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!


Monday 10 June 2024

Excitement levels building

Due to circumstances, way beyond my control, I didn't manage to get down to Black Dyke until mid-morning on Sunday. I was confronted by a scene of total neglect. Lush bankside vegetation and rather neglected footpaths, plus ample Lily Pads and cabbages actually in the drain itself. I probably surveyed around a mile of the fishery, discovering plenty of spots where it will be possible to present a baited rig, yet seeing very few fish. Those I did see were small Carp, plus a couple of Sticklebacks! 

The one to beat!
My PB, of 9 lbs 2 oz, from Wilstone Res. Tring

Although Black Dyke won't be the focus for my Summer's Tench campaign, it is where I intend to get the gig started and, almost certainly, will team up with Gareth Craddock for a few sessions at some point later in the year? My other venue is much further off the beaten track and will require quite a bit of prep work before I can confidently present a baited hook. A couple of young lads, from Canterbury, are going to be Carp fishing on this same drain, so I'm happy to let them get their rods out early on, knowing that I've got time on my side once the initial enthusiasm has dwindled. To their credit, they were still out there, chasing Carp, all through last Winter, so certainly deserve everything they achieve. 

I am formulating a plan, based upon previous experience and input from some modern anglers (via YouTube) which I feel will put me in good stead. Fortunately, next Friday, Gazza and I are meeting up for a beer and chat, so I will certainly get some sound advice, based upon experience, from our conversation. I'm back down at Sandwich Coarse Fishery, tomorrow morning, for what might well be my final session for a while. I've got a few bits and bobs I need to assemble, prior to June 16th, which will see me visit some rather strange retail outlets in order to obtain those items/ingredients required. 

I don't remember much about this fish, but know it went over 7 lbs.
The farm in the background was hosting a Red-footed Falcon, thus a Herts "mega" back then.

I am fairly sure that my initial outings will be with a single rod and involve a very mobile approach, although this will obviously have to be flexible dependant upon what actually happens whilst I'm on the bank. I'm still toying with the idea, for the Black Dyke angling, to use a split cane Dick Walker Mk IV "Avon" rod with my Alcock's Match Aerial centrepin reel. The drain is less than six, or seven, yards wide and less than five feet deep for the majority of the stretch I intend to target. A bait dropper will allow me to present my freebies in a very restricted area and it will be a simple task to present a baited rig over the top. I won't need leads any bigger than 1 1/2 oz, in conjunction with a short 18" length of leadcore and a flying back lead, so not too dissimilar to Barbel fishing on The Stour a decade previous? My hooklink material is 8 lbs b.s. Fluorocarbon with a size 10 "Flota Claw" fished blow back style. My actual hook baits will be either sweetcorn or worms - well at least at the start!

It's been a very long time since I looked forward to the start of a new season with this level of expectation and excitement. Tench were the species which fired my enthusiasm for "Speccy Hunting" way back in those formative years and it was the giant leap of faith to move from Pixie's Mere, Bourne End, Herts and tackle the vastness of Wilstone Res. Tring, Herts which ignited the flame. So, it would seem, I've come full circle and am now about to embark on another voyage of discovery as I attempt to unlock the potential of Tench fishing out on the flatlands.


  1. Dylan, Your excitement of fishing the untapped , unknown wilder waters reflects my own expectations, Iast year I fished drains by the coast expecting tench, but caught eels and a fair few reasonable sized roach! It ofren "died" by 9am, but many moons ago as kids we caught tench there, so I will be trying again this year (Nobody fishes it now) but it takes a little prep as it is so overgrown and does require a little raking (which the tinca's used to love!) to remove notall. but some weed.

    1. Hi Phil,
      It's been a while, so many thanks for this comment. Tench fishing out on the flatlands is very much a voyage into the unknown for me. I have certainly seen the odd fish whilst I've been out there after the Carp, Pike & Eels, so at least I know that they exist in my chosen venues. Quite what will be required for me to catch these elusive creatures is going to be the fun part of the adventure as I seek answers to this conundrum.
      Whatever the outcome, I will still remain committed to my short session approach. The dawn and dusk periods being key in my previous experience, thus what I expect this coming season.
      Good luck with your own angling efforts.