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!


Monday 16 October 2017

A tench to savour

I'd caught my first 6 lbs plus tench (Dick Walker never caught a "Six") by 1974. Fred J Taylor was my hero, and inspiration, as those early encounters were experienced. The original fishery was Pixie's Mere, Bourne End, Hertfordshire and I have vivid memories of night fishing with bread flake under a float, which was illuminated by a bicycle lamp. I readily admit that my eyesight is not up to that type of challenge in 2017! Still, back then, I was mad keen and could easily fish all night before heading off to play football for Little Gaddesden, no worries!
It was Pixie's Mere which fired my enthusiasm to tackle Wilstone Res (part of the mighty Tring complex) and, as they say, the rest is history. My final tench, from the complex, was a 7 lbs 6 oz fish from Startops in March 1993. Tench have been a dominant force throughout my angling journey, although they haven't featured much since I returned to the hobby in 2011. I have managed a few fours, from the RMC, whilst about my carp fishing project, but very few others have graced my landing net since that date.

The sun, as viewed from just outside Sandwich at 16.00 hrs
All day, at work, talk has been of Hurricane Ophelia and what likely effect it would have on Thanet - zilch being the general consensus. However, arriving home, just after 14.00 hrs, it was obvious that something wasn't quite right. The sun had turned a funny shade of orange and there was a very definite haze in the air - perfect for a spot of perch fishing? I quickly arranged a pass out with my better half and was soon on my way to our smaller club water. The sun was continually changing colour as the effects of Saharan dust and forest fires polluted the upper layers of the atmosphere. I managed a few shots, after I'd arrived at the fishery, but missed the best of the show.

A plucky little fella - with attitude!
I quickly set up my gear on the southern bank and fished two rods, both baited with prawns, in opposite directions parallel to the bank. I hadn't been fishing for ten minutes before the right hander was away and I found myself playing a lively perch of 1 lb 6 oz - good start?
I fed with chopped prawns, little and often, over both spots and was to eventually reap the rewards of this approach. I have absolutely no doubt as to the role that the extended period of twilight had played; so give myself a pat on the back for being so receptive to the conditions - we'll call it watercraft/experience if you don't mind? What I can't do, despite my wondrous understanding of weather patterns, is place a label on my bait as to be selective in what picks it up!

I had some fun trying to use the new Fuji camera kit to do the self-take stuff.
Happy enough with this result - all the same
I missed an absolute cert perch bite, whilst chatting to Bev on the mobile, not to worry, plenty more chances coming my way! I was to enjoy a fantastic hour, or so, as the hazy daylight faded into proper darkness. A small carp, two bream and two tench caused the bobbins to rise and the bite alarms to warble their signature tune. Mk IV split canes and Cardinal 44X's doing me proud. I'd been speaking with a couple of club members, as I arrived, and had been told that prawns hadn't produced a bite and that there had been a new stocking of tench. I thanked my informants for the news, but felt sure the perch would take prawns and I wasn't at all bothered about the tench - I'd lived through the Tring revolution of 30 years previous. COCK! After I landed a tench of 5 lbs 2 oz I was dribbling idiot - my first proper tench for over twenty-four years! Don't ever believe a word I say when I pretend that big fish don't matter - even moderate fish have the ability to make me an, adrenaline induced, emotional wreck!


  1. Nice one dyl always good to see a Tench in the net whatever we claim to be after.Dont know whats the score with the Tench up Wilstone these days managed a seven out of Marsworth which i was well cuffed with.Hope alls well be lucky Ron.

    1. Whatto mate - great to hear from you; it's been a while! Tring tench fishing has a very special place in my memories, although I'm not too sure that I want to go back there as it could never be the same? I fear that characters like "Cuddly" and co are no longer to be encountered on the bank and the anglers of that period were just as influential, as the fish, in creating my memories of that very enjoyable period.
      That tench from our club water did stir a few emotions, that's for sure - my first five pounder since 1993! I've been re-reading "The Big Fish Scene" and Fred J's classic "Fishing for Tench" to find myself back in a time when such fish were still very rare and few anglers had ever seen, let alone caught, one. I think that using the Mk IV added to my experience and ensured that I gained maximum pleasure from the capture.
      Hoping all is well with you and your family - take care & tight lines - Dyl