Storm Barra is kicking off as I sit in my oak clad retreat, tapping these words out whilst reflecting upon my angling leading into this winter. The wind is roaring through the weeping willow that surrounds my hideaway, it is now mostly stripped of leaves, a few succulent ones still hold in there, but the wind is now able to funnel through so much easier than a few weeks back. Storm Arwen removed most of them and what a storm that was. I was out in it under my umbrella for the two days it battered the U.K. I enjoy the forces of nature, it helps to point home just how ferocious mother nature can be and the respect we need to give it. I chose my pitch carefully for Storm Arwen; knowing it was coming I made sure I was out of reach of any potential widow makers. For those of you not familiar with that phrase, it is a name given to trees that are likely to blow down – thus making another widow if some poor soul is unfortunate enough to have a large tree come down on them. Trees are a tad heavy!
I had a close call in the early to mid-80’s when one came down at the side of me one winter night. Since then, I have tried to be extra careful. As it happens, I had a large branch crash down just behind me during Storm Arwen. Had I set up taking advantage of the extra shelter from the mini copse, then it would have hit me. Instead, I had weighed the situation up and set up in the open but as close to the copse of trees for a little protection from the gusts as I dared. It turned out to be one of my better decisions.
As always, I have started off rambling on about things other than I had meant to start off with. Last month’s blog was a catch up of a few months where I had been very much out of action health wise. I ended it at the beginning of October, so that is where this one is going to continue from.
Although I have written blogs and done some magazine work these past few months, I was reminded that I hadn’t looked back through my diary since May. So, I guess time for a catch up and the reason why I have let it slip.
Back in the 90's I found a way of catching some difficult carp which were pre-occupied on fish spawn. To this day I have continued to turn back to it at this time of the year simply because it still works and works well.
With more waters becoming available after being trapped in lockdown I found myself chomping at the bit to make the most of the seemingly new found freedom.
Here is how I got on through April.
Once more the rain pounds my window and leaves flutter by on their journey to the ground whilst I tap these words out. I have written a fair bit about moon phases as well as talking about the effect of moon phases on carp on two separate pod casts. In fact I was even flown over to Hungary to talk about it as well. This has all come from many years of studying its effect on my own personal catches. Because I have always kept a detailed angling log/journal/diary, call it what you will, I have been able to trace back the moon phases on all of my captures to over 40 years ago.
I would welcome a free drink for every time I have watched anglers cast a marker float out and not be able to get it to rise, then repeat the process again and again whilst spooking anything that may have remained there after the first cast.
Some real experienced anglers I see suffer this problem as well and the biggest cause is braided line or braided leaders. Yes, all the magazines tell us we need braided line for marker work, but for many years now I have used a Co-polymer or a fluorocarbon leader on the end of my braid to stop the frustrating habit of the marker float spinning around the soft braid on the cast and temporarily tangling, which prevents the float from rising. Using too small a lead can cause this too, but this can be seen during the cast as the float separates from the lead.
Following on from yesterday’s ‘Coming out of Lock Down’ blog, I have received a couple of questions about my bottom bait reverse combi rig, in particular the components as well as asking what I mean by the ‘cluster of baits’ I had referred to. Hopefully the following will be pretty much self-explanatory.
The lock down period for me was very hard, just as it was for so many others. I live alone, I have a health issue, so I had to self isolate. Sadly I lost friends which really hit home that this invisible war is for real and not just figures quoted on the television. As much as I am happy in my own company, it took me until this isolated period to realise I actually missed people watching. If it wasn't for the fact that I was still able to take my daily field, wood and hill walk away from everyone else, as well as being fortunate enough to have developed a mini nature reserve in the garden to hide away in. I don't think I would have coped. I really did feel for those who live in city centre flats. It was bad enough working, living and isolating within the little plot of land I have, I couldn't imagine being trapped indoors as well, not having any outdoor space.
Finally, once allowed back out the carp gods smiled upon me.