July 25, 2010

I've been a right grump of late, I can't help it, its just the way it is when you are a depressive. I've suffered for - well, most of my life in one way or another but since I succumbed to post traumatic stress disorder the bouts are understandably a tad deeper. So, if ever I don't post anything for a few days, it may be because I'm sat with a little black cloud over my head or, I may just have nothing to say - that also happens occasionally ;-)

Anyway, feeling off with the river is usual for me in mid-summer. I am naturally very protective of 'my' stretch of the river. I am the bailiff, I prepare swims, mend fences and stiles that sort of thing, and I treasure each fish that swims there. But by the sixth week of the season I have usually witnessed more than my share of piss poor practice by visiting anglers.

Now, I don't begrudge anybody putting in a massive effort to catch their fish especially when they are on a holiday break that is costing a bob or two. If you go away to fish you want to get value for money and to many 'value' equals quantity. But what they fail to understand or care about is the effect they are having on the fishing. People that have a good day in a particular swim will always return to that swim the next day and give it another hammering, probably catching some of the same fish again. When they complete their stay there is usually a spell of crowing in the bar about how good they are and how they have the river sussed. The next man to leap into that swim after hearing of its success, will do the same during his trip and so it goes on. The end result is always a swim that has been hammered to death and as a result, becomes poor or fished out.

The Wye seems quite prone to this turn of events and although there are a few swims that keep producing year in year out, many of the 'new' swims where a group of fish is located then exploited, last only a relatively short time. Its just the situation that arises on a 'holiday venue'. Were this section a club water the pressure would be far less intense.

I can cope with this situation, there is always somewhere else to fish that is out of the way and most won't walk far from their cars anyway. But its the attitude of some. The thought that if they throw a ton of bait into the river it will always catch them more fish. I've seen a group of twenty anglers fish for a week over a stretch of nearly five miles of river. They baited so heavily with pellets that, for a day or two, they caught quite well but, by the end of the week nobody could buy a bite! In fact, the only thing that seemed to be grabbing pellets was pike!

Then there are the guys that will spend hundreds of pounds on travel, accommodation and bait but who won't cough up a tenner for a landing net bigger than a tea strainer, line heavier than 5lb bs or of course, an unhooking mat. Mention fish care to these people and they give you a look of incredulity. It really, really pisses me off.

Oh I've tried to educate, tactfully and politely. I've raised my voice at some that have just been ignorant. But its all conflict that I can do without so, when I am fishing, I try to find a quiet spot and avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, up until a few days ago, most of those out of the way spots have been bereft of barbel but they are starting to spread out a bit now so things are looking up. Neil has had a couple of evening sessions that have each given him a brace of barbel so I'll have to get down and catch some soon, he' already bragging about catching more than me - the little pup.

Talking about The Boy, it was a proud day on Wednesday when he collect his degree in Fisheries and Fishery Management. My son has got letters after his name - time was I thought he'd end up with numbers in front of it :-) Not really, he's a good lad and worked hard for three years. His facebook page summed it up nicely, "went on a three year bender and woke up with a 2.1 degree". Not too far from the truth but there was some effort involved, wasn't there?

I'm fishing one of the Wye and Usk beats tomorrow, checking it out before a couple of days guiding a trio of anglers that want to catch on the float. My persistent tendonitis means I will not use the float rod much myself but I'll hopefully find a barbel or two. They also want to get to grips with fishing on the lead so its going to be hard work but, if they catch a few and have a laugh or two along the way, it will be worthwhile. I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. You might have worn a tie. Well done Neil.

  2. I have worn a tie just once since I retired and that was only for a hour. It was hard enough for Nick to get me to wear clean jeans ;-)

  3. At least Nicky looked the part!

  4. Yeah, she still scrubs up well :-)

  5. Dave,

    Lsst year the Wye and Usk website requested that visisting anglers,did not hammer shoals of fish.Maybe have six or so ? Then move on ?But is it enforceable though ?

    And if you see the "Scientist" send him my regards.;-)

  6. You are right Monty and in the early days beats were closed to rest them after a period of intense fishing. I don't know if that is still happening and I doubt that many anglers have the self discipline to move after a few fish.

  7. Hi Dave,
    First time I have read your blog and posted on it, well done to your Son on his degree. Maybe he would like to join the BS and give Pope some advice on fishery management (insert smiley face) he sure as hell needs some advice.

    I have read your comments on Bob’s blog and have to agree with you there needs to be a balance otherwise Pope and his puppets have all the say. Fred Bonney is as usual causing the BS more harm than good but lets face it he is a Pope yes man soon to be joined on the committee by Frampton who is so far up Pope’s rectum you can only see the soles of his shoes. I see he has had to have the last say on Bob Robert’s blog, I thought this guy had some principles but alas it appears I was wrong!

    Isn’t it funny how all those years ago we had quite a few disagreements regarding the BS you were defending it and Pope. It did not take him long to go about his devious ways and cause you to leave, he has done the same thing to many other good guys who only had the society’s best interests at heart. Now three more of the committee have resigned as a result of Pope’s treachery and deviousness.

    Bob recons none of the BS detractors have offered any positive or constructive advice on how to put things right. I don’t agree with him, I have suggested many times that the only way to bring the BS forward is to remove Pope from the chairmanship.

    If what Mike Berridge says is true regarding Pope wanting him to break the data protection act Pope should be expelled from the Society without delay. We know it won’t happen because he has surrounded himself with yes men who appear to have little courage to do the right thing by the membership.

    The BS will stumble from disaster to disaster under Pope, it has little credibility left and Pope has none in my book. His hypocrisy knows no bounds he is now comparing a five lb barbel from the upper Severn with fish from Adams Mill. A place I am sure you will remember he rubbished along with anyone who fished there and indeed the resident barbel that swam there.

    Don’t let things depress you Dave autumn will soon be here and you will no doubt have the banks to yourself and things will quite down.

    I look forward to seeing you again at the next BSG meeting. The 27/07/10 see's my 65th birthday and I intend to enjoy it.

    Kind regards
    Ray Wood

  8. Bloody hell Ray that's as blunt as Feargal Sharkey's nose!

    Well done to the young un' Dave, there has definitely been some effort involved. I still shudder at what me and my missus went through at University - 'tis hard graft.

    I had a fish care row of my own this last weekend, it really pisses me off too. Hope things go well this week for you on the river.

    Once again well done Neil!


  9. Well even though I know Ray is as mad as a hatter I have difficulty disagreeing with him this time.

    I must thrash myself.

  10. Many happy returns Ray, still fighting fit I see ;-)

    I can't fault a word of your post, we've seen it all before and no doubt, will again.

    Bob was probably a bit grumpy the other day, I can't see what was wrong with my comments, they weren't anti BS. I think it was just an excuse to have a go at those that are in his bad book.

    I'll pass on the congrats from everybody to The Boy, little smart arse that he is. Anybody got any jobs going? :-)

  11. Dave,
    Yes we have seen it all before and will again but how much longer can Pope get away with it?

    I can be even blunter who's Grevile Starkey?

    Come on back to the east end and thrash yourself publicly we haven’t had a public flogging for years.

    Kind regards

  12. Ray Feargal Sharkey was a the lead singer with the Undertones and later on became involved in the national administration of the music industry. Apparently he will shortly be given a life peerage see here:


    I only thought of him because he has a very flat face and I couldn't think of anything blunter than a flat face! If you follow the link you will see what I mean.

    Twas my crap attempt at humour that's all.


  13. Conrad,
    I know who Fergal was and yes he is a strange looking geezer, Grevile Starkey was a flat jockey who cost Dancing Brave the 1986 Derby he never rode the horse again. Pat Eddery rode the Brave to win the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe.

    Your humour was well received, so no worries follow the link and see what a hash Starkey made of the Derby! I backed Shahrastani but I should have lost me money!


    Kind regards

  14. If its ok with you Ray I would rather stay in the leafy countryside up here. Its a long way to go for humiliation and I really dont get the East London scene, its scary.

  15. OK by me Tony, just make sure you are thrashed in a public place.

    Not sure why you think the east end so scary I thought you Yorkies were ard!

    Kind regards hic, hic too much you’ve ad to much my wife is saying!

    Kind regards