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!


Friday 26 December 2014


A great Christmas Day in, and around, Dumpton Manor - the morning spent with Debbie, Adam, Emily and Harry - chaos reigned; the kids high as kites on chocolate and fizzy pop! Back home, six of us for lunch, my Dad, Bev's parents and brother - pleasant enough and the day passed quickly. My brother Simon put the cherry on the cake - his present, to me, is an angling icon! A Mitchell 300A fixed spool reel - a proper blast from the past! This reel is a piece of angling history - as a young man; if you were a serious angler you used Mitchell  - basically because there were no other manufacturers of high quality reels. It wasn't until the 70's that ABU, possibly Shakespeare? were to offer a realistic challenge to the market dominance of this French manufacturer. ABU won that particular battle before Shimano appeared on the scene, in the 80's. I'd replaced my Mitchell 300's with ABU Cardinal 44X, 66X and, much later, 55's and had forgotten all about them until seeing this item in my hands.

An angling classic - it's in such good condition that I don't think it's seen much action?
One thing is for sure - it won't be sitting in a collectors cabinet.
Simon said that when he saw it, in a local tackle shop, it had my name written all over it! I'm now looking for a glass fibre MK IV-type rod to use it with. I'm definitely going to give it an outing, it wasn't built to be an ornament - Long Shaw Farm should fit the bill nicely?

Grey Wagtail along the Little Stour - ISO 800 - 1/250th sec
I've had a walk out around The Little Stour valley, this afternoon, and very enjoyable it was too. Binoculars and camera gear for company, I wanted to have a look for owls - it has always been a very reliable site for Barn Owls. In a couple of hours I had a nice list of birds for my troubles - 6 Marsh Harrier (including two splendid adult males), 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Stonechat, umpteen Fieldfare and Redwing, numerous Blackbirds, a Kingfisher, Cetti's Warbler, a single Barn Owl with a calling Little Owl in the background! As darkness fell, a Green Sandpiper flew overhead - calling loudly. All the usual suspects, in all the expected places - great to be out birding.

Around the pumping station - a smart little bird.


  1. Nice reel Dylan. I have been looking at used Mitchells in the last few days online! The 300a was the star but I could only afford a 206 in the late 70s early 80s. I have fancied getting one and maybe trying upstream worming for trout again like in the old days ( we dont have coarse fish up here mores the pity). I cant get away with these blokes using beachcasters and shark floats for rainbows on reservoirs. Have you seen a small book called Rough river and small stream fishing by David Carl Forbes? Its a gem from my youth...

    Keep up the blooging in 2015, great work.

    1. Stewart, so very sorry for the tardiness of this reply - I did start, but got dragged away by the requirements of my grand-children. I haven't read that particular book, although I am aware of the author. Upstream worming for trout - nice! I used to catch a few wild brownies from the River Gade (before extraction and introduced Rainbows played there part) usually on worm, although maggots also took a few. This would have been in my teenage years circa 1970 - great fun fishing under the road bridges in Hemel town centre and on Moor End round-a-bout (better known as the "Magic Roundabout" in 2014)
      Have no plans to cease blogging, or none that I'm aware of. Hope the Surrey/Northumberland challenge produces the results you both seek - I will be following with interest! Hoping you have a peaceful and prosperous 2015 - Dylan