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!


Sunday 8 March 2015

Completely barmy

I've finally reached the conclusion that the pike fishing, locally, is pants - I'm not going to waste any more of my efforts, during the 2014-15 season, in their pursuit. With just two more sessions available I've decided to go tench fishing! During my life I've done many silly things but, off hand, I can't think of any that might top this? Water temperatures, clarity and umpteen other factors will conspire against me. My only saving grace is that I would have blanked if I'd gone piking, so this folly can't be any less successful? To be fair, four hours at a new venue is hardly likely to "unlock the code" - but I might learn something about my challenge. Earlier in the year, with ice in the margins, I saw several, very big, tench roll in the early morning gloom. If I don't give it a try - I'll never discover anything. I'm rather enthused by the prospects, but savvy enough not to loose the plot. Big fish are never easy - these tench might be verging on the impossible?
For this first session I've opted for a bed of hemp & liquidised sweetcorn plus a method mix base, over which I am going to offer 12 mm pellet or 16 mm,  cut using an apple corer, flavoured/dyed luncheon meat. My third rod will be a float fished lob-worm - I might get a tench, yet I feel that a perch or an eel is far more likely
Two ABU Cardinal 44 X's - on my two 12' barbel rods with those crazy "Redmire" bite-alarms.
My tench fishing set-up, this morning - it would have been far more suited to banks of Wilstone Reservoir.
Well; that's what I'd written, Friday night, whilst preparing my gear for this session. I'd originally expected to be fishing on Sunday but, Bev's, other plans put pay to that idea. So at 04.15 hrs my alarm rattled its' audible wake-up call and my day got started. Coffee drunk and the car loaded, I was on my way, via the garage for fuel, by 04.50 hrs. I've been thinking about this challenge all week, whilst I've been working on a Buhler "triple roll mill" in the UV department - flexibility is written into my contract, so I work where I'm told/needed. Only someone who's ever used one of these machines can understand what "mind-numbing" boredom it involves, although a vital part of the manufacturing process for analogue inks - therefore, I found myself with plenty of time to plan my approach. My final feed mix (ground-bait - if you are of my era) was a made of half a kilo of hemp, a tin of liquidised "Tesco Essentials" sweetcorn (35 p), a tin of "Tesco Essentials" tuna flakes, with a couple of handfuls of 3 mm Halibut pellets and stodged up with some Avanti "method mix (red)"  It's what Danny Fairbrass calls "munger!" - it certainly looked, and smelled, good.

I really think that this venue has the potential to provide some enjoyable tench fishing - especially if
I continue to tackle such as this.
Unless I am doing a night session I won't bother with a brolly/day shelter/ bivvy - they're just something else to carry. Knowing that I have to lug all my gear over a mile to this venue it hadn't entered my head that I might need one - the BBC local weather forecast was for temperatures 7 - 13 C as the day progressed. Like a complete dullard, I didn't even bother to take my thermal jacket; a decision which was pivotal. I got very
cold, due to the brisk SW wind, and had walked some 20 m from my gear, in an attempt to warm myself, when then only bite of the session occurred. A, neutral buoyancy 12 mm, Halibut pellet was the bait which was to produce that bite. The alarm was screaming and the reel "churning" madly - how could I possibly miss such a bite?
To be perfectly honest - it is all my own fault! The rig wasn't perfect - I feel that the hair might've been too long for a 12 mm pellet and a size 10 wide-gape?  Nothing can disguise the fact that I should have been on my rods - there are no excuses, whatever the circumstances. Even now, I can't be sure that the bite wasn't from a carp?  If I'd had been on the rods, then, I would be able to answer all these questions.
I'm going back, for a final session - 14 th March, and am hoping to get a full day at it? And yes, I will have a day-shelter with me - I don't go fishing to suffer for the noble art.

A brace of "sevens" from Wilstone - summer 1990 - Happy daze.
If this new venue is able to produce just one tench, of this stamp, then I will consider
the challenge to have been a success.
The project is a very exciting one and will provide a decent alternative to the barbel of The Stour - yet if I blank, next Saturday, it will be June 16 th before I'm able to get things started! Another week of standing beside a "triple roll mill" ought to allow me plenty of opportunity to come up with a few tweaks that might aid my cause?


  1. Despite having no interest in fishing, or knowledge of, I always find myself reading your postings about it because your writing has become very good these days. It's always nicely descriptive and has good "feel" of the countryside about it.

    1. Derek - many thanks for the very generous comment. I am unsure if my writing has improved, but I am doing a lot more of it these days, be it on my computer or in my diaries, so this might be a factor? Hoping all is well out in darkest Sheppey - all the best - Dylan