Friday, 29 November 2013

Fishing an intimate chalkstream vlog

Friday, 15 November 2013

Boddington bobber floats

Having read a post a while ago on Idlers Quest where Jeff put Guinness widgets to good use by crafting them into floats, this got me thinking about the widgets inside of Boddingtons and wondering if they were the same or perhaps different, after cutting a can open I was pleasantly surprised to find a flying saucer shaped widget.

The shape looked perfect as a body to an economical, bobber style float and with a central hole already made they looked spot on, just a case of using a few of our old barbeque skewers and find a size that would fit snugly once pushed through the widget.

A little bit of glue to seal either side of the central hole and some plasti-kote in tangerine orange, along with some walnut varnish and away I went.

Now they are almost complete and the plasti-kote was nice and easy to work with, I look forward to giving them a maiden bobbing at some point.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Mixing new & old

I have been enjoying a few trips recently on what is a tiny waterway, one that has some wonderful features and in places so narrow that you could hop across it, there is something rather special about such rivers, home to many different fish and some nice ones at that, my first trip on this river resulted in a nicely conditioned chub of 4lb caught just after dark.

These types of river also make perfect winter venues for the roving angler, so you could perhaps have called this a bit of an investment toward winter time,but then garnering knowledge on any new river is always an enjoyable affair.

The weather was windy and mixing itself up with a dashing of rain, the choice of swims and features staggering, each spot looking likely to produce a fish or two, missing a couple of good bites as I made my way downstream and then catching the odd chublet along the way, lobworm, maggots and cheese paste my main choice of baits.

Water clarity was wonderful and you could clearly see the gravel runs in some swims, thoughts of chub, perch and dace were never too far away and by late afternoon on my second trip I had settled in the swim pictured at the top of this post, it proved fruitful, I picked up many small perch and a rather feisty brown trout that did try to wreck the swim a bit.

It was most enjoyable and  just as the sunset I moved further downstream, finding a deeper area of the river, my first casts were met by the unenviable claws of crayfish and by now the wind was howling, pieces of debris and well worn branches dropping into the river at regular intervals.
I eventually had a sweeping bite, one you could not mistake, the quiver thumping round and fish surging off downstream toward the security of undercut bank. A perfectly formed chub was soon nestling in the net and had given a very fine fight.

Proof that this little river has some pleasant surprises in store and I for one am looking forward to enjoying its company on future trips.

My most recent trip was back out on the Blackwater, a river that is rarely far from my fishing thoughts, it is as beautiful as the Loddon and equally alluring, plentiful in features and swims where one might forget the meaning and importance of time.

I had planned to target perch and chub, but it became evident on arrival that the recent rain had made the river swollen and very coloured, I decided to make my way along the bank slowly in search of a slack or two, the river was lapping over the banks in many places and made me did wish that I had brought my waders instead of normal boots, never mind..

I settled for one particular area, a bend in the river, a nice slack with a reasonable amount of flotsam but the ground in the spot itself was another matter altogether and akin to something from the Somme, I decided to chance my arm and see if I could still pick up a perch or two on worm, I did manage to pick a couple between a few small roach and chunky gudgeon, the larger being a fish of 14oz's which was in perfect condition with resplendent markings.

By evening time it was a tad chilly, the ground where my feet rested was partially submerged and it was evident that the river level had reached its peak, I had changed bait to a thumb size piece of cheese paste, the smell of crushed garlic, cheddar and blue cheese lingering on my fingers, I joked with myself  that all I needed now was some crackers. An hour past and I had packed most of my tackle up and sat back down to slowly drain the flask of its remaining contents when the quiver tip plucked once and then buckled round, it was evident that I was into a very lively fish and one that had different plans to the angler above.

Powering off downstream, I could feel the line frequently clipping against snags, keeping the rod tip low so as to avoid this unwelcome tour de débris, I finally slipped the net under a very frisky chevin.

Weighing 4.3 It was in fine condition, not a mark on it and looked fresh as a daisy, this was a great way to seal what had been a challenging but enjoyable trip, however making my way home with slightly damp feet, I could not help but muse repeatedly over the fact that I had decided not to wear  waders, somethings never change though!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Special moments

Late October, the smell of autumn in the air, a mixture of earthy mushrooms and rotting fruit mingling between an anglers nostrils, a feeling of optimism filling the air and suggestion that winter is not so far off, bringing with it windows of opportunity for many other species to be enjoyed.

The river more pressured here but no less beautiful, the sun a golden orb, casting a myriad of colours and a steady breeze whispering a thousand words of welcome, a simply stunning day and one to cherish.

An anglers plan of perca, barbus and that quantum of hope that we all share on every fishing trip, that spark of what could be and with it the hope that thoughtful fiction can indeed become reality, that we might glance down into our landing net one more time and draw a breathless smile, whilst overcome by a mixture of adrenaline and happiness.

Cheeky plucks, along with worm stealing antics were the prelude, but when those tiger stripes and defiant dorsal broke the watery surface, blood red beauty was displayed in full, a masterpiece of colouration

Coloured perfection
A double worm here and a slowly fed mix of maggot and caster there, time for a cup of coffee and contemplation, a chance to mull over thoughts and become temporarily complete as a human, however I am drawn back to the here and now as the rod tip bends, before taking up an alarming arc as I set the hook.

Stubborn resistance felt, a moment of stationary calm, then as if someone had flicked a switch, that preliminary and testing run full of power, the tiny reel ticking away at an increasingly excited pace as 6lb line and angler are put to task. As each deep run is made, so the adrenaline increases, control needed lest it overspill, a necessity for a clutch moment and a benevolent smile from the river and its occupants.

Smile it indeed does as the net slips under her, angler dry mouthed as he tries to recover the nervous energy that has been expelled during this tussle.

Smooth head and a thick set lateral line, adrenaline and wrought nerves turn to a smile that is set like cement, a perfect moment.

A switch to a less nerve wracking setup is made, time passes rapidly and along with it clearing skies and moon appear, I make out the silhouette of a deer as it casually makes its way behind me, before picking up on my scent and vanishing like a ghost. It is nearing time to go home when the river casts its second spell over me and I am once more entranced as I admire a torpedo of a fish, replete with a Mako esque tail.

On the way home I recount the trip, recalling each and every moment, savouring it whilst silently thanking the multitude of variables and dice rolls that had fallen to favour me.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Be safe - River carp opportunities

I would like to convey my deepest condolences to Steve Stringers family, I cannot even begin to imagine the turmoil and devastation they are feeling.

As anglers we do regularly put our safety secondary and having fallen in twice this season myself, this recent event is a very sobering thought and a stark warning to all of us to be as careful as possible whilst out enjoying the hobby we love.

A collection is currently underway on Barbel fishing world for donations so that a wreath can be bought for Steve, the link for this can be found below.

 Wreath collection for Steve Stringer

There is something about river carp, be they stillwater escapees who have adopted their new habitat or original river residents, I do enjoy fishing for them at times.

Having spotted a couple of fish moving along the river during October and unfortunately losing what looked like a nice mirror to a hook pull on one of those trips, this fish had truly lodged in my mind, sitting in the recesses of my thoughts, ghosting in and out before regularly prodding me, reminding me of its powerful midwater runs that it had made before the inevitable happened.

This was to act as a catalyst and I soon found myself making my way to the river with a mixture of optimism and a rather nasty throat infection in tow. It was a very pleasant October day, the surrounding foliage beginning to show signs of it being late in the year,a mixture of well worn limey green and the river with a touch of colour from recent rainfall, it looked perfect.

Opting for tb1 boilies as bait and small pva mesh bags clipped on to my run rings, containing a mixture of crushed boilie and a small amount pellet, this was then dipped in a light amount of Elips oil.

It was a peaceful day, a buzzard gliding in and out of view from time to time, the sound of a woodpecker merrily tapping away. An hour later and natures ambience was interspersed with the electronic warble from my Delkim as it one toned, the fish speeding off downstream. After some surging runs in midwater, this fish was eventually ready for the waiting landing net.

Not the fish I had lost on the previous trip, but a very nicely conditioned and solidly built common (15.2), I was absolutely over the moon, I sat back and celebrated with a cup of coffee and  a tyrozet.

As evening faded I started shivering a bit, but it was not a cold night. I considered my options, to stay or instead go home for a soothing honey and lemon drink. I picked the former option and decided to stay for two more hours.

I was glad that I did, as it resulted in a very welcome barbel (10.1). By the time I started packing up I realized I had taken too many tyrozets, superb throat lozenges and they have an excellent numbing affect on sore throats, but to say I felt rather more aloof than normal as I made my way home would be a very large understatement..