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Lost for words

River Thames, Thursday 26th January 2012   A short late afternoon session only possible because the training I’d undertaken earlier in the day had finished sooner than anticipated. The course content was learning how to drive a 4x4 vehicle off road and the venue was Salisbury Plain so you can imagine that it had already been a really enjoyable day.   The plan was to ledger breadflake into dark for chub but I could get to the river with an hour of light left and so I decided to take the tro

Rusty

Rusty

A couple of fives

River Kennet, Sunday 15th January 2012   What a strange day this was, a pretty good one in terms of chub average weight but it was a day of two ends rather than of two halves.   My plan was to pitch up quiver tipping for the morning with breadmash for feed and flake on the hook, the afternoon was to be spent trotting a section I haven’t yet fished. I did wonder when I arrived at my chosen swim whether I’d be able to drag myself away later in the day but that decision could wait.    

Rusty

Rusty

Barton Court Trip

River Kennet, Barton Court, Friday 13th January 2012   My annual pilgrimage to the venue where I first used a ‘pin and where I first untangled a birdsnest, the two events occurred within seconds of each other if I remember correctly. That was about three years ago and at that time the fishery was still producing a good selection of coarse fish but since then most of my visits have resulted in trout getting to the bait first. When booking the day I was told that the grayling and roach were mak

Rusty

Rusty

First chub (and perch) of the year

River Kennet, Brimpton, Sunday 8th January 2012   Bit of a backup session this, plans to fish another venue were postponed until this coming Sunday so I needed somewhere else to go. Disappointing but not all bad news, it’s only a few fences, signs and a river keeper’s shotgun which separate that bit of the Kennet from the other sections after all.   Trotting maggot for chub would be the plan and the swim was to be at the far end of the fishery, a spot where I’d caught previously (the only

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Rusty

A big fat non-blank!

River Lambourn, Saturday 7th January 2012   Probably my best ever session at this venue in terms of numbers of fish caught. I’ve managed larger grayling elsewhere on this river but can’t remember the last time I accounted for 30 fish.   Usual MO, start at the top and work downstream expecting to catch a couple here and there. That’s how it panned out until I got towards the end of the first section where I found a slack water area right next to a fast glide, it was packed with grayling and

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Rusty

A big fat blank!

Speen Moors, Monday 2nd January 2012   Nothing to report fish wise but at least it saved me the tiresome task of uploading pics to photobucket. It used to be really quick and easy but these days it seems to take an age and more often than not it crashes before all pics have been uploaded.   Anyway, the banker swims didn’t produce and neither did a cracking looking new spot which caught my eye a couple of weeks back, I was ledgering bread again with the ‘pin and a couple of SSG for weight.

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Rusty

Cheerio 2011

You can guess where, Saturday 31st December 2011   The last session of this year and I look back on 2011 with mixed feelings. From a personal point of view the year could’ve been better but from an angling viewpoint it’s been fantastic.   Tenching started in April, fishing during the close season isn’t something that I normally do but I wanted to try bait and tactics in preparation for the Wingham trip. I had some success too with Tincas weighing 4lb 8oz and 5lb 7oz, monster fish for me;

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Rusty

Post Christmas perching (postscript)

River Thames, Goring, Thursday 29th December 2011   Just a quickie this one. I popped back to yesterday’s venue (now known to locals as Steve ‘n' Alex’s place) trying the ‘peak time’ trick, i.e. turn up just as the predators were about to feed and then go home an hour later with a fistful of 4lb perch photos. That didn’t happen I’m afraid, the tackle shop had no lobworms and I was down to my last ten rounds of ammo so I had to be conservative with them. As dusk approached I thought a bunch of

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Rusty

Post Christmas perching

K&A Canal, Monday 26th December 2011   This was just a short morning session along the canal with a pot of lobs and ½ a pint of maggots. My attempt at an ambitious Christmas dinner hadn’t gone well the previous day and whilst I was keen to fish I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of time in the kitchen to figure out why my orange sauce didn’t taste of oranges despite being loaded with Cointreau.   In terms of the fishing there’s not much to report. It’s a long stretch and condition

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Rusty

The Lythe begins to earn its keep

Speen Moors, Thursday 22nd December 2011   Third visit in as many weeks, my obsession with this venue continues.   I had a bit of a plan today, the session ledgering bread on the 5th December was quite successful so I thought I’d try trotting bread. I hadn’t prepared any mash so would have to use some old maggots as loose feed but on the hook was going to be a large lump of flake. What is rapidly becoming my first port of call at Speen would be the ideal swim to try the new bait. Some of t

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Rusty

Stillwater piking

Knotts, Wednesday 21st December 2011   Hoorah!! Today is the shortest day and we can now look forward to increasingly light evenings….ok by about 30 seconds a day to begin with but it’s a start…Summer is here!   To celebrate the coming of light we went piking on a stillwater that sees little predator pressure and one that we’ve never seen a pike caught from. Our combined experience of this lake is three visits by me tenching earlier in the year. We had, however, received helpful guidance o

Rusty

Rusty

The Lythe gets its debut

Speen Moors, Saturday 17th December 2011   Today was one of those sessions when it’s good that your fishing partner has a similar angling outlook to you. We’d planned the trip with high hopes that today would be one of those sunny wintery days when just being by the river is good and that this week’s rain had bolstered the Kennet. The first part of this ideal was in jeopardy as I trundled along the A34 with wipers frantically trying to clear the windscreen. I had my fingers crossed that the r

Rusty

Rusty

Gave the 'pins a rest today

Speen Moors, Monday 5th December 2011   Today was probably the best days chubbing I’ve had at this venue, I only caught three fish so that’ll tell you how difficult I’ve found it in the past. Generally I trot maggot but today I thought a static approach might be more productive so it was out with the avon quiver tip rod, bread flake for hookbait and mashed bread as feed.   Three swims were targeted, all were quite a walk apart so pre-baiting wasn’t really possible and as usual I started la

Rusty

Rusty

A change of scene (not by much though)

River Kennet, Friday 2nd December 2011   It’s been three weeks since I’ve been fishing, the last time that happened was when I couldn’t drive back in the summer…..I was beginning to get a hankering again.   Steve and I met up at Happy Tony’s Angling Emporium as he was unlocking the shop. Bait bought we thought about where to go, the options were numerous, any NAA stretch of the Kennet was within easy reach as was the Lambourn but eventually we decided upon exchanging our tickets for a sess

Rusty

Rusty

We need rain!

River Kennet, Newbury, Saturday 12th November 2011   A pleasant morning spent trotting for whatever came along at a venue badly in need of some water.   It’s a wading venue and when the river’s at normal levels most of the gravelly sections can be accessed, it’s only the depth of water that restricts certain areas. On this occasion, however, nowhere was inaccessible. Standing in a chub swim which has previously seen water lapping around my bits only resulted in wet knees.   On a more po

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Rusty

My new camera

River Lambourn and K&A Canal, Saturday 5th November 2011   I’ve bought a new camera, a Nikon Coolpix P7100. It’s a fixed lens camera with the functionality of a DSLR (apparently) but without the bulk. The purchase came about because my faithful old Ixus 700 decided to stop displaying anything on the display, it would still take pictures but I had no idea what it had taken or what the settings were. Photos became a bit of a lottery.   The new Nikon has more dials, knobs and buttons than

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Rusty

It was a nice walk I suppose

Kennet & Avon Canal (felt like most of it), Saturday 29th October 2011   Well that was a bit of a disappointment, having convinced myself of the merits of dropshotting I felt pretty certain that the method fished with lobs would be a killer for perch on the canal. The forecast was perfect and, crucially, I’d managed to get up early enough to be at my parking spot before first light, well before as it happened.   I sat in the car wondering what to do, it was too dark to fish but I didn’

Rusty

Rusty

Two men (and two dogs) in a boat

River Thames, 6th - 9th October 2011   A bit of a long blog entry this but the trip was such an eventful one I don’t want to miss anything out.   The plan was leave the mooring on the K&A canal at about 9:00am, head towards Reading and turn left onto the Thames at the confluence. Our goal for Thursday was to moor up at Goring-on-Thames some 6 boating hours away, ironically I can drive to Goring in about 45 minutes from my house but that would have been missing the point. We were pretty

Rusty

Rusty

A change of plan produced a little bonus

River Kennet, Newbury, Friday 23rd September 2011   An opportunistic session following POETS day. The pint of maggots in my fridge was beginning to overstay its welcome so I thought it best to donate them to the Kennet on a lovely sunny afternoon. This routine is quite well established now, once I’ve arrived home from work I can be back on the road again within ten minutes, important at this time of year when the evenings are getting shorter. Chub were the target and under normal circumstance

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Rusty

A double header

River Kennet, Thursday 8th & Friday 9th September 2011   With the lack of fishing in recent weeks I decided to take a couple of days off work and visit some venues which haven’t received much attention from me in the past. I suppose you’d call them barbel venues, they’re certainly popular with the static bait brigade during late afternoon and evenings but rarely do you see a ‘pin user during daylight hours. With little knowledge of either venue these were definitely recce trips and very w

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Rusty

Swim downgraded to 'has potential'

River Kennet, Saturday 3rd September 2011   Well I had to open my big mouth didn’t I. No sooner had I uttered the words ‘banker swim’ than all barbel vacated that particular stretch of the Kennet in favour of somewhere else.   The day started encouragingly, I got the early start I wanted and arrived just as it was getting light enough to see my way to the swim. Pre-baiting took place while I set up the rod and the first few trots produced a string of nice dace, some chublets and the odd br

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Rusty

Back in business

River Kennet, August Bank Holiday Weekend   Friday 26th August 2011   Well I’m mobile again, on doctor’s orders I can drive provided I wear a patch over my left eye, it was very strange at first but I am getting used to it. Great care is needed on roundabouts with filter lanes, I can’t turn my head far enough to look behind me with my right eye (try it) so I rely on my mirrors and having a good look at the other traffic before I enter the roundabout. Anyway all this means I can get to the

Rusty

Rusty

It's true, fishing isn't only about catching fish

River Thames, Abingdon, Saturday 23rd July 2011   About two weeks ago I awoke to find that I’d developed double vision. At first I thought that I’d slept strangely and that it would go away by the time I left for work. It didn’t go away and I had to turn back as driving was out of the question.   A visit to my GP saw me looking at waving fingers, smiling, winking and poking my tongue out to make sure may facial expressions were balanced. My blood pressure was through the roof and before I

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Rusty

They can’t all be successes

River Kennet, Newbury, Sunday 10th July 2011   In complete contrast to Saturday yesterday turned out to be a dissapointing scrappy days fishing for me. The plan was sound enough, firstly I was going to use up leftover maggots at a good chub swim, a spot which has been noticably devoid of any chub recently and it’s getting a bit worrying. It’s a winter chubbing swim really but I only wanted to catch one or two to prove they were still there. After that I was intending to head for Speen Moors w

Rusty

Rusty

Where's the patent office then?

River Kennet, Saturday 9th July 2011.   A return trip to the swim that caused me so much angst two weeks ago. Again barbel was the target species and from previous experience I knew that this was probably going to be an ‘all or nothing’ trip. I have caught one chub from here but I regard that as a bonus rather than the norm, the trout don’t count.   Making its debut was the prototype bait dispenser, a lazy way to ensure that a regular trickle of hookbait (maggots) was fed into the swim. Fi

Rusty

Rusty

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