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 27 October 2019

Completely out of the blue

Work is off the scale within the digital manufacturing facility at Fuji. Eleven hour shifts are great for the bank balance, in the run up to Christmas, but do impact, in a very negative fashion, on any plans for angling during the week. Still, can't have it both ways; working overtime is a personal choice not a mandatory stipulation and I'm happy to accept every extra penny that's offered. In two years, five weeks, I'll be retired and, as such, these decisions will no longer be an option but, until then, I'll be saying yes whenever asked.

So where's this going? Well, I've managed a couple of early morning sessions, over the weekend, in search of pike and both were successful. Saturday saw me enduring battering winds and squally showers, whilst attempting to position my baits amongst the remnants of underwater cabbage patches in a very narrow drain. Two fish, both small jacks, fell to these tactics ensuring I returned home very happy, if somewhat windswept! By contrast, this morning I was back on more familiar territory, at one of my favourite venues, out on the marsh, resulting in the first double (12 lbs 3 oz) of the season falling to my popped-up smelt.

Got a new hat - keeps the rain off my glasses thus assisting me using my
 binoculars during inclement conditions. Oh yeah - I look like the real deal,
a proper speccy hunter!
This particular drain network is situated on the "patch" of my mate, Neil, a local birder, and we regularly cross paths whilst I'm fishing out there. As there's always something to see, whilst I'm awaiting the bite alarms to signal a take, Neil is keen to hear about what I've seen. So it was this morning, best I could offer was a Merlin, a calling Greenshank, a dawn flurry of Fieldfares which were my first of the autumn and a few groups of Swallows moving south along the drain. We said our good-byes and off he wandered to complete his regular circuit. Less than ten minutes later, as I was going through the self-take routine, another birder came walking along the drain.
A long story, but after the ritual introductions, the newcomer said "You don't recognise me, do you?"
The penny dropped and there he was, Andy Johnson, him of Sandy Point Semi-P Plover and Elegant Tern fame, once again out on the East Kent marshes as he had been whilst serving as a warden at Sandwich Bay Obs all those years ago. We had a fantastic chat, attempting to catch up on what's been happening in our own little worlds, and reminiscing about the good old days. After all it was Andy who was responsible for Benno and I running a moth trap when we lived in Ash, way back in the summer of 1994. Sadly our time was up all too soon, and we parted company wishing each other all the best. A brilliant surprise and putting the cherry on the top of what had already been a very enjoyable weekend. Another fifty-four hour week to look forward to, inside the factory - it'll be a walk in the park! What will next weekend produce?

That rod is 11' 6" long and could almost touch the other bank if held at the tip of the handle.
This is typical of many of the field side drains that criss-cross the East Kent marshes.
It will be a venue like this that will allow Emily to experience her first pike fishing adventure.


  1. Beautiful looking Pike Dylan, Just how big do these fish (including roach, Rudd and Perch) grow in these drains? As a kid we used to catch exceptional Pike from the seasalter dykes along with good rudd and a sprinkling of roach perch eels, tench, carp and Flounders! These eastern dykes seem to look more picturesque and *natural" looking with more vegetation then the open cattle grazed treeless sea salter marsh!
    Tight lines and good luck on your quest.

    1. Phil,
      At this stage in my angling journey I'm just happy to bend a rod, size being immaterial for the most part. Now I'm looking for enjoyment, solitude and wild fish; the East Kent marshes capable of fulfilling all these requirements. There are certainly some big fish to be caught out on the marshes, but I have neither the time or inclination for a sustained project whilst Bev's mum remains our number one priority.
      I was very pleased with that first double of the season and feel sure that there'll be others as the winter progresses. My real reason for visiting the venues, this early, is in the hope of being able to see Emily, my grand-daughter, catch her first pike. A fish of five or six pounds will do just nicely.
      Thanks for commenting - tight lines - Dylan

  2. My retirement will probably involve working still, less but at somethng else. I do keep thinking about being a postie again, for a couple of years anyway. My only worry? Keeping my glassess dry. Big hat. Problem solved!

    1. Not too sure I'll be able to completely stop working? What I do know is that I won't be physically capable of pushing around tonne pots and repetitive movements for much longer. Will be sorry to pack it in, definitely miss the camaraderie and banter of the shop floor but all good things must come to an end I suppose? Roll on December 2021 - I might just take up fishing, that'd be nice.