Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A Day To Be Forgotten

Before the squalls came, the sun shine was blinding.
Since my last entry, the weather has been unrelenting. Rain has swept across the country on a daily basis accompanied by strong to gale force winds which have wreaked havoc. Overnight, here in the South East, the winds reached 50 - 60 miles per hour and rain fell out of the sky.

Paradoxically, this morning dawned bright and clear, the wind now just a stiff breeze and so I met Harry once again at Bewl Bridge for another attempt at pike fishing on this, my nemesis water. The levels were so low that it was difficult to believe that so much rain had fallen over the last 10 days that the rivers all over the country had spread across fields and roads causing mayhem and heartbreak to all those who were flooded, some for the third time in four years.

And the sun shone blindingly, the breeze causing a courderoy ripple on the reservoir. It was to be another bad day. No-one caught anything to our knowledge. We trolled and cast our way up the usual arm and spent almost the entire day there exploring some wonderful features and trying a vast array of lures. In an attempt to fish as close to the bottom as possible, I was using about 5 ounces of lead on the trace and eventually I got snagged, good and proper. I hauled and hauled while Harry moved the boat into various positions in an attempt to free the tackle.
Eventually I pulled whatever it was virtually to the surface - I could see my trace, but not the spoon which was down the side of the boat and hidden from my sight. The boat moved, the rod spun in my hand, my finger slipped off the trigger guard and the rod was gone! It sank quickly and with no line out we had little hope of retrieving it although we tried, Harry losing a spoon and trace in the process. Whatever was down there had claimed my rod for good!
The sun stopped shining, lightning lit the western bank and thunder drowned my naughty words. The second nasty squall of the day blew through like a non-stop express train through a village station blowing leaves, birds and hoods all over the place.
Harry hates hoods.
They hit you in the back of the head when you don't need them and blow off your head when you do.
I hate Bewl. Still, Lumby will be happy, I suppose - I need a new rod!

After the squall

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A Touch of Wind and The Gripes

Finally - a days fishing booked!

Unfortunately, the wind strength was such that the lads at Bewl couldn't allow us off today. We've had 50 - 60 mile an hour gales, with trees down and debris all over the roads. Our annual sortie after Bewl's pike would have to wait at least a week.

So...Little Chef then.

After a hearty (read 'pricey for what it was') breakfast we decided to head towards Maidstone and a lake we hoped might throw up the odd jack and keep us at least a little sheltered from the hurricane that was sweeping across the South East.

We settled in side by side in a large swim and set out our pike fishing stall. Fortunately for me, everything still seemed to work after a hibernation of fourteen months or so, but oh! did it feel good to be back!

Due to the effects of the wind, we cast out legered baits; mine were about 10 yards or so out to the right, just about under an overhanging willow, and about forty yards straight out in front; Harry cast similar distances. The weather, although wet and windy, is still very mild with temperatures well into double figures - warm for the winter end of November.

Harry and I then had our conversation about this blog and Harry feels somewhat hard done by as I seem to demene his captures, even calling the only pike we caught at Rutland 'tatty'. But to put the record staight Harry has caught a nice upper double and lower double at Bewl - I caught Rainbow Trout. Harry always catches at Rutland - I don't. Harry catches more than me at our Sussex Reservoir even with his bait hanging in mid air! Harry is tidier than me, more technical, his reels don't look like they've just been dug out one of my compost bins and he experiments more than me.

But today, I caught the fin perfect, olive skin backed, creamy buttery bellied, ONLY fish of the day.

It took the herring fished close in and forgot to fight until it hit the net.

Oh, and I brought nicer cake than Harry.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


Chestnuts and mushrooms - both wild.
It's been over a year since I last added to this blog.

2009 has been difficult due to deaths and serious illnesses in the family and with close friends.

Still, I have managed to complete my time on the PAC committee and have spent most of the year making jams, chutneys and using everything from my extensive vegetable and fruit garden.

This was mostly down to the acquisition of an extremely large Freezer from a generous client who was selling his shop and had an ice cream freezer just for me - the stickers are still on the side.

It has meant though, that I have been able to freeze all sorts of things - except fish! No trout fishing at all this year, even when we went to Scotland in September, but the foraging has been good.

Franc and I have had mushrooms almost at any time we wanted. We've picked wild plums, blackberries, hips, sloes, crabapples, chantrelles, ceps, field mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and sweet chestnuts, to name only a few.
This month, I'm going fishing!