Who am I?

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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Making hay

I managed to grab another session, on Sunday evening, as Bev was busy sorting out her crafting stuff - so it seemed foolish not to seize the opportunity. I had bait and munger already waiting, all my gear was as it had been left from Saturday night; so just stuck it back in the car and off I went. I know that in the back of my mind was a hope to get a photo of a beaver! However, I also knew that I'd put a lot of bait in this particular swim and, if I've got my thinking correct, the fish will be drawn into the area purely due to my regular bait introductions. The fact that I am also introducing bait, even when I can't actually fish, should encourage confident feeding amongst the wily denizens of this watery domain. The weather was fair and conditions, on my arrival, looked spot on!

I had the camera poised, ready focused, just in case I got another sighting of that beaver.
I went through the ritual of laying down two beds of particles, before scattering a couple of handfuls of loose offerings, of my hook baits, over the top. Almost immediately there were signs of fish activity in my chosen spots; patches of fizzing bubbles and, twice, carp rolled on the surface - it was looking good. Within an hour my left hand rod was away and I found myself attached to a rather angry Common of 12/14 lbs - I'll never know the exact weight as the hook pulled after a couple of minutes while I was struggling to keep it moving amidst a rather dense lily-pad. There was a time when such an occurrence would have ruined my day - not anymore. Shit happens; move on! I'm not the only angler to have ever lost a fish, it's not the end of the world.
I checked the hook, everything seemed OK - it stuck in my finger nail as I dragged it across - the hook-link wasn't tangled, nor anything else untoward - so, just one of those things, I guess? My confidence remained high, despite of this set back, and little more than an hour later, my right hand alarm signalled a bite and over went the rod. Quite an interesting scrap, considering the carp was less than 8lbs, enjoyable none the less. I carried on for another 90 minutes, or so, without further action (and no beaver sighting!)

This little chap is a bit of a puzzle! Certainly not of the same strain as my earlier carp, it's almost bream-like.
 Fin and scale perfect - where has it come from?
I'm now on a week of late-shifts, so my angling time will be very restricted, but I feel that there is still plenty of scope to refine my approach to these intimate venues. There is something very satisfying when a fish is taken on bait that you have prepared yourself, particle fishing is, to me, the very essence of my methodology. It suits my tackle choice and these un-complicated fish populations in such a way that I'm back at the beginning; embarked on a journey of discovery and thrills as each individual fish is encountered. Even if I do say it myself, I'm fishing rather well at present - the whole confidence thing is building as I make ideas become reality and regularly put fish on the bank. It is very true that my tench ambitions have yet to be realised but only a fool would be unhappy, with my results, of late?
In Rod Hutchinson's 1983 book "The Carp Strikes Back" (ISBN 0-9508865-2-1) he invited Dick Caldwell to write a piece on his approach to particle fishing - called "The Kent Angle" It remains a great source of advice and inspiration, despite being written over thirty years ago. Rod was no slouch with his own use of particle baits - he gave the Redmire carp some hammer during his time in that elite syndicate; hemp and tares being highly effective, as I recall. Thankfully the boillie revolution took place and today's carp anglers are so convinced by the slick marketing as to be unable/un-willing to deviate from this angling template. My slant on this situation is that the anglers, and not the fish, are the ones being caught? There can be absolutely no room for compromise with bait presentation and terminal tackle, you have to present the most effective that you are able? Rods, reels, bivvies, rod-pods, and myriad other sundry items are all gimmick driven in these modern times and it would seem to me that the carp angling crowd have an insatiable appetite for this hype.
It's very easy for me to sit here, smug in the knowledge that only experience brings. It might even be directly proportionate to age, there are a number of other bloggers, of similar vintage, who hold these same opinions about other aspects of outdoor hobbies - birding, dare I say "twitching", and camera wielding newbies being a particularly sore point.
Was it really that much better in "our day"? Or will this current crop also be able to look back with fondness on their own formative period and frown upon the antics of the next generation - I'm guessing that the answer to this will be yes, as John Hollyer once said to me, "Every generation feels the need to reinvent the wheel!" - with the speed at which technology is advancing someone probably will! In the mean time, I will continue to go it my way - a bucket of black-eyed suzies, a bent rod, spinning centre-pin and a wet landing net - angling paradise for this grumpy old git.

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