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 19 November 2017

Change of scenery

Benno, Luke, Skunk and I met up at Iden Lock for a pike fishing social. Two rods each, as per fishery rules, we had eight baits in the canal well before dawn. It was clear and cold, with a heavy frost, and it felt good to be out. Expectations were high but, they always are at the start of a session or, it wouldn't be worth getting out of bed?

Sunrise over Romney Marsh was spectacular. Luke and I both inspired to grab the cameras and click away in the hope of capturing the atmosphere of the early morning. I haven't seen Luke's results but am happy enough with my own. As we were at a new venue I had changed my tackle and used a pair of Matt Hayes centre-pins on my Duncan Kay's in preference to the Mitchell 300's that I have been using on the drains.

At 08.00 hrs I had a very stuttering take on my sardine and found myself attached to a rather spirited pike. It was only weighed because Luke wanted to check his new scales against mine - bang on; the fish weighed 8 lbs 11 oz on both sets, surprise, surprise! I stayed until 10.30 hrs but this was the only action we had. A good laugh and time to catch up, but a few more pike would have been nice. Birds were rather diverse. I recorded two Common Buzzard, two Woodcock (year tick), Marsh Harrier, Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Water Rail, hundreds of Greylag Geese, Mute Swans and Mallards and the first sound I heard, on arrival, was a distant Tawny Owl, hooting away in a nearby wood.


  1. I thought of you last night while watching Countryfile and seeing the section on Barbel in the River Lea and their potential demise.

  2. Dont think they mentioned otters much. Suprising that.

  3. Cheers for these comments guys. I didn't see the program when broadcast, but did have a look this morning after Derek had made mention. King's Weir is where I spent many happy hours barbel fishing with Fred Crouch. There used to be an old punt, secured by a chain, that we used to fish our maggots right under weir sill. There were loads of fish, but a six pounder was exceptional during the 1980's. The vast majority of the fish weighed four or five pounds and fought like tigers!
    I'm not at all surprised by the presence of sixteen pounders today, it is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe which has occurred on many of our rivers. Water providers are legally polluting our waterways with their minimal effluent treatment standards. The birth control hormones will have some influence, as will the growth hormones used in our meat production, as they will make their way through the food chain of humans before entering the river systems. To add to the, already, crazy levels of agricultural fertilizer run off which are a by-product of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy.
    One aspect of the debate which I hadn't previously considered, was that of silt deposits. Two big influences will be climate change, resulting in reduced rainfall (Derek will know all about this aspect) and increased water abstraction to meet an, ever increasing, demand. The net result will be a reduction in flow, thus a situation where silt is able to establish itself in areas of slow moving water and essentially change the dynamic of the river bed from gravel run to weed infested slack.
    As for anglers blaming otters - at least the barbel, in The Lea, are there legally, being part of the Thames catchment. Thus one of the five river systems with indigenous barbel populations. My brother, Simon, still fishes The Lea, around Wheathamsted, and reports good numbers of medium sized barbel present. Seventeen fish in an evening doesn't sound like a river in decline. I feel that this Countryfile insight has more to do with journalism than it does angling? All the best - Dyl