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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


20/03/2020 - Looking Back Looking Forward

The River Beult


Looking Back Looking Forward  Recently I got an e-mail from Tim Kidson who writes, I very much look forward to your summary of the season just gone, I have had similar requests from other readers, so hopefully some of you will find my thoughts and results interesting?. My season started off on the River Beult where I rented a delightful cottage set in the wilderness of the Kent countryside, where I was joined by Brendan Ince, Paul Elliott and Tony Booker. so hopefully some of you will find my thoughts and results interesting?. Most of our fishing was watching a float The weather during our week stay was a mixture of conditions, lots of cloud cover, an odd light shower and sunshine, we had one day when we found the river well coloured and moving slowly, ideal for some trotting. Brendan, spent the day float fishing with centre pin reel matched to his 14 foot Otter brand rod, which is a great tool when fishing the deep water of the river Beult for catching roach but hoping for a tench, he did hook a good fish, probably a tench, he also caught lots of roach and rudd, Paul in between taking photographs float fished with his Sowerbutts pole catching some nice roach along with a few good rudd and bream, Paul is a very experienced pole angler. Tony another fine angler, big fish and small, spent a lot of time pole fishing, also fishing lures. One afternoon he switched to using an Avocet rod matched with his dads centre pin reel, ideal combination for the Beult roach. I chose to fish a swim close to some overhanging willows and hawthorns in the hope of connecting with a tench, I hooked one good fish, but sadly it broke me off, so it didn’t happen, I caught a lot of roach with two fish of 13 inches both taken on punched bread which I really enjoyed catching. The pike were very active often taking a fish off the hook as I was drawing it to the net, nothing big probably between 6 and 8lbs, damsel flies were about in profusion especially the Common blue damselfly, often one would perch on the float, several times during the day a Kestrel would hover close to the river bank, but every time I got my camera out for a picture, it flew off. Several times during the day a kingfisher flew up or down the river, on one occasion a kingfisher perched on a nearby branch then dived returning with a small fish. Each day we had several brews nothing beats a mug of tea or coffee as in Brendan’s case, where we chatted about the various birds we had seen, there was also a family of swans that glided up and down river creating a delightful peaceful scene. Overhead we had a flying display from the Spitfire which certainly made my day complete. In the evening we had the barn owl put in an appearance. As we walked back to the car park we stopped to admire the beautiful sky with its various shades of pink and orange. Back in the cottage Paul set about making a curry, certainly tasty meal cooked to perfection, well done Paul. Dinner over I washed and dried the dishes etc, this was followed by mugs of tea with lager for Brendan, then around midnight it was off to bed the end of another good day.

I think it was our third day when I didn’t go off with the other boys, I was very unsteady on my legs, the river bank certainly wasn’t the best place to be so I stayed behind in the cottage. I had two books I wanted to read, then quickly realised I’d left my magnifying glass at home, around 1300 hrs I called Brendan to come and collect me as I couldn’t spend another hour in the cottage twiddling my thumbs, I rather be on the riverbank, if I fell in so be it. Brendan helped me to a swim close to the car so very little walking, all I had to do was sit on my basket and hopefully catch some fish, we had the river to ourselves, not that it would have been a problem if there had been several anglers as there are plenty of good swims to choose from, the first thing I noticed was some of the colour had gone out of the water, there was duck weed in some areas which shouldn’t cause any problems. While I had been away both Brendan and Paul had been catching roach. After an hour we had a brew, to my surprise Paul had been off to the shop returning with a fruit cake, what more could I wish for with my mug of tea, it was delightful, thank you Paul.

During the afternoon I caught my share of roach also some rudd only around 8 ounces, but still nice to catch, I also had a couple of pike along with an eel on float fished worm, but they put a good bend in the stick and pulled the string so I was happy, we certainly had plenty of brews, around 1600 hrs it was another slice of fruit cake. Most days we fished on until around 2000hrs usually as we were packing up, the barn owl appeared on the opposite bank then flew across the river to quarter the field we were on. The week went so quick but never for a minute did we feel we shouldn’t be on this delightful river. June time is strawberry time, I certainly feasted on a few punnets of this delightful fruit during the week, on the way home Brendan and I stopped off at Simon Walkers home where we dropped off some strawberries, after some interesting chat with tea and coffee, we said good bye, then headed further up the Great North Road to see Pat Marston-Walker, spending a delightful hour drinking tea and coffee chatting about Richard and the recently published book Dick Walker-The Legend, we also left some strawberries with Pat which were gratefully accepted. We all agreed it had been an excellent week, this coming June 2020 the same team will be back on the River Beult. Next Some days on the River Soar.



On the River Beult

Brendan with a tench

Paul with bream

Tony pole fishing

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Martin James Fishing
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