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Getting pee'd off with the weather, and other things.


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 My son damaged his calf ligaments, and was on crutches for a few weeks, then his partner fell, and injured her ankle, and neither could walk very far, so Grandad became chauffeur, child minder, and general dogsbody, for a while. The only chance I've had to go fishing, this year was the other week, when I saw a break in the wet and windy weather, and the river levels looked near normal. I haven't renewed my Leeds & District yearbook yet, so was limited in choice of venue, and decided on my old favourite, Wetherby. I arrived about 8 o'clock, and the river looked at an almost perfect level, carrying a few inches of extra. The water was very clear, but it was overcast, and slightly misty, so I wasn't too bothered. I walked the length, and decided on a swim I hadn't fished before, it was on the inside of a bend, with a slack on the near bank, and the flow about a couple of rod lengths out. With a slight upstream breeze, it looked perfect for trotting, or holding still in the slack. I plumbed it at about 10 ft just on the crease, and started to introduce a few casters, with a little hemp, while I had a coffee prior to fishing. After about 15 mins, I cast in and began my trotting, feeding a little every couple of casts. I had that feeling of expectancy, and a tinge of the excitement that I hadn't felt for years, since I was a kid, and every session would be a probable 'red letter day'. An hour later, with the clouds and mist clearing, to a bright blue, sun lit sky, and the breeze doubling in strength, and without so much as a nibble, I was feeling somewhat less confident. I switched to maggot, and a heavier float, introduced a little cloudy groundbait, and still no action. While I was baiting my hook, I heard a splash, and looked up to see the aftermath of what seemed like a fish swirling in my swim. I threw a few small crusts in to see if the chub were in residence, but they floated downstream until the gulls saw them. I carried on fishing until I heard another swirl just upstream, and turned to see more spreading ripples.  This happened a few more times over the next half hour or so, I heard it, but didn't see it. I then cast into the slack, and 'laid on' while I had a coffee and a sandwich. There was another swirl, but this time I saw it. I saw the head, the tail, and the bloody wings! A cormorant was working the length, and I hadn't seen it surface, this time it came up about 30yds downstream of me, dived, then resurfaced just upstream of me. I don't know if it had been more successful than me, but it must have scared the crap out of any fish that I might have attracted. In the past, this would have called for a walk, with a coffee, and a calming cigarette, but that was over 5 years ago before I packed in, but I doubt that if one was offered, I would have struggled to say no at that moment. Instead, I put out a feeder, with flake on the hook, and breadcrumbs in the feeder, in the hope that a bigger fish would maybe escape the attention of the cormorant. I thought about moving, but felt dejected enough, to not have the energy or inclination. Another half hour without a bite on the feeder, and more important, no sign of the bird, I reverted back to the float. I'd kept up the feeding routine, and first cast the float sank, I was so surprised that I didn't even strike until it was on the way back up again. The next cast, another bite, this time I stuck, and connected with...a minnow, then another, and another. I was just glad to see the float go under, so I thought I'd fish through the minnows, and hope for something better to show up. A few minnows later, I hit something that put a bit of a bend in the tip, only for it to shed the hook. On inspection, I saw that I should have changed the hook when I'd caught a snag, but since it came off easily, I didn't bother. The next cast, with new hook, produced another minnow, then another, so I thought that I would try a small spinner in case the local large perch has arrived to the table. I took out the telescopic spinning rod that I bought for the fruitless trip to Fort William last year, and put on a small mepps, that I'd bought at the same time, and tried a few casts.

 Those who remember my old posts about this place, might remember, apart from the minnow population, there was also the occasional 'dog walker problem', but with this being mid week, I didn't think it would be too bad.

I was just about to cast again when there was the sound of something rushing down the bank towards me, followed by the sound of growling, and barking. I turned to see two dogs, one of them looked like one of those Japanese fighting dog things, the other a large scruffy mongrel. In my shock and surprise, I had release my thumb from trapping the line, and the spinner had fallen onto my keepnet laid on the ground beside me. I stood with a couple of bank sticks in hand in hand, feeling a little apprehensive, and a lot pee'd off, and waited for the owners to appear, they didn't. I heard a few people on the other side of the flood bank, call out to dogs, and the two things looked towards the calls, but carried on barking and growling at me. This stand off lasted what seemed like ages but in reality was probably only about 5/6 minutes. The owners never appeared, and the dogs got bored and left, only to come back for a few seconds and start again. Now I know I moan  a lot, but for all these dickhead dog owners knew, it could have been a child that had attracted the attentions of their beloved canine 'children', instead of a gnarled old moaner like me, with different, and more serious consequences. After the mutts had left, I turned to pick up my spinning rod, only to find that the trebles had embedded themselves in the mesh of the net. I usually change the trebles on any shop bought spinners, or at least squash the barbs, I had obviously missed this one! In trying to extricate the barbs from the net, I found that I had left my pliers/cutters, at home, and ended putting a hole big enough to take my fist, in said net. The next cast out with the spinner prevented a repeat of the situation, I hit a snag, and had to pull for a break, leaving the lure behind. I carried on trotting for another hour or so, but with just  few minnows to show for my efforts, and the reappearance of my feathered friend, I packed up and left.

I was always taught that, Proper Preparation Prevents **** Poor Performance, I have come to realise that this is a load of crap. The day before my 'fishing' trip was spent making sure that everything was ready, (everything but the wire cutters, obviously), so all I had to do on the morning, was fill my flask with boiling water, get my bait from the shed, and go. It's the most prepared I've been for many a year, and the result was one of the worst days I can remember. Next trip will be different, I'll just bung my gear in the car and set off, somewhere, anywhere there is water, and I'm allowed to fish it, sod everything else!

Apologises for the extended rant, but I needed it. I don't know if I will be able to get on a river before the end of the season. We've had almost constant rain since that day, with added 50 mph winds. Yesterday I woke up to a couple of inches of snow on the car, but the rain and sleet took it away during the day. Today it was snowing most of the morning, but that has melted now, and added to the already swollen rivers. I know I'm lucky in that I live on high ground, and never likely to flood, unlike the poor sods that are being flooded for the 4th or 5th time in recent years.

I'm left wondering that if it does calm down before the end of the season, how much will there be left to fish for? The number of fish that will have been swept away, or stranded well away from the rivers, must be in the hundreds of thousands, although we will still have the bloody carp that escape from the flood plain ponds to pollute restock the rivers, won't we?

John.

PS,

On a lighter note, I had a lady approach me and ask something about 'swimming off the sandbed upstream of me'. I assumed that I had met a considerate dog owner, and, seeing that there were a good 30yds of trees between the spot, and my swim, I said ok but keep the dogs up that way. She then explained that it wasn't a dog, but her and a friend that wanted to swim! I warned her that the water was very cold, and the floods had brought a lot of snags into that area, but said it's ok with me, but be careful. I soon heard some splashing, and laughing, and looked to see these two 40 something ladies, in just ordinary swimming costumes, enter the water, and spend the next 15/20 minutes swimming up and down the area. In hindsight I believe that they had probably scared the cormorant away.

Edited by gozzer
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Angling is more than just catching fish, if it wasn't it would just be called 'catching'......... John

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Unfortunately we all have those days. Memories for the wrong reason.

One of my favourite waters was ruined when Yorkshire water installed a footpath wide enough and flat enough to drive on. Now it's full of dog walkers and joggers,  all who pay nothing to be there and resent me being there fishing and being in the way of the dogs swimming. I of course pay for this privilege.

Just lately I've been looking at caravan sites with a river frontage or close,  to try and get the last few days of the season. I'm thinking of one near the Witham just outside Lincoln or one at Spalding.

I think everybody is just sick of the rain and wind and wishing we either had a proper winter or it would just go away.

Maybe an idea for you John? I just bought some net poles, bit like extending bank sticks and some 'no see camo mesh' (5m x 1.5m) not cheap at 20 and 15 respectively but staked out I'm hoping that will keep out the dogs and also those who keep asking if my centrepin is a fly reel. Maybe a bit of a wind break too.  Still have the brolly though.

If all else fails, follow the intructions.
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My longest memory of fishing being ruined was when the then river authority straightened a mile or so of river bank to supposedly stop flooding!

Seeing as it was flood plain either side it was a rather stupid idea even then ,it went from a good venue to a featureless one in a few months.

The other spectacular pond brimming with golden tench is now under the M20 at folkestone.

Not doing any fishing this winter and even metal detecting is restricted i have done to death the permissions i have and the coast is to far to get to!

An amusing dog related incident (not at the time the dog walker threatened to get her hubby to sort me out!) Was fishing at big frensham pond i had two rods out and a dog chased a duck through the swim catching both lines and dragging the rods off the rests .The dog yelped and for some reason the lady owner went into a tirade of threats saying i hurt her pooch.

I pointed out her dog was the problem not me sitting quietly on the beach (same beach as in a carry on film😉) she shouted anglers shouldnt be allowed to fish ,my parting shot was if it wasnt for angling the pond wouldnt exist. It spoilt my day so i went home now dogs are not allowed on the beaches in summer but they still do and theres still ignorent owners aswell!

Believe NOTHING anyones says or writes unless you witness it yourself and even then your eyes can deceive you

 

There is only one opinion i listen to ,its mine and its ALWAYS right even when its wrong

 

Its far easier to curse the darkness than light one candle

 

Mathew 4:19

Grangers law : anything i say will  turn out the opposite or not happen at all!

 

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

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As gozzer will attest, Roundhay Park lake in Leeds was the "Best Place In The World" for getting your rods run over by kids on bikes, being shot by Tw***s with air guns firing at the ducks & having bits of tackle nicked by groups of kids reckoning to be interested in admiring your gear (a diversion) while one of them helped himself to your floats.

Edited by Martin56

Fishin' - "Best Fun Ya' can 'ave wi' Ya' Clothes On"!!

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12 hours ago, Tigger said:

I need a lie down after that!

I could feel my blood pressure rising and the need to inflict GBH !

How do you think I felt then Ian? I'd really looked forward to the day, after having no chance since the new year. I didn't mention it all though. I'd decided to use an older float rod when I got there, it's an old Diawa, and was the first carbon rod I ever bought, and one that I really like using. I took the rod tube out of my holdall, assembled the rod, and started threading the line when I saw that one of the guides had broken. I'm trying to get an exact match to replace it, but I think I will have to compromise with using something similar.  I had two catapult elastics snap, lost two floats, although I did manage to rescue one, and went through at least a half dozen hooks. Who coined the phrase "Relax go Fishing"?  I doubt I'll be going back to that particular length for some time, mainly because of the stupid dog situation. It's a shame because I've fished that stretch since I was in my early teens.

Phone, I would agree with the sentiment in your post most of the time, but the 'angling gods' were really taking the pee on that day. 

Martin, I fished Roundhay Park so many times that it was almost like a second home, especially during my school days, and up to my early twenties, and a bit less often in later years. I can honestly say, that apart from the odd kid that tried the distract, and pinch, trick, I had more grief from the general public, and their dogs than anything else. The Leeds and Liverpool canal, especially the Gotts park/Kirkstall Power Station area, was a different Kettle of fish. I had umbrellas peppered with holes from air rifles. I got a hold of one kid, who had been shooting chub on the canal, and then shooting at me, I smashed his rifle butt, then bent the barrel on a metal mooring ring, and then threw him in. Justice was swift back then.

Chesters, The Yorkshire river authority, had the same idea back in the sixties. They thought that clearing the banks, and making them slope down at 45degrees, would move the water away faster, and prevent areas flooding. It did for the immediate area, but caused worse flooding downstream. Miles of willows on the river Nidd, prime chub and barbel waters, were stripped away, causing erosion of banks, and flooding downstream. It took some time for the banks to recover, but with some illegal planting of willows, and the speed at which they take hold, many of us anglers helped it along. The powers that be realised eventually, and left it for the angling clubs to manage most of the time.

Cameraman, I doubt that those nets would be much of a deterrent to the kind of dog that I met that day. I think barbed wire would be more appropriate, and effective. The majority of the owners and their dogs are ok, the dogs are just nosey, and they respond to the calls from their owners. A small percentage are aggressive, and their owners are either stupid, ignorant, or both. I wish I could get something like a mild pepper spray, that would irritate instead of harm, and if it works on them, I would then try it out on the dogs!

I'm (like most people) still pee'd off with the weather, but have started some therapy that I haven't done for years. I've started making a few floats, from a collection of stuff I had in my box of 'miscellaneous, might come in handy someday' things. I've used corks, polystyrene 'eggs', off cuts of balsa wood, drinking straws, sections of cane/bamboo, stainless TIG wire, small diameter plastic tubes, and cocktail sticks. I've so far, make a few wagglers, avons, and even a couple of bolo' floats. I find it very therapeutic, and calming. The only problem is wondering when I'll get the chance to actually use them, the forecast isn't looking good from now until the end of the river season.

 

John.

Edited by gozzer

Angling is more than just catching fish, if it wasn't it would just be called 'catching'......... John

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It's wierd how some days just about everything goes wrong, even when you try to keep calm,  Constant line wraps round the rod tip, the hook catches on anything and everything, amazing tangles from the slightest jiggle of the line etc etc.  I think sometimes when one of these days pops up it's in your own interest to just fire off home and get a brew :).

I have no problems doing whatever it takes to discourage dogs from tormenting me, and that includes their owners also!

The weather is looking awful for the remainder of the river season so i'm not sure if i'll get on it at all.  If I can't then i'll just wait until it warms enough to try for a tench until the rivers re open.

Just started to persist down again at this very moment :(.

 

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I give it 3 times something goes wrong and i go home ,i have even gone home before i arrived !

I have become far less patient as i have got older ,even if someones in the swim i wanted to use (generally i prefer just the one at the local pond) I leave. no scene ,no huff or asking the resident when hes leaving i can see the swim from the gate if someones in it i turn round and come home .I spent half my life trudging to special swims or looking for usuable ones in jungles or miles of bank i just cannot be bothered any more i want my remaining time to be easy and pleasent.what Vagabond gets up to fishing all over the place horrifies me i dont even go out of my 10 mile radias of where i live at all if possible !

I use the same rod ,reel even down to float i have used for decades (despite a box of 30 odd floats i buy the same version if i lose one) ,this isnt a person that will change any more even if its detrimental ,fishing to me isnt about fish its fresh air and i have lots if i open a window lol

Edited by chesters1
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Believe NOTHING anyones says or writes unless you witness it yourself and even then your eyes can deceive you

 

There is only one opinion i listen to ,its mine and its ALWAYS right even when its wrong

 

Its far easier to curse the darkness than light one candle

 

Mathew 4:19

Grangers law : anything i say will  turn out the opposite or not happen at all!

 

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

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The trouble with where I live, is that it’s at least a 30 minute drive to any decent river, often longer depending on the traffic in Leeds. Add to that getting to the river and then tackling up, and it’s often over an hour and a half from leaving home to actually fishing. As l don’t get off that often I’m reluctant to pack up without giving it a decent try. Im looking for a club with decent river fishing closer to me, probably the Calder, but that’s taken a real hammering with the recent floods. 

John

Angling is more than just catching fish, if it wasn't it would just be called 'catching'......... John

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