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!


Thursday 18 June 2020

Too much tackle, not enough thought

Benno and I trudged off of the tidal Stour, our gear soaked through due to the persistent rain. It was approaching 23.00 hrs and, as such, our first session can be summed up by three bream, to 4 lbs, falling to Benno's set-up whilst my bait went untouched. With walkie talkies being one of our most important items under these conditions, we had plenty of time to exchange ideas whilst sat in our separate swims. Benno had gone with a two rod approach and, as is obvious, used terminal tackle that was very non species focused. I, on the other hand, opted for a barbel, or nothing, set-up and it is therefore right that nothing was the outcome. 
I'd used a bait dropper to introduce a patch of party mix on the river bed, in nine feet of water, just under my rod tip and fished with a single, Dick Walker Mk IV split cane "Avon" rod, centre-pin and a swim feeder presentation. Bait was a sweet boily/pop-up snowman, on an 18" rig, specifically chosen to avoid the attention of eels. In that fact I was 100% successful, so a good thing, but this being true of every other fish in the river, not so clever. 
The pair of us are well aware of the steep learning curve we've embarked upon, none more so than the amount of gear we need to physically carry from where we have permission to park our vans, then having to walk over a mile to reach the swims. On getting back to the parked vehicles, yesterday night, we both agreed that stripping everything right down to the minimum is a major priority. All things being equal, we'll be back out there on Saturday?

Not the individual which swam past my position on the tidal Stour.
I took this photo a few years back out on the East Kent flatlands - San Miguel is a dodgy brew!

What else happened? Well a bloody Beaver swam brazenly past, in broad daylight at around 20.00 hrs , returning some two and a half hours later. Chris Packham, on Spring Watch, says there are no wild Beavers in Kent, so everywhere I fish on the East Kent marshes I must be hallucinating? San Miguel does that to a man, yet the camera doesn't lie. At least three Cuckoos, two male and a female, were very vocal around our position and it was nice to watch several pulses of Swallows moving east, towards the Richborough roost site (?) as the light began to fade. Kingfishers, Cetti's and Reed Warblers, plus four singing male Yellowhammers, made it a very tolerable blank for my first visit. With the light fading fast and the tide on the turn, fish started to roll in the deeper water in front of me. I can't be certain, but they sure looked like roach. When we return, my kit will be far less specific and, hopefully, I'll start to experience some tidal Stour action?


  1. Dyl, salt water being denser than fresh water sits on the bottom of the river. It's probably the reason why guys fishing the tidal Thames do so on the out going tide. They need the flowing fresh water to flush it away. On an incoming tide, the fresh water species get off the bottom to avoid the salt coming in below them. Then again, temperature differences could also play a part.

    1. Comparing the Kentish Stour with the Thames is like judging Redmire against Wilstone, but the salt water density is an interesting topic. I'm sure that we'll have to overcome many problems before we can draw any serious conclusions from our efforts. In the meantime, we'll just keep plodding away, ever hopeful of a breakthrough.