JAA's 'Mostly Fishing' Memory; 2000-2004

Frankly, there was almost no fishing in this period. This was the second half of the 'turnpike engineering' phase, it was busy, with three Littleanglers and a demanding job with weekly travel, inside the country and out, so there are the places I did not fish in both the US and Ireland. Then, returning to 'desk-bound' bdWith one bound he wasn't free....  I got my old tackle out to order thoughts and get some 'down-time'. It worked, so there was the odd trip.

Once everyone' hit pre-school' age the pressure eased on us both and in 2004/2005 I started edging back out onto the water. Around this time the Waterblog Forum drifted past my gaze and it was good to know I was not the 'only one'.

KingfisherJAA's Diary for... 2005 / 2006 / 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019 / 2020 / 2021 / 2022

Use these 'year' links to skip off down the page...20002001200220032004

This page is arranged more or less in chronological order - it just seemed easier that way.

VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace...(and back to the top of the page) VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace

2000 - the Fishing Equivalent of Tumbleweeds in a Stiff North-Easterly

2000 LuredJuly 2000. Fly me from the Loon. The braying ar*e co-opted me into full-on technical support, so, with a sound notion that I would not be refused too much, I suggested some proper product training. So back to Vancouver BC. Burnaby, strictly speaking.

One evening I opted out of the 'Irish pub' across the way, citing a sniffle. Jim said "I’ve known you six months and you've always been a bit ill." I realised he was right; I'd had full-on 'flu at Christmas, utterly knocked sideways for weeks and the immune system was still half-empty. There was a fine pawn shop down the road and I hoovered up some Bob Seger CD’s and the very underrated 'Coverdale • Page'.

The trip back to the airport was far faster than anticipated and on checking in, was asked if I would like to catch the plane leaving in 35 minutes, some two hours and 35 minutes before my allotted tube. I was escorted at a fast clip to the already warming-up plane, to join the other eleven passengers. I had a row of bulkhead seats to myself, at least two chicken meals and all the choc-ices a man can reasonably eat (three). Doesn't happen every day.

2000 LuredOctober 2000. Firedance. Munich, the new treadmill. The current team and I circled each other warily until we established I wasn't a threat. Otherwise, same old same old, but much much nicer people. On the last day I found some more Gothard CD's in a German rock shop. At the airport I found out the 3rd and 4th albums were disappointing. Ah well. I did witness one of the greater sociopath humiliations I've ever seen though. Lovely.

2000 LuredNovember 2000. Edinburgh. Visiting our man in Scotland. This involved forays on both sides of the border and in truth I don't think we ever made a penny north of the border, but this was no reflection on our rep. who was a fine fellow. It seemed to be that we ought to have presence there, even if it made no money at all. Odd idea.

2000 Lured22nd November 2000. Bunratty Castle. A gratuitous entry which gets a nod just for the views from the bridge up the Ralty River and a view of Durty NellysThe Original Durty Nellys, Bunratty, Ireland which you have to vist at least once just because of the name. It's hereIt's here. Still..

Bunratty Castle and Durty Nelly'sBunratty Castle itselfBunratty Castle and Durty Nelly'sDurty Nelly's and the bridgeBunratty Castle and Durty Nelly'sDurty Nelly's and the bridge again, but with added sunshine
Bunratty Castle and Durty Nelly'sLooking upstream of the Ralty River Bunratty Castle and Durty Nelly'sLooking upstream of the Ralty River

We drove across Ireland from Dublin, the trip book-ended by nights in Hedigans Guest House (in Dublin); I have no idea why this was better than me flying to Shannon or Cork. We had lunch at a roadside cafe which served regular food, shepherds pie with cabbage and carrots, it was really very good. Then it rained and as night came we drove to the strains of Annie Lennox and it all seemed rather otherworldly. Must have been some customer visits, cannot remember those at all. Probably not important.

VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace...(and back to the top of the page) VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace

2001, Definitely Actually Went at Least Once

2001 LuredFebruary 2001. Some hotel in Philadelphia. I barely recall the hotel, but do recall the pictured water around it, which had fish, not that fishing was allowed. I fancy it was a nature preserve. This was a magnetic component principal's beano and I felt rather shown off, as a shiny new technical toy, so the glory reflected. The boss wanted to go shopping together when he was wearing a bright orange sweater and looked like a space-hopper. I ran for it. Figuratively. Mostly. I bought a variety of bits and bobs, a small multi-tool pliers thingy and a tiny blue LED torch. Still got them. Night-time tour of Philly including the places used in "The Sixth Sense" which I hadn't seen at that time. Then onto Palm Springs...

Philadelphia lack of freedomJust another feckin' hotelPhiladelphia lack of freedomMight have fish. Might not.Philadelphia lack of freedomMight have fish. Might not.Philadelphia lack of freedomMight have fish. Might not.Philadelphia lack of freedomMight have fish. Might not.

2001 LuredFebruary 2001. Palm Springs. This was my first try of Corona-and-Lime, nflAs opposed to Corona with 'NFL'... 'No Feckin' Lime'. a taste I have retained. I roomed with the company 'Cheeseman' which very nearly resulted in foul murder. Otherwise the usual round of boorish sales blokes trying to dominate you and then immediately changing to 'toady-mode' when the next rung up came into the room. Yrch. We did some utterly useless 'team building' exercises, repI worked with a rep. in Portugal some 11 years later and we both recalled the event and its stupidity and cupidity, but not each other.  then I surprised a few folk by demonstrating the results of a miss-spent youth on cliffs, various, by being quickest up a climbing wall. Half the hotel's rooms were in chalets arranged around a golf course, there were lemon trees everywhere, their evening scent was just the best thing about the trip, except possibly one roof-top breakfast when the air was so clear you would swear the mountains were just over the road. And there were actual live hummingbirds. There were fish in the lake behind the main courtyard though, I fed them breakfast rolls when no-one was looking.

Palm Springs BeanoBreakfast was the best time of the day. Palm Springs BeanoBreakfast was the best time of the day.

On the first day we were given a traditional 'rain-makers', i.e. a hollow stick with sand in it. As part of the rah-rah session on day one, we all used them dutifully and vigorously, although it is possible that some of us jigged them with a motion suggesting we suspected onanism in the speakers and that we had a low opinion of them as a result. On the last day it rained, we were told it was the first time for twelve years.

Palm Springs BeanoThe lake and its slyly fed fishPalm Springs BeanoThe lemon tree outside my chaletPalm Springs BeanoI would prefer to be able to forget this flight

We only just got on the last little plane to LAX, flying through thunder and lightening, shades of gremlins, I swear I saw the wing struck. The 'Cheeseman' was so panicky I really really hoped I was going to have to knock him out to stop him being a danger to the rest of us. Alas not. Our hold-luggage, storm-split, arrived three weeks later, Cheeseman's with a smashed bottle of Crème De Menthe inside. How we smirked.

2001 LuredMarch 2001. Anaheim. The 2001 OFC was perched on the apogee of the Telecomms bubble. The show was brash, busy, and loaded to the teeth with interesting technology, swim-suited ladies and really rather fine free gifts. Not for the first time I wiled away the second half of the flight watching light-pockets below, imagining towns, homes and lives. It was three long days, started by the taxi driver getting lost (how does anyone taxi in LA and NOT know where Disney World Anaheim is?) and a taxing effort to get on with the boss. Nothing whatsoever to so with the price of fish.

2001 Lured18th April 2001. Dublin. Again. Just Dublin. Four appointments we had necessitating a circular trip around the city. Of these four, exactly 'none' of the appointed turned up. Zero. I still cannot decide whether this was because it was one of those things or that the appointments were never made in the first place. Paid the same either way I guess.

2001 Lured28th April 2001. Pigs.

HedgehogsHedgehogs HedgehogsHedgehogs, that can't be hedgehogged

2001 Lured16th May 2001. Dublin. Again again. Literally no recollection. Might have stayed in the Clontarf Castle Hotel, I definitely did that once.

2001 Lured26th June 2001. Arundel. This was on my way home, one of the more thankless return journeys and I saw a sign...so pulled in and paid. I was supposed to be working, but honestly, I thought "Feck it, Steve Waugh is batting at one end". My first ever digital camera (FinePix1400Zoom) did a startling shutter-speed job, in these pictures you can, if you look hard, see the ball. Hot, sunny, phone off, coffee in hand, just great.

Arundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia battingArundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia battingArundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia batting
Arundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia battingArundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia battingArundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia batting
Arundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia battingArundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia battingArundel: MCC vs AustraliaArundel: MCC vs Australia. Australia batting

Sure, this is not fishing. Or working. Sue me.

2001 Lured2nd August 2001. Dublin. Again again again. Ah, one I remember. A Dublin telecoms customer had a problem with a Clock and Data Recovery (CDR) IC and I went out and back on the day, reading the data sheet on the plane. It turned out they'd referenced the clock to itself via another IC. This doesn't generally work well. Bristol airport I think, recall landing at almost 45° to the runway, certainly quite a bang when the wheels hit the tarmac.

2001 Lured26th August 2001. Todber Manor.

I recall this trip well, as I'd not been for a couple of years and the current 'line-manager' lmOnce, pressed to answer questions on his effectiveness, I opined that he should focus on being a manager or a leader. This got me off the hook as I really wouldn't have been able to say which he was good at.  professed an interest (although only in muy macho conger fishing) and having awarded myself a day off, headed for Todber on the basis of a new internet recommendation. I bought maggots, fished one of the smaller lakes and poled out the fish shown below with little or no effort but it was good (much needed) fun even so. Come to think of it, that was the only time I ever went there.

Todber ManorA gonk, gudgeon, gobby...Todber ManorA tench, always welcome and better than carp...Todber Manor...the rest, golden rudd, gonks, carps...

2001 LuredOctober 2001. Amsterdam. Some optical components show from memory ('ECOC'?). We took an evening boat tour of the canals which was nice, although the camera struggled to adjust and its self asserted exposure times left twenty other shots with streaks of lights or blurs due to the movement of the boat. Ah well. I have only the vaguest memory of the show itself, a blurry recollection of catching buses to the show from the hotel and no recall of the hotel at all, although Amsterdam Airport is fresh still in my mind, but then I've been through it many times and it makes Heathrow look like the tired old set-up-and-fleece-shop that it really is.

The canals of Amsterdam at nightThe boat itselfThe canals of Amsterdam at nightnight lightsThe canals of Amsterdam at nightnight lightsThe canals of Amsterdam at nightMight have fish. Might not.

2001 Lured1st December 2001. Milton Abbey.

The first time I ever fished here. It was chuffing cold and still, not freezing exactly, but that cold damp stillness that leeches the heat from your bones and fingers. I took the pole and the light 'top-three' to Peg 1, way up towards the little area of backwaters. The water was coloured enough so the shallowness didn't put me off and I fished for four hours with 2lb hook-links and managed a fine roach every twenty minutes, from 8oz to the best part of 1lb. Bites at that kind of intervals are exactly right for fun and concentration and at dusk I took myself off home (for the first time) numb but a more relaxed parent than before.

2001 Lured4th December 2001. Dublin. Yet Again. I know I stayed at the Deer Park Hotel just outside Dublin. I have no other memory of this at all, I wonder why I went?

should be old ledger weights...coffin...(and back to the top of the page) should be old ledger weights...barrel... should be old ledger weights...coffin... should be old ledger weights...barrel... should be old ledger weights...coffin... should be old ledger weights...barrel...

2002; Definitely Actually Went at Least Once...

2002 Lured6th March 2002. Ireland. Again. Three days in Ireland that I have no recall of. Must have been important I guess.

2002 Lured17th March 2002. Anaheim. Again. The LAX taxi driver got lost (again)...the OFC show itself was oddly muted, the free gifts were cheaper and further between, a harbinger of the telecom bubble's near demise, while last September’s events still cast a long shadow. On the 21st we flew from John Wayne airport to San Francisco and for the second time we were pulled out of the boarding passengers for random searches. Soldiers with non-ornamental M16's stood at the end of every check-in point and the smart policy was simply to go right along. Our suitcases were opened and the contents spread out in a public area, perhaps not strictly necessary, but I've never been more pleased to be one of the people who don't strip their hotel rooms of consumables and towels. The Boss, not so much. As we were singled out (twice) I suspect authorities had little faith in UK security at this time.

We saw little of San Francisco, but I at least got out and walked the urban areas by the hotel, spending too long watching for signs of life in a deep gulley with a creek at the bottom (in LA I tried to walk from the hotel to the nearest steakhouse and the highway police pulled up and, after realising I was a Brit, in the nicest possible way told me to take a cab next time). Long trip, pleased to go home.

2002 Lured2nd May 2002. Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii. In the Big Island hotelReally. Hawaii on business., sharing with the Old Mann we had an impromptu 'team bonding', our custom was to fly out cheap duty-free gin and scotch for those expenses that wouldn't sign, then plunder the minibar for cheap mixers. Two speakers and a laptop later, the balcony thrummed to 'Hammer to Fall' et al. and we let our collective hair down, to the extent that the lizards-in-residence scuttled for it and several other balconies joined in...

The principal had booked this from the previous year after Palm Springs, but it turns out that the lines cannot always keep going 'up and towards the right'. The deposit was so large it was cheaper to keep the dates than cancel it. My employer had to pay for the flights though. There's a twelve hour time difference, so I rang my children at 7am to wish them goodnight and sent them pictures of the fish. Breakfasts were tumbling piles of fresh strawberries, melon and pineapple pieces, consumed with dark coffee. There was an inevitable hula-hula display and a fake pig-roast. Meh.

Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...Big Island jauntThis was the 'canal' between the hotel buildings. There were barracuda in it, they make pike look like gudgeon.Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...

I would have bought or hired any fishing rod I could get, but there was none to be had. I had an opportunity to catch a barracuda, or more strictly speaking, to hook a barracuda and watch it strip all the line off and disappear. Still.

(A barracuda is what you get when a short-tempered pike is working late in the lab and gets bitten by a radioactive gudgeon. Then it’s strapped to a missile.)

Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...
Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...Big Island jauntBig Island, work work work...

On the last day at the hotel it rained for the first time in a decade. Again. Some of us were looking sidelong at the Old Mann, suspecting him of being a rain-god. Or something. Anyhoo, we hired a car for the long way around to the airport and stopped in Kapaau, where, shimmering heat and silence but for the insects, the boss and I went into a cool low-lit art gallery full of Victoria's languorous mermaids, kelpies and carp which were wonderful to behold. A lady appeared, as if by magic, herself assumed and standing a shade too close said it was nice to see a man wearing colours, my purple T., some kind of cotton wrap suggested it was the sole garment worn. My limbic brain somersaulted, screamed silently at the boss to find some other conversation to barge into, not for the first time, while I was hypnotised by a languid sensuality which made the silence of the street seem like a bottomless pit.

Victoria's North Sea MermaidSo wondrous, so magical, so buy one... ©Victoria Holman Victoria's Koi DreamSo wondrous, so magical, so buy one... ©Victoria Holman Victoria's Sleeping MermaidSo wondrous, so magical, so buy one... ©Victoria Holman

To this day I don't know how I resisted buying a painting. Back out in the heat and street, I grabbed iced tea, too sweet, putting the too-calm gallery out of my mind. This didn't work. I didn't mind.

2002 LuredJune 2002. Milton Abbey. I took the pole to Peg 7, The 'Pump Pool' and recall little but for 'some roach' and one tench of 5lb or so which, hooked on the light 'top-three' simply swam around the pool until exhausted, as the pole lacked the power to end the fight. This put me off the pole.

2002 Lured23rd June 2002. Hildebrandt Lures. The internet had burgeoned and using the type number on the back of the fly-spoon blades, I found them. US businesses generally put no obstacles in the way of making a sale, thus it was they were shipped.

The Hildebrandt order The Hildebrandt order

I still have the catalogue they shipped with the lures and I will digitise it when I get a mo.

2002 Lured11th August 2002. More missed fish in Andover. A two week jaunt to learn techy stuff, starting in San Diego which was blisteringly hot, dry and busy. Then a second week in Andover Ma., compounded by the 'save the company $50' madness of a connecting flight across the 'States, which took a whole day of my life, half which was in 'Tiny Rainy Airport, Somemidstate USA'. Nice.

There was a perfectly good pond behind the Holiday Inn, (4 Highwood Dr, Tewksbury, MA.It's strange how that which is so ubiquitous in one place is a valuable thing in another.), with bass in it. I know this because I saw them. Then there was Lake Winnipesaukee, MA. (Meredith BayIt was very very hot and humid) with more bass and other fish and I watch a lad on a tiny jetty try and catch them, while envying him his fishing rod. I was, in the end, there for the whole day due to a git. Said git dropped me and a colleague, promising to be back in a few hours but took the whole day. There was a strong suspicion "that was the plan all along and screw us". My colleague, one of the most affable folk I've ever worked with, blew his top. In the interim, we found the place was pretty much shut on a Sunday and in one of the few open shops the lady serving insisted against all my denials that I was "Australian, as I had an Australian accent and she knew what one sounded like". And she was right, how could I know?. The 'said 'affable colleague' steered me towards the door as I was beginning to get to the "You want to read my feckin' passport?" stage. Small town USA. I took part in this idiocy for money, I wonder why sometimes.

Lake Winnipesaukee, MALake WinnipesaukeeLake Winnipesaukee, MALake WinnipesaukeeLake Winnipesaukee, MALake Winnipesaukee
Lake Winnipesaukee, MALake WinnipesaukeeLake Winnipesaukee, MAIt's a fish honest it is.Lake Winnipesaukee, MALake Winnipesaukee
Another Crucian Carpcrucian...(and back to the top of the page) Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian Another Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carpcrucian Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian Crucian Carpcrucian Another Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian CarpCrucial crucian Crucian CarpCrucial crucian Another Crucian Carpcrucian Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian

2003; A Few Goes

2003 Lured2003. Summertime. Wing Lakes...are two small holes in the ground not a million miles from Rutland Water. We camped at Wing Hall in 2003 and as I had tackle with me, gave the narrower of the lakes a try, once with the Hatangler and once with the Marmiteangler. We float-fished and loose fed sweetcorn both times and on the first session caught a number of small crucians and on the second (in the evening) a few small tench (under a 1lb).

I have no idea whether these lakes are 'dug' or natural, lying at the bottom of a slope with a lot of natural clay in the ground, however they give every appearance of being dug out clay-lined ponds. On the second session, after my children had gone back to the tent, there was an altercation on the other lake. After much raising of voices, something large being thrown in the water, more shouting and swearing, two cars left at speed. I followed suit.

I do not like this type of water much but it was a twelve-month since I had last fished. Revisiting in 2005, I took tackle with every intention of fishing. After a walk round the un-cared for lakes, during which I picked up quite a bit of tackle and litter, I decided I didn't want to fish that badly. Add in the car-load of feckless youths that turned up and 'hung about' (no fishing tackle to be seen) and the ease with which I found spent airgun pellets, gave me a poor impression that was hard to dispel. I could have been unlucky of course, but just in case, will give it a miss next time.

2003 Lured2003. Late summer. Pallington Lakes.

Day ticket in those days. I had taken the pole and its 'carp top-three' and fishing on the north side of the big lake had missed a few bites on corn, a single grain on a '14', with 6lb mono. After one such strike,I found myself attached to a largish carp, a decent double and struggled for some time. After a prolonged scrap I was trying to keep carpio out of the reed-bed on the right-hand bank when the pole top-section, which was under considerable strain, clipped a tree branch overhead.

With the traditional pistol-shot crack, the carbon snapped clean, leaving me playing a fish on a truncated pole, the elastic un-broken. I persisted for ten minutes trying to get the fish into the net and in the end, grabbed the line and snapped it clean off at the hook, a barbless 'specimen' of some type.

I went home, put the pole on the shelf and although I replaced the 'top-three', seldom used it after that and eventually sold it on for a third of what I paid, partly due to the fifth section repair. I'd trodden on it, so cut it through, dropped the top half through the bottom (after having roughed it up with glass paper and applied a thin coat of araldite), then pulled it tight then whipped over the join. Actually a very solid repair that never even hinted at being weakened.

2003 LuredNovember 2003. Munich. Electronica. Barely recall the show, but do recall the trams, the hotel room, which I might have rewired a bit to get the modem socket working, and confirmed the truth behind the braying a*se situation. That aside, I fancy it was a large waste of time.

Gobio GobioGobio Gobio (and return to the top of the page) GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobby GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GonkGobby Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GudgeonGudgeon GudgeonGudgeon Gobio GobioGobio Gobio

2004; A Few More Goes

2004 Lured3rd June 2004. Milton Abbey.

The pole phase over, I had decided to return to basics so got the Old Carp Rod rod out (still sporting its Fuji BNHG's with green shock rings & green araldite impregnated whippings), spooled up with 8lb line, made some 11lb 'Black Spider' traces and went for the three grains of corn on a 'JH' size 8 under a loaded crystal waggler. In swim 11, where I had caught a few fish previously, I baited and fished as simply as I had done for a long while and on a warm evening caught tench after tench, not discommoded by the seemingly heavy tackle. This was (at the time of setting down in 2014) my best 'bag' of tench ever and my only regret is that I didn't take a raft of pictures.

The day ticketThe Day Ticket

I ended up with thirteen tench to 3½lb, two bream and two roach. If I'd needed a nudge towards orthodox angling, this was the firm shove in the small of the back and I've not looked back.

2004 Lured13th August 2004. Afon Irfon, Llangammarch Wells. I cunningly booked a static caravan by the banks of this riverThe Afon Irfon flows from the upper slopes of Bryn Garw in the Cambrian Mountains, through the Abergwesyn Valley, past the Nant Irfon National Nature Reserve in the hills above the village of Abergwesyn and through Llanwrtyd Wells to its confluence with the River Wye at Builth Wells. for the second of our family's weeks holiday. A whole twenty yards from the river. HandySo, more or less here..

"Have worms will travel" had evolved into "have worms, sweet corn, telescopic rod, landing-net and bank-stick, will travel". On our arrival the river was gin-clear with a few grayling that could be seen patrolling up and down, plus some smaller trout. For good luck, the place was teeming with minnows.

The bank I was able to fish was lined with trees and there were a few places you might call swims. The edge of the river was lined with fallen branches, oh good how handy. The river was about thirty yards wide at this point, probably no more than three feet deep, with a fast flow and with rocky gullies interspersed with patches of gravel. A great sight with the sun splodging through the trees on the water, plus the sound of water running over rocks off to the left. Idyllic. But very hard to bait-fish.

I had some luck, as after some minnow catching sessions, there was a deluge one night, turning the clear water into a muddy torrent. By the evening it had abated and dropped a foot. I decided to fish. I had seen a channel about a third of the way across when the water was clear, which the grayling passed through regularly, and decided to trot the length of it. To do this, I used a simple 'bobber' float, although much derided is very useful in turbulent and shallow water. 2×'BB' down the line, a '14' and a worm. I used a 6lb braid trace, which is my normal way of things.

The much maligned bobber...The much maligned bobber...

To get any length of trot, I had to cast in as far upstream as possible. This was easier said than done, due to trees. I evolved a cast, made from sitting on the bank (some three feet above the water). Holding the rod vertically, start a pendulum movement of the end tackle, when its at a maximum, convert the back swing of the tackle into an overhead cast over my left shoulder, with a forward flick of the rod. The idea was to just miss the upstream tree branch, while getting best distance upstream. Amazingly, I never caught the branch two evenings running.

First run down, big bite, big strike. Big minnow. Second trot, ditto. Third ditto. OK then...changed to sweetcorn, my only other option (well apart from a fly spoon). At least it's visible in the coloured water.

After about half an hour of the "swing, cast, trot, retrieve, swing etc.), I got a bite just after casting, and hitting it without thinking [the best way, right ;-)], found myself attached to small torpedo. Convinced as I was it might be a grayling, I backed off the clutch and let it run. A bit. Netted, a fine brown trout of about ¾lb. Not a grayling, but fabulous. I fished on into the dusk, and aside from bats, swooping over the river and up and out through the gap in the trees I was sitting it (swerving at the last minute to miss me), no more action.

The following evening, I tried again. The river had dropped more, but still coloured, so I adjusted the depth by about the drop estimated of the bank, and went for the same casting method. After about 20 minutes, I got a bite, and again, found myself attached to a small torpedo. I let it run, and steered rather than bullied to the net, and viola - my "lady of the river". First and only at this point, but a thing of beauty. I have to say I was quite excited. No more fish but more bats, but really OK about it.

Near Llangammarch WellsAnotherangler's first grayling everNear Llangammarch WellsJust a tarn on a Welsh hillside that I liked the look ofNear Llangammarch WellsJust a tarn on a Welsh hillside that I liked the look of

2004 LuredSeptember 2004. On Chesil Beach. A night trip with two work colleagues. We drove out of Weymouth for a few miles and the 'guide' selected one of the many places along the beach where it is possible to park. Hugely enjoyable fishing, I took the Old Carp rod and a selection of 1 - 1½oz Arlesey Bombs and caught a plethora of small pollack, getting quite used to holding the line, feeling for the rattling bites. The pollack, although plentiful, were barely large enough for the pot so were released back into the wild, but that did not matter. Nice night.

Wild and Feral Carp...wild...(and back to the top of the page) Wild and Feral Carps...feral... Wild and Feral Carps...wild... Wild and Feral Carps...feral... Wild and Feral Carps...wild... Wild and Feral Carps...feral...

So this is the end of the 'memory' section. Before this point, all the material is based on that which I can recall, retained ephemera, where I know I was at the time and what can be inferred from those things. Psychologists are pleased to call this 'autobiographical memory'; I have an untested hypothesis that a semi-nomadic upbringing increases and sharpens one's autobiographical memories, as in casual comparison with the small non-randomised sample that is 'the people I know', my autobiographical memory outstrips theirs.

It is a matter of record that I've since revisited various residences after gaps of variously, 52, 23, 19, 18 and 18 years then unerringly finding my way where there and about, to the point of, in one instance of knowing the house was gone and some newer semi-detached had been built in it's place. With google street view I found our Singapore bungalow with little effort. In 2012 it looked much as it was, although tatty, but surrounded by new steel-and-glass three-storey rebuilds. By 2020 it too has been subsumed by sensible re-use of the site. The open monsoon drains are now covered over, no bad thing.

I’ve no idea whether this is a latent skill or one honed by nomadic lifestyle. I don’t really ever get lost, although there are one or two small areas I got repeatedly turned around, one small tangle of lanes when leaving a customer near Petersfield got me every time and I got wide-looped by a wrong turn near Seaford a few years back and took an eight mile dogleg. Still seems odd when I think about it. Anyhoo, digressing...

Also, during a great data-back-up rationalisation (viz. deleting the old stuff) I found expenses' records that detailed when and where I went during the 'turnpike engineering age’. It was odd to discover how many times I can be certain of a journey somewhere while having no exact memory of the trip or why I went - although holidaying in Cork and Dublin many years later, I remembered such places when I saw them.

In any event, from 2005 onwards I kept an angling diary. Well, 'mostly angling'.

For the previous decade's spasmodic recollections, head <<this way'Backwards and Downwards' and for the 2005 Diary head this way>>'Onwards and Upwards'.

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.