Wednesday 25 November 2015

Dark Days Celebration

A week or two ago the trees were still heavy and laden with fruit. I picked the last of our few varieties here in Dorset before the winds came and then ventured up to Gloucestershire for what is know our annual "dark days" celebration. This is usually well after the traditional bonfire night burn up towards late November. It's more of a thank you to the orchard and offering of light ahead of the next apple season - Lord Summerisle would be proud!

There were still a great number on the trees, but really only the late Ashmead's Kernel, all the others that we hadn't got round to picking were like a sea of fallen baubles on the orchard floor. Some will be picked and others left for the birds.

The fire lit, rockets are shot up through the trees and their broken carcass to be excitedly found in daylight. This year was even more of an extravaganza as a forgotten about box of Standards finest was found hidden in the corner of the shed - let the dark days celebration begin!

Friday 20 November 2015

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Market Finds No 19

A few good finds of late - it is like fishing, the expectation, lure of the float and then it dips and we are away. You just never know what will turn up.

There are always rods and reels, but more often than not they are either overpriced, seized, cranky or just plain crap. I don't often use a Mitchell, but this 300 runs well and with plenty of change from a £10 note it will be cleaned and go into the "reel stable".

The small bait tin is delightful. Again, it will be cleaned and enter service this week. Ideal for an evening supply of lobworms. It came with some macabre looking pike tackle that will find a place in my cabinet of curiosities.  

Monday 16 November 2015


This is the last basket of our Sunset apples - they are so sweet. Some are quite small and others no bigger than a tennis ball. I can see about four hangers on that I missed on the tree and the windfalls are doing their bit for our garden bird population. They have become a firm favourite and are now up there alongside the Ashmead's Kernel in my Top 5. The family orchard in Gloucestershire is laden with many varieties - the majority on the orchard floor for the birds, but some still on the tree with only just about ready to be picked. We are into the dark season - dark days, dark nights full of fireside warmth. The days of pike and perch and garden explosions. My favourite time of year.

Friday 13 November 2015

Friday Ditty Pt 17

I like this very much. I like the video very, very much! I don't know a huge amount about Stealing Sheep, what I have caught up with previously has been good, but how can they do any wrong with a video like this? Great stuff, keep your eyes peeled on the edges of the film for some favourite folklore folk. Some great filming here - splendid!

Tuesday 10 November 2015

The General

The Stour calls me at this time of year. I tend to give it a wide berth before due to it just being too much hassle battling through undergrowth, getting stung, tangled, sweating like a pig trying to get anywhere near the river and then bitten to bits for my efforts - positive stuff eh?

Nature does what it does and now I can actually creep in to my old haunts and settle down to some quiet moments watching the float wend its way. Lately I have been making my fishing more interesting. I tend to use the same rod, reel, floats and associated guff for each trip but have been changing for the sake of it. I now use rods I haven't used for years, same with reels and floats too.

This short trip was a first outing in years for my Hardy General rod. Not used for about ten years or so. In fact the last time was at Pitt Pond, made famous by Llewelyn Powys, where I caught one of the last carp there. Coupled with a pyschedelic looking Ambidex the Harcork float and giant lobworm completed my outfit. 

The falling leaves create perchy looking rafts of cover which give you hope that a big old stripey sergeant might be lurking in the depths - not this time. As the roach rolled at dusk I had a 3lb Jack Pike for my efforts. You would have seen a picture of him, but he flipped off my seat just as I was about to click the camera................the bats were out and the calling owls signalled the end of my trip. Just as I got back to the car and drained the last of the tea from my flask the heavens opened. 

Thursday 5 November 2015

Weir Pool Magic

Over the last week the landscape has changed considerably. Leaves fall like confetti and even though the temperature has been fairly high in the day it drops swiftly at night, but not quite cold enough for a warming fire. As I have said in a previous post the rods have been getting a number of outings of late. The photo above was just before the leaves turned and only a week or so ago - I was in shirtsleeves and mighty glad of my wide brimmed hat - as per usual the chub obliged to the mighty lob.

It then got colder, wind from the NE and the river as clear as gin. The fishing much harder, but still the chub obliged. I never tire of them - some Avon anglers don't give them the time of day, but for me they are one of the Avons blessings. 

The weir pool was a good shout as it had depth, but still so clear. I love the weir pool and have a secret nook that hardly gets fished - I sit on my log, gnome like, drinking tea in quiet contemplation. It's one of those spots you can happily stay in all day which is rare for me as normally I am a roving angler. Would the barbel be holed up in the oxygenated water? That would have been a bonus, but what brought me the most pleasure was a fish I was secretly hoping I would catch. Again, not high on the Avon anglers list of "loved" specimens but one who also loves the lob. The bream flashed like a golden dustbin lid once hooked and then made use of the weir pool flow and his depth to move like an aquatic kite. Me in thick coat, hat and scarf........but at over 6lbs that would have been enough to warm me on such a day.