Monday, 8 August 2022

Treasure Hunting

There is one summer fishing session I think I enjoy more than any other - when me and James hit the Fens in the boat, our annual trip searching for gold. A maze of clear water, a boat full of bread and no particular plan! I think I'll just let the photos do the talking...

We've got the boat down to an artform, minimum of gear packed away, bait, motor... And in the excitement of setting off I aways forget to take a photo. Here's an after photo, after thought!

Friday, 5 August 2022

Lucky Seven

My 10th radiotheraphy treatment (not fun) followed by my 6th Small River barbel session this season (much more fun). And I began my quest for a small river seven pounder... Got one... 7lb 10oz...

Great stuff. A total of 13 barbel landed, also including fish of 6lb 1oz (above) and 5lb 0oz (below) - getting bigger - where were they hiding? The quest for an eight pounder starts here...

Edit: And I popped down to use up the rest of the bait the next afternoon. Back on splasher patrol - seven barbel added, the biggest about 3¾lb. Season total: 90 Small River barbel.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Clouded Vision?

I was charging about like a nutter photographing Clouded Yellow butterflies - a beautiful summer visitor. Lots of blurry yellow blobs and a couple of decent shots - including the light coloured one above. Did I happen to photograph a very rare Pale Clouded Yellow?

I was on well known butterfly hotspot; Hutchinson's Bank in Croydon - and it's got form for them - one was confirmed there in 1976! It's probably not, but I've sent the photos over to those in the know and I'm waiting to hear back! Normal one below for comparison.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Dinosaur Tour

I popped up to see the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs. Neglected, ignored and in disrepair* - and I love them! It was the first dinosaur park in the world - featuring the first life-size dinosaur models. Can you imagine being a kid in 1854 going to see them? Wikipedia.

*The dinosaurs were restored in 2002 but the park is in disrepair.

Saturday, 30 July 2022

Wipe Out

Chemotherapy is hard. Took about 3 or 4 days to hit me, in which time it lured me into a false sense of security - could I be one of the very few who don't react badly? Then BAM - you feel absolutely f*cked for three or four days! About as bad as I've ever felt - not surprisingly for a treatment that's based on the deadly Mustard Gas!

Over a week after being poisoned (and with new anti-sick meds), I needed to escape to the riverbank. Nothing breaking the mold - just needed to chase some barbel about - the simple things! And it was great watching them in the clear water and tempting them into hitting a bit of bread - just what the doctor ordered!

Twelve little barbel found the net before I had to dump the gear off and head for radiotherapy. Best two just over 5lb - but I did spot a couple of barbel about 7 or 8lb. And as I haven't set a summer challenge yet, I think that's it; A 7lb+ Small River Barbel - I hope there are a few that size left... And bigger...

Saturday, 23 July 2022


Finally got the biopsy results on the second cancer - and it's negative - thank f*ck!! I don't normally worry about stuff - but over a week waiting for those results was starting to play on my mind!

Started chemo & radiotherapy (on the same day) - not nice at all - and I realise the effects are cumulative. Currently feels like a mild hangover, so I'd better get some fishing in before it gets worse...

An afternoon wandering about on the small river; 24 barbel to about 4lb (but mostly tiny), 8 chub to about 3lb and a surprise roach about a pound - got my money's worth out of that loaf of bread!

Monday, 18 July 2022


Far too hot for river fishing, last thing I want is for a barbel to go belly up. The River Wye fish from the previous few posts were all caught 5 July - 9 July, before the water got too warm.

Haven't had the results of the new biopsy - and chemo is supposed to start on Wednesday - so I don't know what is going on! Perhaps I can target a stillwater carp or tench while I'm waiting..?

Stag Beetle Update: Only two spotted so far (3 & 15 June), but I haven't been out searching for them much this year.

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Summer Wye V

Last session of the week & back out into the midday sun - too bright for barbel? Not ideal conditions but you've got to be in it...

And 4 barbel found a bait (including one on bread), 17 chub and 3 eels - the eels seem to be making a comeback! (9 July)

Cracking trip to tide me over a few months. Final tally was 30 barbel to 8lb 4oz, 70+ chub to about 4lb and 7 eels to 2lb+. Brillant!

Oh, and the Wye Valley butterfly count total was 15 species, not bad for less than a week! Too busy fishing to photograph them though.

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Summer Wye IV

I didn't think I'd get to fish much, if at all this summer - so I've ducked out whenever I can string a few hours together, especially while I'm on the River Wye. Six weeks of chemo/radiotheraphy will probably keep me off the riverbank - so making hay while the sun shines!!

An evening session, almost three hours until dark and rolling meat again - they do like a moving bait. Great fun and 4 barbel landed, plus two chub and another 2lb+ eel, before an otter spooked the shoal. Back home for tea and medals!! (8 July)

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Dung Beetle

Another beetle, for no reason, a Dung Beetle found in the Forest Of Dean (Gloucestershire). In fact I found loads!

Monday, 11 July 2022

Summer Wye III

Blazing hot mid-day River Wye session...

And the chub were on it - completely lost count of them...

But a couple of barbel eventually slipped up...

Before it was time for an icecream! (7 July)

Sunday, 10 July 2022

Hey Instagrammer

Instagrammer: "Great photo, just one more..."

Sometime later... Instagrammer: "Great photo, just one more..."

Friday, 8 July 2022

Summer Wye II

Quick morning session - so back to the island - and a very early start (not really, got there about 7.00am).

Same tactics as the previous trip and 6 hard-fighting barbel found the net. Plus six chub and a 2lb+ eel - bonus!

Then tried to find a perch, chucking a lure about on the walk back up the river - where are they? No perch found so far...

But I did find a few Wye Valley butterflies, 10 species so far, including this beautiful Silver-Washed Fritillary.