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!


Tuesday 19 May 2020

Not quite what I was expecting

I didn't blank but, a very small "jack" pike grabbing two chick peas, as I reeled in, isn't the outcome I'd hoped for.  Just wonderful to be back out on the bank again, I also added Turtle Dove and Cuckoo to the year list whilst sat behind motionless indicators. Good stuff.

Even a non-angler would spot the obvious swim, between the two lily pads to my right. The left hand rod
was fishing in a more open area.
I saw enough to help me formulate a plan, as time moves forward, but it wasn't the fish, or lack of them, that provided the excitement. With the wind trickling into the corner swim, that I had chosen, my binoculars were in constant use as I looked for signs of feeding fish. The sun was beginning to head towards the western horizon when I espied a very strange shape in the closest lily pad. A bloody terrapin! As you will see, I rattled of a number of images which have allowed me to tentatively id the creature as a Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta ) which is native to the southern United States, Florida and Virginia? Obviously been released by a pet owner bored by the responsibilities of keeping such a demanding animal, the sighting certainly added to my session yesterday.

This is how I first saw it

Then it decided to swim right under my rod tips, the auto focus picking up on the shell, not it's head!
Whilst I was sat in my swim, another member, who was respectful of the social distancing guidelines, came along for a chat and told me about an eel that he'd caught last week. At 5 lbs plus, it was certainly an interesting snippet and something to think about as the season progresses?


  1. Lily pads , reeds, the lake looks "fishy" must be some Tench in there, perhaps a big old stripey, are the silverfish stock an unknown quantity? I enjoy chasing silvers in carp predominated lakes as they are not often fished for and can give you some welcome surprises and sometimes one or two carp as well,( usually when the carpers are struggling I've noted!!) Keep 0n Blogging Dylan, I am interested in how you get on.
    I also have a set (6 volumes) of The country Companion magazines in binders looking for a home if you or a friend are interested, there are well illustrated and informative for wild life enthusiasts.

    1. Phil,
      I'm right at the start of this particular adventure and will be happy to see how it develops as I learn more about the fishery. The vast majority of my fellow members are carp (only) anglers and regard all other species as vermin. 3 1/2 lbs t/c rods, big pit reels, etc on a pond that I could cast a centrepin a third of the way across. Still, each to their own, and I will continue learning whilst doing it my way.
      Thanks for taking time to comment - keep safe - Dylan

  2. Hello Dylan- Wow- that creature- the 'yellow bellied slider'? I caught one on the North Stream, at the Roaring Gutter section, two summer ago. I say 'caught' but what really happened was that it grabbed the worm and thankfully not the hook. I got it up to the surface and it let go but I got a good look at all the yellow lines on it. Is it a type of terrapin? Or is that just a common misnomer? Anyway, it leads me to think that they're possibly 'at large' in our local system and that perhaps it got into the ponds via the drains? Whilst we're on the alien front (!) I saw my first ever mink two months back. 42 years old and I'd never seen one before. I was bying bait at Kevin's place just before the shut-down and the mink was virtually in the car park near the cabin; it casually ambled off into the ditch near the opposite hedegrow...

    Good luck with the tench in those ponds! I only used the place once, which I'm ashamed of, considering I'd paid out for the membership (albeit only a few months at the end of the season)... I liked the views from the rear, across the marshes. And the birdlife was fascinating. But I never really got the chance to get to know the place. I'm interested to see how you go on! Like you say, there aren't many all rounders there- Speak soon, Gazza

    1. Hi Gazza,
      They are of course terrapins, the "slider" nomenclature is an "Americanism". I'd not seen any evidence of them in the Roaring Gutter/North Stream complex but feel sure that they are capable of avoiding detection without much effort. After all, who's looking for terrapins? Mink are a regularly encountered species along The Royal Military Canal, absolutely fearless little sods!
      The tench, the carp, the perch, roach and, especially, the eels are now all on my radar. The guys in the syndicate membership seem a nice enough bunch, but "thinking anglers" isn't something I've seen much evidence of. Each to their own, of course, but I'm happy to pursue angling adventures using my rules and not those of Korda, Fox or Nash!
      Take care & stay safe - Dyl