Who am I?

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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, 16 June 2019

Midnight ritual - ruined!

I really should know better? Sixty three, thus surely old enough to no longer need to be there for the witching hour; but oh no! As the clock steadily ticked towards that magical hour, I was sheltering from the, wind driven, rain that was soaking the surrounding marshland. My Stakeout Mk II brolly doing me proud, despite it's Dragoncarp origins. I don't have the eloquence to describe what this "tradition" means to my generation and I feel that membership of the Tring Syndicate has far more to do with my personal emotions than any other factor, some forty years after that initiation into this mystical, mythical, magical, mid-night hour experience. June 16th is very much on a par with New Year and Christmas Day, such as it is ingrained into the very fabric of my being.

Not too many carp anglers looking at venues like this?
Over the past week I'd been trickling bait into seven swims, hoping that I'd be able to make something happen. I'll save all the jive talking - I blanked! No change there then? However, the night wasn't without incident. Ten past midnight and the right hand rod was in meltdown as only a centrepin/Siren R3 combo could produce. Jumping from the bed chair resulted in a thunderous smash as a f**king Beaver tail slapped the surface and wiped out the carefully positioned terminal tackle. The result was a complete re-tackle, as my rig was entangled/lost in the far marginal snags. It was nearly half an hour later that I managed to get another bait out onto the spot. That was it, basically, the odd bleep caused by floating weed, but nothing to get excited about and I was on my way home before 06.00 hrs, but checked out a couple of other spots, en route.

I photographed this Beaver, very distantly, 14th June, on a new drain that I'd been pre-baiting
Knowing that I've got the entire summer to explore the area, in the quest for a single fish, I'm well aware that this will be a marathon, not a sprint, and my mentality needs to adjust to this concept. So I will return to the problems caused by the activities of the unwanted, introduced European Beavers which now exist in uncontrolled numbers out on the East Kent marshes. I say uncontrolled, but it would be more accurate to use the term un-monitored, the local farming community have already taken matters into their own hands and are actively involved in protecting their livelihoods from the damage caused by these animals. We're not talking about big water rats or mink here, these creatures are the size of a bloody Labrador with all the finesse of a bulldozer! What was the thinking behind this re-introduction? More's the point, who was consulted before they were placed in Ham Fen KWT Reserve? It would be really interesting to know if KWT are liable for the subsequent damage to bank side habitat caused by these escapees, and their offspring - their original enclosure fences were no more effective than candyfloss! Royal St. George's Golf Course has certainly seen the negative side of these animals being present in our coastal flatlands. Can't see them being allowed to impact on the Open? Wonder what Chris Packham will have to say about this, the myopic twat! Conservation activist, without question, that he has the first idea how the UK countryside actually works is far less clear.

Fabulous animals, without any doubt, but do they belong on the East Kent Marshes?
One other bit of news that has come my way - an Otter killed on the railway line near Chamber's Wall, Reculver! Our club section of the River Wantsum must have been the waterway used by this indigenous,"wild", creature to reach this spot. Interesting times ahead? I've yet to see an Otter in Kent and am, probably, the only local angler looking forward to this event?


  1. Hello mucka- Good luck out there! Out for my first trip in an hour- didn't make it yesterday. I'm looking forward to seeing an otter, too. But I just hope it's a wild one and not one that's been introduced by some purple-haired biology student! In the long run, I have a whacky theory that the cute and majestic might save our rivers. Jo Public adores otters and kingfishers. Just knowing they're there is enough for most. If otters can successfully res-establish, it could raise the pressure on the powers that be to keep our rivers in a good state. Good Luck and speak soon, mucka- Gazza

    1. Gazza,
      Hope all went well today? I'm just getting the kit sorted ready for a pre-dawn - 07.00 hrs session in the morning! It's currently 23.30 hrs, so I won't be getting much kip before I head off into the flatlands. I'll email you if anything special happens, be it fish, otter or avian encounter!
      Speak soon - Dyl

  2. I've been down having a mooch Dyl, seen a couple and am currently sat patiently with the rod 10 yards away all cocked and primed! As usual I did the start on Westbere however the fish are more interested in spawning this year. I lost one on the first night at 4am and later heard the news from the bailiff that they were spawning down the other end, i packed up and left them to it. So yeah, I'm currently sat here trying to keep myself hidden and thought I'd have a look at your blog on my smart phone. I hope all is well and im sure we will bump into each other down here at some point!

    Take care and tight lines,


    1. Hi Tom,
      Great to hear from you, hope all is well? Are you living in Deal now? I too, have seen a few fish whilst wandering about the marsh, but haven't relocated the monster that I was chasing last season. I'm sure our paths will cross in the not too distant future.
      All the best & tight lines - Dyl

  3. Family means I don't get a pass out for an early fish and I do misss dawns, especially the magic one. TThe little'uns will be biggger 'uns one day and I'll be back up at Dawn's crack.

    1. BB,
      It only matters to those of us who can remember when June 16th was such a special date on the calendar. Anglers who have only known carp fishing and commercials will have no concept of this magic ritual.
      All the best - Dyl