Trotting along lords Walk.

Well what a days fishing we had yesterday,I fancied a bit of grayling action on the Hampshire Avon,instead of choosing a stretch familiar to me like Stratford sub castle or the nadder at harnham i decided to fish a bit that had a good reputation years ago,Lords Walk in Amesbury,the highest coarse fishable stretch of the avon before it becomes the abode of the dryfly snobbery.
back in the day it was a half mile of council owned fishing which meant anyone with a rod license could fish it,known for its grayling and wild brown trout you would think all the fish would have been taken for food but it didn’t seem that way at all,the banks were clear and trees manages.
Oh how things change! in the intervening years the council had given up managing the rivers they owned and had let them to a local fishing club,two things happened,the swims became neglected and the fish disappeared,like it isn’t bad enough that the only free fishing up that far on the Avon became the property of a club but for them to let it get as bad as it is now is terrible,there was no bailiffe,i saw 2 club officials who had never seen us before and didn’t ask to see our tickets or memberships.
Still we managed a couple of small fish,i managed a small brown trout ,too small for a pic but charlie did much better.




what a lovely bit of weather today! an edge of high pressure keeping the lows over the continent,this can only mean one thing……fishing!

So Sarah dropped myself and charlie over to gillingham on a stretch of the stour downstream from our last foray.The stour has many faces,last week where we fished the stream was not more than four feet across in places,today it went from 8 feet across to 30 and from 6 inches to six feet in depth.

This part of the stour has seen little attention by the fishing club that own  in years looking at it,many willows fallen across the river here and there,a lot of overhanging branches ,snags and the odd trolley,but here and there there are a few fishable places,one such was a small deep pool where the water circles I was sure this would hold some fish.

We set up eagerly ,charlie getting the hang of setting himself up now takes the pressure off a bit,today he was trotting with a home made goose quill trotting float weighted with 3 BB shot and tipped with a size14 hook with red and white maggots,my set up was pretty much the same but my float was a vintage Hardcork trotting float from the 1960’s.

We fished the pool for a couple of hours in all,it was a nice spot we were north facing with the hot sun on our backs and good shelter from the cold wind,the temp was 6 deg c but to be honest i think it was a jumper warmer that i needed and almost contemplated taking a layer off.

It would appear this short section of the stour was a sort of nature reserve,the odd bench here and there with clearly defined paths.Opposite us was a light copse mostly willow and Alder,the trees were full of small birds,titmice of all the varieties a few robins in need of anger management classes and a few territorial but quiet blackbirds hopping around in the lower branches.The occasional splash caught our attention as a coot or moorhen entered the water calling as they went .
There was on the river a light hatch of Caenis flies which had the smaller fish feeding occasionally,one or two leaving the tell tale bubble of a grayling or two.

Charlie was the first to bank a fish today ,a nice Roach ,the sun glancing off its silver flanks was stunning,a super fish and after pics were taken it was slipped back into the pool where it made for the depth in quick order.Whilst the bites were frequent hooking the fish seemed difficult for both of us,i assumed either the hook was too big for the fish or we were to slow on the strike,i suspected minnows,confirmed minutes later when charlie successfully hooked one of them,soon followed by another Roach.

It was a bout 20 minutes before pick up time that i actually caught i fish ,it was thiiiiiis big,sadly the picture didnt come out ….lol

With a couple of hours spare today charlie and I went to do some river fishing on the upper reaches of the River Stour at Gillingham,from past experience i knew it contained some roach and other silvers as well as one or two pike and perch.
The order of the day was to travel light ,basically what we could fit in or small shoulder bags,and it was going to be a float fishing session.
Once tackled up Charlie started the session with successive small roach to maggot on a vintage Grayling float,i fished maggot on a vintage cork trotting float,I too managed some nice silvers,before we knew it mum arrived to pick us up ,a short but fun winter session on the Dorset Stour,we cant wait to get back on the banks there again soon.

Another chilli day on the bank today,the east wind was chilling and the temp was hovering above freezing all day with the wind chill factor.
The cold was keeping the fish deep and lethargic,we used 4lb of bait and ground bait to produce just 2 fish.
Charlie managed a nice bream to brandling worm ledgered on the bottom, sadly Ben blanked despite his best efforts on different baits,and i nearly blanked to ,just before sunset the carp were tentatively feeding on bread crust in the margins,i spotted a common carp feeding about 10 feet from Charlie’s bait and cast a crust on a size 4 raptor i had bought from Steves Tackle this morning just in front of its nose,one slurp and 10 mins later it was on the bank,much to the consternation of Charlie as apparently it was HIS carp! lol

We had our Bacon……just!

18 November

A high pressure is sitting uneasily over the UK at the moment,with it dry bright weather the Easterly wind bringing the familiar November chill,normally an easterly signals the end of the carp fishing in the winter as the temperatures plummet to single figures,half what it was last week.Luckily the water takes a little longer to cool down and so today Ben,Charlie and myself got up early (for a sunday) and headed off to our regular pond .

We arrived reasonably early and found the pond devoid of anglers,a stark contrast to yesterday where nearly every swim was taken, once on the bank we made short order of setting up the windbreak and the rods.First call of business was getting the kettle on for hot drinks,this time of day calls for coffee and plenty of it for me,the boys opting for sweet tea,I think it was more for the warmth of the mugs which were wrapped in chilli hands eagerly.

Next it was time for me to cook the bacon,there’s a lot to be said for fresh bacon sandwiches on the waterside,some like sandwiches of cheese ,some like the unholy pot noodle but for me it has to involve a vintage primus stove and bacon ,lots of bacon.

BUGGER IT! as i opened the wrapper of the bacon my heart sank and a ripple of disappointment,in our haste to get out the door we had forgot the frying pan! At this point charlie suggested that we could use the old stew pan we used for our ground bait,i took a look at it,the pan of doom.A thick crust of a weeks groundbait maggot and worm clinging around the rim,the pan of doom was not what I had in mind to cook our bacon in

Ben suggested I empty the contents into a bag and scrub the pan with hot water from the boiled kettle .After three or four minutes it was relatively clean oil added and bacon sizzling nicely in the bottom,a wonderful smell to cheer the heart,maybe with a hint of vanilla groundbait? maybe it was just my imagination.The sarnies were devoured by the boys with some eagerness ,ketchup chins all round.

Now to the business of fishing it was after all what we came for,ben baited with maggot and a swimfeeder and was first to cast out,next was charlie was today on the pole/whip baited with maggot and using a home made perch bob float.Today i was using a feeder like ben fishing a little closer to the bank than i usually do ,following advice from a neighbour who fishes this pond regular.

Charlie was hitting a shoal of small perch straight away which kept him amused with hectic non stop action,for Ben and I it was a little less hectic,perhaps the water temperature had dropped enough to make a difference for the worse.

After an hour or so the ground bait must have stirred the carp out of their lethargy and the came on the feed,Ben landing a mirror carp that could almost have be described as an albino a lovely yellow looking fish,a little later I landed a common carp followed by a Crucian.

Action was thin on the ground during the afternoon ,charlie switching to a feeder set up but having little luck,we all thought the fishing was over,maybe it was just too bright perhaps.As the sun started to sink towards the west sarah arrived and we started to take our rods down,would you believe it within a minute of me chucking an unwanted crust in the pond we all heard the familiar slurp of a carp sucking at the edges of the bread! i had literally just taken my end tackle off,realising this was last chance saloon i tied a hook and grabbed some bread to fish on the top for this carp,second cast the large mirror carp slurped my bait ,seeing me it made a dash for it,game on! The boys hurriedly brought the landing net,this was a good sized carp.

After what seemed like an eternity this fish was staying deep first running left then right ,as it started to come off the bottom,TWANG! it spat the hook,disappointed faces all around ,the boys resigned to there being no last minute fish to end the day returned to our swim to pack up,I thought to myself ,well one more cast won’t hurt.

Line baited with a chunk of bread i tossed it just shy of the far side,about 40 feet or so and pulled it back to withing a few inches of the crust,slurp,i tightened the line and felt the carp nodding his heat from side to side,just a few minutes later the boys helped me land a fine looking Common carp of around the 10lb mark.Photo’s were taken and this last cast fish was returned to the water.

As we made our way home in the warm car the boys excitedly told mum about our day and were asking when could we next go fishing,soon boys soon.

A bit of Dad and Son time on a local pond.

17th November 2018

My son Ben asked if he could go fishing with me today so we got our kit sorted and headed out to the local pond,with a stiff Easterly wind it was a tad on the cold side ,we arrived mid morning to find the better swims already taken so we decided to fish in the shelter of the blackthorn hedge ,this provided a fair bit of protection and with the bright winter sunbathing us it was quite comfortable.


The fishing was a little challenging to say the least ,i only managed the one crucian hybrid Ben had better luck on a 15 foot elastic whip,his first fish of the day being a good sized gudgeon,a member of the carp family it is the smallest relation too and this would be considered a good sized one,I was a little surprised as normally they are only found in running water,it was a good sign that there as of yet are no pike in this pond as they view gudgeon as a bit of a delicacy!


As the afternoon progressed and the watery sun sank towards the horizon it became quite chillier, I was wishing i had brought a pair of gloves,ben seemed not to notice it,but thats youth for you.

Most of the afternoon was occupied with small Roach,Rudd,Bream and a plague of biblical proportions of small yet perfectly formed Perch.

My dear Lady Wife arrived just in time as it was becoming colder still,i can’t say i wanted ‘one last cast’ today and was very pleased to get in a nice warm car.