Saturday, 29 November 2014


The phone rang about four o'clock yesterday afternoon......

"Jay don't bother mate this weekend, it's still bombing through and filthy, stay home and have a lie in mate"

"OK mate, thanks for looking for me I'll give it a miss then, cheers"

No intention of fishing today at all, but being that I'm a lark I was up and about by five o'clock this morning. Stuff it, the sun is supposed to shine, I'll give it a few hours, better than sitting at home doing nothing on a Saturday morning. Grabbed my gear and got the first train down.

Nice to be greeted by this, so worth getting up and out for. No fish showed today, not surprised at all in that the river has been in the fields again all week. But what do you do? Wave the white flag, give up until next summer. Not a chance, you may just sneak a fish out. These conditions must surely improve soon, this deluge upon deluge must abate.

So I whipped the camera out every now and again, between casting and retrieving.    

Maybe I should have cast a lure into the fields, as opposed the river. People may think I'm mad to bang on with the lure gear in such conditions. But in truth at present it's all I want to do, making a rod for my own back-possibly. But it sets me free, minimal tackle and thorough enjoyment fish or no fish.

Snags and trees that were on this beat last weekend have been swept away, trees ripped out. The fish must not know what day it is. Haunts decimated, new areas to try and track them down. Is it a waste of time, not for me. You have a line in the water so you may just get lucky.

Anyway about ten thirty another angler came along, very rare.

"How's it going?"
"No joy mate, not good conditions"

This other angler down on a recce was looking at me like he had seen a ghost.

"Your famous, your the one who that does that blog"
"Well yeah I do a blog"

In my head a little voice is screaming "Famous, famous, fuck me I did not learn how to tie my shoes laces until I was thirty five". How I kept a straight face I'll never know, famous fuck me!

We chatted for about fifteen minutes, turns out his name was Carl and he has just joined this club. Nice to meet you mate and my offer stands, you know how to contact me. I knocked it on the head not long after he left. Fish less but unbowed, let's hope things improve weather wise and soon.

Had a little bit of each way on Rocky Creek in the Hennessy at Newbury  this afternoon at 11/1. This will be a real slog in these conditions so I'm hopeful of a place, feet up and a cupla of TT Landlord at the ready.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Hard Yards

Christ I walked some today, legs feel leaden now, back aches and feel utterly knackered. Perch were on the agenda this morning, but arriving at first light my heart sank. Though well down on last week the colour was still like tea. I spent half an hour in an absolute banker of a swim, with no joy. You know when your wasting your time so I moved to another club stretch that for some reason, the conditions improve far quicker.

To me the day screamed out for a lump of bread flake, but having the lure gear that was out. This swim below I fancied working a bait along the near bank. You need the dexterity of a mountain goat down here, gently lowering myself down. Rucksack off, edge forward to cast and I started to sink fast in the cloying mud, nearly ended up flat on my back as I struggled to maintain my balance. Give this one a miss mate, not worth getting in trouble.

Roaming about for the first three hours, proved fruitless. Pools, undercuts, deep cover and not a hook up. Up the lure size and a five inch Kyopto went out and a real hit on the first retrieve. The rod absolutely hooped over then nothing. Gutted, that was the strongest take I've ever had. I spent more time in the swim and came back to it half a dozen times during the day. What ever was about earlier was not interested now. Book marked for another day most definitely, my largest Pike from along this beat is 15.8, though that was some time back, on a good old fashioned Smelt.

Keep walking, keep casting, try, try, try. Time was ticking on, five hours fishing and no fish to grace my net. When I'm mobile getting despondent is not an option, you are constantly searching. Different retrieves, different patterns of lures. Jig Flies, SP's and Spinners brought no joy.

This swim below you can see by the far bank, how high the level was when it peaked late on Saturday night. Leaving a nice tree trunk, doubt it will be around this time next week with the predicted deluge about to hit us again.

Last chance saloon, it's now nearly one o'clock it's pissing down. I'm covered in mud, coat pocket ripped open as I went arse over tit on the infamous "Beetle stile", what a swan dive that was, slipped forward and the rickety git  launched me like a man from a cannon.

Clip on a small diving crank, back along a decaying weed bed and first time this little Jack. How can a fish this small make a grown man feel so elated. Well it saved a blank, but I worked my nuts off for this fish. So yeah I'm happy!

A thoroughly enjoyable six hours on the bank, along with some dry weather we need some frost down here to knock the colour out of the water. Thus this will hopefully make the Perch a viable option again. And no other anglers about, just you, your thoughts and time to switch off.

National Treasures

OK I'm a little perplexed, certain things should not be replicated, left alone as a nod to greatness and the past. Certain things in my eyes are sacrosanct, not to be meddled with. Here are two things that should  have remained unscathed by the modern world. Given some spit and polish if you like. They were great as they were and still stand the test of time now.

First up the legendary Paddington Bear from darkest Peru.

Then we have this motley crew from one of my all time favorites Dads Army.

But it seems time are a changing. Paddington Bear is to be given a make over and will appear in a new film due out this month. And filming has already started on a new Dads Army film. Why ? What gain is to be had from rehashing these two? On a Saturday evening I'll always watch the old reruns of Dads Army, it simply cannot be bettered. Gentle humor and wonderfully acted. The new Paddington film apparently has "Sexual Innuendo " in it's content. Again why? We used to watch this as kids and I've still got the books, even the most up to date version Paddington Here And Now published in 2008.

Utter madness, all for financial gain. Is nothing sacred, what next a remake of Porridge. How can anyone surpass that cast, I still love it now. Ronnie Barker as Fletcher was outstanding, as were others. 'Orrible Ives, what a character."Grouty" and his gentle, soothing do it my way persona, or I'll break your legs. Brilliant!

Hands of you modernizing bastards, leave these gems as they are. Best get back down from my soap box, thank god for this blog or the wife would divorce me, for all my pissing and moaning.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and if your bank side on Sunday, you may need an Ark.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Turned Out Nice Again

That was the case up until Friday morning, the river, my river had been dropping back all week until yesterday morning. Then all hell broke loose on the rain front, every few hours my eyes scanned the EA website and saw the river rising and rising.

Now common sense should prevail and the Barbel gear should have been used today, fish the conditions, use your brain. But common sense and brain power has never been one of my best attributes. And anyway these Jig Flies arrived on Thursday and were crying out for a swim.

You can see where this is leading a big fat blank. Fish the slacks people say, all well and good if you can find any. Those that I did find, were like a mango swamp, infested with snags. Where the three hours this morning a lesson in futility, a real noble prize winning fuck up? No not really, I'm always wary of the EA website as they have got it massively wrong in the past. I wanted to see if the river had come up as much as they suggested.

It had and is still on the rise, slowly creeping up, twisting and turning like a malevolent serpent of the aqua persuasion. Shame really as the morning was mild, if conditions were better then no doubt my presence would still be felt on the bank.

The meadows are saturated, sodden to the point that standing water is every where, sloshing around in some spots up to my shins. We need a sustained period of dry weather down here, you may expect these conditions in late winter. To see this much water outside of the river at this time of year is rare.

Ben, I'm glad we postponed this day as it would have been a long way for you to come, for nixy bleeding poo. But as they say you always learn something and today I learnt to try every once  in a while to use my brain. Lastly would the club member who felt the need to take the padlock off the gate, tie it back with cable ties, thus giving open access for all please desist. I snipped the cable ties off and secured the lock. If you can't remember a four digit code, then you really should not be let out alone.

On the plus side I'm home in time to watch the jump racing from Cheltenham, feet up and a cupla of bottles of Hobgoblin while the wife is out Christmas shopping with her mates. I've had a little bit of Each Way on Johns Spirit in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at 10/1.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Be Lucky

Monty D

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Doppelgangers of the Angling World Part XXXI

Well it's been months and months since a Doppelganger graced these pages, but I spotted this one on Friday, so without further ado may the angling gods present these two fine fellows.....

Below we have "Sir" Jeff Hatt, pondering on all things Roach, bread baits and life and real Ale in general.

And below we have Dante, pondering on one of life's great mysterious. Not Dumas, piscatorial prose. No that total bastard that is Zander and the problem of dropped runs!

My fishing, well the last two weeks have been taken up with football and work. That was until Friday night when I got my tackle ready for an assault on my local Perch population. Alas the weather gods seem to be aligning with his mates from last season. We have had to much rain again in Surrey this week, my local venue had dropped back nice as of Thursday, when a new and improved, guaranteed to piss me off  sort of rain fell. I held out hope, awoke yesterday morning at 0430, checked the EA website only to see she was over the top again. This seems to be remarkably like the last few seasons, sodden fields under foot and the river forming Ox Bow Lakes. I think I'll have to look for another club, that has access to some still waters also, as opposed to strictly river fishing.    

Just a few photos from today at Whitehall, the crowds were huge this year. Many more people made the journey I'm sure, owing to it being the centenary of the "Great War", though my Great Granddad saw it as anything but great. To him, it was just what you did. I'll not make the trip again, been going for around twenty five years now. We all go I'm sure for our own reasons, time for me to draw a line under it-he knows that it's every day I think of him, the laughs we had. I've mentioned before he passed away aged ninety nine, on Christmas Day, that was in nineteen ninety five. So yeah it's fitting on the centenary to let another soul take my regular place. Though my Mum begs to differ, she said yesterday "Boy your be back next year, you know you will"

Fingers crossed the weather enters a settled period and I can get some fishing done next Sunday.

Be Lucky

Monty D