Who am I?

My photo
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!


Saturday, 28 November 2015

Short sessions

With the obvious exception of our annual pilgrimage to Loch Awe and the occasional "over-nighter", at Sandwich Coarse Fishery; my angling is now focused around getting the maximum return from short sessions. I would think that my average session would be around four hours duration, give or take an hour? It doesn't matter as to my target species, if I can't catch one in my allotted time, I'm off home - there's always tomorrow! Let's be clear - my results ain't setting the world alight - but I get by?
I can't ignore the fact that my angling is now very biased towards intimate venues; situations where watercraft and fish location are key factors. The East Kent drains are a fantastic challenge, but not so very different from the Cambridgeshire Fens of my past. The Royal Military Canal is much the same as any other canal, but with bends in it - look for the features and the fish will be there. It might well be the length of Loch Awe, but it's only 20m wide and without the depth variations! The local "carp puddles", where I conduct my experimenting, are also of a size that allow me to be confident of some action within the given time parameters. Ali Hamidi (Korda Tackle) describes it as "un-locking the code" - I prefer to think of it as experience!
I think that the benefit of these short sessions is that I remain focused; if something's not right then I deal with it immediately, not wait until the next bite. If I have a plan, then I'll try to stick to it - there's not much scope for sit and wait when time is of the essence. I'm active, reactive, I'm engaged - always thinking about my next gambit. The slightest niggling doubt and I'm on the case - it might just be to recast, check the rig, or was that exactly where I wanted my bait? If I'm not happy then I do something, rather than do nothing! If I have planned to leap-frog the pike rods along a drain every 20 minutes, then, as best I can, that's what I'll do - it means I'm always thinking about something. I wear a wrist watch, and have always done, specifically for this purpose - I certainly don't require one to know how long until my next tea break?

A very welcome visitor to the landing net - always so much better when the sun shines!
I was out again this morning, for a typical example of this style of approach. Three rods fishing by 06.50 hrs - packed up and headed for home at 10.30 hrs. Only one bite today, however, it was very welcome under the circumstances. The first frosty morning I've encountered this autumn, a nice little double (12 lbs 2 oz) took a fancy to a buoyant 1/2 mackerel - dyed yellow. A Duncan Kay with a Mitchell 300, bite indication provided by an original ET Back-biter alarm - all good stuff. The sun shone brightly, if the wind got a little boisterous before I headed home. Birds provided some added value:- 2 Peregrine, 2 Little Egret, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Raven and a decent sprinkling of winter thrushes. I'm indebted to Neil for taking the photos, he was out birding and stopped off for a chat - cheers mate!


  1. My angling sessions became shorter almost as a reaction to the full timers of Tring. My birding has become local after finding twitching wasn't really my thing. I guess I'm too lazy.
    We've met before Dylan, but not for a very long time (April 11th 1992 Poole Harbour - wasn't Hugh Miles filming Dartford Warblers that day?)

    1. Wow Ric - I've just delved into my birding diaries to discover that, on 11th April 1992, I was at Studland Heath to twitch a Purple Heron and yes, I did bump into Hugh Miles filming singing male Dartford Warblers! Sorry about your Tring memories - I was probably one of the "full - timers" involved - I certainly would have been during the mis-80's! That same diary tells me that next day I was at Lackford for a Caspian Tern and called in at Wolverton Triangle for Golden Pheasant! Mental times - thanks for taking the time to comment - Dylan

  2. Hi Dylan, yes, I got that Purple Heron and also the Caspian Tern; but only on the second occasion it appeared. But I got it.
    I didn't think you were one of the full time brigade (I think you had a job in Hemel).
    I was there (Tring) from 1980 to about 1986, and had another go in 1994, (completing the ton of both 2lb roach and Perch).
    You know me. I foul hooked a British record size Tench in 1981 in Wilstone.

    1. Richie, you little toe-rag! How the devil are you? It all makes sense now - I seem to recall that we last met whilst unsuccessfully searching for a Hoopoe on Studland. Simon and I look back on those Tring times as some of the happiest in our angling experiences. Tony Chester, Lester Strudwick, Leon and Geoff, Tony Ward and Ken Brown, plus of course your good self! What a crew - some great memories.
      I'm in contact with one of your mates, Gavin Haig, from time to time - it really is a very small world. Chin up and stay lucky - Dyl