Tag Archives: roach

Autumn Cast

I had to think back to the last time that I was able to cast a line. My initial thoughts were the final days of the course fishing season back in mid-March. After looking through my own blog, I remember that I did manage a short fishing trip at the end of June – what a poor fishing year!

This particular local pond used to be full of Roach, which is what I was fishing for today. Waiting for a bite, sipping tea, I cast my mind back to the last time that I was out fishing on my birthday? I deduced that it was actually eleven years ago. At the time, I had purchased my very first split cane fishing rod, and have never opened the rod bag full of my carp fishing “carbons” since. I have added a few lovely split cane rods to the collection over the years too. One of my favourites I was using today, an old Mark IV, with one of my favourite ‘pins’, an Allcocks Aerial.

With the black death (Cormorant) circling above every hour or so, it was clear that this lovely pond had been targeted. This was confirmed when speaking with another angler there. A lot of the small fish are no longer. So I did not catch on my birthday. The wind was storm-force at times, float fishing wasn’t the best idea, making casting somewhat tricky (fishing excuses out of the way). I had a great day non-the-less. I am sure I used to class November as Winter, but today was overcast, dry and warm on this pleasantly mild Autumn day.

The Start of the New Fishing Season

I awoke at four am to the sound of heavy rain. Good and welcome news for the garden and allotment, but not when I was about to take a car journey of over three hundred miles. Although traffic wold be lighter at this time in the morning, I knew that further into my journey the rain would compound delays, I was not wrong. Disregarding an unexpected road diversion that added forty minutes onto my journey, I arrived at my destination eventually around 12:30. I had two options- to check into my accommodation and then track back to do a couple of hours fishing, or I could go straight to the tackle shop to purchase bait and go fishing straight away. The decision was made for me when I called my B&B and there was no answer.

 

I arrived at the pond to find another member already there and I introduced myself to one of the new members. It did not take me long to get a line in the water. The weather was warm and sunny, not perhaps the best fishing weather; but it was pleasant to be back at this ancient pond again. Fishing in a familiar swim, it did not take long before my orange tipped quill float slid away. Roach after Roach came to the bank, along with a few lovely palm-sized Crucians, and two Crucian ‘corkers’ later that day. A great afternoon was had, but sadly there were no signs of a summer, new season Tench for me today.

End Of Season

As per usual, I was anticipating fishing for Roach on one of my favourite rivers in Wessex on the last day of this course fishing season.

As the date approached I, along with others, watched the weather forecast for the days approaching the 14th; It was not good news. The bailiff had been on the phone the previous week to say that the river was in the fields. Desperate news, but this particular river falls very, very quickly, so I was not too disappointed at the time.

I drove down on the Monday and arrived late in the day. Tuesday brought ‘biblical’ rain; this did not look promising for Thursday the 14th. The rain stopped around 15:00 on the Tuesday and I ventured forth to see what the river was like. I was amazed that, yes it was flowing very quickly, and really was too coloured to fish well, but it had not risen into the fields, so I had a couple of hours fishing on the river bank.

However, Wednesday morning brought grave news from the bailiff that the river had risen overnight and was now in the fields again. Along with gale-force winds, fishing here would be impossible today. I am lucky to be a member of a couple of nice ponds in Wessex, and one in particular I know to be tree-lined, and was sure to be able to get out of the wind somewhere along its banks and cast a line.

I found a lovely sheltered spot close to trees that were part submerged in the water. The perfect hiding hole for big Roach and unsuspecting Carp. The sun made an appearance, and once the Kelly kettle had been fired up, I was very comfortable, content and warm. I caught some lovely Roach, the biggest was definitely the very first fish I hooked, but as it rolled on the surface it threw the hook. I went on to catch 20+ Roach but no Carp today. Tomorrow, the 14th, would definitely be spent on a pond somewhere.

After many emails sent and received, it was to be spent with a few friends on a commercial pond. I had fished this pond a few times in the past years and looked forward to connecting with one of its resident big Perch.

I arrived at 12:00 on the dot after travelling down some very narrow lanes and through a ford that was full of water, breaking one of the cars fog lights in the process! Damn sat-nav, I will throw it out of the window one day. I hadn’t realised but a couple of guys had arrived before me and were already fishing, and infact catching too. After a brief chat with the guys I hastily setup the rod and made my way to one of the few calm parts of one of the ponds there – it looked very perchy! Not long after I had setup the rain arrived. It wasn’t bad at first and I thought that it might blow-over, but it didn’t, it just got heavier and heavier. It was no good, I would have to retreat to the car to fetch my brolly. As I walked back to my pitch, two other friends arrived and sensibly stayed in their car while the worst of the rain passed over.

Everyone had a good fishing day, no monsters were caught and the best part was meeting with friends again and feasting on home made pork pie, cake and of course tea! A great end to this course fishing season. I now look forward to spring, hearing the first Blackbird song and of course the opening of the new season where I look forward to fishing for Tench once more.

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.

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.

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.

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.

My Favorite Wessex Pond

My new season fishing trip was going well, and very hot. I had been looking forward to a trip to my favorite pond for some time. I knew that one of the ponds is surrounded on all side by trees, so I would be able to shelter from the blistering heat.

I found a lovely swim, with a nice breeze blowing on my back which was fantastically cooling, taking the temperature down a couple degrees was very welcome.

There were initially no signs at all of feeding fish, and I really did not expect to see anything, nor catch anything in these hot temperatures.

I had brought along with me my very first split cane fishing rod that I had squired, an un-restored Mark IV, and a little Aerial Popular that I had recently christened with a Roach on this trip.

The moment my first cast hit the water I was getting little bites. Piranha-like, the hook bait was gone very quickly and reeling in to a fish-less, empty hook.

Perseverance prevailed, and soon after the float shot up and laid flat on the surface. I struck lightly and was in contact with a Roach. A good Roach too.  Again I cast into the baited swim. Things were quieter now with no bites. I wasn’t paying attention to the float and was looking at the various plants that adorn this lovely lake when I heard the little Aerial Popular ‘sing’. By the time my hand was on the rod the fish had made the middle of the pond. I was convinced this was a Tench. A little disappointed that there was no resistance when I picked up the rod. However, as I reeled in it seemed that there was actually still contact. It turned out to be a big Roach that thought it was a Tench, or even a Carp. I don’t think Roach are meant to run like that? but it seems at this pond they do. This is not the first time I have experienced this phenomenon.

I cast again into the same swim and all was quiet. I sat and enjoyed the bird song which seems especially loud at this little pond. Soon after my float dithered, not a positive bite as such, but I struck anyway and made contact. It was one of the fine Crucian Carp that reside in this lovely pond, what a corker!

As the afternoon drew on, the pond took on a rather sinister feel. There were no signs of feeding fish anywhere and I had stopped getting bites. Out of the gloom, from time to time, the Grass Carp surveyed its kingdom. Nice to see, but un-catchable today.

 

One day like this a year will see me right

The new course fishing season seemed to have taken ages to come around this year. I have not been able to cast a line for a trout in the interim., I have either been too busy with work, or too busy at the allotment.

The weeks forecast ahead for the opening day was enjoyment; with high readings on the thermometer to boot. I would have to pack sunscreen along with all the fishing paraphernalia.

I arrived on the 15th at a favorite lake in Wessex, to be greeted by blistering heat. Fishing would be hard-going in these hot conditions.

I met another member who was there in advance of the glorious 16th who would be camping out in order to get the first cast at midnight.

Following a leisurely morning for me, and devouring a cooked breakfast with a large mug of tea, I arrived at the lake around 09:30. There were only two members there, which was amazing.

Temperatures rose during the day, and the fishing was tough. I had been advised to rake my swim as the lake had a fair bit of weed growth due to the recent warm weather and the low water levels. I did not like the thought of crashing a rake through the swim making so much noise and disturbance in the process. In the afternoon I gave in. I fetched the rake and began wielding it through the swim for about ten minutes dragging lots of weed out of the way. I did however pick out any oxygenating plants that I had dragged up and returned them too the water.

I could not believe it, the fish were far from scared off by all the commotion and were back feeding in the swim within half an hour.

All day I had watched what I though to be a pale mirror carp go back and forth between patches of lillies. Another member came round for a chat in the evening and we both stood and watched this fish approach my float, then stop. He said “grab your rod, hes going for it”. We could see the fish nose down and a patch of bubbles arose. Straight from the pages of Mr Crabtree  “strike!” and the lake erupted. It was immediately apparent as soon as I saw the fish briefly out of the water, that this was not a Carp, but a Golden Tench. The angling gods were indeed looking down as I had dream’t of a Tench from the very last day 14th March of the last fishing season, I could not believe it.

End of Course Fishing Season 2017

I have been really fortunate this course fishing season being able to get out fishing as much as I have. The lakes have been good to me, so too has the river.

I had taken a few days off work prior to the 14th in order I could get some fishing in, just in case the river flooded and became un-fishable, which is common-place at this time of year.

Working in Wessex again, I only had a two and a half hour drive too the river. Packing my car to the gunnel’s on Saturday morning, I set off in good weather looking forward to catching a Roach on the river Stour, with four days to achieve this I was hopeful of landing at least one.

I was on the river by late afternoon, via a detour to a local tackle shop to purchase a pint of their finest ‘mixed’. The river was in good shape, but there was rain forecast for the Saturday evening, with no real indication of how much precipitation was to fall. This could easily scupper the fishing for the next few days, including the final day if a real heavy downpour was to occur.

I was joined by my friend who is the river bailiff for this stretch of the Stour. I setup at my favourite swim that I like to call ‘the beach’. I first mixed up some groundbait and fired it across the river towards a deepening channel on the far bank.

I set my vintage Aerial reel onto my Fred J. Taylor rod with a small cage feeder and cast out. It did not seem like one minute had passed when the top of the rod began bouncing around; I had my first fish! I could not believe it? A Roach on my very first cast. Very small, but a Roach non-the-less.

I caught Roach after Roach, and was having an absolute field-day. The wind made it impossible for float fishing and very difficult getting the feeder into the same position each time, but I was not bothered, I seemed to still be able to catch. My friend had moved swims and was now in a corner just downstream of me. He came running up to show me a huge Roach he had just landed, what a corker! Strangely we did not weigh it. This was gently returned, serenely swimming off as if nothing had happened. The day ended with thickening cloud and a threat of rain. During that night the rain fell. It fell so hard that it woke me up. That’s it, I thought, the river will be knackered now.

Arriving at the river on the Sunday, I was met with a total surprise, the river had actually fallen in height. Yes, it was very coloured, not ideal, but still totally fish-able. Once again I fished late afternoon and into evening and was treated to some nice Roach, and also a good soaking due to a cloud-burst or two. As darkness fell I latched into what I first thought was a huge Roach, but it did not have that noticeable ‘jagged’ fight. I then thought it may be a small Chub, as it seemed to be making its way towards every snag in the water that it knew. It was not until I managed to get it near the surface when it rolled to reveal I had hooked a huge Perch.  A Perch so big I have never seen before. I did not weigh it, but did take a couple of photos before I gently returned the splendid Sargent. I was kept company by a nearby Woodpecker hammering away randomly. I can only imagine that it had quite a headache by the end of the day. Great to hear a Woodpecker again, and I was also pleased to be accompanied by the Kingfishers which are always a delight to see.

Monday began with a call from the river bailiff to say that river fishing was over due to the river now had actually risen quite dramatically and was very coloured. Disappointed, but not put off, I went to the river in the afternoon. There were still lots of slow glides available to fish. Another friend joined us that afternoon and we all caught some lovely Roach, Dace and Gudgeon, even though the river was now far from perfect.

The 14th arrived, as did perfect weather. Cloudy and rather mild for this time of year. The river was still very coloured. I fished the same spot as yesterday, and watched the bailiffs’ brother land an absolutely huge Roach, without weighing it and nonchalantly returning it as if it was common-place to land such a big fish. I, on the other hand, was catching minnow after minnow after minnow. The odd Roach did grace the river bank, as did a small Chub and a couple of Dace along with the odd Gudgeon. A good friend brought along a superb fruit cake that was made for Christmas. It had obviously matured beyond Christmas and was very, very tasty indeed and was a welcome accompaniment with a mug of tea brewed from a Kelly kettle.

A number of other fishing friends joined us in the evening for a pint to celebrate the end of this cracking season.

The traditional course fishing season is over, I can look forward to planning my allotment, sowing vegetables for the coming year, and looking forward to June 16th with a dream of a Tench.

A Winter Roach

Working again in Wessex, I planned another fishing trip this Sunday to the River Stour.

The weather forecast for this weekend was certainly more favourable than the last; with better temperatures and no easterly wind. Although there were high winds and rain forecast, I did not let this put me off.

Sunday morning arrived.  as I peered out of my window and it was clear that the weathermen had done their job this week. It was grey, cold and raining, I’d better wrap up warm.

A friend of mine, (who is actually the bailiff for the stretch of the River Stour I intended to fish), telephoned in the morning to say that there was a competition match on the river . Ah no! I could not believe it. Unperturbed, he advised that there was a stretch further up river where the match-men would not be, and that we could go, and more importantly, the fishing there was really good. I advised that I would be parking up in the usual spot, assess the situation and would plan an attack from there. Travelling via the tackle shop again, I arrived and parked up. I was very pleased to note that there were actually only eight people fishing the match, so was confident that I still could fish the area I wanted, undisturbed.

Creel, slung on the shoulder, grabbed a flask of tea, along with the rods and began my trek across the fields. The first spot I wanted to fish was taken by a match angler. A little disappointed I continued on, I stumbled upon an area that I had actually forgot about. Almost like a beach, sloping slowly down to the waters edge, hard under foot, and gravelly. The only downside being that I was not out of the wind, which was actually blowing rather fiercely. I know that Roach love gravel areas, and at the other side of the river I knew there to be a deep channel where the river slows up, a classic Roach swim.

I had intended for fish with two rods today, one trotting a float down the swim, and the other on the river bed with a swimfeeder full of groundbait. At first I prepared some groundbait, mixing it with water from the river. I made quite a solid mix and threw three or four golf ball sized handful’s into the desired spot. Letting the swim develop and leaving the fish to hopefully enter the area, I began setting up my ledger rod. I put together a rod that I named the ‘little tinca‘. I had it made purely for Tench fishing but thought that it would have the power to hold a swimfeeder full of wet groundbait. Thankfully it did, and before too long I had cast into the swim. Using my new Aerial I had to be very careful as even with my cack-handed Wallis casts, I knew that I would hit the opposite bank. Instead opted for the ‘Nottingham Style‘ cast which employs paying off line from the reel and cast from there. Much easier to determine distance.

After some time I reeled in to re-bait and re-cast to find that I had indeed hooked a small Roach. It was so small that the rod tip did not indicate any bite. I re-cast, and this time saw the very slightest of bites, and again had hooked a very small Roach. With the swim like this I did not bother to set-up a second rod to float fish and stuck to ledger tactics. I did miss the sight of my quill float sailing nonchalantly through the swim. I can’t remember the last time I ever used ledger tactics? but it seemed to be working today. I did however change my rod to my Fred J Taylor, which, although is still strong, has a nice action tip so I could see more clearly bites when and if they arrived. I also realised that I had christened my new Aerial reel, and it had been done in style, with a winter Stour Roach.

My friend joined me some time later and he set-up round a bend in the river just downstream of myself. He had some huge Roach and said he hadn’t had a day like it in ages.

As dusk began to fall I lost two big Roach, one after the other. Half way across the river flow they simple fell off the hook. Of course I was disappointed. All I had caught all day were small Roach, but I really had no terms for complaint as I had lost count of the Roach I had caught and had a fantastic day. After reeling in a nice Dace it was evident I had a Pike, or a number of ‘Pike’s’ in my swim. That was one of the luckiest Dace around, as not fifteen feet from the bank, the river ‘erupted’ as a Pike made tracks for this Dace, narrowly missing it and spooking on the sight of me. I began to get hefty knocks on the rod tip and reeled in to find no fish. Sometimes, as I was reeling in a Pike was actually attacking my empty cage feeder.

Pike stopped play, and my friend also had Pike trouble. We called it a day, but what a day.

I look forward to getting to the river again for the last few days of this fishing season, and who knows what awaits? I only hope the river is in the same mood as she was today.

I must Be Mad!

I had promised myself another trip to the river this weekend.           Watching the weather a week before the trip, it did not appear encouraging. Easterly winds all week, and possible snow by the weekend. Thursday came and went, Friday came and went, and the forecast did not change, Sunday was going to be very cold and windy.

I awoke on Sunday morning to a leaden sky and the sound of the wind howling down the chimney. What am I doing, I thought? Only an idiot would go out fishing in this weather. The thing was that I had psyched myself up all week to go fishing on Sunday, no matter what, I was determined to go fishing, even if it was two degrees with a wind-chill factor of minus four!

Car packed, and with extra layers of clothing, extra jumpers and jackets. The moment I turned the key to start my car the snow began. Fortunately, it was very fine snow and did not trouble me.

I was looking forward to my two and a half hours Sunday drive to the river. On my journey, I could see the tops of the hills were pure white. Should I turn around, go back home, light the log burner and put the kettle on? Drinking tea all afternoon in front of the fire would be very appealing, but I had some fishing to do!

After a detour to a tackle shop to purchase some bait, I arrived near the river. Parked up, unloaded the rods, put on another jumper,  a jacket and made my way across the fields to my destination. I know of a stretch of river that is accessible down a small bank. Here I had hoped to be out of the wind. When I arrived I was very pleased to see that my intentions were correct, and indeed the wind was blowing over the top of the bank above my head. Down at river level I was actually quite comfortable.

I had brought along with me a new trotting reel, an ‘Adcock Stanton’ that I was keen to try out. Not a true ‘pin’, as it is assembled with ball bearings, but I was amazed at how well I could Wallis Cast with it, getting a little too close to branches on the opposite side of the river on more than one occasion.

I tried trotting a worm down the swim. I tried trotting a bunch of maggots down the swim. I even tried the deadliest of Roach baits ‘bread’, none were successful. It did enable me to try out this reel though, which I was very pleased about. I also enjoyed being by the river, despite the cold and the high winds.

I had brought along with me my new Aerial reel that I was also very keen to try out. My lake is about a half hour drive from the river, so after about two hours on the river, I packed up and made my way up to the lake where I would try for a winter lake roach, or even a winter Crucian.

Again, when I got too the lake there were plenty of swims where I could get out of the wind. The lake looked very different now that all the lily pads had died back.

The new Aerial looks very good on my Fred J Taylor Roach rod, even though it did not spin once today and my landing net remained bone dry.

On my way from the lake, I stopped by a local Inn and treat myself to a Sunday carvery. This warmed me up nicely. I drove home elated that I had made the effort , and was surprised that I had enjoyed the cold day so much.

Winter Sunshine

Managed to get a break last weekend, and drove over to Wessex with a new rod and reel. The aim, to christen them with a winter Roach. The rod, A Fred J Taylor Roach Rod, has actually been christened already, but with a double figure mirror carp, so was keen to do it ‘properly’ with a Roach.

This winter was cool, a beautiful clear sky and full sun. Not perhaps, the best Roach fishing weather, but there were no complaints at all, it was great just to be fishing again, especially at a flowing river.

An old Rapidex was given to me by the bailiff of my local pond and deemed fit for the bin. After a little tlc, I managed to free the totally jammed reel, and following a good clean, got it to a state where it could actually be used again.

Sport was slow. A couple of friends joined me, the river bailiff being one, and we fished in the same spot; fruitless. Wandering across the river, and across a couple of fields, we found far better looking swims and settled down in earnest.

Trotting a large float down the river. No real bites or indicators were seen at all. Only my float would stop occasionally in mid flow. I would tighten the line as if it were caught on the river bed so that it would be on its way again. One time when I tightened I felt resistance, A fish! At last! I thought it was a big Roach lolling around in mid current, and then it made a few short runs which I knew to be a Chub. The river was so cold that the Chub did not really put up much of a fight and did not get near any snags, of which there were many. I had to be cautions,  I was using a very light hook link. A quick photograph and back to it’s cold home it went.

I moved swims, much further down the river, the sun warming hands and face. A couple of Roach and a Gudgeon were to be had. Nothing of any size, but at last I could say that the Fred J Taylor Roach Rod has now caught a Roach.

With the sun setting rapidly, I found my friends up stream, we marked the day with a delicious slice of blueberry cake. In quickly diminishing light we all packed up. Walking back across the fields sounded like a favorable breakfast cereal, as the grass was beginning to freeze under our footsteps, and we crunched our way back.

Lightening Doesn’t Strike Twice, Does It?

Fishing again at my favourite location. Glorious sunshine with a cooling breeze.

I had taken my new Edgar Sealey ‘De-Luxe’ rod and new landing net to see if I could christen them both.

After fishing for about two hours I heard a distant rumble. Now I know there is a military firing range not far away, but as I listened again and again it was getting closer. Exactly like June 16th, a storm was approaching; fast!. Boom, boom went the storm, not just one but numerous came and went by without dropping a single droplet of water.

At the place I was staying for a few days, the story was somewhat different, in that they had experienced tropical-like flash floods with flooded roads and streams; I had been lucky again not to get wet.

To cap this all, I finally managed to christen ‘in style’, my new rod and net, with numerous Roach, Rudd and a Crucian of over 2lb’s; what a day to remember!

River Interlude

It is not often that I get to do a spot of river fishing so I was very pleased to get the opportunity.

Trotting a quill float down a river must be one of the most pleasurable techniques in fishing. Armed with a couple of slices of bread I fished bread flake for the Roach and Dace.

Great to see the Damsel flies. Something I have not seen for some years. Close up they are almost alien.

The Glorious 16th

This year I have been very fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to become a member of another very secret lake in darkest Wessex.

Driving overnight, I arrived at the lake around 11:30. Walking round the lake I looked for signs of feeding fish; there were many. I introduced myself to a couple of members who were fishing the bottom lake. Nice bunch of chaps.

I set up on the top lake, and settled down after a very long drive. It was not long before I had landed a couple of cracking Roach. Although I was very pleased with my catch of Roach, I knew that the bottom lake was famous for its Crucian Carp. I was eager to see if I could catch one on the opening day of the course fishing season.

Setting up in a corner away from everyone else, I made myself comfortable, opened my flask of tea which was luke warm, but perfectly drinkable.

From the colour of the clouds above, it was evident that a storm was brewing and I could hear the distant rumbles of thunder.

I could not believe it when as soon as my float entered the water, I would mend the line then I would be into a fish immediately. Catching well over ten lovely Rudd, I suddenly hooked something far more substantial and put up a good fight,  rolled on its side as a bream does and gave up. As I drew it up through he surface and towards the net it turned out to be my very first giant Crucian Carp, just like a huge bar of gold. Stupidly I did not weigh it, but it was well over 2lbs. I fished on for a few more hours watching storm after storm pass by without getting a single drop of rain and suddenly I hooked a train! It made for every lily pad in the vicinity until I finally had it under control. I was absolutely over-the-moon to land a Tench of around two and a half ponds on the very first day of the course fishing season. My favourite species, and a classic summer fish. Not only had I not caught a Tench all last season, but this cracker was caught on a brand new, and in mint condition Edgar Sealey Floatcaster that I was using for the first time.

Was this all a dream?

Last Day Of The Course Fishing Season

I had been looking forward to the last day of the course fishing season from September 2015, when I made my annual batch of tomato chutney. A jar of which I always put aside as a gift to celebrate the last course fishing day of the season.

Having managed a few days off work, I arrived at my location a couple of days prior to the 14th only to find the river had burst its banks, and was actually part of the surrounding fields – what a disaster!

Changing tack slightly, I met up with friends and fished a local lake. I had set myself a goal of netting a Carp from the surface. Quite a mean feat in a cold biting wind in mid March. I did take some time to get any fish on the surface, and non of them where really competing for any of the freebies, but I persevered and managed to land a good double. It came too the net quite easily and fought just as well on the bank as it did in the water. She was full of spawn as well, a really good sign of things to come when the weather warms up. Back she went very gently.

As the final day approached, the 14th, my prayers were answered by the angling gods and the river had fallen quite some height. Enough to drop a line in. I had a fantastic day on the 13th, catching upwards of 40 Gudgeon, and upwards of 20 Roach and a Dace. All very small, so the landing net hardly got a wash, but great fishing non-the-less.

On the final day I met up with friends. We all fished from before lunch, and all had a great day. We were treated to a beautiful sunny day, and, as per usual, much tea drinking and cake eating took place along with our angling exploits.

The last day

Well, after weeks and weeks of anticipation it is finally here, the last day of the course fishing season.

Meeting up with friends for a river session targeting its beautiful Roach. A great variety of fish were caught and everyone had a good time. The weather was quite cold though and the wind was pushing through somewhat which made the old ‘Wallis’ cast somewhat hazardous ending in numerous tangles.

Fields of Gold

Another glorious, unscheduled trip to Wessex.

Hurriedly packed the car on a Monday morning and I was off. Arrived late Monday night in order to fish my lake early Tuesday morning.

Woke up at 05:30 to leaden sky’s and torrential rain. Needless to say I did not rush out too the lake. Instead I had a spot of breakfast with a pot of tea. Around 09:00 the sky’s cleared enough for me to gain enthusiasm again to get fishing. Had a lovely morning and fished until lunch catching 4 cracking Roach in the process. And I saw a Kingfisher this morning

That evening I was kindly invited by friends to fish a small commercial fishery that I know well now.  My intention was to catch my first Carp from the surface of the season.

I had brought along with me on this trip a surprise for everyone as I had packed a pot of my ‘July Jam’ and a couple of bottles of Elderflower Champagne. I had also bought some fresh scones and a pot of the finest clotted cream, so we had a proper cream tea before the fishing began in earnest

I was very fortunate to land this double figure mirror, not the prettiest of fish but it went like fury. We fished on until after midnight and saw many shooting stars as it was very clear sky that night.

The following day saw me back at my lake.  It was amazing the amount of ‘champagne’ bubbles round my float, classic Tench, but all I kept hooking were Roach.  Although I have never experienced a Roach that ‘ran’ great fights they put up in shallow water. By lunchtime I had caught 5 in total, what a great morning.

That evening I took up the kind offer by some friends to join them at a free stretch of river to go Barbel hunting. We had a great time although non of us caught, maybe next time…

 

What A Scorcher!

 

Parked up at my local lake around 06:20 and after a ten minute walk across a couple of farmers fields I was at the waterside, where I was greeted by a mirror like, flat calm pool. There were no signs of any fish feeding at all. Normally as I trudge along the bankside, I will sometimes ‘spook’ the odd fish, but nothing today.

Presented with an azure blue sky, punctuated only by a perfectly formed cotton wool like, thick, small cloud that drifted nonchalantly towards the horizon, then out of sight.

Nobody else was present at the pond, I had it all to myself. Armed with my Edgar Sealey ‘Octofloat‘ rod today and the usual 3.5″ Aerial, I quietly tackled up and threw a handful of sweetcorn close to overhanging grasses. Fishing lay-on style, using the classic ‘lift method’, I cast a single grain of corn on top of the free offerings, sat down on my creel, and opened my flask.

Almost immediately the float lifted and I hooked a Roach.

By now it was around 07:00 and the day was getting very warm indeed. After about an hour the float lifted once more and I thought I had hooked into one of the small Carp in the lake but after a 5 second fight I knew what my prize was as a Bream came to the net like a wet cloth after a spirited 5 second battle.

Cleaning the slime of the hook link, I recast to a different area and again baited with a handful of corn.

I was joined after an hour by 2 local lads, who although they said they fished the lake, were definitely not members, non-the-less, I unusually made time for them as they were knowledgeable about their fishing. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my float ‘zipp’ away and I was in to a small carp. When I got it closer one of the lads, who was standing higher up the bank watching the action, said it was a Crucian, just then it rolled and I too could see what it was. No doubt, it was a Crucian. I could not believe it. I had no idea all the time I had fished this lake that there were Crucians’ present. I was absolutely over-the-moon with the catch.

The sun was still blazing down when I left the lake around 12:30, what a day!