Monday, 30 July 2012

Canal Silver Bream - Another No Show

Another morning chasing the elusive silver bream of the Coventry Canal saw an earlier arrival than I'd made for the previous session, but the same approach to the swim, which was to cast a disc of bread up the far shelf and see what, if anything, occurred. It was the same story. It sat there a minute, and then slid away. However there was no brace of silvers off the bat this time around, but the first of a succession of bronze bream.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Canal Silver Bream - Bloody Minded Fish!

Curious fish that they are, turning up in braces on consecutive casts just as often as singles out of the blue -- but for the life of me I cannot ever seem to manage a trio -- silver bream are the most infuriating fish swimming in my local canals.

This morning around 10 O'clock, I set off for the late morning feeding spell, which occurs between half past ten and half past noon in summertime, and especially in hot clear weather with bright sun, and for no earthly reason I can fathom. I was after roach, having recently had two different fish at one-pound, seven-ounces apiece from the spot where I was heading.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Angling News Week Launched - Read All About It!

Just a couple of weeks ago a new angling newspaper was launched. Angling News Week is on the shelves now, well the virtual shelves that is, because ANW is the first angling news publication purpose designed for mobile app-based consumption, which means you can subscribe, download the current issue, and read it at your leisure on your mobile device, be it smartphone, iPad, or indeed, any other computer-based, Internet-connected system, including your home PC.

Of course, ANW is primarily news based as you would expect, so the first 12 pages or so are full of what's going on in the world of angling. And the news is as current as it gets, because the man heading up ANW is ex News Editor of Angling Times and now digital publishing maestro, Steve Phillips. It also contains catch reports, tackle reviews, and everything else we expect, but, it also contains an innovation that I think angling publications have missed out on for years, because fellow blogger and cartoonist, Brian Roberts, has a strip of his excellent 'Jack's Pike' appearing in every issue.

And, I'm very proud to say that I'm appearing in it too...

Hoorah, in print at last!

My part to play in its future success is in writing pieces for one of the single page blog sections that spice up the newspaper between the more formal and technical multi-page spreads that we're all accustomed to reading in the middle of our weekly newspapers and monthly magazines. 

Appearing in ANW as a supporting act to such luminaries as Darren Cox, Duncan Charman, and Martin Bowler, is something of a shock to the system, but writing a blog section that must compare to others written by such all time greats such as Dave Harrell, a man who is recognised as one of the finest and most successful match anglers this country has ever produced, is both a tremendous privilege, and a huge challenge.

It'll be a challenge I'll relish and try my very best to live up to, though. You tell me if I don't!

You can download the first free issue as a taster, and subscribe to the following subscription issues, here ~

Only £1.49 per issue, and read it in the comfort of your bivvy too! Now, what could be better than that?

Monday, 23 July 2012

River Roach & Silver Bream - A Full House of Pain

Some time last week, perhaps Tuesday evening down the cut fishing with Norman, I became aware of a twinge in my leg. A kind of sharp ache in the joint between femur and pelvis. When I sat on my seat and then stood up, it would hurt a little, so I spent most of that canal session sitting on the grass. At home that night, it got a little worse and caused a restless night. By morning, My leg had seized tight and had to be manipulated out of bed, but I thought little of it. I'd overdone the exertions of trotting in a standing position off a rickety, half-submerged pallet on Sunday, and was paying now with a little muscle pain.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Tickets, Timetables & Tight Lines - Epilogue

The train ride home from Southampton and the Itchen was uneventful. I had to sit on my ever useful rucksack/stool in the vestibule between carriages after stowing the rod bag in the overhead rack, not because I didn't have a seat, but because there was a clean human being in the next one to my reservation, all other seats were occupied, and I was contaminated by the river. After Reading, it emptied, and I very nearly drifted into sleep in a window seat when the light failed and the landscape gradually vanished behind the bright reflections of the interior lights.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Tickets, Timetables & Tight Lines - Itchen Roach (Pt3)

Three roach anglers in a car on the way to a roach fishery. The one in the back leans over the seat, and says to the other passenger, "if you won a million quid on the lottery, what would you buy?"

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Tickets, Timetables & Tight Lines - Itchen Roach (Pt2)

A short walk upstream along the riverside track and I'd be fishing in ten minutes. Other anglers already pitched and fishing over the crash barrier were a cause for concern. I was bound further upstream but once there, would I get a good peg? Never having fished the stretch before, I didn't even know what a good peg looked like, with only very limited experience of fast chalk stream fishing and the bare bones of the watercraft necessary to understanding them, at my disposal.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Tickets, Timetables & Tight Lines - Itchen Roach (pt1)

Ominous. That's how it looked, stumbling out of bed and throwing open windows on the day ahead. An unbroken sheet of the 'rain maker,' nimbostratus, stretched from northern to western, and to southern and eastern horizons. There wasn't a hole, not a tear, nor a rip in its leaden cloak. The air smelled of damp soil, and though the concrete yard was dry, there was a hint of a certain aroma that has no name... but tells you that the concrete won't be dry for much longer, for it's the unmistakable sharp spice of approaching rain.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

British Canal Records - The New Canal Royalty

*Please note, records have been updated in the light of information received after publication

Just recently I've trawled the Internet in search of the largest specimens of the fifteen main coarse species ever caught from the British Canal system. It has been both a labour of love, and a labour of utter frustration! For a time, many lucky people are going to be British record holders without knowing it...

Thursday, 5 July 2012

A Quest for Canal Carp - 10,000th Cast

It's three-thirty in the morning and I've been home an hour. The first blackbird calls from the top of a nearby holly, the air is cool and still, and the distant motorway is as hushed as I have ever known. My trousers are sopping wet from the knee down from kneeling down on dew-soaked grass, my eyes are gritty, my scalp is itchy, and my body needs a bed. My head however, seeks no pillow, my fingers seek out keys, and while you sleep, I'm going to write this down, and kick it out the door, before I lose the moment to dreams.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A Quest for Canal Carp — In the Light of the Truth

Quite liking the canal night sessions now that I've done a few. You don't see anybody at all. No one is around after dark in stark contrast to daylight hours, when it's a busy thoroughfare populated by all kinds busy going nowhere important, just feeding the ducks, jogging, cycling, walking the dog, or coming home from Tescos. I have it all to myself by 11pm, and all night long if I want to stay on.

That's good. I thought I might get stuck with some prattling drunk all night, or have to deal with lonely insomniacs, and to tell you the truth, I fear that almost as much as getting stuck with a nutter who I can just push in the cut if he gets too lairy

Monday, 2 July 2012

To Whitewater Hell and Back

After Thursday's torrential rain and violent hailstorm, I was sure the river would be in fine condition for a spot of barbel fishing on the Avon by Saturday morning. It didn't hit the whole river catchment, only the northern part of it and the worst of it fell only at the northern extreme, so it wouldn't be in full flood, but swollen enough to create some interesting barbel swims. On arrival at Harvington, my predictions proved correct and the river was two feet up on normal summer levels, a rusty red/brown colour from the red sandstone soil in the north of the catchment that had caught the storm, and in just the right state to get those river torpedoes rooting about for washed in and washed out foodstuffs.

Molly, our springer spaniel, was beside herself in her excitement, but I was suffering a curious uneasiness, a sense of foreboding.

Frickin' Hail! Torrential Hail Storm Hits Coventry

The worst hail storm I have ever had the pleasure to witness.