Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The clocks have gone forward and at last it's warm enough to work outside without a fleece and woolly hat. In other words it's definitely tench time. So what am I doing? Sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting for blanks and fittings. No work to do and not fishing? Nope. Also waiting for customers calling, one every day this week. When the rivers are open this kind of enforced idlesness is no big deal as I can nip out late on and get a session in, but there are no stillwaters locally where I can fish into dark, not many I want to fish in daylight either to be truthful.

There's a real lack of decent stillwaters round here. There's the canal where I first started fishing when I was about eleven, but it's not what it was judging by a few sessions I had there about five years ago. There are some deep and cold reservoirs, a few small sandpits - one of which is a carp syndicate, one complex is a no-fishing nature reserve and another a 'leisure attraction' with caravans and jet-skis. There are also a couple of clay pits, one of which I vowed never to return to after a Labrador swam through all four of my lines many moons ago. Go elsewhere and there are gravel pits galore. Anglers in the Midlands (even Cheshire with it's meres and sandpits) and further south, not to mention East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, don't realise how lucky they are.

If there was a decent water or three within half or three-quarters of an hour or so from here where I could get an evening session going into dark, or an overnighter, in every so often I'd be laughing.

A gravel pit hours from home

The tedium got so bad today that I was reduced to mowing the rolling grasslands of my immense estate. Sheer desperation. Oh, how I long for a long hot summer to scorch the grass (moss) of the lawn and kill it so it doesn't need mowing. Why can't these genetic engineers genetically engineer a grass that cuts itself? Or maybe tiny sheep that could be let loose upon the lawn to keep it in check? I've considered a small herd of guinea pigs.

Yesterday, after finishing the varnishing on the refurbed boat rods, I stripped down a four piece rod I'd built up as a pike fly rod (I must have been bored that week too) only to find it was a bit too stiff, stuck the sections on the lathe and ground them smooth then fitted a new handle to start turning it into a barbel stalking/creeping rod. Whether it will come to anything I don't know, but I could leave it in the car with a small reel loaded with 30lb braid and use it for a sneaky session here or there either for barbel or pike. I want to see what a certain thread colour will look like on a matt grey blank for another project too. Basically I just felt like tinkering! But until the rings I'm waiting for arrive I can't take that project any further.

I suppose I ought really be stuffing catalogues into envelopes. That, however, is a prospect even less appealing than mowing the rest of my grasslands.