Tuesday, 13 September 2016

More this and that

Around and about the garden

I'm sitting in the garden this afternoon,lapping up what may be perhaps a few days of summer's final blast, with temperatures currently at 5pm around 77f
I've been noticing for the last few days that the acrobatic swallow and martin's had been replaced by the local small flock of starling, and our resident house sparrows in the stalling flight insect hunt they are both very good at. 
BUT, only just this minute I am hearing the twitter of a small group of swallows telling me that they haven't all made the trip down south yet. 
The swifts departed probably three or four weeks ago.
All in all it's been a good year in the garden for birdlife.
We've been inundated with linnet's, nesting in our hedges, they all seem to have left the surrounding gardens now, maybe the harvest is calling them to more abundant food sources.
The robin's are currently singing their quiet plaintive call in several locations nearby. Our own, I assume a male having the brightest of red breasts I've seen for some while. 
That may be due to reflective light, but he certainly looks in good full colour. 
Generally, the other birds have not fared quite so well, blackbird and song thrush although having a good number of broods, have been noticeably restricted in the end to one or two fledglings, with the odd three showing earlier on in the spring. 
The woodies only appear to have one per brood surviving , but they have been rampant all year. Flimsy nests cropping up all over our higher hedges
Other than that, we've had dunnock, wren and house sparrow producing one clutch successfully, but not other birds.
Our annual great tit  nestbox was squatted by house sparrow for the first time since we've lived here again just one brood although there has been great success around as we often have up to 30 around our pond.
Our two apple and pear trees have been quite successful this year  the victoria plum however, has for the last two years after an excellent harvest failed, and we had a great deal of rust spots on the leaves. 

I've cut it down now, before leaf fall, on the basis that I think it's diseased, and don't want to chance an infection of the rest of our trees. 
Other than that we didn't plant a great deal of salad/vegetable crop on the basis that we may be moving.
Alas that hasn't come to pass yet. 
We did have enough for tasting at least, of raspberry and blueberry. No gooseberries this year though, and as for the grape vines, not enough to even trouble the blackbird.

I was going to venture down to the Trent again tonight, but decided too many beers on the patio probably made it not such a good idea.
I did go down yesterday and fished for four hours up to dusk.
Only one take just after 6pm, and that turned out to be a very angry barbel of about eight and a half pound. He gave a cracking tussle for his quarter tin of garlic spam. 
I think you can see where it ended up!

My hook knot tying method appears to be improved, lack of care beforehand I think.
The mojo is definitely back, this stretch of the Trent isn't easy, but I'm winkling them out slowly but surely. A challenge gratefully accepted.
I thought the two barbel reported in last weeks blog were different fish, so thanks for those of my readers who responded to confirm my thoughts
Unlikely to go out again until Friday at the earliest, unless I get the dawn call.

In the meantime off out to the patio with a bottle of wine...... or two

Thursday, 8 September 2016

I think I've got it back

My mojo for fishing that is.
I've been on Trent a few times since last reporting, most of it small stuff and a lot of blanks.
This week I've been out twice, two days on the trot! I maybe even having a trip down tomorrow (Friday)
The Trent is painfully low, but I've persevered with the maggots and hemp approach, fishing the chunk of meat on the inside line, and a mix on the main rod.
All of my smaller stuff has been caught on dendrobaena worms, with not so much of a sniff on maggots.

On Tuesday I met Flyfisherman Richard for an afternoon session on the middle, did my usual stuff and after about two hours I got some action on the meat rod and landed my second barbel of the season, again at 9lb 8ozs. 
I'm hoping it's not the same fish as my first day fish!
Other than that once again maggots failed, but I took some same chub and perch on the worm.
Richard was unable to buy a bite.

Anyway last night I grabbed my cane rod, my Purist II and some bits, and decided that a session on meat only would be worth a test,
I thought that perhaps a bit of weight on the line would suit better
having noted yesterday, and indeed firstly on this session, that I was loosing a lot of meat on the anti erosion rocks.
So after about an hour of setting up, and with the weight on the line, I was into my first fish. 
A chub of about 3lb, it had snaffled my quarter tin of garlic spam without any trouble.

So out again, I waited, as you do with big meat and, was just tidying up, and having a pee, before the off, when the reel gave me the alarm again. 
I lifted into a fish still with my todger hanging out!
Left handed put away, right handed rod hold...or was it the other way round?
Anyway, this time the fish was bigger and tougher, and was heading off downstream, it was starting to give ground when.....it came off.
Once again I had a knot failure, this time on the hook length swivel.
Disgusted with myself I packed up, it was nearly sun down, so being off the fishery is in the rules.
I was so angry with myself that it took a while to calm down even after some idiot pulled out on me on my approach to the roundabout at Newark.
The driver kept faffing about in front of me all the way up to the A1 roundabout, after a few blasts on the horn I felt a lot better and then calmed down for the remainder of the drive home.

This is/are the fish, so if I have any readers, are they the same fish?

I'm now determined to go back down again, and to make sure before hand, that my lack of practice in knot tying fluorocarbon is improved and I'm up to finding out what is in this part of the mighty Trent.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

It's peeing down!


A blank day on the Trent last week. 
I have to say a river with a bit on and some colour appeals to me far more than what I encountered.
So to start off a session somewhat unhappy with conditions doesn't put me in the right frame of mind to fish, but I did for around 5 hours.
I put in a good pile of hemp and maggots via the big bait dropper, and had some good takes earlier on, of which one I had a connect, but was very quickly into a bottom snag, and left me without my end tackle probably a rock. 
After that it all went quiet, and once again I left the fishery without going into the dusk time.If the mood is not right, no point lingering in hope
I need to go down later in the day, I think.

The Lake District
And, so Saturday and we're off to Braithwaite our base in The Lake's for a week of touring around the sites and waterways.
We booked a small cottage in the village, close to the pub.
Our welcome was cold wet and windy and for the whole week, save for Thursday, it stayed that way.
Never the less we did two long boat trips, one on Windermere the other on Ullswater,  and basically we enjoyed the cruises and the scenery. 
Of the two, I think we preferred the views from Ullswater, in fact my camera didn't really get much action on Windermere, the worse weather of the two trips.
The rest of the week we took in Morecombe Bay...it was closed, Whitehaven, much the same, and generally a good tour around the back lanes of the lakes via Keswick, Kendal and Cockermouth etc.
No Jenning's brewery tour as we were too early in the year, they wait for the kids to have the school break!
Whilst I took a liking to some of the beers available, the local was a Jennings pub and I'm not too impressed with the four they had on offer,so stuck to the guest beer a Ringwood brew Old Thumper. 
Thwaites and Robinsons were not too bad, but as I was driving, only one or two passed my lips.
I have to say apart from the weather we enjoyed our stay, the cottage was just the right size, although the staircase ceiling up to the bedroom probably had a coating of scalp by the time the week was out. Going up was ok, but coming down my lean to the left was often just not enough on many occasions!
Cosy Cottage
The countryside was beautiful despite the rain, or perhaps because of the rain. 
All in all a fine trip also some good local food in the local restaurants.

The White Hart LUDFORD
Although the local grape vine had passed the news around about a fortnight ago, my membership email has just confirmed that my local has just been awarded Lincolnshire pub of the year by CAMRA. Mick and Jenny are justifiably proud of the achievement.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Don't talk to me!

An evening spoiled

I rushed out at 4:30 pm last night to get some fishing in, and headed down into the valley.
In my rush I forgot my worms, fortunately I had a pot of Mistral paste and my plastics in the bag, and a bucket of hemp..
Having set myself up, I suddenly remembered that the England v Iceland game was on a 8 pm. 
So I decided that I see how it went, fishing wise, in the three hours before kick off.
I set myself up on Goose lake, I'll call it that from now on, because there are hoards of canada and greylag's at the far end.

Tonight was to be a carp night, with them coming from the off.
They were all about the same size, and gave me quite a tussle on the light tackle.

At 7:30, I decided that I'd had enough and packed for the short drive home and the football match. 
All I'm saying about that is, I wished I had stayed fishing!

Meanwhile back at home, in the garden
The hedges are getting in a bit of a mess and need a good trim, but every time I go to have a hack I find that another bird has decided to nest. 
We have three linnet nests in various stages of development. Our regular wren has now encouraged a mate to his nest, and we have eggs . Dunnock's are nesting again, as are the robin.
On top of that out two resident blackbirds have nested again and I haven't, yet, found another song thrush in residence, but they are about.
The garden generally is full of young sparrow (and our nestbox family fledged last week), blackbirds and wood pigeon.
Never mind at least I can cut the grass, when it's not raining!