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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


07/02/2021 - I Reckon I will Have Web-feet Soon


Today Saturday more rain, the river is once again unfishable it’s a swirling mass of rubbish strewn water the colour of kaki as I write this it’s still rising, no doubt it will be for the next 24 plus hours, as it’s still raining. Most of the week Monday to Wednesday I have spent the time clearing away lots of rubbish including a TV set, in all collecting six big bin liners of rubbish. I also had around a 150 feet of tangled barbed wire to sort, Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning was spent dealing with this problem, no easy task, eventually I had it all straitened, the next job was to put it on a wooden roller designed to hold barbed wire, Probably took me off all of 4 hours, I then had to move the lot to my store room a distance of a hundred yards, doesn’t sound far, but it was for this old man, I would hump it few feet then take a rest eventually it was stored away. It wouldn’t have been a problem if the ground was firm, I could have used my car.

Finding A Lost Float

10 days ago I lost a float from a swim around 150 yards upstream of the car park, at the time I was most upset, it was one of Graham Pinkertons set of floats made for me as a Christmas present, I was trotting the stream when I got hooked on the bottom using a 3lb hook link to 4lb line, I didn’t expect any problem, as I put on the pressure the line, it suddenly broke well above the surface of water. Several times I hooked the line but couldn’t get the float back, if it had been summer time I would have gone in for it. Today Wednesday afternoon I was clearing away the rubbish on a bit of fencing I had put in place to stop sheep getting into the car park. As I did so I spotted the lost float among the rubbish, it was like striking gold. I was well pleased, it’s now safely back in one of my mugs in my study along with lots of other floats, that was one of two highlights of the week.

A Hunting Barn Owl

Thursday morning I found the river still high and fast flowing but slightly clearer than it’s been for several days, I got a temperature reading of 40 degrees F I then walked the beat noting three spots that might produce a fish, collecting my Abbey Avon and centre pin reel with 6lb bs line I tied on a size six hook then moulded a piece of plasticine around a float stop. The first two spots were behind two submerged willow bushes which created a quiet spot, I gave both spots half an hour, but no sign of interest, my baits were cheese paste and bread crust. I then went off a hundred yards downstream to the last of the spots. I’d been fishing around half an hour when I got a call from my friend Tony, as we chatted a barn owl all creamy white with small flecks of brown which looked almost golden in the sunlight. The owl then started quartering the opposite field eventually dropping to the ground, two or three minutes it lifted off with a rat in its talons then flew off, certainly a great show, but a kingfisher wasn’t to be outdone, I had one perched on a willow branch no more than five feet from me, it dived twice on each occasion returning with a minnow then fluffed up its feather as if to say “This is how it’s done”. I fished on until darkness then returned home. Next day Friday the river was a bit more fishable but again I was fishless and bite less. Today Saturday I didn’t fish the river was rising very fast some two feet in a hour. After a long walk I returned home.



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Martin James Fishing
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