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Everything posted by Vagabond

  1. Mine too. Didn't buy it. Found it lying (in its bag) on a farm track leading to one of the first pay-lakes in the area. Put a note on the notice board by their "reception" office, but nobody ever claimed it. Have used it a time or two. Not impressed, neither with the rod nor the pay-lake.
  2. I can count mine on one finger - and he lives in Western Australia ! As Norma's grandmother said, on reaching her 90s "The trouble with living so long is that all your (peer) friends are dead" I have been privileged to know and count as friends, some very good anglers indeed. All, bar one, now gone. One way to remember them is to keep going fishing.
  3. True, and I would have preferred solitude as well but never mind, there was some light entertainment - one of the matchfishers fell off his chair.
  4. First fishing trip since last October, so not too ambitious - about fifty yards from car park to a quiet woodland pond. Quiet ?? Well it was to start with, then no less than four separate cars turned up and four young chaps started what seemed to be a match fishing session. (by "young" I mean whipper-snappers in their middle sixties) Nothing much doing, I had a few perch, schoolboy size, and no runs on the rod baited for larger perch, The matchmen, lined up on the opposite bank, only had about three small fish between them. Despite the sunshine it was a chilly north wind blowing, but it was good to be out in the fresh air, see a few woodland spring flowers, and listen to some spring birdsong - yes they came near enough for even me to hear them. Nothing special, unless one has been waiting all winter, waiting for repairs to the old ticker, and hoping that no coronary episode comes along first, Like I said earlier - every trip a bonus from hereon.
  5. Good points, at the moment, Labour is not only unfit for government, it cannot even function as a credible opposition. OTOH A landslide Conservative victory in June might mean that when May stands at the despatch box to confront the "enemy" she may find her main enemies are behind her.
  6. There are plenty of ways of bunging feathered lures (euphemistically called "flies") a fair distance Fixed spool reel and bubble float used to be common on Scottish lochs Four ounce weight, beachcaster and a string of mackerel feathers can be scaled down to an couple ot swan shot, a light spinning rod and a #16 Pheasant Tail .....and many others But using traditional fly tackle is NOT difficult - if I can do it, surely any reasonably competent angler can learn to chuck a fly far enough to catch a fish.
  7. One doesn't become elderly without learning a thing or two. The technique with a chocolate liqueur is to down it quickly, hide the glass, and change your seat. With luck your host may think you haven't had one and pour you another. ...and yes, if I were a chub I wouldn't last long
  8. The last two days have produced zero mice We seem to have won on several fronts lately Mice no longer raiding our greenhouse Roe deer no longer eating our anemone shoots Pheasants no longer rooting up our tulips Jackdaws no longer trying to fill our chimneys with dead larch twigs Next-door cats no longer using our garden as a latrine Too good to be true ? Wonder what else is lurking out there Good job we haven't got a belfry.......
  9. AHHH, if only it were that simple......... I fish a big gravel pit. It is managed so as to produce few, but good-sized fish. I usually target the perch that are there - - and have had a fair number of sesquipedalian perch over the years from this and all sorts of waters , but this particular venue is far from being easy fishing. One day I chose a swim, yes, with the wind in my face, elected to float fish a bunch of lobs, and serendipity, there was a strong undertow out away from my bank that allowed me to trot the tackle out across a submerged gravel bar, At the limit of each trot the undertow petered out, and at that point,. down went the float Plenty of perch that day, including some two-pounders. The next day, same swim, same wind, same tactics, same result..... and again the third day, the best fish just over 3 lb. "I've cracked it !" I thought to myself Haven't had a perch over 2 lb from that lake since ! Wind in face, even an undertow setting away from the bank, but just because I have found it doesn't mean the perch have.
  10. In Cuba we had a group of "guides " who were really political minders It was shortly after Russia pulled out of buying their sugar crop and times were hard. We came across a boa constrictor (about eight ft long) they killed and ate all of it between four of them - probably hadn't had meat for weeks
  11. Useless. Next door have three cats, they don't even frighten the birds away from our feeders. All these damn cats seem to do is eat stacks of expensive cat food and "cat treats" and then sneak into our garden and try to use Norma's seed beds as a litter tray. I have trained them to flee in terror whenever I even look out of the window.
  12. Just coming up 1714th anniversary of St George's death (died April 23rd 303 AD) We need a better national hero - any wimp with a long lance can slay a dragon, but it takes real courage to ride one - ask Daenerys Targaryen. Its why little boys always wanted to be engine drivers..
  13. Just come off the Giant Hogweed thread. A relative of that (Alexanders - found growing near the sea) was used to "cure" snakebite in the Middle Ages, Not a lot of use if you are bitten in Surrey and the nearest Alexanders is growing on Folkestone cliffs.
  14. Lutra has the right idea - if you see a small plant that you even think might be a young Giant Hogweed, stamp upon it. If you are unhappy about identification, then a study of the Umbelliferae is a must, but be warned, it is not easy There are plenty of good foods in the family. Chervil, wild carrot, pignut, fennel, wild parsnip, samphire, alexanders,, sweet cicely, wild parsley etc Equally there are some really poisonous nasties Cowbane, Hemlock. Hemlock Water Dropwort, Fool's Parsley Giant Hogweed etc Neither list is meant to be exhaustive, and there are plenty in between ranging from bland but harmless to vaguely unpleasant. Messing with Umbells is a bit like messing with fungi - fine if you know exactly what you are doing, dangerous otherwise. Oh, and if anyone thinks they know the difference between Hogweed and Giant Hogweed,, bear in mind the two species hybridise and the hybrids show intermediate features. These hybrids are common and getting more widespread.
  15. Absolutely. apply that to companies that fiddle the books, bankers who lend irresponsibly and wealthy wrong-doers everywhere. Could wipe out the National Debt within five years.
  16. Answer No I do not have much time for women who habitually wear nail varnish, and to be fair, such women do not have much time for me.. I regard it as one of nature's signals - analogous to a stickleback's red chest - or lack of it. This mutual antipathy has, over the years, doubtless saved both of us much time and trouble' I have however several coloured varnishes for salmon and trout flies, but I do not seriously think a woodmouse could regain its home terriitory from 3 miles away ( across two main roads and a stream) in about 15 hours - as AJ pointed out, my first option was nearest the truth - the alternatives were just whimsies; In my youth I made a fortune from the "shilling a tail" bounty for grey squirrels, until it dawned upon the government there was an *infinite* supply of squoggies out there.
  17. I have fished for burbot, one weekend from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, in company with the late Dave Marlborough and John i'Anson, at the last known location in the Fens where burbot were caught. Like Chris Yates, we caught no burbot, but I did catch more eels than I had immediate use for.
  18. Note for the pedantic. The italicise option is not available for topic titles Norma's seedlings in the greenhouse have been nibbled ! Kill ! Kill ! Kill !!!! Well, ...er set the "humane"*** mousetrap, baited with birdseed. Mousetrap set Saturday. Sunday morning yielded a woodmouse which was released half a mile away in a wood the other side of the ghyll. Trap cleaned and reset Monday morning - another woodmouse. Some discussion as to whether it was the same one. Releasedi it 1.7 miles away. Cleaned and reset trap Tuesday morning a third woodmouse - released at same point as the Monday mouse Wednesday morn... fourth woodmouse - This one driven to Norma's favourite birdwatching site 3 miles away Thursday morn fifth woodmouse, again driven to site three miles away. Now is there an infinite queue of woodmice waiting to get into the birdseed-baited trap ? Or is it the same woodmouse each morning with prodigious speed and homing instinct ? Or have we the first known case of reincarnation in mice ? **** Although we see no reason to kill the mice trapped, trree-huggers in general should be under no illusions - if any of the mice were females (I didn't look) and have a nest somewhere, the youngsters will starve.... "humane" ??
  19. Good point - why not boaters, canoeists, bird watchers, dog walkers, etc Every action in the countryside puts some sort of pressure on the environment, ....and ironically the best fishing I have ever had was on "my" trout streams, which have never seen a River Board, River Authority or (as now) an Environmental Authority official in my lifetime - and I have fished said streams since WWII.
  20. Perhaps the crack is relevant to someone in the reporting chain I too have been bitten by an adder/ On Ashdown Forest adders are common. When I was about eight I trod on one. It bit me through my leather sandal. It felt about as bad as a wasp sting, but less painful than a bee sting. I ran all the way home. As I understand now, received wisdom says that movement of the affected limb is the worst possible option ! My parents didn't believe me** ! All that happened was that I was scolded for being "late" (If it hadn't been for the adder I would have been even later - lateness was a perpetual condition in those days.) Anyway, scolding and being sent to bed seemed to work - right as rain the next day - perhaps the amount of venom injected was minimal. ** The Chesters approach - believe nothing - fine, except that they believed any old hocus-pocus spouted by the local hedge-priest
  21. I will have to give Wingham a miss this year, There is family gathering at an old lifeboat station in the West Country and I rather fancy a bit of sea fishing. I think I might stand a couple of all-nighters at Wingham, but my family are less confident, so Cornwall it is. The family may well be right, so I won't put it to the test. I would still like to contribute to the bailffs' "honorarium" and can offer a COMPLETE set of Waterlog magazine - 100 issues with a reserve of £70 - all in good nick with crosswords untouched (I set 'em, Norma checks 'em, so we already know the answers) Its a heavy lot, so buyer collects, either from here or from a mutually agreed location
  22. Every schoolday from age 11 to leaving school at age 16 I used to take a shortcut through the local goods yard and have to cross the main line each morning.to get my "up" train for Tunbridge Wells (change at Eridge). On a lucky few mornings I would get a footplate ride to Eridge on the pickup goods if I was early enough - it left about twenty minutes before my train was due. I had told the crew my grandpa was a driver and that I had often helped prepare and/or dispose his engine. In those days that was good enough to admit a schoolboy to the camaraderie of the footplate - they gave me the odd fag as well.. I had to keep out of sight as the train went through the station though as the stationmaster was a bit rule-conscious. In the evening of course, I didn't have to cross the main line as I was already the right side In other countries - such as Sweden and Australia and others too numerous to mention, much of the railway is unfenced. No doubt Darwinian selection deals with kids too stupid to realize railways are potentially dangerous.
  23. Chesters, from another thread Can happen to anyone - it happened to me whilst Spey casting - fortunately whilst I was practicing on our lawn rather than standing in mid-river . Lesson learnt - belt and braces whilst wading, Incidentally, the best advice I ever had on wading was from my Icelandic host on the Nordura back in '95. "Dave, you are a brave wader - but not a good one !" Anyway, Chester's adventure reminds me of a recent plea from one of my syndicates for two strong lads to collect some old railway sleepers and deliver to said syndicate. Now my sleeper-slinging days are well and truly over, but it was not always so..... Back in my days as a volunteer footplateman I was rostered one January day to fire a "permanent way train" In detail, to chug up the line, stopping at intervals to pick up old sleepers that the permanent way gang had replaced as part of routine winter maintenance. It had been snowing since the sleepers had been flung into the cess - and freezing so the sleepers were encased in ice. Every time we stopped, I got down to help lever the sleepers out of the ice and chuck them onto the sleeper wagon. (Firemen are expected to do EVERYTHING on this railway) My hands got quite blue Eventually we had a full load and time to go home. Eagerly I climbed on the loco to the welcome warmth of the fire, seized the shovel to replenish the fire, swung a load to the front of the firebox, and.......... hands were not just blue, they were numb as well, so I lost my grip on the shovel and into the firebox it went./ Jock the driver and I just looked at each other in disbelief. Fortunately, we carried a spare in the toolbox (shovels occasionally break) so more cautious firing got us back home OK Reported loss of shovel, expected a ribbing, but nothing was said. I should have known better That evening, the usual evening feast of curry (strong curry - we had would-be master-chefs in our ranks) was prepared in the locomen's lobby . Someone passed me a large plateful. i grabbed a spoon and set to. As the first spoonful became gob-bound, the entire lobby shouted as one man "DON'T LET GO OF THE SPOON DAVE" They don't let anyone get away with anything on the Bluebell
  24. Thanks all for your good wishes - have just had a short walk over some rough ground on Ashdown Forest,, Tiring, but nice to be out in the sunshine and see a few heathland birds (stonechat, linnet etc) I think the first fishing trip is not far away.
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