Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to 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!


Thursday 12 September 2013

Taking stock

As a "specimen hunter", my desire to target large fish has very obvious down sides - I don't catch many fish and blanking is very much part of the routine. It doesn't have to be so! I could revert to my "old self" and concentrate my efforts on fisheries that are prolific, where large fish exist in numbers to make their capture regular, if not predictable?
But no, I've chosen to turn my back on chasing yesterday's news in order to test myself, my watercraft and angling prowess in situations that are, as yet, unknown to me. My pike angling exploits have taken me to some very un-fashionable venues yet, produced the goods without having to compete with hoards of other anglers. It is true that my results haven't sent shock waves through the angling world - but my captures have been as enjoyable as any I've ever experienced.
Barbel fishing on the R. Stour is a similar exercise. I am aware of Ian McDonald, and his captures, although we have never met. He is a local legend and many of the anglers, I do meet, claim to know him and tell stories about the various captures he's made. If he's anywhere near as good as the hype - he's one very good angler! I'm sure that he's a very nice guy, who doesn't require this PR stuff; there is no way any individual can have caught every fish in a river - fact!
Playing a seven on the R. Severn - a bent barbel rod.
How I hope to repeat this before November
I was chatting with Ritchie McDonald (at a NASA do - sometime in the late 80's) about Alan Wilson and the incredible results he was amassing. Ritchie said to me "If he wasn't fishing in the swim I wanted - then he's just another angler, not a great one" Ritchie prided himself on his ability to use experience, watercraft to know where the carp would be - he had an uncanny knack of catching the biggest fish in any venue; that's not luck - it's a skill. This scenario was never put to the test - Alan didn't fish for carp and Ritchie thought of tench and bream as nuisance species.
Now I don't know if Ian and I are anywhere close to the skill levels of Ritchie and Alan, but as we've never found ourselves competing for the same swim suggests that there is so much more that I have to learn about R. Stour barbel. Maybe one day?
At the moment I am really struggling to get to grips with these fish - I would have taken two 13lbs+ barbel for the season, yet now seek more of an understanding as to why I was able to achieve these captures in an area where I've (we've) never seen a barbel during daylight hours? November is fast approaching and thus, my desire to add to my tally of R. Stour barbel is becoming even more pressurised. In my head, I have created a "bogey situation" by wishing to capture a Stour barbel on the Match Aerial centre pin - the one that I've not managed yet (both the 13's came out on Matt Haye's Limited Edition centre pins)
Answers on a postcard - please!

1 comment:

  1. Dylan, have you read 'Blood Knots' by Luke jennings? If you haven't, I'd thoroughly recommend it. Mostly about angling, but so much more...