It’s a bit early

It’s a bit early in the year for me to buy my onion sets. I was at my local garden centre recently I could not resist picking up a bag of white and a bag of red.

As usual, I am going to grow “Sturon“, a variety that always does well for me and for my reds, I am going to grow good old “Red Barron“, a variety that others struggle with on our allotment soil, but I seem to do ok with them, and they are great store’s.

I have not grown garlic for a few years now so am going to give it a go this year with a soft neck, mild flavour variety called “Arno“.

Although it is a spring-like day today, I am not planting these until the ground really does warm up a bit, at least not until the end of March. Until then, they will bide their time in the warmth of the greenhouse.

The First Family Holiday

Although I have managed a few fishing trips away this year; this is the very first family break since the birth of our daughter.

It is just as well that I own an estate car as the amount of gear we needed to pack was unprecedented.

I was not expecting to get fishing on our holiday as there would simply be no room in the car for my fishing gear on top of all the family essentials, even in my estate car, but a friend persuaded me to stow a rod away somewhere and said that he may join me on the river bank for a crack at a Perch.

My first choice at this time of year is always a lovely Fred J.Taylor Roach rod that I own. It is quite a large rod and really would not have fitted and possibly would have got damaged in the transit. However, I found in my pile of sticks a rod I forgot that I had, an Edgar Sealey ‘Octofloat‘. This is a three piece rod and is light as a feather, perfect to smuggle into the car.

I had also packed the bare minimum into a Brady bag including a wide drum ‘Speedia‘ that I have not used in ages and looked forward to an afternoon on my favourite Wessex river aiming to catch one of it’s lovely Roach.

Our arrival in Wessex coincided with Storm ‘Callum’ and thoughts of any fishing were very distant for a number of days. Eventually a break in the weather did show on the forecast. Rain had stopped and high pressure was to stay for a couple of days. This was great, and gave the river a little time to recover allowing the water to fine down and clear a little.

The day arrived and was greeted with glorious sunshine, something that we had not seen for ages. Bizarre for this time of the year, mid-October and the temperature was in the high-teens. In fact, as I strolled to the river it could have been mistaken for a glorious summer’s day. Maybe not perfect fishing conditions for some, but perfect for me!

The river was the lowest that I have ever fished it following a very hot summer.  The spot that I chose to fish had very little current in it, which is unusual as later in the season I have know it to be a torrent here.

I did not manage to catch many Roach today, but did land endless Gudgeon, numerous Dace, a few small Chub and a cracking Perch right at the end of the day. A lovely couple of hours were spent.

Surface Fishing

It has been well over two years since I tried to catch a Carp from the surface of any water. I know this as it was the last time that I used this reel. A K. Dowling & Sons centre pin. Not a collectors piece by any means, but it was the first pin that I bought and I use it exclusively for surface fishing for Carp.

The lake I was fishing is the lake that I fished years ago. I had been looking forward to another trip there for some time. It was a good forty minutes drive from where I was staying in Wessex. I imagined that there would be a few fishermen there as it was a weekend and I was not wrong.  Most had not caught a thing blaming the cold weather the previous days, and the odd frost that they had in this area.  In the afternoon sunshine a couple of fisherman were trying their luck for a carp on the surface and had not yet had a bite when I arrived. It was not long before one of them tempted a good carp on bread. I, on the other hand had brought dog buscuit. A bait that I had struggled to get as it seems to be really hard to obtain. However, a trip to a local pet store armed me with fishmeal and potato flavoured dog buscuit – surely I could not fail on this.

It took quite a while to tempt fish to begin feeding on the surface. It was great fun watching fish come up to my bait and back off at the last second only to be overcome with greed until one finally took the bait. The reel screamed into life but the fish gave up really quickly. I was sure that I had foul-hooked it but when I got the net under it I had not surprisingly. I got a shock when I lifted the fish onto the unhooking mat as I could not believe how heavy it was, easily over 15lb. The cold must have semi-comatose’d it.

I lost many more during this fishing session and with the nights getting shorlter I had to pack up before I knew it.

Never Fish Off-Rota

It was the last day of my trip and I  never look forward to the long journey home. The issue is that my route takes me very near to this pond, and I always tell myself that I will just fish an hour or two and then get back on the road home. This invariably never happens and I stay at the ponds far longer than intended. Today was no exception.

I had contacted a few of the members to see if it was ok to fish on their day and was very pleased to get a reply to say yes, there was no issue.

I checked out of my hotel and made my way to the tackle shop in order to purchase some fresh bait. When I arrived, no sooner had I opened the car door it began to rain, and by the time I walked the short distance to the tackle shop it was pouring down, accompanied by a deep rumble of thunder. I must be mad going fishing in this!Non-the-less, bait tubs full, I made my way to the ponds. The tops of the trees billowing over, and the wind was just getting stronger and stronger developing into a gale. No sane person would choose to go fishing in this weather, I was on my way home so had nothing to lose by giving it a go.

Remarkably the swim I was to fish was out of the wind. This pond is surrounded by trees which not only gives protection from the wind, but  are great for sheltering under in light showers. The wind was ridiculously strong by now.  Another issue was falling Kelly kindling (branches) which were a close encounter on more than one occasion, but came in very handy during the day for my tea making.

I did the same as yesterday by raking the swim a couple of times and only brought in light weed, baited it, and retired to put the Wizard together.

I was soon fishing and once more could hear distant rumbles of thunder and temporarily, I remained dry. How long could my luck last? Not long as it happened.

I caught a lovely palm-sized Crucian. The swim from time to time was cluttered with bubbles, so I was praying again to catch one of the fabulous Tench that reside here.

Fishing was quite slow, but very enjoyable.  Concentrating on my inactive float for so long then turning to attend to a boiling Kelly the split second my reel screamed into life. By the time I had put the kettle down and got my hand on the rod, the fish was well into the weed and there was no way back from there, loosing a float also in the disaster. If you are ever short of a bite, make tea! It’s amazing how many times stopping concentrating on a float actually gets you a bite. Obviously I had lost a Tench.

I missed a couple of lovely lift bites too, probably Tench although I have known Roach to feed in this manner also. I missed some proper thumping bites with the float shooting under, today was not going well.

Another cracking bite saw the float zip under, I lifted the rod and was into either a really good Crucian, or a Tench. The fish dived down into the lilles, my line kissed the stem of one of the lilles and gave way as if it had been cut by a razor blade; I could not believe it!

It was not long before my luck with the weather ended and the rain came in earnest. For the first shower I was quite comfortable sheltering under the boughs of the tress. When it stopped, I retrieved my brolly from the car in case of a big storm. The brolly came in very handy as the heavy rain did come, but I didn’t get any thunder surprisingly.

The last straw was another thumping bite, the float shot under and down towards the lillies, I struck into it, but the line between my reel and first eye on the rod had caught around a branch on the ground, the float shot out of the water and wrapped itself many times around the top of my rod – the air was blue!!! It was an impossible tangle. I had no option but to cut it off. This marked my time to head for home, the lake gods were telling me to go.

Tripping over the chain on my Kelly while packing up which was full of hot water and scalding myself in the process, gave even more proof that you should never-ever go fishing off-rota.

 

An Epic Day

This particular pond that I fish is expertly and gently managed, the few members are allocated to fish either on an even number, or an odd number day. Yesterday, I was fishing out of sync, and although I was kindly granted permission by another member to fish on his day, I believe that the lake gods frowned upon me.

Today I will be fishing on-rota. Again, I had my Wallis Wizard with me along with a little Aerial reel. Today however, I raked the swim before I fished. I could only assume that yesterday some of the weed had drifted in and my bait simply was not on the lake bed. It was frustrating as anything as there were clouds of Tench bubbles very near to my float but it never went under. Today would be different I hoped.

Like yesterday, thunder storms rumbled away in the distance, would I be lucky again and avoid the rain?

I hauled the rake four or five times and created a little clear strip near to a bed of lillies, I baited it with corn and then retired to put my rod together. By the time I had returned to the swim it was evident that all the noise and commotion of dragging a rake had not put the fish off one little bit and there were immediate signs of feeding fish.

There was no-one else at the ponds today so I had them all to myself and was very content, firing up the old Kelly now and again for cups of tea.

I was correct. Not only were the gods angry yesterday, but this swim must have been a bit choked with weed. The first fish I caught was a lovely palm-sized Crucian, great to see. I managed to catch a couple of good crucians that I was sure were Tench when I first hooked them, great scrap. Crucians are not meant to fight like that. I then managed to find my quarry and it fought hard. I gave it everything the Wizard had and managed to land a lovely three-pounder.

Once again, I stayed until the bats arrived and was really lucky all day not to get wet from any of the surrounding thunder storms.

Here again

Today saw yet another last minute trip to the Ponds. I had left my house later than anticipated at 04:20 and arrived to meet another member and good friend around lunchtime. I was only six minutes late. We had a spot of lunch – thanks very much!, and we were at the ponds late afternoon. My friend allowed me to settle in ‘the’ swim, a swim that I have never actually fished at this pond.  I have always favoured the more open swims that are available as it is far easier to control a Tench in these which is always my main quarry when I fish here.

I had brought one of my favourite rods, a Wallis Wizard that I have not used in a very long time and almost forgot that I had one in the collection; perfect for small Tench and Crucians. A little 3.5 inch Ariel from between 1920-1925 that I had refurbished made up the tackle for the trip.

We both settled into our swims quickly and began to fish; it was great to be back again. The manager turned up and fished the next swim down. Both my friend and I remained fish-less as the manager hauled fish after fish. (I actually heard him chuckling). That’s fishing I guess!

I drowned myself in mug after mug of tea, and managed to blank in ‘the’ swim. My friend caught a fine little Tench in the evening which was a lovely end to the day.

It’s Still Red Hot

The temperatures are still way-up there, fishing is not so good in hot weather, but I could not resist another crack at a summer Tench and the possibility of a Crucian.

I fished until the bats arrived at the pond, and although I missed many takes, and didn’t manage to catch my quarry of a Tench, I managed to land a few lovely Crucian’s, accompanied by many cups of tea from the old battered Kelly.

A Glastonbury Year

Another red hot day in Wessex saw me at another of my favourite ponds. I knew that it would be hard to catch anything in this heat but still wanted to be at the water to enjoy the setting here. It is a bit of a tradition for me now to be fishing somewhere on midsummer day.

Like Glastonbury this year, I kind of knew the fishing was just not going to happen, but enjoyed the blazing sunshine.

I might have only caught a tan here today, however I still relished just being here.

A Jaunt Wessex Way

I was not able to get to Wessex for the first day of the opening course fishing season this year. I eventually broke free and arrived on the 19th June. Fishing today 20th June , tomorrow (midsummers Day) and Friday before having to peel myself away and drive back home.

Meeting with a good friend for the first day, we decided to fish a pond that is part of our club licence. In fact, the club has recently not only leased this water that they had for a number of years, but has actually bought it outright.

This lake has become known for its Carp, but more interesting for me is that it has also become known for its Tench, and some big Tench at that.

We arrived around lunch time and found a number of anglers already there and disappointingly, one or two were in the ‘crack’ swims that we would have liked to be fishing.  We had a walk around the lake to see any signs of feeding fish. there we still a couple of great looking spots, so we opted for these.

Sport was surprisingly slow and many patches of bubblers did not amount to a bite. I did however manage to catch a number of Roach, and  a Bream of which I cannot recall the last Bream I caught? so it was nice to be reacquainted.

At around 19:00 I had ran out of bait completely. Frustratingly there were still a few patches that showed signs of feeding fish here at there that I had been baiting up during the day. I noticed a single grain of corn that I had obviously spilt while baiting up lying on the ground. I’ll give this a try I thought. Hooked on the corn and cast out towards the baited swim. Within seconds the float went under and initially I thought that it was yet another Roach. The rod bent hard over, I was into something good. The fish was powering it’s way towards every patch of lillies and snags that it knew. It took all my efforts on the light line I was using to stop it and steer it out into open water. I could not get this fish to the surface. It had stopped running so my thoughts immediately turned away from a Carp and began to think that this was a Tench. Still fighting for every inch, I eventually got the fish to surface and was met by a flash of dark green as it turned and nosed down to the lake bad again. This battle ensued for a good five minutes before I managed to get it over the net. Unbelievable, right at the end of the day, and with only one grain of corn remaining.

A Different Start To The Fishing Season

It has been a different start to this years coarse fishing season. Due to commitments, I had cancelled my plans to visit Wessex. A slight change to proceedings, but I still had my local pond that I could get to.

02:53 brought the first sign of the approaching dawn with the first Blackbird song. A bit early I thought as they began their song from nearby chimney tops. Not however our resident Blackbirds that did not rouse until just after 05:00, which I took to be my own alarm call.

Arriving at the pond after startling a few cows when I made my way through their field, I found that It has changed dramatically since the last time I was here in 2017. It’s full of weed. Weed of all types – excellent!

This weed would put many anglers off fishing here, but it is perfect for the fish, and is great for fishing in.

The Carp were still spawning throughout the morning. I did have my sights set on catching a Tench, but this was not to be. Broken on 4lb line a number of times made my change tactics and fish straight through on 8lb line onto a Carp hook. This worked, and soon I was attached to one of these ‘zoo creatures’ that reside in this pond. Not big but gave a heck of a scrap.

I stayed on until around lunchtime when I had run out of bait. Not another sole was at the pond today. I guess everyone was put of by all the weed.

WWI at Beamish

Every year people come from far and wide to the Beamish Steam Fair. Unlike many other fairs; at Beamish the engines are in their proper settings, and not just standing motionless in a field to be admired. They are worked and driven around the Museum constantly. This year, the Beamish Steam Fair focused around World War One, with many vehicles and displays from this era.

Apart from the fantastic steam engines, there were also displays such as wood cutting using a steam powered machine – very interesting.

Along with the larger steam driven engines, there was a great show of steam cars and military motor bikes. Not to mention the poor chap who had the task of riding a penny farthing bicycle across tram lines and down the cobbled streets of Beamish under his own ‘steam’.

Spring Equinox

It is the spring equinox today; and although I have heard the blackbirds sing for a short time, it is the first time this year that I have seen them take up the highest part of the land, (tv aerial) and begin their song in earnest.

It is probably in rejoice that the snow has finally departed, and the first really warm day of the year has warmed their feathers.

An Odd End To The Fishing Season

It was an odd end to the fishing season this year. With the river high and coloured I ended up at a pond. Which at this time of year is not on my agenda, but it still meant that I was fishing.

Very lucky with the weather too. Rain was forecast, and although I did get light showers, the worst held off until the evening where upon it came down in rods.

Now the season is over I can look forward to spring and planting up of the allotment. Oh, and of course, the beginning of a fresh new fishing season in June.

And So It Continues

This batch of snow has meant that we could not get the car out of our street, and the first year in many when I didn’t own a 4×4. Subsequently, I have not managed to get to the allotment for some time now. Concerned with the amount of snowfall, I was conscious that the greenhouse roof might not be able to withstand all that snow, and collapse under the weight.

There was only one option – walk! It is a fifteen minute drive to my allotment, so I had quite a walk ahead of me in some really quite bad weather. Naturally, I took a flask of tea that would be me reward once I arrived. The snow was quite deep in a number of places and was almost as deep as the height of my flask; and far deeper than that where the snow had drifted.

I need not have worried,  when I arrived at the allotment I found that the wind had probably kept most of the greenhouse roof clear. There was very little weight on it, I was very relieved,. A couple of sweeps from a broom took off most of the ice and snow. Although the thermometer in the greenhouse stood just above freezing, it seemed really warm inside. So much so that I had to take my jacket off while enjoying my reward of hot tea ahead of my long walk back home.

The Beast From The East

It never ceases to amaze that the first flake of snow arriving in London, spark off an apocalyptic panic and the UK transport network comes to a halt.

What does not come to a halt however, is the wildlife at this time of year. The extra cold has brought on extra feeding of the garden birds.

I have not seen a Chaffinch for years, and here are a male and a female sharing a horde of sunflower seeds.

It has been cold, and the weather out at sea so bad that we have also had seagulls in the garden.

Good to see the Blackbirds. I look forward to the next few weeks when the weather may start to warm up slightly and the Blackbirds begin their spring song.

A Cold Snap On It’s Way

It recently dawned on me that it was August 2017 the last time I managed to go fishing, what with work commitments and one thing and another.

Setting my sites on a trip before the final day of the course fishing season, I was to be disappointed  that the Wessex river I so much like to fish was in flood. Second to this, I was unable to secure accommodation for the couple of days as the kids were on their term holidays and everywhere was booked up.

Keeping an eye on the weather forecast and keeping in contact with the river bailiff, I was pleased to see that their was to be a rise in temperature and that the river had fallen and was just about fishable.

Accommodation booked, I was on my way.

A great couple of days were spent with mixed results but managing to catch some lovely Dace and some great Roach, the final cast on my last day producing a Roach of 1lb 9oz, not a monster these days but certainly the biggest Roach I have ever caught.

On top of this great trip, I managed to christen a new float and three new reels.

One Hungry Corvid

With another downfall of snow, a bemused blue tit looks down in wonder as to what has happened with the cage feeder? It does not take long before the culprit re-emerges. A hungry corvid dangles precariously from the feeder. I would have thought that this bird would be happier feeding on the ground? There was plenty of spilt seeds on the lawn, but this one was adamant it wanted what was in that cage.

I recently managed to buy an old wire window box which I painted up and installed a few lavender plants that will look nice in the coming summer.

The snow did not last long today and melted as quickly as it arrived. We are still in for a very cold week. The birds will be thankful of anything extra us ‘gardeners’ put out for them.

 

A perfect night

It was a perfect night for bonfire night this year. It had been cold for the past days with very little wind. A full moon arose, along-with a very cold chill.

The display was as good as last year. Being over a weekend, bonfire night and fireworks had been going off for the previous nights. There was a cracking display that was watched from our upstairs window in the comfort of our own home, accompanied by an alcoholic beverage or two. Strangely, no actual bonfire, but the Fire Brigade had turned out?

A Reel Surprise

I saw a good friend of mine fishing with a lovely reel recently it turned out be a reel called a “Speedia”. I like these reels and have fancied buying one for myself for ages.

Watching a few of these reels on a popular auction website, I made a bid for two of them. I only imagined that I would perhaps win one of the bids.

I could not believe it when I checked my account. It seemed that I had actually won both of these reels.

Both of these reels had very poor descriptions in their adverts, but I liked the pictures.

I could not believe it when they came through the post. One was a wide drum, 3.5 inch, silver back plate with black front and was really nice. The second however was a narrow drum, all black, with the best sounding check that I have ever heard.

Who knows what triumphs and disasters these reels have seen in their lifetime? The only problem now is finding the time to christen both of these lovely reels for myself.

 

It’s Been A Good Year For Onions

It has been a good year for onions indeed. As part of an experiment I sowed the first batch mid November 2016 and they grew well. I sowed a second batch on New Years Day 2017. One of each of these I grew in the greenhouse.

The experiment did not go as I would have thought and the onions in the greenhouse went over weeks ago. The largest which was the November sowing only weighing 1lb 11oz.

The onions which I grew in a raised bed on top of a black membrane just kept growing. They had the same treatment as the onions in the greenhouse, including the same feed and at the same times. I did loose a couple of the outside onions, but on the whole they have done very well indeed, with the largest this year weighing in at a whopping 4lb 7oz! I also had a few onions just short of this mark.

I know from last year that these large onions do not store very well, so following a short drying-off in the greenhouse I will give as many away as I can.

An August Wessex Trip

A friend had contacted me to say that he would be fishing on the 16th, the day of my travel. I made my long journey to Wessex via the local tackle shop to purchase some bait, and then to a local inn to gain some sustenance, checked in to my accommodation and then made my way to the ponds.

I found my friend in good spirits and had not intended to fish that night at all. I did give in. Gathering my tackle from the van I set up a couple of swims down from my friend. It was good just to be here again. We fished until the approaching darkness. Tomorrow I would be here in earnest.

I had intended to skip my breakfast and be at the ponds very early on the Thursday morning. However, the journey the day before had taken it out of me, and besides, it was set for rain. A fair weather fisherman now I tucked in to a very good fry up and lots of tea before thinking about my departure.

For the traditionalists, I have not moved over to the dark side; (Carbon fibre) but managed to christen not only a new float, but this rather wonderful R.Sealey twelve foot ‘Match Winner’. This was sold to me as a black cane rod. It is nothing of the sort and is infact very, very dark green. It is made with a Spanish Reed butt section, a cane mid section, and a split cane top section.

I arrived at the ponds around ten thirty-ish and was greeted by warm sunshine. I setup in the swim that my friend had been in the day before, as I knew it had been raked. There were no signs of feeding fish. My float never dithered enticingly, nor were there any bubbles on the surface of the pond. Around twelve my float slowly submerged,  I grabbed the rod which hooped over. The fight lasted all of five seconds; the hook gave way. Damn! Well, at least I know they are feeding. I re-cast and settled down to more tea drinking. I noticed that I began bringing in weed when I reeled in, so around one thirty I raked the swim three or four times, baited it again, and went off to a local hostelry for some lunch.

Returning sometime after two o’clock, I recast. Again there were no bubbles, nor signs of feeding fish in the swim at all. Non-the-less I was very content. Not long after the bells had rang seven times, my float again slowly slid below the surface. Once again lifting the rod sent it into a hoop and a dramatic battle commenced. At this point I had no idea what it was, but it was desperate to get into the bed of lily pads. I gave as much strain as I dared on five pound line. It then changed direction into more open water, saw a wall of weed and then shot back towards the lilies. I thought that I had it under control until it managed to wrap itself around the one lilly stem that was jutting out of the bunch. I didn’t know what to do. I gave as much strain as I dare again and then fish raised near the surface, it was a Tench! Blimey I can’t loose this one. Keeping tension on the line, I tried to reach the stem with my landing net to break it free, but it was just slightly too far away to reach. Total stalemate occurred. I had to give in. Releasing tension from the reel was the last thing I wanted to do as I knew the fish would easily drop the hook. However, this was my only option. Releasing line from the reel sent the fish berserk and it freed itself shooting out of the beds and into open water once more. Keeping it as near the surface as I could, I managed to bring it over the waiting net. This pond is very well known for it’s Crucians, but I fish for Tench here, and was over-the-moon with this specimen. I haven’t caught a Tench in this pond for ages.

I had received a mail to say that two other members were to be fishing on the 18th , so I made my mind to fish another local pond to give them some peace. Again, following a leisurely breakfast, I decided that I would make my way back here to say hello before making my way to my fishing destination. However, when I arrived around eleven there was nobody there. Again I gave in, changed my mind about fishing the other location and went back to the same swim I fished the day previous. Around lunchtime I had the same sort of bite. No bubbles or knocking of the float, it simply slowly slid under the surface. Lifting the rod I knew straight away I was into a good fish and thought it was another Tench. I could not believe it when I drew it over the net, it was a huge Crucian. I did not weigh it, but was easily over one pound. The reel I was using on the day was a three inch Allcocks Aerial Popular ,and can be seen in the picture that the fish must be at least nine inches in length.

I know there to be a military firing range in the county and the ‘booms’ can be heard for some distance. However, today the sounds were quiet and loud, somewhat different to the norm. I was treated to a short shower, then the air turned really cold from what was a nice sunny day. This could only mean one thing – thunder. I was not wrong and did not have to wait long before the next storm rolled in. This time it was much closer. I reeled in and sat in the car as the rain began to fall in rods. I noticed two cars coming down the track, this must be the chaps who were going to fish today. Some time passed before I vacated my vehicle and went back to my swim. I really didn’t fancy my chances after the storm and cold rain. This often stops fish feeding. The two chaps also came round to say hello. One setup on the top pond the other went onto the bottom pond.

I was amazed to see my float slide under around five thirty, and was overjoyed to land a final Crucian before packing up and making the long journey back home.

It was great to be at the ponds again, and it was lovely to witness the Kingfishers fish, whilst I was waiting for a bite.

I can’t wait for my next trip.

The Big Onion Experiment

Last year I managed to grow an onion that was over 3lb. This was grown outside in the raised bed. This I was very pleased with, but I wished that I tried to grow one in the greenhouse to see if it would grow even bigger. Protected from winds I thought I could grow a four pounder!

I was very kindly given onion seeds for my birthday last year and sowed them in the middle of November 2016. These came on very well and did not suffer any damage from frosts in the greenhouse. I was given a second batch of seed at Christmas, and planted the second batch on New Years day 2017. I was hoping that the earlier sowing would benefit from a longer growing season.

The experiment has not worked out as I thought. The two onions that I have in the greenhouse have gone-over so I have had to lift them. The New Year sowing weighed in at 1lb 5oz, while the November 2016 sowing was a little heavier at 1lb 11oz. Not the result I had expected.

The outdoor onions are still growing and are visibly larger than the greenhouse onions. I will lift and weigh them when they are ready, and I’m sure I have at least one three pounder.

Loss Of An Old Friend

Getting time off work is always nice. Even better is finding time in this hectic life to get fishing. Only the second time this season I have managed to get to my local pond. An early night was had in preparation for an early start.

I did not start as early as planned, and sat with a mug of tea listening to the rain hammer down outside, while contemplating whether to go fishing or not, to get a drenching or not?

Suddenly the rain abated and made the decision for me. Soon I was on my short journey too the pond.

I was very surprised to see someone else in the car park unloading their gear. I was even more surprised to see two other anglers (poachers) on the pond before me. I found a place out of the way in an overgrown old swim. A lot of the swims have been left and are now overgrown. Some totally unfishable, but just the place where the fish, or Tench are likely to be hiding.

Armed with the usual tin of corn, I settled down with my flask of tea. As ever at this pond, the Carp were evident all over the surface. Most looked between 2 and 5 pounds, but there were some double figures cruising the surface. After a biteless hour I noticed the rod rock in it’s rest, and the reel ‘sang ‘out it’s loud rasp! Although I was sitting right next to the rod, the fish made the middle of the lake with ease such was the pace of its run, almost as soon as I tried to stop it, the line snapped. A clean break as if being caught on some underwater snag. Normally when this has happened to me the line breaks near the hook, but the line had broke higher up, and I had lost my classic red-tipped quill float that I have had since 2011. That float had helped catch Roach, Dace, Chub, Tench and even 20 pound plus Carp, and now was lost.

Disappointed, I re-tackled with another float and it was not long before I had another bite. This time I was sure was a Tench, but the hook pulled. I re-baited and cast again. Soon after I had another run, clearly this was a Carp and this time I had it under control and managed to keep it near the surface. Landing it was a bit treacherous as I was fishing very close to large reeds and rushes on one side, and a bed of water lillies on the other that the fish knew all about trying to snag me on one and then the other. Eventually I won the day and managed to land a good double figure mirror Carp. Unfortunately the batteries had died in the camera so I could not take a picture of it.

Maybe next time I visit the pond that float will be sitting at the waters edge, just maybe.

The Wonder of the World, The Beauty and the Power, The Shapes of Things, Their Colours Lights and Shades, These I Saw, Look Ye Also While Life Lasts. – "Denys Watkins-Pitchford".

Kevin Parr

Writer, fisherman, amateur naturalist and sometime Idler...

Farlows in the Field

The Wonder of the World, The Beauty and the Power, The Shapes of Things, Their Colours Lights and Shades, These I Saw, Look Ye Also While Life Lasts. - "Denys Watkins-Pitchford".

The Field

The Wonder of the World, The Beauty and the Power, The Shapes of Things, Their Colours Lights and Shades, These I Saw, Look Ye Also While Life Lasts. - "Denys Watkins-Pitchford".

Vintage Fishing Tackle

The Wonder of the World, The Beauty and the Power, The Shapes of Things, Their Colours Lights and Shades, These I Saw, Look Ye Also While Life Lasts. - "Denys Watkins-Pitchford".

HUGH MILES - WILDLIFE ADVENTURES

The Wonder of the World, The Beauty and the Power, The Shapes of Things, Their Colours Lights and Shades, These I Saw, Look Ye Also While Life Lasts. - "Denys Watkins-Pitchford".

Caught by the River

The Wonder of the World, The Beauty and the Power, The Shapes of Things, Their Colours Lights and Shades, These I Saw, Look Ye Also While Life Lasts. - "Denys Watkins-Pitchford".

WHERE GREEN ROADS MEET

The Wonder of the World, The Beauty and the Power, The Shapes of Things, Their Colours Lights and Shades, These I Saw, Look Ye Also While Life Lasts. - "Denys Watkins-Pitchford".