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!


Wednesday 8 June 2022

Back to square one

Well, as I had posted recently, Benno & I secured our C&DAA membership for the 2022/23 season and are now looking forward to renewing acquaintance with the Barbel of The (Kentish) Stour. It was August 2014 when I last experienced the thrill of such an encounter and an awful lot has changed in the intervening period. Brand new membership cards in our possession, my club sticker prominently displayed on the windscreen of the van, we drove the short distance from the club HQ to the river for our first look at the new section we've selected. "Jungle Warfare" might best summarise the challenge we have set ourselves but am sure that, between us, we've the ability to unravel enough of the puzzle to see a few fish landed? 

July 2013 - Benno lands our first Stour "double" - 11 lbs 6 oz

As we walked the bank our conversation was all about the challenges we foresee and how they might be overcome, or at least reduced? The physical effort involved in getting to the section ensures that any other angler(s) we encounter will be just as mad(?) about their quarry as we are. A pair of shears and secateurs will be just as important as rod and reel during the early stages of this campaign.  Neither of us have set any targets, purely because we are entering the unknown. Just as in the earlier campaign, behind the infamous Willow Close, we have a blank canvas on which to make our own mark. 

August 2013 - 13 lbs 5 oz
Willow Close memories are all about the successes not the struggle.

A recent chat with Dave Haworth, whilst down at Camo's Carp Cabin, revealed the capture of a 14 lbs + Barbel from the river just behind Fordwich Lake. That's not a million miles away from where we are targeting and such a specimen would be a PB for us both. Plenty to look forward to as the season approaches and, at a personal level, it will be nice to have something to focus on again. Ever since leaving the Heronsview Syndicate I've been at a very loose end. 

A Barbel from the Compound Swim on the Royalty Fishery (Hampshire Avon - 1985)
taken under the guidance of Fred Crouch - Mr Barbel himself! 

Quite how I'm going to approach this campaign will be governed by the early sessions as we seek an insight into the challenge we have set ourselves. One thing is for certain - I won't be pointing two rods into the heavens as if I were on Deal Pier. My Barbel fishing introduction was via the mentoring of the "Greatest" Barbel angler ever too have fished. Fred Crouch is why I got into Barbel angling and all he taught me revolved around watercraft and finesse. Attention to detail was his hallmark, absolutely meticulous about everything he did. Whilst mass baiting with maggots might not be on the cards, there is so much more that he taught me which remains relevant in current times. Sea fishing doesn't cut the mustard, however much in vogue the style is on The Severn or Trent where these fish are introduced aliens! (Just as they are in The Kentish Stour before you bother posting a comment)


  1. Best of luck brother.... don't forget the Avon Skin So Soft!

    Tis jungle warfare indeed; still, at least you won't need to carry an additional nettle beater :-)

    With respect and a pinch of salt


    1. Hi Andy,
      So sorry for the delay in my reply, but I've been away on holiday!
      Quite excited by the challenge we've set ourselves, yet only time will tell if we're good enough to succeed?
      Hoping all is well at your end? - Tight lines - Dyl

  2. Good luck with the new season, I’ll look forward to the barbel updates.

    1. Cheers Darren, I remain confident but, as yet, haven't had a sniff. Four sessions = nine Bream!