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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


11/02/2020 - A Tough Hard Cold Day On The River

Some of the car park rubbish


With the river level dropping I’d planned to fish, but having been told about the state of the car park which was unusable, I wouldn’t be fishing today but clearing away the flood debris, leaving home early this morning I'd covered about five miles when I was hit by a hail storm that really did rattle against the windscreen, the road was quickly covered in frozen hail my speed was down around 15 to 20 mph, only idiots would travel faster in these conditions, if it had started fifteen minutes earlier I would have stopped at home until it cleared. Eventually I arrived at my riverside car park but unable to enter, so parked on the tarmac track. The car park was covered in flood debris, no chance of getting the gate opened until I’d cleared much of the rubbish. Walking around the edge of the car park to a stile I was soon in the store room where I changed into waterproof clothing including some strong water proof boots, I also made sure I had a good quality pair of working gloves, its very important that you use good gloves as you will certainly come across obnoxious object such as condoms, st’s and other object like bags of dog dirt and nappies. Remember after you have done some riverside work, it’s important to make sure you scrub your hands using hot water with a good soap, making sure you clean the nails and inside of your fingers before having something to eat and drink.

Fencing Posts Barbed Wire Scaffolding Planks

The first job was to remove the larger objects, large bits of timber having to be cut down to a moveable size, fencing posts, even an old bath, I had a large branch from an oak tree which was far to heavy for me to move, I had to use the bow saw cutting this big heavy branch into five lengths. All the time I was being hit by a wind that had been forecast at 40 mph, with frequent hail showers, eventually after an hour I’d cleared all the heavy stuff, Pic showing some of the rubbish I got rid of. I was now left with a mass of small stuff several inches thick that covered most of the car park.

Time For Rake and Shovel

After a ten minute break I started raking up the twigs, reeds, grass and other rubbish into manageable piles, it took around an two hours of shovelling up the rubbish then spreading it along the river bank, where it will blend in with the bankside growth this spring, it had certainly been a good workout, but I wasn’t finished yet.

Checking Out The Fence Line

After a short break I collected a bucket of tools, also some staples and nails and bow saw. First job was to walk an eight hundred yard length of fencing, also checking the stiles, thankfully all the stiles were in place, no damage done, I soon had the rubbish cleared from these, though some were covered with an inch of sand, which would be cleared with a stiff brush once the sand had dried. I found two big tree branches that had been left by the high water straddled across the fence line, half an hour later I had these cleared by cutting them in manageable lengths with the bow saw. There was certainly a few weeks hard work clearing all the rubbish from the fence line, some posts also need replacing but this work could be done after the end of the coarse fishing season, along with the help of my bailiffs. Knowing my syndicate members some will give me an hour or so of help. Pictures two and three will give you an idea of the amount of work to be done, certainly something to keep me active and out of mischief. Around 1500 hrs I’d had enough for one day, after dropping some hook bait samples into a couple of swims, I headed off home. After a hot shower and giving my hands a good scrubbing, I was ready to sit down for my tea of steak pie and vegetable.


Rubbish on the fence line

More rubbish on the fence line

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Martin James Fishing
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