Saturday, 21 November 2015


Last year

But specifically because of the recent atrocities in France, I thought it was apt to show this.

The French Government last year awarded my Uncle Reg, now in his 90's, with this medal. 

He is now  a Knight of the Legion of Honour for his part in the Liberation of France in World War Two. 

This month

A lovely warm and generous lady, June Evelyn Coleman my next door neighbour from our arrival in this village, passed away on the 4th November at the age of 83, after nearly six years of a nasty and painful debilitating illness.
She will be very much missed by my sometime fishing companions husband Ray and son Rik.

Rest in Peace June.

This week

My Dad would have been 94 on the 17th, so I had a drink to celebrate his life also.

On Thursday, a trip down to the Big Smoke to meet up with some true old friends from my days at International Stores in Mitre Square 1965-1973.
We met at The Oyster Shed on the north bank of the Thames,just along from London Bridge
A location I booked and organised.
Part of a very modern building, but comfortable and they had proper beer, some very good 
food,  and we were well looked after, much to my relief!

A fairly long session for the two old boys John(The Boss) and Jon, 
who is now somewhat  of an  invalid following a stroke some years ago.
They only meet up with us at "Christmas".
Not all of us were part of the infamous  International Drinking Society, they are both now well into their 80's.
Anyway, we met at Noon and they both left at 4:30, but many memories, good times, and former colleagues, some long gone,  were discussed and laughed about.

The afternoon moved into evening before the remaining few  moved onto another bar for our final farewells...until the next time, and my birthday in March.


Not been out since the Dane trip, but the rivers are now with water, so maybe this week I'll fit something in after my holiday typhoid and yellow fever inoculations are out of the way.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

River Dane

First chub outing of the season

The forecast said rain all day, so with some trepidation I started my 3 hour drive to Holmes Chapel at 5am.
I chose to go via the A46/A50/M6 route rather than the all motorway M62 route.

The day started good, weather wise, and my whole journey was almost dry and uneventful.. until I reached junction 16, where I was to enter my only motorway part of the journey, for two junctions, the M6.
As it turned out I was making good time and would have arrived about half an hour early, but somebody tried to pull onto the motorway and didn't see the big truck and trailer!
So I arrived dead on time at the Co-op filling station to meet my old acquaintance from Fishing Magic fish-ins Phil Heaton.

And so, we headed of to the river and parked in a lay-by close to the railway viaduct.
It started raining.

So off we trudged, not too fully laden through one gate which had a "lake" to the front, and deep cattle cattle disturbed mud on the other.
Then through another gate held closed by a short twisted length of barbed wire!
As we got through the gate we were met by a smallish heard of young bullocks who gave us not more than a cursory glance. But, they had made the journey across that field quite slippery and rutted.
So in a short space of time, my boots were caked in heavy cloying mud.
Arriving at the first swim, already knackered after one or two breathing stops for me, I produced my 10 foot Garbolino rod ,which as it turned out, was ideal for getting through to swims not made conveniently fishable by the farmer.
The river reminded me somewhat of the river I fished last year down in Hertfordshire, the Rib, not very wide and somewhat overgrown in places.
This time however the barbed wire surrounding the river banks was doubled up with a live electric fence.
Anyway back to the first swim,
I already had the rod fitted with my Purist ll loaded with 6lb bs something or other, and a size 12 hook to which I squashed a good sample of Stilton, a single swan shot on the line about 6 inches from the hook.
My first cast had not been in the river a great length of time when I got my first take, a chub just over 3 and a half pound.
3lb 9ozs
A good fish for this river I was told by Phil, who was highly relieved, and impressed, that I had managed to catch on first cast.
Apparently they don't grow a great deal above 4lb.
This fish was followed up straight away with another chub of  a bit over two pound. but lacking in a chunk of it's caudal fin.
Otter damage I was advised.
We stuck around for another half hour or so, with no further fish troubling my Stilton offering and so we moved swims.
This move occurred a few more times  without fish showing any interest.
In the meantime the river was rising, the mud was getting thicker, but my heart was kept going, ( I was becoming quite knackered) by the frequent jolts from the electric fence, as my well soaked Barbour, part of my body, or an item of tackle touched the wire!
Anyway at about noon, Phil suggested, as he had planned, that we move to another stretch about half an hour drive away. This stretch had the benefit of the surrounding fields being arable.

I'm afraid the trudge back across the fields to the cars got the better of me.
I apologised to Phil and said, and it had been raining non stop since our first yomp across the fields, that I didn't think I could enjoy anymore fishing.
My clothes now weighed a ton, the Barbour had soaked up quite a lot of water, and had now become heavy and wet through.
And so we parted company, Phil had decided he was quite happy to go on his own to the other stretch.
As it turned out, we both started our journey home in the continuing rain. Me down the M6, and he up the same motorway to Manchester.
I did enjoy the fishing, but at 66....and the weight I'm carrying, I'm afraid I'm not up to fighting my way to get to the fishy quarry.
So I think, I'll probably stick to the softer "southern" rivers, and/or reduce my carrying tackle even more!
What I do need though, is to get some better/ lighter waterproof clothing.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

It didn't happen

"November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear."
Sir Walter Scott

The Dane

My Friday trip to the Dane didn't happen, conditions were not right. River low and clear awaiting the promised rain
Trying again next Monday.
In the meantime thick fog has put me off going down to the Upper Witham to see if the chub had put on weight.
So I had two short trips to fish down in the valley.
Monday evening saw me catch a few of the usual size carp and some small roach, apart from loosing a good fish that fought like a crucian. It was quiet.....bite wise.
Feeling a bit bored  yesterday afternoon and still in fog I went down again, specifically to target the perch and roach.
My first bite was a carp of about 8lb, the fish came in without the usual commotion and run around.
The water must be cold after some heavy rain and slowing them down.The pond is spring fed.
I hope it puts them down completely.

Anyway, the next bite was my best roach from down there.

The best 1lb3ozs

I've always suspected the better roach are in there somewhere, so may well give the autumn and winter a good try and leave the river chubbing until the New Year.
Once again not many bites but at least the carp were a bit quieter.

We shall see.