Friday, 28 August 2015

River Roach

River Roach, this has been  one of my favourite quests over the last few year's and the pinacle being to catch a 2lb roach from the river Ribble.  I have come very close and I could easily have fooled myself and I'm sure others with some of the fish I have landed. A few fish have been worth a re weigh and even a shake of the scales, which still always seem to settle a oz or two under the magic figure

The truth of the matter may well be my other great love is watching a float. Since I was a young lad I have been almost hypnotised. Session by session hour upon hour, transfixed by the site of a stick float wandering it's way down the river. I have promised myself to spend some time feeder fishing.  I would imagine that if I had spent more hours,  maybe only a tenth of the time on a static then my goal would have been reached.

So it may well be the case that a few sessions into the evening when the light fades into darkness  is when and how my target would be reached? Or maybe not!  The fish that realy counts, the one I am sure to remember will be on the float. I'm sure when it comes I will recall all the detail .....line used, hook, the float, rod, weather, most defiantly the swim and I will more than likley remember every little thing from the specoal day.
I seem to be fishing well enough, the main problem is the amount of smaller fish making my caster hemp approach difficult. Even tares are picked off by the chublet, which is a bitter sweet thing. Bitter..... it's a bit of a pain when my well placed and presented bait is smashed within a few seconds of its trot.  Sweet...... it's  good to see so many small chub in the river again.
A few thoughts on my approach.  I have found a two to three gram inline pole float is very good.  I love the stick but when your fishing a few rod lengths out and you need to slow the bait this is the best way. I now just need to fall on things in my favour. A dropping river with a touch of colour, a gentle up stream breeze,  to just hold that float a little and of coarse the main thing some hungry redfin!   The rod and reel, Drennan Accolyte  Ultra rod  is spot on for this kind of work and a mix of old and new when it's married up with an old Abu 506 closed face reel.
The best line for the reel is Drennan float fish, it does all that's needed very well, its robust, floats well and does not kink.
I stick with a general rule of thumb for roach when picking my swim steady water,half walking pace with decent depth it's also worth looking for areas they can find refuge in both from predation and flood. I would use a no4 shot per foot of water. I use a shirt button style paturn with shot  but depending on the wind and how even the depth and flow this style may be compacted, for example shirt button from half depth.  I use a Matrix twin swivel just above the hooklength and a couple of no 10s shot nipped on for perfect presantation . I realy like the new Matrix hooks to nylon,  the line is very tough for its breaking strain and the hooks are also spot on for this fishing, fine sharp and strong for example I landed an 8lb barbel while fishing this way. I would use  fishing maggot buried on a size 20s. Caster doubled up on 18s. These hooks are tied to 1.3lb or 1.5lb depending on the hook, silverfish or pole fish.  I have  16s/14s  for corn and some 12's for bread flake again these are on either the 1.5lb or 2.1lb hook length. The rest is down to time and a little luck!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


I'm Back, well I hope I am!  I will attempt over the next few weeks to update the blog. I would say that the onset of Facebook / twitter, the ease of posting pictures, telling where your going , where you have been,  what you are doing and who with is a reason the blogging has slowed to a stop. It may be  Im just lazy.
This may just be an exercise in dealing with things, who knows, but I have a need to do so.
 The kids are growing, I have the support of my wife who is much more than just that.... I digress.
So this may just be for me, I have found with blogging I have looked back with a smile on things that have happened.  I have a feeling this won't be one but it may have more importance for sure.
So about a year ago I found myself sat at work. I seem to remember bemoaning how busy I was, a few things contributed to this downward day.... I would rather still be on the holiday that we had just returned from, the weather was nice, why was I not fishing?
At this point my hands rested on the back of my head and I stretched, my fingers massaged the stiffness of middle age, then like a thunder cloud it was there .....a lump. I don't know why but at that moment I just knew somthing was wrong, not in the way things had been before. This feeling made me sick to the depths  of me.  Anyway doctors, hospital, tests, surgical procedures and then results. Well even though everyone said
 "oh you will be ok"
It wasn't it was that word, the one you dread
"Cancer" yes the one everyone else gets. The one you try to tell yourself older people get, even though you know deep down your fooling yourself into a false feeling of safety.   Yet here sat before me was the guy who knows such matters telling me.
All my life I have thought about how would I cope with that kind of news. Well I have tried not to think of it to be honest but here it was, as cold as a winters day on the river, but in no way as welcome.
It was strange all I could do was think of the ones I loved, Melanie, the kids, my mum and dad,  how would I tell them?  When should I tell them?  Should I tell them?  It was a haze one thought arguing against another with all the time a nagging feeling in the back of my mind. It was one I had to deal with but was trying to maybe avoid I knew it would come.
Well I seem to think I rang work. I had left an hour earlier hoping for the best and being wished the best, hoping and wishing had not worked and as I told Ste the bad news. I felt more sorry for him than myself.
 "That was hard"
I told myself, how would family and friends be? Well it was not good and from being told the news midweek it was Sunday before the phone stopped ringing and one of the kids or Melanie was not sat by my side. Then it was there I was here on my own with my thoughts and feelings .  How would I cope? It's strange though because the  first questions in my head was just like when I was told not about me it was about Melanie and the kids and that's how it's been a constant battle in my head. Some parts of the day I'm winning every now and again I'm on the ropes raking a beating!
Well the tv was on, it could have been five minutes, it could have been an hour I don't know. I do know though that when on my own the chances are it will be on a sports or the history/discovery chanel.  My head lifted or maybe I just focused and there it was. I have seen it a hundred times and while I have been aware of this and what it meant it had never hit home like now. The thing on the TV was D-day, hundreds of young men, nearly all younger than me at a guess, running up a beach, being shot by other young men who if they had come across in normal life, would have had little to fight over never mind kill.  I was lucky!  Look how lucky I am ....a good family Melanie and the kids my mum and dad good friends. My life as been blessed the more I thought about this the luckier I had been I was now going through time I'm luckier than those I kept telling myself  I felt guilty for being upset so many people would swap me places . I can remember my nan telling me stories of how her young brother had died and her dad coming home.......
"The tears of my father mixed in with the coal dust from the pit he had been called from, making my brothers face black."
She told me. Oh god how lucky  I am.
 That's how I coped, it may not be ideal but that's it I was thankfull.
So treatment goes on, the breaks from the nag at the back of my mind come in the smile of my kids a shared laugh with Melanie. The moment Wigan score a try, or the waiting of the float disappearing on its way down the river.  That's about it for now, I will try to get some fishing related stuff up at some point until then  god bless!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Winter on the pin

A few hours on  the pin and back blogging.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A Year Gone By

As always Roach and Chub off the Ribble I'm now
making a few floats, it's a little like tying flies when
the float dips a real feeling of satisfaction.

Phil with a Barbel  he's now only half the man he was then!!
Sometimes you need to travel to find a fish but not always
fly fishing in Bolton!
He could not hide the joy of finally catching a Flash Tench
Pete with a Grayling with more or less first cast (:

Monday, 21 January 2013

Ok time after time I say I will get back to the blog. Well sometimes you need a bit of a kick up the backside. It's been way to long, a new camera some new waders on the way and the normal veiws of Matt "north country angler", which got me started on this in the first place always inspires. Well with the bad weather I found my time being spent looking on the web. I started making a few floats which I will post about at some point. Then I came across Glen Pointon and his soft touch shrimp again somthing to inspire. I found myself full of interest again, posting a few shody attemps on the fly forums. The next thing Im on here looking forward to a new year with new drive. So here is the soft touch shrimp which as give me the kick up the arse. Search "Glen Pointon" or "soft touch shrimp" his blog as a step by step and video of how to tie it. I will put a link up when I do my next post which will be a best of 2012.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Lucky Sod!!

Reet it's been a while the blogs been quiet..... same old..... same old you may say, well enough of the "I'm busy" and so on. I will try to keep this quick, maybe it will help me get on here more often! More than likely though this will end up in a long winded story akin to war and peace. About twenty years back my Mam n Dad gave me a rod for my birthday, that rod was perfect in my eyes, it had a spliced tip spot on for silvers on the river, and enough back bone lower down to tame bigger fish. After some years and some great days, I managed to break the tip on a branch as I made a strike. After an attempt to mend the rod and a few pounds spent on subsitutes, my mind was made up. Now I have had hit outs with some good rods Normark, Greys, Shimano the list goes on and on. I kept browsing the web, e-bay got some hammer!! So when a mint Diawa matchlite stick rod came up I made the move. Rod on the way, the normal worries take over, will it be ok? are my recolections like some fishermans tale? the rod was not really all that!! Well it turned up, it was just well "perfect". Now would it perform? Work had dropped off weather was not bad...... errrrm new rod "Day off!!" So off to the river, some mashed bread and a few bits n bobs, just fish needed. They had other ideas. An hour past, not a touch, then a good take the rod was.... perfect like an old friend, not seen it for a while but comfotable within seconds. Blast a Trout, a few months earlier and on the fly this would have been so welcome not now though. Another hour without a touch and a move. Now Im not bothered with cows normally but these cows had bollocks and when one lowered it's head grunted and pawed the turf, I made a quick return to the water, waded past them not worth the risk I thought. The next swim had a little more depth, a little less flow and I soon had my first Roach. Not a monster but very welcome another half dozen followed before my next strike saw the rod arch over. When the red fin broke the surface my heart quickened it was a better fish. It looked big, my mind went back to a fish I lost some years back, the spliced tip soft middle section of the rod eased my fears and when the fish went nice and safe into the net I was sure the rod was as good as I thought. For a moment I thought could it make the 2lb mark, not quite my scales are a bit funny they dont do oz so the 1.7 made the fish go about 1lb 12oz I think. It was under two but I'm getting there!
So a perfect new but old rod, a nice day and my favourite fish. "Im a lucky sod no doubts!"

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


"Life is but a dream?"

"... on a good day of fishing, the job, the noise and clutter ... fade away until there is only water and the rhythm of the rod and, now and then, a fish."

-Random Phrump

''A Thought''

A simple philosophy I have adopted over the years has been tested and re-enforced in the past few weeks. It is to celebrate those good and pleasing things encountered in daily life, no matter how small, with at least the same vigour as I bemoan the bad or merely vexing.
-Steve Dobson

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