Who am I?

My photo
An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. 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, 6 January 2019

Graft and grind

With work dominating, Monday to Friday, I've morphed into a bit of a weekend warrior. The perch search resumed with my first outing of 2019. I arrived at the club fishery well before dawn on Saturday morning and endured a ten hour blank - not a sniff! A decent social, with Benno and Luke joining the project, as we chase that elusive three pounder. It wasn't without incident, although my rods remained poker straight, as the boys employed maggots and, therefore, caught a succession of roach, bream, hybrid silvers, a rudd and a lone perch (1 lb-ish). 

Because of my tackle choice I got engaged in two great conversations, with complete strangers, both were very complimentary about the gear on show. It's rather nice to have such encounters, as it means that the decent side of humanity is on display, especially when I was able to explain the historical significance of the rods to a young lad, who was with his Dad. The other guy asked if he could take some photos, with his phone, so I must have made an impression; although not too sure if that's good or bad? This was the first outing with the Allcocks Match Aerial and Mk IV Avon combo, so I was desperate for a bite!

Cygnet "Stage Stand" allow me to use bank sticks on the wooden platforms

The Allcocks Match Aerial in situ

The latest edition to my split cane armoury.

Well, there was nothing else for it! I went back this afternoon for another session, just a quick couple of hours. Conditions had improved, somewhat, it being far less windy/chilly and the cloud cover was much higher, thus light levels were better. Over an hour had elapsed, without a bleep. The only highlight being an adult Whooper Swan, which flew past, in the company of a dozen, or so, Mute Swans. They did a sweeping arc, out towards Sarre, before setting off towards Stodmarsh and The Stour Valley. It was well after 15.00 hrs when the signs started. Odd bleeps, of the alarms, and taps on the rod tip. I kept the prawns sections going in, little and often, and it was just before 16.00 hrs when I had a confident pull and MISSED IT !!!!!! It didn't end there, oh no. Within ten minutes I had another chance and didn't touch that one either. What's going on?? I'd already got the majority of the gear back onto the barrow when the alarm sounded for the third time, in little over twenty minutes. Glory be, the hook hold was good and after a very interesting battle, with the new set-up, I slid the net under a superb perch of 2 lbs 6 oz. Never has a perch been more welcome. Camera and tripod back off the barrow I went through the self-take ritual before packing up properly and  making my way homeward very pleased with a result which had been hard earned.

2 lbs 6 oz - boy was I a happy bunny.
The Mk IV Avon is going to take a little getting used to, it being of a far lower test curve than the original Mk IV's, although the through action is a joy to witness and the rod a delight to hold as the fish battle in their watery domain. The perch which christened the rod did me proud and tested the kit to a decent level before coming to the net. I think I'll need to hook a few scamp carp, to see how the rod copes, before thinking about taking it down to The Stour for a barbel/chub session.
Now back to five days graft, including fifteen hours overtime, thus money to be earned. By working extra hours I am able to purchase the whimsicle odds and sods, which enhance the enjoyment of this incredible hobby, without impacting upon our day to day finances. Sure I'd like to get out with the rods more often but, then again, it's a hobby that I enjoy; not my job! By keeping work and play separate, I'm able to make the best of both worlds. I work hard and play hard, yet know I can't have one without the other.


  1. Wicked perch, mate. So true about the work-life balance. The idea of fishing every day is fantastic, but it rarely works out. Earlier in the year when I had more spare time, I went on several consecutive days for the Black Dyke mission. It was fantastic but probably more so because I knew I had a tonne of work coming up. It gave the whole thing an edge. Fishing has to be part of a variety of activities, I think. I'm not even sure if it's purely work that has to form the contrast. My mission over the next few months is to get some decent photographs of some short-eared owls. I went mad for barn owls recently and that took me far away from fishing. Also spent some time hiding up for kingfishers over Christmas. When I got back to angling, I found it more enjoyable than ever. Same thing back when I was shooting and rabbiting more; I found my fishing trips more of a treat. It's the journey we take to the countryside as a whole, I believe. Thing is, we grew up with this approach. Some chaps today take the fishing side far too seriously. All about putting 'fish on the bank' etc. I've recently taken some time off facebook to get away from it; when/if I return, I'm gonna trim down a lot of the groups I've been active in. Most of them are such a bore. I'd like a whole new approach for my blog, too. Best Regards, Gazza

    1. Gazza,
      It would be unrealistic to expect everyone who goes fishing, shooting, birdwatching, etc to do so for the same reasons. Each will derive enjoyment, at whatever individual level, simply by doing it their way. At this stage, in my own angling adventure, I take great comfort from achieving the targets that I set myself. Not a competition, just me against the fish I seek.
      As for social media (Facebook & Twitter) I have avoided any involvement. Knowing that my opinions don't always endear me to those who visit this blog, putting them out there, via those platforms, would get very messy and I really am too old for that stuff. As for changing your own blog? Down to you, entirely, although I would suggest that the quality shouldn't be sacrificed as part of any change of direction. Take care and hope to catch up soon - Dyl