Wednesday 9 September 2015

All Change.

When September mornings arrive who's mind doesn't inexplicably turn to autumn perch, barbel,  chub, roach, and dace to come?

Summer is waxing and Autumn is striding forth out there and with it there's a distinct change in the air, and I love it!

I've never caught a decent river perch by design before and I'm determined to set that straight this year.

I've continued to fish throughout late summer and whilst enjoyment has remained at the fore I've also continued to learn and catch a few along the way.

Before I let the photos do the talking I wanted to mention a purely technical aspect I've incorporated into my standard running ledger rig this year - a large Drennan float stop on the main line above my snap link swivel.

For me it serves three purposes:
  1. When fishing in a high / rising river it is slid 10" up the mainline and acts as a weed guard.
Mid-cloumn floating debris slides down the line to the stop where it collects - the mechanics of which tend towards a slightly earlier displacement of the lead or feeder but are countered by the fact that the hooklength and bait remain clean throughout the cast. I'd rather retrieve my line a few minutes earlier than usual with a clean hook than one continually masked by trailing jetsam.

2. Whilst baiting a hook before filling the feeder it limits said feeder from sliding well up the mainline.

i.e. you can reach down to pick the feeder up quickly and easily.

3.  It can be slid down the mainline to within a short distance of the buffer bead to create a bolt effect. 

i.e. three inches of easy line can be taken before the stop is reached, then the resistance of the lead is felt.

All this I put to good effect during my third session of the year at Lucy's Mill where I blanked spectacularly.

A passing Countess of Evesham calls time on the session.

I've had a few evening cycle trips out to Coombe Abbey after work and on each occasion I've stayed out far too late but have been unable to call it a day due to the endless movements on the quiver tip. 

Capability Brown and I have quite a thing going on. He does a mean back garden and wherever he's trodden I like to follow.

Fishing a 10ft wand coupled with braided line and corn on the hook, once the sun starts to sink the bream move in and the line bites are nothing less than infuriating. I'm sure if I were to attach a pencil to the tip of my rod and move a piece of paper across it as you would see in a seismographic station I would be left with the perfect outline of large bream..

During the school holidays I suggested to my boy we engage in an afternoon stalking carp. Reticent at first he soon got the hang of the commando style approach to Hopsford Hall's Duckery: hiding behind reeds, climbing the odd tree fish spotting and generally moving slowly, deliberately and with quiet purpose to achieve our aim of catching one of the pools educated residents.

Admittedly not whoppers but I couldn't wish for a more enjoyable joint venture. There's hope for him yet....

The day before holidaying in France I did three things. Firstly the afternoon before travelling I caught up with my friend Dan and his lad who were doing an overnight session at Hopsford.

I took his son Olly off to the Duckery pool to give his dad a chance to set up camp in peace and to try once again to stalk a carp off the top.

Akin to stalking with a rambunctious tigger by one's side, the fish didn't let us down. I hooked one and the boy did the rest with an admirable ability to steer the fish clear of the reeds.

 Secondly I found these in Lane's tackle shop which triggered thing number three.

Inspired by the idea of doing a bit of LRF in the Med' I bought a six piece travel rod from Merv Wilkinson at an absolute bargain price. The rod packed down to about the size of a conventional ruler and was perfect for a few stolen sessions amongst a family holiday with the kids.

Needless to say six pieces soon became seven when I hooked the sea bed and decided to 'give it the beans' to try to free my hook. There endeth the holiday fishing.

The scenery in the south of France was truly awful... 

Once home from our holiday my dad said he'd like to join me for an afternoon's sport, so bank holiday Monday saw us meeting up (once the rain had stopped) to do just that.

Now at eighty years old, my dad was a fearsome sportsman in his day. He could turn his hand to most things and would usually excel. Although he hadn't fished for a good few years he was 'annoyingly' skilled on the day, giving me a solid run for my money in our one fish one point competition. But fear not dear reader -  I smashed the loveable old dribbling giffer into the mud winning the day 31 - 21. Principally because he got himself into a knot at the end and refused my assistance in untangling it!!

My two quid winnings will inevitably come out of his winter fuel allowance and we've resolved to fish together again soon.

I love my dad.
Happy Days.

Finally then, I bought a GoPro underwater camera for our holiday and whilst out swimming found a disused outflow pipe which was home to a shoal of schoolie bass. The possibilities of putting this camera to use whilst fishing local clear waters abound and I look forward to employing it in future....



  1. Ah, the dreaded Stratford cabbages made my life a misery last week. On the upside, soon they'll be gone and the recreation ground will be fishable for big bream, roach and even the chance of carp. Things can only improve now summer is over...

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