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Everything posted by kenj

  1. Due to a damage ankle, I have been unable to fish so far this season, but managed a brief evening visit to a free urban river this week, just as the Mayfly were beginning to show. Only netting one of three wild browns hooked, a beautifully spotted 12 oz wild brown trout took a white Mayfly. [/url]">http:// This was my blog. http://www.urbanfieldsportsman.com/index.php/wild-trout-ready-for-mayfly-bonanza-on-urban-river/
  2. We all know how easy trout are to catch Chesters, that's why we make it difficult for ourselves by using bits of fur and feather instead of bait. On the coarse fishing front, I was at my coarse fishing club's prize giving tonight. Prize for the best weight in a 5 hour match was for 139 lb of carp from a hole in the ground, that was a good mixed fishery, now it is only carp. Once upon a time, 40 lb of bream, or 30 lb of chub would have been needed to win that cup. Not my idea of fun, but it takes all sorts.
  3. Thanks for the comment Chesters1, it gave me a laugh. The Whitewater has a natural head of brown trout and we are trying to get the levels back to what they were a few years ago, when we did not need to stock this catch and release fishery. Only 60 fish were stocked this year. The one above was an overwintered stockie. Unfortunately we have landowners that are not inclined to honour our fishing rights, granted many years ago, ie diverting the river to build a bridge without informing the club. This left many fish stranded in pools, chub, dace roach and perch included, along with the trout, easy pickings for herons crows and the mink. During the rest of the year from 1st October, while another section is joint use from 16th June, the river is used as a coarse fishery by the Farnborugh & District Club, so any river improvements benefit the coarse fish too. Yes, coarse anglers often complain of trout taking their bread meant for the chub, but I bet they don't complain about the fight they get from a trout. I've had a few 4lb chub from the Whitewater on the fly with a 7ft 3 weight rod and they don't go as hard as a 2 lb trout.
  4. Floods, drought and diversion of the main river for a new bridge, were all bad news for my syndicate water on the river Whitewater last season, giving some of the worst catch returns ever, but work by bailiffs and members to encourage the remaining wild trout to spawn on freshly raked gravel beds, has resulted in some stretches being full of young wild trout. River deflectors to speed up the flow have been improved and crowsfoot weed has been planted to compliment the natural growth throughout. Mayfly were appearing, when I caught this overwintered stockie on Friday afternoon using a white mayfly. I also caught several wild browns up to 8 oz on a deer hair sedge. It was good to see the signs of recovery. Nature at its best. My blog: http://www.urbanfieldsportsman.com/index.php/trout-stream-hots-up-at-last/
  5. Following up on the pollution of my local river, it has suffered more pollution over the months of mostly petrol/oil based products. Unfortunately Thames Water have been unable to trace the culprits so far. The good news is that fish seem to have begun repopulating the river from upstream with chub and rudd visible in large numbers, especially small chub. I even contacted my tame EA contact to see whether they had restocked the river. This is planned, but it seems that nature got there first. I decided to give the river a test fish last weekend, to find that some sort of powdery white scum was covering the surface, but fished through it anyway, catching a rudd immediately. Fishing only bread punch, I also caught roach, small chub and gudgeon, taking over 4 lb of silvers in two hours. With the EA due to carry out flow improvements on the near future all is not lost. This was my blog. http://www.urbanfieldsportsman.com/index.php/braybrooke-river-passes-the-bread-test-after-pollution/
  6. The mayfly are now hatching on my little river and I'm pleased to say that plenty of wild brown trout are being caught along with stock fish. My most recent outing lasting only an hour between showers, the mayfly continuing to hatch and the trout take them during the heaviest storm. This fat stock fish was one of four that I took during this brief wet session. My blog: http://www.urbanfieldsportsman.com/index.php/trout-between-the-showers-part-2/
  7. The 2017 season opened in contrast to the last. Floods last year have been replaced by a drought this season. On my syndicate river there have been rising fish caught, both stockies and wild browns, which bodes well, providing that the rain, when it comes, does not come all at once. This 17 inch overwintered stockie took a copper wound black buzzer fished just below the surface, drifted into a patch of scum from where it was feeding. A full tail meant plenty of action. My blog : http://www.urbanfieldsportsman.com/index.php/big-trout-spring-surprise/
  8. Post office. Mobile No. and text from EA with number. All I need.
  9. ABU 501's and 506's for me. I have four of them loaded with different lines. On the 506's I removed the gear interrupter, which allows backwind instead of relying on the clutch drag. I was given an unused 506 5 years ago, by a new aquaintence, who finding out that I went fishing, presented me with it. "tried fishing years ago, but couldn't catch anything". Unfortunately he didn't have anything else, that might have been of use. Best trotting and spinning reel made IMO.
  10. I spoke to the EA officer on Thursday, who was surveying the river for improvements. He said that Thames Water were still trying to find the source of the pollution and having spent money on booms, etc, won't stop until they get their money back. This was my latest blog on the pollution. http://www.urbanfieldsportsman.com/index.php/blankety-blank-defeats-optimism-on-poisoned-river/
  11. There has now been another large spill. When I went down last week, there was a small boom at the exit of one of the three tunnels, where the oil was seeping under. Downstream of this was a sandy coloured path the width of the boom, where the algae on the sill had died off, or been bleached. Yesterday there were now two full width booms, one below the sill of the weir, the other 50 yards down across the gravel shallows. Now 75% of the algae has been bleached out. After the first pollution, there was a flood and a couple of guys fished the river and caught some chub and roach, one chub witnessed by the bailiff, which was encouraging, but since then several others, including myself, yesterday, have fish it and blanked without a bite from noted swims. In our area of Berkshire, the EA have carried out many improvements to the waterways, along with restocking, despite cost cutting and fewer staff. On this river last year, a 2000 plus housing development close by, was allowing sand and cement to be washed off into the river, sending it orange. I reported it to the EA and they sent an officer along the next day. We walked the river and located the problem, a slurry lagoon that was overflowing, which was put right with straw bales. This urban river was once full of shopping trolleys and other junk, but has been transformed in the last ten years by volunteers and the local council. The local ducks seem to be OK, so, once this leak is traced, we'll get some fish back.
  12. Lutra. Nearly 60 years ago I bought a 7ft split cane spinning rod from Hardings of Windsor. That little rod doubled as my first fly rod, casting a No 4 double taper line far enough to catch river Colne dace, chub and a couple of wild brownies. It has landed pike to 12 lb on a plug. I still use it today for spinning, my last outing catching perch in a local pond. Mine has been stored dry in my garage loft for years without any signs of deterioration. Those craftsmen knew what they were doing all those years ago. I later progressed to 9.5 ft hollow glass, which had a lovely slow action, then on to carbon like you do. Get to know the rod and enjoy it.
  13. Guess what? I went for a walk along the river again today. Noticed the smell of oil, as I passed over the bridge and looked down to see a new boom across one of the three outlets from the town. The boom was doing nothing, a light oily substance was passing beneath it, sending a rainbow bloom bursting out over the surface. Further downstream rainbow coloured rafts of oil were drifting with the current. I rang my contact at the EA, who was unaware of the new spill. He rang back saying that Thames Water contractors had fitted the new boom today and would send out another engineer. He did also say that a "minor" spill had been reported over Christmas and traced back to a company in the town. He said this latest event is probably the same source, which does point a finger for the main spillage. The EA have carried out oxygen level test earlier this week and found them back to normal levels.
  14. Latest update from the fisheries officer at the Environment Agency is that the pollution was a rogue event, caused by a person, or persons unknown. Having followed up all possible sources of the spillage, there is no evidence available for a prosecution. The local club, that has taken over the control of the river, had already secured funding for improvement works to the banks by the local council, while the EA are still going ahead with tree work to reduce the canopy, allowing more light to penetrate the river. Walking the bank yesterday, the river was in flood, due to heavy rain locally, which will do it's part to flush what residue remains. The months of February and March produced double figure nets of big roach on this water, which cannot be compensated for by a proposed restocking program. We live in hope.
  15. Phone and Corydoras. I agree with you both, in fact plastic Airfix kits used to use toluene glue. I had a long conversation with the Environment Agency fisheries officer and they had identified toluene from their own sample and that of a lake owner down stream. I personally think that it was a fuel tank with a mix of petrol and toluene, the toluene evaporating quiet quickly, although it was also mixed with water through the weirs. There is still an old engine oil type of smell on the banks, while, when I dragged my net across the bottom, a slick came to the surface. The problem is that the river runs underground for about a mile, with drains from several small industrial estates emptying into it. There are car, bike and industrial units among them. Having said that, it must have been a big spill to have gone so far downstream. When it stops raining here, I intend to fish a couple of miles down, where an unpolluted stream doubles the flow of the river. This is usually full of fish and hope to get a few there. If not, that will be it for a few years. When a kid, my friend and I were fishing a river near our home, when fish began rising to the surface and drifting off. That river, the Colne, was dead for 10 years, even the weed died off.
  16. Replying to Phone. I was told that it was toluene by the Environment Agency. I test fished it about 10 days after the spill. There was an oily smell on the bank, plus a slimy residue, where the river had over flowed due to heavy rain. The swim I fished, usually will produce around 30 to 50 fish of mixed species, gudgeon, roach, rudd and chub in 3 hours. I was fishing bread punch, which is an instant response bait. I didn't get a bite, despite running through, holding back and laying on. When working in industry, we used toluene as a paint thinners and as a cleaning product. An independent air supply had to be used, as the operator could get nausea and flu like simptoms, if exposed for any amount of time. When I raced a car, we used to use it as an octane booster, but it would discolour the paintwork if splashed over the funnel. Nasty stuff. Reading up on experiments with fish exposed to it, toluene would kill a salmon in a day and a striped bass in three. I have been involved with a local club, who have raised finance to install safe fishing platforms, while the EA were also about to start tree and flow work on this overgrown river, with the aim to promote fishing among the local community. This could all be for nothing.
  17. The toluene has strong petrol like fumes, which are toxic and the fire brigade, plus the police were called out initially, as houses are less than a hundred yards from the river. The environment agency were then called out. The drainage system is the responsibility of Thames Water, so it could take a long time to pin down a prosecution, if any. Even if the river is eventually restocked, it is unlikely to return to it's former glory, being full of quality perch, roach and rudd, good chub, bream and carp, plus some of the biggest gudgeon I've ever seen. Running through a public park, there was good parking, toilets and a cafe, being fished by young and old alike for free.
  18. A small river that runs through my town was killed off last week, when toluene found it's way down a land drain from an industrial estate into the river. The banks stink of oil and the fish have gone, dead fish found five miles downstream. I fished a bite a cast swim this week and didn't have a fish. It went from this http://imgur.com/a/qtGl9 to this http://imgur.com/a/ou5uu Very sad. This was my blog http://www.urbanfieldsportsman.com/index.php/death-of-an-urban-river/
  19. Way back in the day, I had joined a sponsored match team and being a stick and waggler float angler, was taken out on the Thames to learn the upstream feeder technique by one of the older members. His eyesight was going and he used an elastic band on his reel spool to get the distance right each time. I fished downstream with the rod at 90 degrees to the flow, he fished upstream with the rod down parallel with the flow. After about half an hour he came down to watch me. Using maggots in a block feeder I had three dace, having missed most bites. Walking up to his swim, he had about ten in his net and I watched him hit most of his drop backs. In fact I remember him missing a couple of wrap rounds, while it seemed the drop back dace had hooked themselves. He then did the demo on my rod, sitting behind me, as I caught dace after dace. As with all fishing, there are variations on the theme and it was probably a year before all the practice and matches began to gel. Once upon a time I would have been lynched for passing on trade secrets like this. Keep at it Rusty, you'll soon wonder why you used any other method.
  20. On the Thames around Windsor to Oxford we used it as the main method. It works in slow and fast water. In slower water a softer tip is better, if after roach, or bream. Balance the feeder by letting out more, or less line on light, or heavy feeders. In faster flows, try a longer tail, as the freed will wash down a few feet from the feeder. It works well on the Thames, where there is a smoothe gravel bottom. On the Trent (Stoke Bardolf to the weir) rocks caused problems for this method, but below on the wides I was in the section money with a disbelieving crowd watching. It worked well on the Ouse at York too.
  21. I picked up a lot of money from a series of Thames matches once, fishing a single caster on a size 20 hook, all cub of 2 lb+. I had people sit with me, who didn't see the bites. They were mostly tremors. I couldn't believe it myself. The casters were being shelled and hadn't seen a bite, until I noticed the tiny plucks and struck to find a chub on the end. Missed a few though. That's why we are still fishing after many years, there is always something to learn.
  22. How long a tail did you have Rusty? Keep shortening the tail until you hit them. They may have been pecking at the feeder and bread around it. The more flow, the longer the tail and visa versa. Sounds obvious, but it's surprising how you can become preoccupied by trying to hit the bites. Also with liquidised bread, if you are striking a lot of bites, you can over feed, so cast back with an empty feeder a few times. Flake often sorts out a big roach first cast. A 6 mm pellet of punched bread, squeezed on the hook will often work better than a pinch of flake.
  23. Back in my match fishing days on the Thames, we used to fish with the rod pointing down stream, with a bow in the line used to balance the weight of the feeder. Any movement of the bait from a fish would lift the feeder and show on the tip as a drop back. I would strike at ANY movement. I've had the slightest tremble result in big chub. A chub's teeth are at the back of it's throat, to crush a caster, it has to take the bait right in. Give it a try. It still works, forget the beach caster, tip in the air method. Good luck.
  24. For mid Thames, Windsor to Oxford, for winter you can't beat liquidised bread in a feeder with a big piece of flake on the hook. I've had some clonking roach, often on the first cast with this method, plus of course bream and chub. Hotspots tend to be the tail end of lock cuts.
  25. Hi Gozzer, Like you I have suffered a few health problems, thumping heart, dodgy eyesight and now shakes in one hand. It was hard giving up match fishing, but did, knowing that I was giving so much away to the young'ns, not wanting to enter a match without being in with a chance, having been collecting off of also rans for 30 years. There is plenty of good tackle at car boot sales, going for very little, or the Bay at a bit more. All my gear is pretty old, although good stuff in the day. Tackle shops have to cater for the Carp man, or die. In my area of Berks, most have gone out of business. My answer was to go out and fish with traditional baits, bread punch, sweet corn and good old worms from the compost heap. I was fishing yesterday at a nice little lake with a mixed head of fish. I heard today that the committee have decided to net out the "small fish" to stock with carp. Progress! This was my blog of a pleasant afternoon there. http://www.urbanfieldsportsman.com/index.php/braybrooke-community-fishing-lake-rewards-a-visit/
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