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NO FISHING - WINTER - SALT


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The huge catches of roach Dick and his mates caught from the Hiz in Priory Park were well reported both on the front page and centre pages of the angling times. Priory Park was privately owned and Dick only saw the roach in the river while setting up a stall for the annual fete that was held there. No one was allowed to fish the stretch but Dick knew the owner well and was able to get permission for himself and his friends to fish there. They caught big roach there regularly and 1962 quite a lot of them were transported to other waters, whethere or not it was legal I don't know, I never thought to ask Dick about that. The only one of the four I mentioned who is still alive is Peter Thomas but I am not going to trouble him with questions about the legalities. As far as suggesting that those four making up stories of that nature it is laughable. The fish were there, they caught them and reported them to the angling press. Dick also caught a lot of good roach from the River Beane, did you know about them? Somewhere I have some dates regarding a report and the apporoximate date of the centre page spread on the fish from the Hiz.

 

While it has less bearing on the matter than you seem to think, I lived much closer to Hitchin than you did in those days and I do remember that winter. I also remember snow plows leaving mounds of snow at the sides of the roads. On country roads we just had to live with it. However some town roads could not be left that way and I can remember front end loaders loading snow onto trucks which took it away. I also remember pictures in the local papers of lines of the stuff where it had been dumped in -places where it would not be in the way. I confess that I did not know at that time that any was being dumped by or on the Hiz, but I was aware of the roach being killed after the event.

 

As far as the Hiz running through parts of Hitchin is concerned, it is well documented and is hardly worth further discussion.

 

Hi Chevin

 

I do not dispute that you are being totally honest in saying what you were told that but evidence of any fish ever being in the River Hiz is totally lacking and if one considers the ancient name that too suggests that the River Hiz was often dry.

 

I accept that these men told you what you have said. However In my opinion either they were totally mixed up and did not have a clue as to where they were fishing and what the River was called or they simply lied again not an unknown thing.

 

I really tried to find evidence but there is none so far as I can see.

 

Bit of a puzzler, with not a single local record showing any loss of fish, I have even tried the local newspaper but I will most likely have to wait until after Christmas for a reply, although so far they cannot find anything.

 

I have also been in contact with the local historical society who have just released a book on the history of Hitchin Priory park - Yes I did order a copy of their book.

 

Could the Rivers name have got mixed up - I searched to see if there have been any changes of name to the river but there are none on record.

 

EDIT:

Just had a thought could the River have one name officially and yet be called by another name by local less well informed anglers?

END EDIT

 

Lets forget this particular Urban Myth and call it an Urban Mystery maybe someone else on here can throw a bit of light on it, naturally with some real references and record.

 

and get back onto keeping warm and wondering what the fishing will be like after this current bit of bad weather. I went down to my local River the Suffolk Stour today and it looked dreadful with a mill pool over 3/4 frozen

Edited by watatoad

From a spark a fire will flare up

English by birth, Cockney by the Grace of God

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Messrs Chevin and watatoad

 

Fascinating debate about Hitchin and the river Hiz.

 

My father in law was born and brought up on the Priory estate in Hitchin, his father was head keeper. I will be seeing him over the festive break .................... I will ask him about the river and its history. The only down side is that he is not a fisherman but he will have factual knowledge as his PhD background would demand.

 

Ian

Ian

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Messrs Chevin and watatoad

 

Fascinating debate about Hitchin and the river Hiz.

 

My father in law was born and brought up on the Priory estate in Hitchin, his father was head keeper. I will be seeing him over the festive break .................... I will ask him about the river and its history. The only down side is that he is not a fisherman but he will have factual knowledge as his PhD background would demand.

 

Ian

 

Many thanks Ian all and any info will be a help and have a great Christmas weekend.

 

EDIT:

In fairness to us both we would need an online reference for each of us to be able to see as we are a long way apart and not Wikipedia as that is often rubbish.

END EDIT:

Edited by watatoad

From a spark a fire will flare up

English by birth, Cockney by the Grace of God

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Hi Chevin

 

I do not dispute that you are being totally honest in saying what you were told that but evidence of any fish ever being in the River Hiz is totally lacking and if one considers the ancient name that too suggests that the River Hiz was often dry.

 

I accept that these men told you what you have said. However In my opinion either they were totally mixed up and did not have a clue as to where they were fishing and what the River was called or they simply lied again not an unknown thing.

 

I really tried to find evidence but there is none so far as I can see.

 

Bit of a puzzler, with not a single local record showing any loss of fish, I have even tried the local newspaper but I will most likely have to wait until after Christmas for a reply, although so far they cannot find anything.

 

I have also been in contact with the local historical society who have just released a book on the history of Hitchin Priory park - Yes I did order a copy of their book.

 

Could the Rivers name have got mixed up - I searched to see if there have been any changes of name to the river but there are none on record.

 

EDIT:

Just had a thought could the River have one name officially and yet be called by another name by local less well informed anglers?

END EDIT

 

Lets forget this particular Urban Myth and call it an Urban Mystery maybe someone else on here can throw a bit of light on it, naturally with some real references and record.

 

and get back onto keeping warm and wondering what the fishing will be like after this current bit of bad weather. I went down to my local River the Suffolk Stour today and it looked dreadful with a mill pool over 3/4 frozen

 

OK, I will give you the figures I mention fairly shortly. The roach were caught. The men I mention I have mentioned by name as being Richard Walker, Peter Thomas, Bob Rutland and Alan Brown, names that you will surely recognise and, as far as I know have never before been accused of the possibility that they lied. If you spent time in Hitchin, you would have met Alan Brown who ran the tackle shop in Nightingale Road - a popular venue for all keen anglers from quite a large area. You would have probably met Bob Rutland and possibly Dick Walker and Pete Thomas. We may have met too but even if we didn't. you would have known who chevin was even in those days. Keen specialist anglers were invited to stay in the shop after hours on Friday evenings where we relaxed and talked about fishing for all species of fish. My speciality was obviously the chub. Alan Brown continued to make the Chevin rod up until he died, and that rod was made to my requirements.

 

Anyway, keeping warm here isn't a problem, we have 38c predicted for tomorrow, so it is a sea side Christmas for us. The nostalgia of having a white Christmas does get to me for a few seconds on occasions, but once I get into the Indian Ocean which is clearer than the Test on a good day and as warm as a luke warm bath, I feel that I really don't need snow and ice to keep me happy. :D

 

Best wishes to all for Christmas and 2011.

Edited by chevin

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Politicians are not responsible for a country's rise to greatness; The people are.

 

The people are not responsible for a country's fall to mediocrity; the politicians are.

 

 

 

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Here is the AT report of Dick Walker's bag of roach from the Hiz. You will have to take my word on the fact that it was from the Hiz, Dick did not give the names of waters, especially private ones. However, my word has always been good enough in the angling world and so I would hope that it will be accepted in this instant.

 

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Politicians are not responsible for a country's rise to greatness; The people are.

 

The people are not responsible for a country's fall to mediocrity; the politicians are.

 

 

 

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Hi, Chevin Sorry not near good enough and it is certainly not proof of what you are claiming so enthusiastically I made a mistake of or I came out with lies or bullsh*t about.

 

Paper is dated July 12th 1957

 

We are talking about an incident 8 (EIGHT) years later

 

Sorry but you will have to come up with some real proof and it needs to be a lot better than what you have offered so far.

 

You disputed what I said.

 

You then mocked me and showed me considerable disrespect you pretty much called me a liar.

 

I have searched and shown all where, quite openly.

 

I am still in contact with people and await further clarification and proof.

 

I have never said I doubted anybodies catch.

 

I do say I doubt where they were claimed to be caught, based on real provable and checkable research not hearsay.

 

I have throughout treated you courteously and with consideration and respect.

 

You spoke of massive fish deaths especially of Roach which devastated the water and the Roach never recovered.

 

Yet all you have produced is a paper which clearly states that any culprit that caused the loss of a good head of good Roach was in point of fact Richard Walker he is the villain of Roach devastation not salt it was Richard Walker who moved the Roach just to suit his and his close friends convenience, desires and purposes.

 

Yet there is still no proof whatsoever that the Roach of Richard Walker's catch came from the River Hiz.

 

Just a little tip take all the good Roach out of any water and they will not have recovered in the next 8 (eight)years.

 

 

The bottom line:

 

Prove what you have said.

 

Prove that the River Hiz had a good head of fish in it in 1962 and in particular Roach.

 

Prove that the local council dumped snow and salt in the River Hiz in the winter of 1962/1963.

 

Prove that the River Hiz lost most of its fish and especially the Roach in 1963 due to the council dumping snow and salt in the River Hiz

 

Hearsay or the word of a second or third or even fourth party will not be good enough

 

 

Heck I have tried really hard openly to prove that you are correct and I have got it totally wrong what more could I do?

 

 

Now I don't mind making mistakes or getting things wrong, I try hard not to but I am only human (well almost Toad's aren't...hehehe).

 

I have openly admitted on Anglers Net on more than one occasion that I have made a mistake or have been mistaken so I have no problem with that.

 

I have often apologised to people so I have no problem with that.

 

But what I wont ever do is back down or run away or hide when I believe other anglers are being told rubbish or given incorrect information or generally lead down the garden path.

 

EDIT:

As far me wanting my name to appear I assume what triggered that is the fact I post a lot - I do that because I am not going to be around a lot longer so time is of an essence to me - I have a vast amount of experience and knowledge concerning some branches of angling and I feel the need to perhaps pass some of this onto others in the hope it will help them improve their angling if they take my advice my next piece of advice is check it out experiment use whatever I can give or share as an extra piece of knowledge based upon some other anglers experiences, use it or not that is the choice of whoever reads what I write. My only promise is I will not bullshit anyone, I just cant be bothered. Don't forget I am not trying to make money or fame out of this, crikey I even tested rods at my own expense to help others, so I think I have already proved by my actions how straight I am, because everyone can see what I have already done.

END EDIT:

Edited by watatoad

From a spark a fire will flare up

English by birth, Cockney by the Grace of God

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I remember years and years ago, R. Walker discussing the capture of 14 two pound roach from the Hiz amongst other notable captures of his of other fish in an article (probably read this in an Walker "anniversary special" in A. Times) long after the event.

 

IIRC he mentioned that the capture was from a private pool stretch, virtually unfished and also he rated it as containing little in the way of angling merit as the fish he explained were leftovers from the era of Issac Walton where they were often referred to as river sheep - unpressured, naive and easy to catch.

 

He probably named the river then because it was no longer viable as all the fish were long gone for whatever reason (one off pollution, long term pollution, abstraction etc).

 

IIR, he went on to state that his catch of est. 1000(!) two pounders over the years was a better indicator of his ability rather than a one off catch of 14 two's.

 

Also of course Walker caught big roach from the Beane up to 3.4oz - a fish he mentioned in very poor condition that was down in weight from peak.

 

Mark

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As regards rivers drying up - there are rivers that do this naturally = esp in chalk or limstone strata - it does not mean that all of the river dries up necessarily.

 

For instance - in the River Mole in Surrey, considerable flow dissapears into "swallow holes" along the chalkly North Downs sections and some flow re-appears later downstream (basically the river goes underground for a while). In very dry drought years, the river bed can be dry (around Leatherhead) as water losses are total through the swallow holes, yet upstream and downstream there is flow. The fish just move away during drought as it's not an overnight thing.

 

You can see the whirlpools where the flow goes underground.

 

The Herts rivers like the Minram, Oughton, Beane, Gade, Hiz are chalk streams and may suffer from similar underground flow losses in sections. Abstraction too makes things worse.

 

Mark

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I remember years and years ago, R. Walker discussing the capture of 14 two pound roach from the Hiz amongst other notable captures of his of other fish in an article (probably read this in an Walker "anniversary special" in A. Times) long after the event.

 

IIRC he mentioned that the capture was from a private pool stretch, virtually unfished and also he rated it as containing little in the way of angling merit as the fish he explained were leftovers from the era of Issac Walton where they were often referred to as river sheep - unpressured, naive and easy to catch.

 

He probably named the river then because it was no longer viable as all the fish were long gone for whatever reason (one off pollution, long term pollution, abstraction etc).

 

IIR, he went on to state that his catch of est. 1000(!) two pounders over the years was a better indicator of his ability rather than a one off catch of 14 two's.

 

Also of course Walker caught big roach from the Beane up to 3.4oz - a fish he mentioned in very poor condition that was down in weight from peak.

 

Mark

 

REPLY:

Hi Mark

 

Welcome to Anglers Net.

 

I am not disputing Richard Walkers catch. Although I do feel that some of Richard Walkers angling exploits are probably exaggerated quite considerably by those who seek to make money from his name.

 

But I do not accept the Roach were caught on the River Hiz. I am not yet saying where the catch of Roach most likely was as yet because I am not trying to prove Richard Walkers catch, only the venue.

 

 

As regards rivers drying up - there are rivers that do this naturally = esp in chalk or limstone strata - it does not mean that all of the river dries up necessarily.

 

For instance - in the River Mole in Surrey, considerable flow dissapears into "swallow holes" along the chalkly North Downs sections and some flow re-appears later downstream (basically the river goes underground for a while). In very dry drought years, the river bed can be dry (around Leatherhead) as water losses are total through the swallow holes, yet upstream and downstream there is flow. The fish just move away during drought as it's not an overnight thing.

 

You can see the whirlpools where the flow goes underground.

 

The Herts rivers like the Minram, Oughton, Beane, Gade, Hiz are chalk streams and may suffer from similar underground flow losses in sections. Abstraction too makes things worse.

 

Mark

 

REPLY:

Hi again Mark

 

Yes that is very interesting and the information is available quite easily concerning the River Hiz where drying up every summer is a regular thing of the River and always has been as is the point which I have already stated that it becomes an underground river even in the winter when it actually has water in it and this can be easily checked upon.

 

Therefore I cannot imagine anyone catching Roach in a dried river bed nor can I imagine Roach surviving without water...can you?

 

I also think it is very wrong to have this constant reference to Richard Walker especially by those who seek to make money from books about him...

 

Just a bit of friendly advice you are moving onto very thin ice. Trust me you really do not want to go there.

 

This thread is about salt and snow and the effects caused by hard or snowy winters on fishing. - Not about long gone anglers.

Edited by watatoad

From a spark a fire will flare up

English by birth, Cockney by the Grace of God

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I've never seen the Hiz or been to Hitchin.

 

Looking at easily accessed online resources however the Hiz does flow through Hitchin. To deny this is incorrect.

 

Priory Park appears to be the source of the Hiz and it's no more than a streamlet, not capable of sustaining roach of any size or numbers.

 

However the Hiz at Hitchin Priory looks like a nice roach river. Look below at the website and the river picture.

 

http://www.goingdigital.co.uk/venues.php?i...n-hertfordshire

 

Perhaps this was the swim? ;)

 

Perhaps when talking of catching roach in Priory Park one should talk about Hitchin Priory?

 

:)

 

 

Mark

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