abbey one good roach Milton Abbey a little tinca

In the meantime of course, Nempster and his mate banked a huge number of fish and the former had 10 tench to 5lb 2oz and at least six perch to 1¼lb plus other bits and bob. Fabulous bag. Annoying day, I missed more bites than I had last week and another day would have had ten good fish. It happens...but is never a totally rewarding experience.

2014 - trotting float, old style  19th July 2014. The Ponds, a fly past, then Dairy Farm, a rejuvenated spot.. Il Pleut and what with Nobbyngton-Smythe being drenched and less than chirpy, I suggested for a warm drink and breakfast, but only 'cos N. wanted to you understand (not because I'm scared of cows at all)...we left 'The Woodsman' to it. He very nearly needed water wings later on.

After some e.&b., N. headed for Surrey sans crucians. It was hissing down still, I wondered about a bit in the deluge, driving up little used lanes that had 4" of water running down them and arrived at Dairy Farm by a route that might be described at 'round the houses'. Very nearly all of them I'd say. It was still pattering; the sky over the ridge glowered and grumbled, I ignored it, picked the nearest end of the nearest lake as it was furthest from the other madmen. I 'fished for bites' with 6lb line, nabbed a careless one under the bush to my right with a pinch of flake and then started to pick up fish on the left just off the bush there. So it went, with plenty of hard fighting carp to 6-7lb maybe. While playing one such I noticed the spool bobbling a bit as the line clicked off. "Odd?" I thought, after landing, and gave the top of the spool an experimental tweak...well, that's a first.

Dairy Farm...and it's coming this way. Dairy FarmPark Life Dairy Farm...and it's still coming this way. Dairy FarmThere's always one... Dairy FarmThe swim
Dairy FarmPerch Dairy FarmA mark of carp Dairy FarmGreedier perch Dairy FarmWelcome perch Dairy FarmSproing. Bu88er.

So the rest of the day on 8lb line, dodging back into the car when the lightening/thunder delay dropped under 3s, catching up with TMS as well. Could've been worse. A few 4oz perch turned up, which was nice and these amused me more than the carp. A bailiff arrived and this was new, as was the careful trimming of grass and surrounds and told me of the re-stocking of all the lakes and the 40" net rule on the 'specimen lake'. I saw some good fish in it when I wondered about after packing up. Nice to see a fishery looked after, previous visits suggested decay and very low stocks (too low even for fun some might say).

2014 - trotting float, old style  17th August 2014. Barton's Court. The Chipping Norton road is one I've not travelled for a score of years, but it unfurled familiarly enough, I ticked off the recalled landmarks, rolled down the A34 into Donnington services for a light breakfast. Autumn swirling in the air beat me here. Coffee...I'd planned sandwiches but the slightest of chills pushed me at toasted food. Onto 'the Court' then.

This idea is to use up bait and having checked the wind, I knew the car-park end was on the cards, even with the drop in temperature. My first swim, two round from the overflow was already rough, the undertow exceeding the drag on the surface. After a few attempts, I opted for a large self-cocking porcy rigged as a slider with a swan shot on the deck. I could cast that 30 yards with little effort, even with 10lb line, into the 12' depths. A single mussel fished over catapulted hemp got bites, two of which resulted in fish, a bream, maybe 3lb and a solid scrappy roach/bream hybrid of 3½lb or so. I gave in gracefully after an hour, my eyes strained by the bounding float and tried the swim cut on the overflow bank, '1'.

Barton's Court Lake The swim, the windswept undertow... Barton's Court Lake A bream. Oh good. Barton's Court Lake A roach-bream hybrid, not a bad fish as it happens.

The water here slopes 3' to 8' in a rod length but bait dropped in the margin was rolled out along the bed, I missed a sitter off the blocks and 20 minutes later had a mirror with orange highlights. Aha. This was the pattern, and I took a common a bit larger after an hour, then a 4lb pike which I knew of, its charges across my scattered hemp all too visible, the sudden devotion to mussels its downfall. Finally, bait all but gone, the little pink tipped quill darted under a wave as casually as Cesare Borgia's stiletto meeting an old friend and rival for the papacy. Possibly 12lb or so, perfectly good fly-past fishing. I strolled about the lake, six other rods at the windward end, all blanking perfectly competently. India bowled out between Newbury and Blandford. Heh.

Barton's Court LakeThe orange-tinged familiar. Barton's Court LakeA common, not unlike a stuck pig in one respect. Barton's Court LakeThe mussel-rooked pike. Barton's Court LakeThe last enchantment

2010 carp  16th April 2010. Arfleet. I have a "eff 'em all day" and take myself to Arfleet to sit in the sun and shade...I arrive at the back pit three-ish and at the bottom end the fish are about, taking in the sun. I slide into a spot over a rod length back from the bank with clumps all but hiding me and flick in a few pineapple floaters (supermarket mixer soaked in pineapple juice). These go, despite some nascent edginess and I delay a rod for a picture and miss by a shutter the adder that swims across the group of fish nearest me. It sussurates into the reeds on my left. Uh-huh.

It is idyllic with the place to myself, there is more wildlife that you can shake a stick at, the water is cool and deep, concealing immoveable snags and legendary disused clay pit workings. The water is always thick enough to hide the biggest fish, not often seen or caught.

I try, entranced, to catch the surface feeders. Wiser than they look, despite taking free bread and floaters all afternoon, baits are nudged, ignored and abandoned. I drop down to 6lb line with a size '10' with a single floater. I try big bolts of flavoured bread, plain bread and semi-zigged floaters (a single size 6 shot three feet under the floating bait) and in desperation a suspender float. Might have had a rise on crust at one point. Nevertheless, rapt from the fish that variously weave, porpoise silently and cloop all afternoon, I persist, hearing only distantly the scrit of the squirrels, the yaffle, the deer picking their timid way through last autumns leaves. I assign every rustle at my feet to the snake and assume my near hypnotic state is a by product of the lazy buzzing of the early bumblers. I glance at my watch once at twenty-to-six and then, as the temperature falls, again at five-to-seven and gave in to the inevitable, which the limbic brain flagged some time ago.

Arfleet Mills come on, chuck us a crust mate? Arfleet Mills we can see you... Arfleet Mills neh neh neyeh neh... Arfleet Mills Might eat a crust later. Might not.

I remember the tea, meander to the lower lake, sit on the new bank drink several cups of the previously forgotten EGrey and watch my decoy crusts along the reed margin for 40 minutes and as the light leaks out I stroll to the monk with my flake, lob it into the scum in the corner and as I watch a big fish, nearer twenty than 15, dibbles in the water 10 feet from me. I reel stealthily, lose the bait and of course the loaf is 15 yards away. I walk as quietly as possible to get more bread and of naturally the fish is gone when I return. By now the light is cobwebs in my face and wanting to brush it away so I could see, realise it's time to go.

2014 - trotting float, old style  7th November 2014. The Idler's QuestJolly hard for me to resist the blog of one who writes, in respect of roach fishing, that ''...so we have stick float fishing on rivers at the top and bolt rigged swim-feeder fishing on gravel pits at the very bottom of the admissible method list and in their respective positions because the one takes a great deal of skill, practice and hard work to perfect and the other, none whatsoever.'': Jolly hard for me to resist the blog of one who writes, in respect of roach fishing, that "...so we have stick float fishing on rivers at the top and bolt rigged swim-feeder fishing on gravel pits at the very bottom of the admissible method list and in their respective positions because the one takes a great deal of skill, practice and hard work to perfect and the other, none whatsoever." When you add in the home made floats and stuff about the advantages of grey as a colour, well, it's just good to know there are more of us.

2015  17th October 2015. Bad Luckfield. I knew the lake had problems; but checked the website and headed off, thinking for a single carp or two even. The aerator running put the first nail in the fishing box, I persisted, tried around to 'peg 3', the water was low and for 45 minutes I watched, saw nothing attributable to a fish, any fish, you could see a foot down in the water, rare here, autumn-time anyway. A committee member turned up and we talked about the lake. I asked, at one point, how many carp he thought were in here - he thought no more than fifty. No more? Om my own experience of fishing here, the average weight might be almost 10lb, that's 500lb of carp in a lake under one acre with no inflow and precious little exposure to wind. Really? Then add in the eels, the roach, the perch, some tench (the old stocks are gone), re-stocked twice though to little avail. There's at least 600lb of fish in water which naturally might only support 300lb. I'm mystified by this service of the angler ahead of fish welfare and lake welfare, but he goes on, I find out they are taking down a dead oak by the gate, to deter cormorants (meh) and head for 'peg 5' which is as far away from the work party as I can and also the windward end.

Luckfield stock pond The 'peg 5' pitch, the north end. Looks nice... Luckfield stock pond The nearly inevitable cork-ball bobber Luckfield stock pond The robin on the MKIV 'G'

There are fish twitching the surface here, one carp crashes between me and the aerator but that was all and after two hours, the highlight being a robin bouncing on my B&W MKIV 'G', motionless water and bait made my mind up, packed up and passing a worthy, was asked "Giving up then?", "Oh yes" said I, barely pausing in my stride.

2005 look here  15th October 2005. Bucklebury Ponds, Berks.

We elected to give the Hordens Mere a go for a couple of hours (nothing if not persistent) and if nothing came of it, whip up to Bucklebury Ponds, which is a nice environment and had a good record of producing fish even in the dead of winter. At least when I went in the early nineties it did. Guess what?

Bucklebury Ponds The north bank from the south Bucklebury Ponds The north bank from the south

After two hours with no bites at Hordens' (on the north side of the Pit, towards the west end), we went to Bucklebury. The lower lake has weeded up a good bit since my last visit. But we got into two swims on the east side and with small waters the percentage is often on 'bait and wait'. After an hour I had a bite, missed it and having missed another couple, switched to a pole rig and double maggot on a '14'. In a couple of hours I caught a perch and a couple of roach, but for rusty striking... (or perhaps just bad). I certainly missed about half a dozen bites, all told. Some tentative. Again the water was still, with no wind, but all day carp clooped and slurped in the weed, splooshed and rolled under the south bank. Some floating crust might have been handy, but we'd not thought of that.

Brother had a couple of roach on sweetcorn and towards the end of the day a bronze bream about a 1lb on a big lobworm. He also had a couple of knocks on ledgered luncheon meat to no avail. By the by, brother was using 'Stren Gold', which is even more obvious that the 'Blue'. Again, in the water it vanishes. Weird, but handy. Eventually at about 4pm, I moved to an East corner swim, which in the past had yielded carp. I cut down some beech branches, to get into the "left to nature swim" and fished more or less under my rod tip with the Avon rod, pole float, 6lb mono, 6lb silkworm trace, size '10' raptor and luncheon meat liberally spread around. And zoned out. Or is that in?

After 30 minutes I noticed ripples coming from the left and peeking through the bush, saw a carp in the corner of the lake gulping air. It was about 8lb and a really well conditioned 'wildie', full set of scales, slender and no "pot" (maybe that's the 'no boilies' rule on the ponds?). I watched. After a bit it was joined by another a couple of pounds heavier, as equally well conditioned as the smaller. And they nosed about, gulped air and generally didn't feed. They made their way along to me and at one point both fish were three feet from my left foot - the left side of this swim had a beech sapling/bush which gave good cover.

With maximum stealth I cut up luncheon meat and flicked bits off my leg into the branches and the fish ignored them. I persisted and after 10 minutes of the two fish moving up and down, eventually one vanished and some tiny disturbance around my float got me interested and the fish reappeared from the depths by my left foot. Rats. That was the closest I got. I spent the quarter of an hour watching and flicking bits of bait and quite enjoying the spectacle. If they were feeding I could see what on and often it appeared just be air gulping. Occasionally they'd suck at a branch hanging in the water. Actually the highlight of my weekend. Sibling was ready to call it quits and as I had no strong feeling I was going to catch one, I went along.

2012  26th April 2012. Arfleet. Two old, two new and a tinca. Had worse. The old, came from the back pit, unattended. Three fish attended the potamageton patch, one pale, two dark. I snuck past, threaded 10lb sitting on my ar$e and dropped a crust at the far end of the patch from a spot behind a tree at the other end. I waited...

It was nudged and one of the dark shadows retuned to my end of the weed, using the same tree as cover. I plucked the hook from the soggy bread and dropped a second at my end of the weed. Naturally the remaindered bait was snaffled a moment later. I persisted. It took and age it seemed and a lot of back and forth by the fish but when the take came it was positive and firm. I responded in kind and an interesting situation persisted for five minutes, which consisted of me with a very bendy rod'n'10lb and a fish which I wouldn't allow outside the bounds of the weeds. Eventually I pushed the net in and realised my line was crossed with another line that strung from the weed to the distant bed of the lake. Odd. I shoved the net under the fish and pulled it in, pulling the foreign line with it.

Strange to tell, my line was cut in this exercise, I never found the hook. I wrapped the fish, pulled the other line until it broke and hanked it up for the bin. The fish, a good looking 13lb, got photographed with the wrong photometry, but still.

I decamped to the corner where one of my favourite trees lived and first go dropped a bait over a branch (hah, a good day) and barely 15 minutes passed then it got the sink-plunger. My branch, it transpired, was a split bramble which snared my line and after some hilarity, I realised the only option was to circle the end of the lake with the rod and hope the fish was still there...so if you saw a grey-ish duffer scramble through the undergrowth, passing the "no fishing beyond this point" sign, loose his hat, only get a bit sunk in the silt and finally net a fish which appeared to be tied to a bramble...then I wasn't there. Likewise if you saw the same buffoon make his way back with a fish in a net. The line was so firmly wedged, that even after I bit off the hook, it took quite some force to pull it back through...a fish I've seen before I think, but welcome anyway.

Arfleet Mills Old pit 13lb mirror Arfleet Mills Old pit 11lb common Arfleet Mills the windward end boots

The front pit looked the part and although 'Plan A' was to walk'n'stalk, the wind was right into the corner which felt to be "the place". I popped on a quill, which I presently swapped for a bob, not before I'd missed a snatch, then let it wobble about between me and the monk. I'd just settled then saw a fish sip a mixer from the corner scum, a brief flash of cream, and then a bit later a slurp for under the bank about six feet away. I retrieved the bob, and despite now having braid hook-link, I squeezed on bread to just sink in the right place. It of course floated, the mini-swivel turning into a floating zig-thing. This, drifted, beached, was taken in five minutes and when I stuck the surprised fish cleared the water before I bullied it netwards. Improvisation, don't you just love it?

Arfleet Mills distant quill... Arfleet Mills ...not so distant quill Arfleet Mills the up-side down zigged one

Fifteen minutes later, after putting a mussel on and flicking it by the monk, I had a smaller carp, the float causally slipping a foot under, then missed two sitter bites as the light thinned. I swapped the float, link-swiveled on in anticipation, for a bored out cork ball around a star-light - a piece of silicone over the end of the light, which the link was pushed through and a float band to keep the cork on the top. Instant float. When it eventually wobbled under, it was tinca that was on the other end and after another 30 minutes in the black with my guiding light I called it a day. As it were.

Arfleet Mills 6lb common ('ish') Arfleet Mills star-lit cork ball Arfleet Mills star lured

Start light, start bright, first tench I see tonight...

2014 - trotting float, old style  12th July 2014. Hordle, Bob's Lake. Where else? Not my kind of thing, but I had to drop the Eldest in Brockenhurst for nine-to-five and this was the nearest place. It was hot, the place was busy and the two main lakes had a match on them, forcing me onto Bob's Lake, the 'carp' lake...my unhooking mat was iffy, so I fished 'light' until the bailiff came along, he agreed and they rented me a proper one for £3 which is not taking the mickey (an incentive to buy a new one). There were stacks of very good roach to 1lb 12oz, I fed hemp under a handy overhanging bush and ended up with 8lb line on the Harrison's Avon - catching roach but managing the five pesty carp. Those roach mostly took whole mussels, a couple two mussels on a size 6. Great fun. If I'd not left my hat at home, I'd not be sunburnt around the mush...

Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach Hordle LakesBob's Lake, bream Hordle LakesBob's Lake Hordle LakesBob's Lake Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach
Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach Hordle LakesTwo of the five 'nusiance' fish Hordle LakesBob's Lake, roach

I'm not a fan of these kind of places. There were children scampering about, at least one girl with bloke, fishing in swimsuits but litter was scarce, the bailiff was on permanent walkabout so really I'd seen much worse. And those roach might be revisited come winter...

2005 look here  15th October 2005. Bucklebury Ponds, Berks.

We elected to give the Hordens Mere a go for a couple of hours (nothing if not persistent) and if nothing came of it, whip up to Bucklebury Ponds, which is a nice environment and had a good record of producing fish even in the dead of winter. At least when I went in the early nineties it did. Guess what?

Bucklebury Ponds The north bank from the south Bucklebury Ponds The north bank from the south

After two hours with no bites at Hordens' (on the north side of the Pit, towards the west end), we went to Bucklebury. The lower lake has weeded up a good bit since my last visit. But we got into two swims on the east side and with small waters the percentage is often on 'bait and wait'. After an hour I had a bite, missed it and having missed another couple, switched to a pole rig and double maggot on a '14'. In a couple of hours I caught a perch and a couple of roach, but for rusty striking... (or perhaps just bad). I certainly missed about half a dozen bites, all told. Some tentative. Again the water was still, with no wind, but all day carp clooped and slurped in the weed, splooshed and rolled under the south bank. Some floating crust might have been handy, but we'd not thought of that.

Brother had a couple of roach on sweetcorn and towards the end of the day a bronze bream about a 1lb on a big lobworm. He also had a couple of knocks on ledgered luncheon meat to no avail. By the by, brother was using 'Stren Gold', which is even more obvious that the 'Blue'. Again, in the water it vanishes. Weird, but handy. Eventually at about 4pm, I moved to an East corner swim, which in the past had yielded carp. I cut down some beech branches, to get into the "left to nature swim" and fished more or less under my rod tip with the Avon rod, pole float, 6lb mono, 6lb silkworm trace, size '10' raptor and luncheon meat liberally spread around. And zoned out. Or is that in?

After 30 minutes I noticed ripples coming from the left and peeking through the bush, saw a carp in the corner of the lake gulping air. It was about 8lb and a really well conditioned 'wildie', full set of scales, slender and no "pot" (maybe that's the 'no boilies' rule on the ponds?). I watched. After a bit it was joined by another a couple of pounds heavier, as equally well conditioned as the smaller. And they nosed about, gulped air and generally didn't feed. They made their way along to me and at one point both fish were three feet from my left foot - the left side of this swim had a beech sapling/bush which gave good cover.

With maximum stealth I cut up luncheon meat and flicked bits off my leg into the branches and the fish ignored them. I persisted and after 10 minutes of the two fish moving up and down, eventually one vanished and some tiny disturbance around my float got me interested and the fish reappeared from the depths by my left foot. Rats. That was the closest I got. I spent the quarter of an hour watching and flicking bits of bait and quite enjoying the spectacle. If they were feeding I could see what on and often it appeared just be air gulping. Occasionally they'd suck at a branch hanging in the water. Actually the highlight of my weekend. Sibling was ready to call it quits and as I had no strong feeling I was going to catch one, I went along.

2012  31st December 2012. Kingcombe. Cabin fever, long day to play, so Kingcombe for a change, LZIILed Zeppelin II ... good times, bad times... for motive power. Dorchester's drowners and drainers revealed in the field by the bridge, drowners drowned, but for the end nearest the road, makes sense suddenly, the feeder 50 yards back flooding and the drainers run back into the main river. Click. More water meadows on't'other side, a landscape for wading through. Journey's picture show, a barn door ragged at the bottom, flint walls, black lycra jogger walking, hands on her hips, fit enough perhaps, Deli's with clever names, (it won't help). Ramble on.

I stroll about, fish are ambling the top lake, roach, chub, carp and I disturb. Group of carp in a funnel's foot of windward water in one of the middle lakes, middling fish but for one thick-back, upper double at least. They break formation, skitter off. On the lower lake a patch of feeding bubbles highlights my first (second?) mistake, a rod and a bait would have been handy. I sneaked back with the old B&W glass, barely baited, two fishermen yatter up, one slips and falls, fishes bolt, bow-waving away. Two ghosts, two darker, they circle warily, then two bivvies-barrows and they're gone again. I try flake drifting off the bottom weed, the small flotilla even swims past it but spooked now, again by a barrow wheeled behind me. Why, the other way wasn't longer? Another tramps past, then as the fish edge in, a clatter of gear of one unpacking and they flee. Ye gods. I give in, club lake.

Higher Kingcombe FarmKingcombe end of year silliness Higher Kingcombe FarmKingcombe end of year silliness Higher Kingcombe Farm...going... Higher Kingcombe Farm...going...
Higher Kingcombe Farm ...ah go on... Higher Kingcombe Farm In the flesh an extraordinarily golden common

I spend an hour at the windward end, and when it abruptly became the leeward end, I decamp to t'other which is a whole degree warmer. Aha. I fish bread over the fringe of pondweed and over a couple of hours and four roach and one choach and then at 4ish a tussle revels a small common which the photos don't remotely do justice, practically glowing in reality, the colour of a crucian, only a couple of pounds or so but it changed my take on the day. I missed a couple of bites and then with the light fading, the continual crust stream started to get great sucking takes, so I switched back to the glass rod and in three casts had this wonky chub, a cracking mirror which buried itself in weed, the rod creaking as I hauled it of the bottom, then a fish so long and smooth I thought it was a tench. Then the fish were gone, the light was gone and that was that for 2012.

Higher Kingcombe Farm A somewhat wonky chub Higher Kingcombe Farm A very decent double Higher Kingcombe Farm Thought (hoped) it was a tench at first....

Good enough.

2011: crucian  12th April 2011. Lower Sharnhill. I've lost some heart on hearing the weed is to be 'cleared' as it's the weed that gives this odd pond its life and carp, but nevertheless I caught a zillion little ones (well, up to 1½lb) and after some high jinks, a nice fish nicked at 30 yards on the Hex avon and a bit of bread. And, proving a point, a 3lb fish caught on a dead-bait sprat. Really. The second sprat was battered to pieces by what I presume were smaller carp and the third edged quietly off to one side, but the strike got me nothing. Amazingly good light for photographs.

Lower Sharnhill the quill in the pitch Lower Sharnhill the view from the east end Lower Sharnhill The crust tricked common. Look at the length compared with girth. Long lean feral fish.
Lower Sharnhill looking south-west Lower Sharnhill north-west at sunset Lower Sharnhill north-west at sunset

2010 carp  March 2010. Rod and Line by Arthur Ransome. star rating The stories are in some respects unremarkable, but they are of course, beautifully written.

2014 - trotting float, old style  4th April 2014. Silent Woman Lake. Two hours, two carp, both on the LRH No2 which, even allowing for smallish fish, performed well. The water's gone 13.3°C to 13.9°C on a warm wind, spring sun and the shallows. Carp#1 was inspecting the reeds on the left, but not silently enough, so I popped on bread, fed a few bits and waited. The float cheerfully popped up and then down to give me a clue. The second, bottom fished, might have telegraphed with the slightest swirl, a wait and the float edged into the wind and the tip slipped under. A big bunch of cockles strikes again.

There was a peacock butterfly on the mat, it scooted when I went for the camera and a lone lost duckling. Five geese, no ducks. One of the geese is pushy and it's driven the others to the far corner and is lording over itself at the other end. Quite wild, all give me a wide berth. I swap the float for a slender 'porcy' and miss a slidy bite after five minutes of knowing something was up without quite being able to put my finger on it...

Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries

I eat a second pie to 'boost my spirits', but mostly to eat the pie, swap cockles for mussels. The wind freshens a tad, I'll wait. Which I did. Despite the water at 14.1°C I was just thinking I called it wrong when the orange shrank to a quarter inch and held. I paused and when it moved, wanged the LRH round sideways and got a lively mirror that went 30 feet on the first go. I like this rod.

I carried on and got another twenty minutes later, the floating slipping away like a ghost in the day. Heh. There's more slurping round the corner and I slip down the bank and soak my knees trying for what turned out to be a group of fish...I missed two tentative pulls, watching the float still attached, the second strike leaving the tackle in a topologically impossible snarl which I stupidly tried to unravel while loose feeding. Gave up, bit the tangle off, grinner'd a hook off the hat and laid an Arlesey bomb shaped piece of bread a foot out, had to wait fifteen minutes and four careful inspections and even then I waited until the 8lb rustled over last year's rushes. The largest of the day streaked out to the middle, ploughing the shallow water in a long arc then spent a long time resisting the net at the last.

Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries Silent Woman LakeSilent Woman Lake and it's dustbin smell and sea-gull cries

I tried again and a longer cast got interest, something lunged and missed at a cautious return, so I nicked a whole prawn on and pulled line of the 'pin into a pile and flicked it twenty yards off, scudding it back one cast, sink and draw the next...then it was too dark...

2016  6th August 2016. Mannington. Two carp off the surface during three sneaked hours. It was hot and sat in full sun on the east bank, thought I'd be lucky to catch anything.

Mannington The banded quill, through the little patch of rushes. Not ten minutes after I arrived, the chunk of chorizo under it wandered off and I missed a 'sitter', leaving a vortex and a few muttered curses swirling in the hot air. As this put the swim down, I switch to the right where a few carp were picking off mixers in the scraggy weed and missed one on crust and ten minutes after that the cork ball nipped under a moment after the bread and I netted a scrappy 4-5lb fish which had to be pulled though the weed to start off. Mannington The island from the south-east bank Mannington Just another angler lounging in the sun. By the by, I was using a 'white sandwich tin' for bait and the well-known supermarket it came from used to make a great floater loaf, but this one was dry and hard to make into a good bait. Drat.
Mannington ...the banded quill again (it just looks nice, OK) Mannington A couple of damsels getting it on. They just don't look 'of this world' at all do they? Mannington The second carp - this took me a while. I spent 30-40 minutes baiting, had missed one take from a fish rising vertically from the bottom not two feet from the bank. It went quiet then a bit later I noticed swirls picking off bait some ten yards off. The plan was to cast a crust (with a cork ball indicator) ten feet off the bank and let it drift under, but it got halfway, then I looked away for a moment and the fish smashed into the bait like a tuna - even with big hex, the clutch yelped and it took me a good few minutes to land - every time I got the fish to the top it ran off again (carrying a good 2lb drag). Good enough. Then I went back to TMS and to pick up the boy.

2013: grayling  16th September 2013. Patrick's Lake. Sausages and a cake with Moley's name on it. The Kirdford Village Stores, open at 7am, enables me to loll on the car in the bright-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel autumn sun with 'americano' and a bacon'n'egg bap. Hat tip to themFresh coffee, breakfasts, proper bread, it's just exactly what such a store ought to be.. Waiting for the e&b I sniff the cup, which whips me to StarbucksStarbuck around the corner Santa Clara, 'ground squirrels' and all. Probably the low sun and cool note in the breeze. It's nicer here. There's a crab apple tree, pretty, well loaded and a cob tree, which welshes on the 'rural vision' by having a full compliment of nuts attached, shortly thereafter bulging the long pocket of the JAA fishing trews....a thrush tucks into windfall crabs and a dove, of all things, harries Mr Magpie onto the lawn, where it too decides on crab-apple breakfast - although it eyes me askance lest I steal them...Nobbinton-Smythe hoves into harbour. Hands are shaken...

And so to the secret lake in deepest Sussex (is that mysterious enough lads?) with RedFin and Nobbyington-Smythe included, mandatory, cake, sausages and more cake. It was possible fish would make an appearance but not essential. Lakeside we tackled and I sneaked about with a pocket full of mixers, then having pitched in a swim with lilies and an overhanging tree (well you never know) followed up some of the mixers, missed a sitter, then dropped a clump of flake onto the lake bed and the cork ball wandered off after a bit, yielding a respectable common. Commotion put paid to a follow up and I tried near the outflow where I alternated between bottom fishing seafood and missing two fish on the surface, both taking my bread, both times I pulled it off them. Pah.

This spot did give me a ringside seat to RedFin's carp, far too much of bend in the slender cane he was using, at least to an observer. I sidled back to my pitch, fished for bites for a bit, nabbed a second common on bread laid under the tree on my left. Might have been nearly 10lb.

Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex
Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex

There was a sudden rush on sausages, I blame Nobbyngton-Smythe for bringing a frying pan, never bad and while we had plenty of cake (just in case) we kept a bit back for 'you know who'Mole Power!!!. Well you never know. Scoff over, headed north to the shallow end and the reed bed. I fed and sat with the rod on my knees, baited, saw a dark shape and overarmed the flake, designed to fish under the floaters and the bite, not five minutes past caught me slightly unaware but revealed itself to be a large chub. Aha. I nabbed a small carp a bit later from under the lilies and then having miscast, let my wedge of Warburton's finest drift in no-mans-water and when a fish appeared ghost-like and smashed it into the lilies I was left ruing a lost float, only a cork ball special, in truth the lost fish hurt more, sheer indolence on my part based on the idea nothing would take the bait so awkwardly sat. So wrong, so served me right.

Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex
Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex

I slunk back to my spot between the bushes, pausing only to eat cake.

I spent the rest of the day fishing in the swim I'd bagged first thing - I nabbed a couple more carp including an almost '20', well 19lb then, which simply appeared in front of me, so I swung it a chunk of bread, which it took. Huh. It ran hard and far, once, then more or less acquiesced.

Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex Patrick's Lake The 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex
Patrick's Lake19llb from the 'Mystery Lake' in deepest darkest Sussex

Still, nothing touched the worms or cockles and even at the death when I fished a worm or two under the tree, hoping for perch I got only the one bobbling slider which turn out to be a worm-napping roach on inspection. More cake, rods waggled, farewell's and a very quick run home, funny, not as far as I thought.

2012  5th March 2012. Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake). Every water-dawn is nice if you're first there, no exception here. It's frosty fresh, the tail of yesterday's sleeting and it's just me, the late dawn chorus and my java. Regular float-fishing for the soul. Caveat. MKIV 'G', 10lb main and a thin braid hooklength to a 'size 10'. Mostly regular. Too many mud-pigs. If this fails it'll be the '14 barbel' and maggots, there are gonks. Wind's fresh though, got the breeks on today. Oh yes. J. arrives with mixer bucket, after the toppers. Would be a result for sure. I get the gentlest pull on half a mussel, switch to a '14 barbel' and as J. passes get a bite which pulls and then pulls the hook so I put on a '12' of another type with finer wire, barely, with a wider gape, three maggs. Well then. And it's only nine am.

1pm, one carp, four roach to 10oz and two gonks, I've switched to an Avon 'fishing for bites" with the MKIV 'G' for occasional carp tries using chilli meat. J.'s snitched a couple off the top, more Madeira and tea. Top notch. Several more roach, another carp, a mirror pretty, a gonk, Oh go on then. The sun's angle is making any float under the tree impossible. Still, it's 11°C and although choppy, it's nice out. Could be worse, could have run out of Genoa...

Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green
Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green
Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green Bishop's Green (Smith's Lake) Bishop's Green

...so the day went and I end up mostly fishing for carp with a cork ball under the bank with 1" slices of meat nicked onto a size '4'. I tried to snap another perfect roach, but it squirmed through my fingers and there wasn't another. I decamped ahead of last knockings to get home and see everyone (1 hour 10 minutes, never done it that fast, never hit one queue or trog).

...P.S. Smith's Lake is 50 × 100 yards more or less, that's one acre (1500yd², an acre is 4,840yd²). The EA figures for stocking density are 200lbs/acre for natural stocking, 350lb/acre for some stocking. Let's pretend BG is a rich water and say there's 300lb of fish in the lake. going by the plethora of gonks and plentiful 6oz roach let's say that 200lb of the fish are carp. Picking an average weight, based on me'n'J., let's call it 8lb, so 200/8 = 25 fish. Chances are in two days we caught most of them once. Makes you think doesn't it?

2016  2nd July 2016. Whitemoors. Why, you might well ask? The boy had a Saturday job and rather than go home and come back four hours later, packed the LHSRE, the '44x, bread and cockles. It was busy; I took a pitch on the south bank of the main lake. The new lake was rammed with carp apparently, but, I couldn't get excited about that. I extracted a steady stream of roach, rudd, small bream, three or four larger ones (like the one shown), one tench and got absolutely drenched by a passing 'shower' which left puddles all over the bank, the bag and coat sopping. It wasn't cold, but the next shower self-announced with rolling thunder - lightening, water and carbon go well together, anglers not so much. I listened to TMS instead, then picked up the lad.

Whitemoors The cork ball bobber Whitemoors The pheasant quill required when the wind got up Whitemoors One of the 'decent' bream. Unusual use of the word 'decent'.
Whitemoors The tench Whitemoors 'Keep still lads, I don't think he's spotted us...'

The last picture is not fish, (clearly). A pair of swallows moved into the garage and we left them to it, having made an anti-cat barrier (we have two in the locale, I stop them killing the birds any way legal and humane way I can, powerful water pistols are efficacious BSEver wondered why there are fewer birds around the place? Here's a clue - it begins with 'c' and rhymes with 'scat'. ) they built this nest on a small collection of old rod sections and rod rests. Very cool.

2012  3rd June 2012. Arfleet Mills. No epistle, but a few notes: I had the place to myself, I spent an hour trying to rook one of the overflow pond carp in gin clear two-feet deep water. It didn't work out. There was a fine brownie about 1lb in the Corfe stream. The eel got it's snout wedged in the net making the usual break for it, so I snapped it while pinioned. The large carp fell to bread fished about 18" from the bank. I'd spent an hour fishing for bites on 6lb line and swapped the entire rig over, once the carp had risen polaris like to sip at my litmus bread, to 8lb though with a 2" braid hook length and a size '6' with a pair of 8mm cork balls, one of which was coloured red and the other black with marker pens. The tench then dragged a cockle-and-mussel off, fished on this heavier set up, then when bites dried up, I tried in the corner. I noticed the escapee carp in the middle pond (now behind me) nosing the potamageton, missed one on a rough diamond of flake then had the second carp of the day - this one a pleasing dark scaled common.

Arfleet MillsYep. It's pink. Certainly can see it though. Arfleet Millsone of the rudd Arfleet Millsanguilla wedged Arfleet Mills18½lb
Arfleet Millsthe correct attitude for 'fishing for bites' Arfleet MillsFully scaled Tinca (see what I did there?) Arfleet Millsone of the Great Escapees Arfleet MillsOne of the Ghosts of Arfleet

Interesting that my double cork ball got two clear takes before the bread was taken. Something to ponder. The ghostie was lurking on the far side of the monk and got tricked by a crust I lobbed right into a patch of cow parsley that had subsided into the margin. The photo doesn't do it justice, it was not emaciated as it appears in the picture and certainly didn't fight like it and was nearer 10lb than 8lb I'd say. All on the GSHRE.

2010 carp  20th May 2010. Arfleet. A bit of a twiddle on the front lake for a change bagged me a nice common from the lily pads behind the island, but not before missing a ghostie. After a period of watching the motionless weeds, I slipped over to the inlet right at the back and lobbed a crust over the yard wide strip of weed in the middle of it. I hunkered on the grass bank and waited...and must have sat there for 20 minutes and then the grey dusk light tightened up imperceptible and the bread blinked out at the end of it and a tightly spaced struggle resulted in this a little over 10lb common, looking more like one of the back pit fish.

Arfleet ...suckered Arfleet ...always good to sit in wait Arfleet weedy
Arfleet flat padded calm Arfleet dusk and reeds

That was it, not even movement and I'm left with my tea watching the weeds as the light leaves for the night. [C/2/1]

2012  16th November 2012. A misty Meadow Lake, Osmington. Careless, should have had three. Still weed choked and a ¾ circuit made me no wiser, not a movement. The weed is still thick, patches have colour, some bank-holes more so, but clay-run-off only I think. I've picked a spot I can fish, no strong feelings about it, but I'll try for a bit. Hemp is barred, no idea why, I loose-feed maize, corn and bread pills and fish a worm. I'm hoping something will move and give me a clue. The rooks chatter flat in the mist, I don't know who's more startled me or the roe-deer. Funny.

A carp has nosed the weed behind my bait and taken a mixer, my first bit of bread was clumsy and I don't hold hope but a second fish has turned up in the open water and is nudging freebies - two firm rises opposite, 'Plan B' then. After some freelined flake...I wallop a bite and skitter out a carp of almost 1½lb. Huh.

Meadow Lake Osmington MillsThe first swim, the other fisher Meadow Lake Osmington MillsThe mist on the water Meadow Lake Osmington MillsThe thin optimsitic antennae Meadow Lake Osmington MillsThe fading afternoon

I walk, cold blown, aching bones, see brown eyes and the right kind of kind lines, didn't want a picture of her with her fish, 'hold it front of your face' says I walking by, I'm not entirely stupid. Worth it for the smile. Where did the day go?

2014 - trotting float, old style  2014. An Anglesey ex-pat writes...

As previously mentioned, I had an email or two in 2013-14 from an Anglesey (Bodedern) ex-pat - one of the wonders of the interweb, that stuff 'out there' attracts occasional and fascinating correspondence - although I am well served for a supply of nice Russian girls looking for a husband (should I find myself alone and lobotomised) - he'd fished the lakes mostly in the 60's. Penrhyn was a favourite because of the big perch and I was surprised to find there were stepping stones to the rocks opposite the island (around the back). Spinning was good there with a good old 'MEPPS' spinner as well worm baits. He mentioned the RSPB have dredged the 'stepping stones area' now so the water is several feet deep and he did try to fish it once, not knowing what had happened but there was no depth around the edges of the lake. This appears to have been since I fished it (in 1974/5) and the present time. It may be there's a clause stating that RAF Valley club members can still fish here. In 1997 I did speak to the Valley Camp Liaison Officer and he seemed to think that fishing was still allowed - I had a plan to go back for some fishing and arranged everything only to discover I had no holiday owing. Duh.

It would be nice, I think, to see the RSPB and anglers working together more. The RSPB appear to have banked up the edges of the lakes through dredging, so basically you can't cast out far enough to get at any fish. Recently he said he'd fished Llyn Cerrig Bach a few times and there are some good healthy roach and rudd there and a 'surprise' 2-3lb tench - I speculate this might have been from the original stocking in Llyn Carnau in the early 70s maybe.

My correspondent also used to love fishing White House (Llyn Treflesg). He tells me a kind old lady lived there and let them dig in her chicken compost heap for worms and she also used to shout them up off the bridge for some ice cold orange squash on hot summer days (that doesn't happen any more does it?). Sadly it's all changed now, The last time he was there the cottage was derelict, the bridge was all but rotted away and the land around the lake is completely overgrown with bramble and fern. The public footpaths linking the lakes across the bridge are still there but mainly due to walkers and 'twitchers', sadly not fishermen. This must have been after my 1992 fly-past, as the bridge was fine and access to the lake was possible, if not well trodden.

He generously provided me some recent (2016) photographs and has allowed me to use them, so here they are with the 'tooltip' text explaining the pictures.

Tom Jones' Anglsey Pictures ''White House'' A view of the 'White House' Lake. The old lady's name (who lived in the 'White House') was Mrs Edwards. Tom Jones' Anglsey Pictures ''White House'' This shot is taken from the bank opposite the White House and the footbridge is on the far left of the picture Tom Jones' Anglsey Pictures ''White House'' We discussed the idea that 'White House' (Llyn Treflesg) might have been deeper and that some features of the lake were a little man-made in appearance - you can see an iron ring in this shot. It transpired these such were attachment points for dredgers when the silt was removed to extend the runway, after which the lakes filled naturally in the 1940's.
Tom Jones' Anglsey Pictures ''White House'' This view is of the channel from the other side of the footbridge, another good spot for perch. Tom Jones' Anglsey Pictures ''White House'' This beautiful view of 'White House' (Llyn Treflesg) is taken from the foot bridge at the south end. Note the colour of the water, a luminous lime green scum. The bridge now only has a rail to one side now, presumably to discourage fishing off it. Tom Jones' Anglsey Pictures ''White House'' In his own words: ''As you can see it is all overgrown now. This is looking down the (White House) lake from where the house used to be. There used to be an old caravan on the right and there was a good mark from the bank, and deep water.'' The caravan was there when I flew by in the early 90's, dilapidated then, and the deep water off 'the point' on the right was certainly a good mark!
Tom Jones' Anglsey Pictures ''White House'' Where the actual 'White House' used to be: In his own words:''This is all that remains. It's clearly been demolished and the spoils removed. Just weeds now. The orchard is totally overgrown and the chicken manure heap gone. I often got my worms from there. The old lady used to bring us boys fresh cool water and squash on hot days. I don't know if there was a spring there but it tasted delicious. She was so kind. I'll try and find out a bit of history about the place, who lived there, when it was built etc. However you just don't see kindness like that these days. I think she probably just enjoyed chatting to us as she lived on her own. She must have had a phone though, the telegraph pole remains'' Tom Jones' Anglsey Pictures ''White House'' The railway bridge by 'White House' lake. In his own words: ''You will remember this bridge over the railway if ever you drove over it. Depending on the type of car, the exhaust used to scrape the road. All overgrown now. I vaguely remember also having to sit on the bonnet to give that extra traction to get over the hump.''

And like me, he rues the passing of the Valley lakes, which were truly natural and the fish wild. He and I should like to fish them just once more! I may yet.

He also tells me the Valley lakes are 'eutrophic lakes' - a lake that is naturally nutrient rich. It has a relatively high alkaline status and high phosphorous levels. This type of lake is now quite uncommon throughout Europe because of pollution. There's a bit more information hereThe Valley Wetlands.

2011: crucian  27th February 2011. Crooked Willows. Very cagey surface feeders here, even the bream. There are two long-liners on the west bank on arrving and I determine that nothing is doing carp-wise. I amble around to the SE corner and in about thirty minutes nab a ghostie on a bit of slowly sinking bread. That proves to be my only easy ride on the top and although the fish will take, they batter all bait on the water until it sinks before touching it. I nab a smaller one a bit later, on a piece of flake crushed to just sink, a cork ball on the line whizzing under to provide a cue.

Crooked WillowsThe ghostie Crooked Willowsthe smaller one Crooked WillowsThe pitch... Crooked Willows...and the lie under the trees.

I try for some time to get a fish from under the trees but I can't get the range right and on the one occasion I get a bait dangled in the right place it's sucked half a dozen times without taking. This dovetails with the silly number of controllers picked up here, I add two today and a quick tally comes to six bubble floats, five Drennan, a couple of ESP's and sundry wagglers and pole floats. I try 6lb line and mixers on a size '10' and another smaller carp, 2lb or so and then a fierce take produces a 3lb bream, then a smaller bream then a roach. I call it quits before the light fades. Not so bad, but was in the area anyhow, not really local for me - but if you can catch regularly off the top here you can do it anywhere. They're educated on that.

2007 JAA's third year  29th September 2007. Pimlico Farm Ponds. Grump, carp and tench. So, here we are then after the traditional desperately passive 'trying not to make a decision as it's easier to bitch about it afterwards' game that I got bored with quite quickly. There are three ponds here, the top lake looked like a hole in a field and the middle more interesting, with trees and lilies and such, so we tried the top end for a bit, not unpleasant in the warm sun. There were plenty of small perch and roach to play with but it was only 18" deep...so we decamped to the 'dam' end and got there ahead of a kind of mini rush which saw half a dozen other anglers turn up and clatter about. I opted for the now almost traditional 'Four piece Harrison's Avon and Centre pin' and fishing slightly to my right toward a tree'd corner with an eddy of fallen leaves, fluked a carp and a tench on flake and then two more tench on cockles. Himself caught things, I think, but as he got increasingly snippy and bad tempered, I lost patience and when he deigned to have had enough, I endorsed this heartily and fished on by myself to dusk. It gets on one's nerves and as a 'game of soldiers' has little intrinsic value and I care nothing for it.

Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds
Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds
Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds Pimlico Farm Ponds

More odd landlady stuff (hint, leathery skin, short dressing gowns and staircases do not a settled breakfast make), I had breakfast, shook hands and bu88ered off to Gold Oak for some peaceful fishing without 'attitude'.

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 25 diary entries above. This page might occasionlly throw up a result with less than 25 entries as the 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:

"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
Zane Grey

Perch'perca fluviatilis'...(and back to the top of the page) PerchStripey Perch'Sarge' PerchA 'swagger' of perch Perch'Sarge' PerchA 'swagger' of perch PerchA 'swagger' of perch Perch'perca fluviatilis' PerchStripey Perch'Sarge'
01:04am on 2019-03-24 JAA