December 31, 2011
December 29, 2011
December 23, 2011
December 01, 2011
November 25, 2011
November 17, 2011
An 8' solid glass affair and something constructed from a 2nd world war tank aerial that I could barely hold let alone cast. I always remember his reel with its 'camouflaged' line, wiry multi coloured stuff that was supposed to blend into the background but I wasn't convinced.
November 01, 2011
October 28, 2011
October 23, 2011
October 13, 2011
October 05, 2011
September 26, 2011
September 18, 2011
September 15, 2011
I have a mistress, I am not ashamed to admit it. I fell for her allure many years ago and more will follow. When I first cast eyes upon her I was in awe of her beauty, a beauty that reflected all that was radiant around her. She is a celebrity, famous and familiar. I summoned the courage to ask her a question and, to my surprise, she spoke to me in a brief but knowing way, I was smitten.
Since that day we have met on many occasions and I have learned much of her ways yet, I seem to know so little about her. I will tell you this, she is always in a hurry, frequently aloof and moody yet she sings with a voice like an angel's giggle although it can become a growling bark should she feel the need. She is always, always in control, I forgive her that.
As the weather cools she will don her winter garb and will hide her glamour from the casual eye, yet it remains, you just need to look a little deeper. Then, as she warms, she wears that light, flower patterned cotton dress that clings to her meanders, the one that lets the sun shine through it revealing a little glimpse of what lies beneath. Occasionally, when the light is just right and if you appear indifferent yet watch carefully, she will show you more. Is it a careless lapse or a flirtatious tease? I am never sure but there, deep down, a flash, a peak at her jewel. I am left spellbound and even deeper in love.
Then she is gone, sweeping her way toward her next victim, she may speak to him too and he will no doubt fall for her charms. We are all susceptible. I don't mind sharing her affections but I do have a wish that one day it with that she shares her greatest secret.
September 13, 2011
August 24, 2011
August 21, 2011
August 13, 2011
August 07, 2011
August 02, 2011
July 24, 2011
We've had a spate, 5' of water has flushed through the river and it should be red hot for some barbel action. Its also that time of year when the fish should be moving to their summer spots, leaving the post spawning areas and spreading out. Trouble is, nobody has told the barbel.
I've fished a few different spots over the last few days and have only had chub. barbel are being caught by other anglers but I'm trying places where they should be as well as a few spots where I've never caught one. Avoiding the often fished and downright hammered sections means catching less but I don't mind, a barbel from a new swim is always welcome and counts high on my 'achievement' list.
My club ticket for Hereford and District AA should arrive this week and the challenge of the Lugg awaits. Target? Barbel - obviously and I'd like a good 'un. I'd like a big chub too, 6lbs is a possibility from what I've seen and of course, there's that perch that Conrad saw - he put it at over 3ibs. Can't wait.
I lost my glasses yesterday. Somewhere between the car and my swim, across 400yards of long grass, they fell from my pocket - bugger!
Today, I decided to at least have a cursory search for them and, after twenty yards of field - there they were, slightly bent but otherwise okay. Finding stuff you think lost for ever is great, I hate the emptiness you feel when the search is in vain.
That done, I had a check around the fishery and found a car parked inside an area fenced off by the farmer. He closes half of this big field for a few weeks each summer for hay making and it is closed off with an electric fence. To stop the anglers that cross the fence (on foot) from getting a shock, we have put some lengths of insulating foam over it. These herberts said "That fence has been there for a year" (Obviously they last came in early summer 2010). Then one of them said, "The farmer closes this half of the field because there's nowhere for the cows to get a drink." I pointed out the cattle drink not 15 yards from them!
Then they said, "We thought that the rubber on the wire (insulation material) was there for us to drive over." I asked him if he had noticed there were no other tyre marks in the field?
I don't know of these guys were stupid or just too plain lazy to walk the 150 yards to the swim they were fishing but I have asked Mike (the guy that owns the fishery) if I can have a cattle prod as some people really, really do need a jolt now and again.
July 18, 2011
It was windy! Now I hate fishing in a wind. I'd rather sit it out under a brolly in a downpour than contend with a blustery breeze. I am certain that our ancestors stayed in the cave on such days as an unsteady wind destroys our hunting senses - hearing and scent especially.
But we don't use scent when fishing do we?
No, but its a general feeling of being stifled by the buffeting breeze that effects me. Its only air on the move, what has air got to do that requires it to be in such a hurry?
I began, as I have been intending to do all season, at a spot unfishable from the bank. I waded to a shallow gravel bar in mid-stream and threw a few freebies toward the bank into a deep glide. I followed up with a rolling rig, plasticine for a weight and a hair rigged boilie as bait. Due to the windy conditions I lost contact with the weight and the rod felt heavy each time it was hit by a gust.
I increased the amount of weight and tried again but again lost contact. I decided to try something different and tightened to reel in only to find myself playing a nice chub. Oh well, who needs skill when you have luck on your side.
I kept at it, changing the weight to a lead, rolling, static, nothing felt right - so I moved.
I found a spot - an old faithful - and settled down at water level to negate as much wind as possible. Out went the same combination of feed and bait and very soon the first fish was on. Well, it wasn't quite like that. I actually decided to reposition by bait and again, reeled in only this time I felt the fish 'take' as the bait moved. I was convinced it was a perch as they sometimes snap at a moving boilie but no, there was chub number two.
The next three were far more conventional bites and the last was well over 4 pounds in weight. But, despite only fishing for couple of hours, I'd had enough. I could have continued catching chub after chub with an outside chance of a barbel but the wind had rattled me so I left, content with my rewards for a short session and glad to be out of the wind.
July 16, 2011
July 14, 2011
I love France, always have and see no way that my opinion will change any time soon. Despite the, so called, animosity between our two nations I have always found French people to be friendly and obliging and, I think, they seem to like us. Yes, I know that they are useless at fighting and let us down badly during the last war, I know that they help to make Euro laws but then ignore them and their football team are a bunch of cheats but that aside, I love 'em.
I driven around most of France and I always enjoy the countryside, the open spaces and the wonderful architecture be it a beautiful chateau looming out of the wooded landscape or a medieval town so unchanged that it requires minimal imagination to wonder how life was lived there hundreds of years ago. This time we passed hundreds of fields full of sunflowers, like triffids at the electric fence each facing the same way, slaves to the light.
Just outside of Saintes in the Charente Maritime we saw a sculpted boat alongside the road. I slowed to look at it and beyond it we saw some standing statues and a number carved into the limestone rock face. There was a car park and that was us for the next hour. It transpires (from talking to one of two woman learning their sculpting techniques in an otherwise empty place), that the sculpting had been going on here for over a decade and that famous artists from around the world are invited to spend three months or so a year to indulge in the special qualities of the stone face. The results are incredible and it must be one of France's greatest secrets as even people living in the area seem oblivious to the place.
Here are a few pictures of some of the works. The scale is difficult to take in but most of the pieces were at least life size and the baby in the womb was about 10' across.