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Everything posted by Vagabond

  1. The last few weeks has been hard work, just small fish and a 3 lb eel during the dry spell. So the tail end of a hurricane might stir things up, thought I Nope, at first,the same story, lots of tiddlers yesterday morning whilst fishing in a howling gale, until about 11.30 then the wind changed suddenly - from driving into our left ears from WNW it dropped , the ripples died away,then a gentle breeze from the SE sent a raft of floating leaves and twigs across the pond (They had been torn from the surrounding oaks and all those floating in the pond had been piled up by the gale into the shallow corner to our right), The whole change took place in about ninety seconds. Just before the nor westerly gale dropped, I had a run on a deadbait (tiddlers have their uses) which proved to be a perch of a pound and a half, Not a big perch in the grand scheme of things, but one of the better fish in this small pond, When the gentle breeze started we decided to stay an extra couple of hours, but despite the "improved" conditions no further perch materialised. We settled for a late lunch, for which hot soup made from sweet potato and Thai spices was served, most welcome and a sign that summer is over. No more gazpacho until next June ! Now I know that perch are not supposed to like wind, but this is not the first time recently that I have caught better-than-tiddler perch in a howling gale. Have they adjusted to climate change (Climate has been changing ever since Earth had a climate) - whilst we are still running around in circles arguing about whose "fault" it is ?
  2. At least one useful item has been produced by the mighty carp tackle industry - small rubber beads, one of which placed upline of the swivel stops damage to my nice agate tip rings which adorn my nice split-bamboo light spinning rods.
  3. Some of the hands went a bit close to the shredder, fingertips in would lead to your wellies being shredded......... or is this from before the days of "elf an' safftee innit"
  4. Well done John. The catch is less important than "Being There" Yes, everything now takes longer, I need glasses to thread hooks and tie knots now, and the developing tremor in my right arm doesn't help either, but I did get out after perch this last week, only small perch caught, and the one three-pounder was an eel. A very considerate eel though, no slime on clothes nor tackle (I beached it) and once on dry land it obligingly shed the hook - bundled it into a plastic shopping bag for weighing and return _ I wish all eels were as co-operative I am having to give up the more energetic styles of angling, where scrambling is involved - rock fishing and rough stream trout in wild places have gone, as have sea trips (legs wont hold me upright in anything over Force 4) but that still leaves plenty to go at - even fly fishing is possible in ten minute bursts with a rest in between - I take a folding chair. Keep at it mate !
  5. No need to go abroad for zander - we have caught plenty from the Severn whenever we go that way, Norma and I have caught 501 different species worldwide - some species have interested us enough to want to catch more - such as tench, perch, bonefish, mullet, marlin, barramundi and wild trout. Other species we have caught, but not been too enthused by them, and moved on to another species Black bass, carp, cod, bream and mackerel belong to this latter group It has nothing to do with sheer fighting ability, rather it is an intangible matter of how challenging it is to catch a good one. Just how irrational this feeling is can be judged by the fact I put roach in the first category and rudd in the second. I once had a roach-rudd hybrid of 3-12 and didn't know if I should be pleased or not (Gozzer pointed out it was 1-14 rudd and 1-14 roach, so I still had not caught a 2lb roach) Plenty of places and species to choose from, "The world is your oyster" - or as Arthur Daley put it ".....your lobster" Choose a venue (or a species) and I might be able to offer more specific advice
  6. "a cuppa " at the angling shop - yep I remember, six communal chipped mugs, stained mahogany inside.........happy days. USA just the same, but coffee instead. John Geirach described tackle-store coffee. "Strong enough to take four spoonfuls of powdered creamer without changing colour" Fortunately I have acquired/made enough gear to last until about 2050, by which time I will be 116 and considering retiring.......
  7. About 15 years ago I purchased a headlight from a mail order outfit that has since gone the way of "everything for the carp fisher" (The company, not the headlight which latter BTW is still working) I no longer buy from this firm, but they still optimistically send me a large catalogue annually I look with some amusement on the expensive accouterments such as "buzzer bars"" etc (I still use a forked stick with rod-butt on the ground.....) I thought I would share the latest "essentials", Boilies are expensive enough, and for those who believe in groudbaiting with boile fragments, making some with a hammer is an easy but expensive way of increasing ones chances. No longer ! Enter the "Advanced Boilie Crusher" This machine will "chomp its way through 1 kilo of boilies in under one minute" (No its not electric, you have to turn a handle at the side like playing a hurdie-gurdie - but the handle is detachable for easy transport) A bargain at £43.99 For those not content with one sort of boilie, there is an accompanying plastic "modular bucket system" holding (wait for it) ......up to 30 litres of boilies in three containers Price £19.99 Illustrated as black - dunno about camou or stainless steel......
  8. In the old days, highland lairds stocked mountain lochans with trout, carried up in wooden barrels on a ghillie's back. Not an ergonomically or economically sound exercise, but of course little cost to the laird. I've trekked to quite a few such. Sometimes they are ful of tiddler trout, but soetimes there are fish over a pound apiece in quite tiny lochans.
  9. Yes, that's what I was hinting at, but I never fish commercials now, and sadly, many club anglers are putting pressure on their committees to turn all club still waters into replicas of commercials - overcrowded fish swimming about in a milky-coffee coloured soup of stirred-up bottom debris, fish crap and surplus groundbait. There is some illusion of skill in catching what is called "a good match weight" from such waters. Any skill involved is the skill of the assembly line rather than that of a hunter I used to fish a lot of these places for free to help provide "features" for a mate who edited a fishing magazine, but one soon gets tired of what is not too far removed from shooting fish in a barrel - there is no way I would part with money to do that. But then, I'm a grumpy old bugbear who was brought up on sight-fishing in clear watesr, As the above mentioned mate said before he passed on "Dave, I think we have already had the best of it"
  10. I would just add the thought that sweet corn (dunno about maize, supermarket tinned corn is cheap enough for me) seems to work on heavily fished waters, but not so well on the sparsely fished waters I prefer. I always remember a trip to Redmire in the days when very few anglers were permitted to fish there - the water was gin clear, and I had been told the previous angler had left ten days before. A preliminary "recce" established that one swim was carpeted by bright yellow sweet corn - an area about five feet by five feet, No fish were in the swim (although fish could be observed in other swims) so I elected not to fish there (Pitchfortd's Pitch for those who know the water). The corn was still untouched when I left at the end of the week. The contents of two or three dozen tins (or perhaps a catering pack or two) must have been in there. Not good practice. I wonder how much sweet corn goes into the average commercial fishery, let alone the other gubbins. ....and yes, I did catch at Redmire - nothing spectacular, but carp, eels and gudgeon all fell to lobworm
  11. Sherlock Holmes "For some reason it seems to perpetually astonish the British public that one horse can run faster than another" Our R I master (sanctimonious old humbug) used to preach and screech about the evils of gambling, which made me inclined to take up bookmaking as a career. By contrast our maths master, after our final School Cert exams (yes I pre-date GCEs) spent the last few maths lessons of our school careers taking us through the mathematics of making a book. That nearly convinced me to become a bookie - and stopped me from ever becoming a punter !
  12. I think Kipling's ironies are beyond the comprehensions of the modern-day "politically correct" Kipling's racist soldier ruefully complaining about his Indian mistress ".....for she knifed me one night 'cos I wished she were white" focuses very neatly on the attitudes leading to racial problems. To call the poet (instead of the soldier) "racist" is just crass.
  13. indeed, John, but remember how the fable ends,,,,,a real wolf and nobody listening. Personally i think the analogy of water finding its own level applies . French vintners want us to buy wine, German car firms want to sell us cars - they wont wear "punishing" the UK with tariffs - if they do, then Aussie/N Zealand wines and Chinese/Japanese cars will flourish instead.
  14. Dave, i think you are missing the point - i'm not talking about warming tea on the firehole shelf, nor frying eggs on a shovel. I'm talking about working a steam loco with up to 220 lbs per sq inch boiler pressure - highly dangerous unless one knows exactly what one is doing. Man is slow to learn, and it took lots of boiler explosions in Victorian times before the lessons sunk in
  15. When I worked as a volunteer steam locomotive footplateman, I used to do that all the time !
  16. Steve I have caught mullet on fly on the ebb at several places. For West coast estuaries I use a small fiery brown or ginger fly #12 fished downstream, evening, ebb. Concealment is important because the light is from the west, the fly shows well to the mullet , as does the angler. One take per evening sounds about right, Flounders and tiny bass one has to accept. Never had much when fishing morning ebb with the light behind me. (reminds one of W S Gilbert's "rich attorney's elderly ugly daughter" who looked good in the dusk with the light behind her) One thing I found that worked was holding the fly in the current and let it drift (but slower than the current) downtide Good luck
  17. Vagabond


    .............and the back-alley of the local grocer was a rich source of bottles
  18. As readers of "Angling Vagabond" will know, my first decent carp, hooked at night, was too big for my net, and had to be played until daylight, by when it was docile enough to be netted head-first, like an egg in an egg-cup. In 1949 the fish (8lb) was regarded as a monster Last week Norma and I repeated the feat We stopped at a motorhome site in Lincolnshire that offered fishing on site. One has to use mats and nets provided by the site. The nets are small, but we managed a 6-4 and a 7-7 carp landed by the method described above, as well as many other species A total "matchweight" of about 36 lb - "shooting fish in a barrel" comes to mind.
  19. Perhaps you should get out more More seriously, they are now much rarer than they used to be.. Folk would plant a walnut tree for the benefit of their great grandchildren. Alas, said ggchildren have long since sold the tree for veneer and it has never occurred to them to plant a replacement. Pickled walnuts with cold roast venison is one of my favourite packed lunch options.
  20. Lefty Kreh, aged 93 One of thr great fly fishers Fished with Hemingway and three US Presidents Born left-handed, suffered an injury to left arm, simply changed hands and cast with his right When asked what was the best length for a fly rod, he demonstrated he could cast with just the top joint, and also with his hand alone If you come across one of his books, buy it !!
  21. Just had a session on a gravel pit Fished for perch, one evening, the next day, and the following morning Evening - three bites, all within half an hour, yielded three perch, all over a pound, with the best 2-4 What was interesting was I fished in the teeth of a northerly gale - so fierce my eyes watered enough to blur vision and make tying hooks on difficult Now, received wisdom says perch do not like windy conditions and I nearly did not go. Food for thought. Next day, wind dropped to a gentle northerly breeze, with bright sun Fished 8am to 9pm Just one bite, at 8pm Perch 2-14 What a difference one decent fish makes to an otherwise blank day ! Following morning, same conditions as previous day Fished 8am to about 1 pm. Perchless, but two bites produced eels of 2-12 and 3-0 Had a measure of how much energy is needed to cope with eels once landed, Once the eel is on the bank, one's troubles are just beginning. All my life I have just dealt with the beggars without much thought, but at age 84 with anginal problems, I can now measure the energy expended by the number of squirts of nitroglycerin I need to restore circulation to normal, ....and these were lip-hooked - I'm glad there was no deep hooking to deal with. I fished two rods throughout - one with running paternoster baited with lobworms - no bites. All fish caught on other rod, baited with a bunch of maggots on a simple ledger rig (short trail) Bite indication by watching rod-tip Just got a new camera (previous has given up the ghost) so now to find out how to transfer the pics to PC - its all go, this fishing lark.
  22. A good day to go fishing.... Whilst wishing the couple well, their marriage is their business, not mine, so why would I watch it ?
  23. Two white-whiskered florid-faced elderly gentlemen were having tea at Simpsons-in-the-Strand and deep in animated discussion. "I am positive, Carstairs, the correct spelling is W.O.O.M.B. " "No,No Carruthers, the opinion in the Officers Mess at Mafeking was unanimous - it is W.O.O.O.M.B." A distinguished-looking lady of mature years was just finishing her tea at the next table. As she left, she paused briefly to say, "Excuse me gentlemen, but I could not help overhearing your conversation. For many years, I was matron at a large London Obstetric Hospital, and I can assure you on the very best authority that I am sorry, you are both wrong, and the correct spelling is W.O.M.B." Both gentlemen sprang to their feet, bowed courteously, said "thank you very much Matron, for putting us right" The lady left, and conversation resumed. "Do you know, Carstairs, I believe that lady has never in her life heard a male African elephant breaking wind."
  24. LOL I have just seen an article in the travel supplement of The Times "Tips on eating abroad: Eat where the locals eat (but not in America, or you may never leave McDonalds"
  25. Can vouch for that Phone - lots of places in USA where a restaurant is by a lake and surplus food gets chucked in The scenario looks just like that - in Texas there are various catfish in the mix as well. The source ? Lots of fat kids being bought far more fries than they can eat - the human race is only just beginning to realise it is a form of child abuse
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