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 15 January 2018

Simple pleasures

Already a fortnight into the new year and I'm happy to report that things are coming along nicely in my little world. The year list is already on 67 species, many very common birds still to be seen, but it does include a "twitched" Iceland Gull and a very jammy pair of Whooper Swans. I would hope that my new found enthusiasm will see a year total, well in excess, of 250 species, given that I've already got two holidays, Mallorca and Kefalonia, booked. There could still be a couple of fishing trips to Scotland and France, so who knows how I might fare?

Not the view I had of that overflying pair down at Iden Lock!
I'm not feeling great about the local pike fishing, although confident that I can catch fish, at will, in the local drains, The Stour remains a conundrum that I need to spend more time with. Present weather patterns have the river all over the place and I simply can't be arsed with all that eel aggro. Time for a change of tack? I might just have a little flirtation with some perch before, once again, setting my stall for "that carp" I so desire. I was down at the local club venue, yesterday afternoon/evening, and managed a couple of small perch for my effort. Good fun, but I feel like it's a fools mission, the perch that I seek simply do not exist in these club fisheries - despite the match anglers tales! Sandwich Coarse Fishery, a nice little commercial set-up, does hold the fish I desire and will probably be the venue of choice over the next few weeks.

Some proper collectors items on show here? But only if you know what you're looking at!
I've changed my reels from the Mitchell 300's to a pair of ABU Cardinal 44X's, which, although not contemporary with the split cane Mk IV's, are still nearly 50 years old! I paid 22s/6d (in 1970) for my first one, via a Littlewood's catalogue - at sixpence a week! They are still as solid as a rock and a joy to use. Most of my Tring tench were caught using these reels - never let me down. I'm not too sure if I would be happy using them after carp, but I do have the option to switch over to Cardinal 66X's, which are far more suited to the task, if I don't want to revert back to the Mitchells? I've got a bait cupboard full of pigeon tonic, chick peas, pork luncheon meat, Spam and curry sauce, a freezer stuffed with Mackerel, Sardines, Herrings and prawns. It doesn't matter in which direction my angling is headed, I'm already ahead of the game.

A B. James & Son 1959 Earls Court boat show edition, Dick Walker, Mk IV split cane carp rod,
 an 1970 ABU Cardinal 44X reel and a chunky little perch - 1 lb 2 oz

What else awaits in 2018? I'll cross those bridges when I get there.


  1. Dyl, in my modest collection of reels I have the Mitchells 300 and 410, a Cardinal 44x and a pair of Cardinal 66's. Oh, and a Fred Crouch Aerial pin.
    I used those 66's for the majority of my Tring fishing. They are lower geared than the 'x's. Quite a winch really.
    Of course, when I get back to it, my alarms will be Optonics. My indicators, monkey climbers on teflon coated needles.

    1. My collection of reels is more like jumble sale! There are old Shimano EX 3000's & 4000 GT's, ABU Cardinal 44X, 66X, 55 and 155 (boxed), Mitchell 300 & 300A, a Fred Crouch Match Aerial, new Matt Hayes centrepins and a couple of Whychwood Maximizer Big Pit 70's, plus very old Intrepid Black Prince and other associated dross.
      I don't know what happened to my original Les Bamford Optonics? I now use Sundridge digital Optonics or those ridiculously cheap Dragoncarp Redmire alarms (3 for £5) which have been faultless. I still use monkeys for my pike and eel fishing, but prefer swingers for the majority of my other angling. Take care and tight lines - Dyl