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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


23/01/2017 - From Rubbish Site to Beautiful River

Some slob dumped this rubbish

Monday morning was one of those days, looking out of my study window I could barely see the end of the garden in the fog, I reckon there must have been ten blackbirds waiting to be fed there breakfast of sultanas, blue great and coal tits were feeding on fat balls and sunflower hearts, a robin was hunting for the meal worms while lots of sparrows were feeding on the wholemeal bread as yet the starlings hadn’t arrived. My problem was I wanted to fish, I also had to clear away a load of rubbish dumped on the river bank, by a slob that had crept from under their stone, I was more than angry on finding this rubbish, if I’d caught the culprit he or she would certainly have ended up in court, if the Council wouldn’t take action, I would have personally taken out a private summons.

Arriving at the site which was just fifty yards from the council waste site, I was fuming as I got a rope and grappling iron, another rope to abseil down the very steep bank plus protective gloves and strong boots. As I was sorting out my gear, a council worker turned up to ask what I was doing, when I explained the problem, he said “Don’t bother we will remove it” Thanking him I said “Do you have a tea box, “he said “Yes” so I gave him a tenner to put in it, it was worth that to save me from a possible ducking in the river.

Back in my car I drove off to the river, before choosing a swim, checking the water temperature it was 36-37 degrees F quite a drop from the 40 degrees F on Saturday, with the river very low and gin clear I thought the only place I might catch a chub or two would be the weir pool, so I drove a couple of miles downstream, to another car park. As I put a few bit and pieces in my Lone Angler bucket bag I thought the best plan under the prevailing conditions would be crust on a short 3” link, so half a loaf of bread was chucked in along with my Lone Angler cheese paste, after putting together a Chapman 500 Mitchell 300 reel line was braid to which I attached a hook with a Palomar knot. Bag on my back, landing net with my piece of sponge to sit on, in my right hand, the rod in my left hand I made my way upstream. The river looked lovely in the mist with the banks covered in frost; arriving at the pool a robin appeared no doubt looking for food. I would fish just below the fast swirling water with crust on a size 4 hook the one LG shot wrapped in plasticine. I didn’t put in any free offering as I reckon the fish wouldn’t chase around for food, it would be a case of dropping it on their nose.

I sat there for some minutes taking in my surroundings as I looked downstream with the mist surrounded banks, I thought how lucky I am to be an angler, even more so as I’m retired, Baiting with a piece of crust I made a cast dropping the baited hook in the quiet water, ten minute later I had a slight tap then a good pull, the strike connecting with a fish as it twisted and turned in the water I quickly realised I’d hooked a trout, after a spirited fight I netted a nice trout which I quickly photographed then returned upstream untouched by hand, I personally feel it wrong to take trophy shots of trout in the close season. In the next five casts I hooked another four trout as I get no enjoyment from catching these fish at this time of the year. I chose to leave, then spent around an hour trying other spots without success so returned home, though I hadn’t caught any chub I’d enjoyed being out at the waterside.

I’ve also got some good news I’m now the owner of Kennet Perfection by Andrew Davies, I well remember purchasing a couple of James Kennet Perfections in the late 50’s early 60’s. I was most disappointed with them, they were very soft and floppy, in fact a few years later I gave one to the late Len Head, the other rod was given away to a soldier who had recently retired with some injuries after 14 years’ service, I was asked at the time if I could take him fishing for a few hours which I did, he enjoyed it so much I sorted out enough tackle to keep him going, after several years he was still fishing, he reckoned I had given him back his sanity and the will to live. This new rod will be a birthday present later this year when I become an octogenarian. I’ve always used old cane rods and those of modern materials depending on the situation.




My weir pool

Tail of the pool

Misty morning on the river

Crust baited hook with LGshot wrapped in plastacine

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Martin James Fishing
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