Tuesday 31 August 2021

Just passing

Date fished 20/8/2021
5.50am until 2pm

I was passing by so thought it was rude not to pop in and say hello. I would give the Swale an early morning try and see if the Barbel were about. Armed with one rod and some pellets as bait, I cast in the swim I fished last week and waited.  No fish came and conditions were tough. 
The highlight was a Chub  swimming about just in front of me. I dropped my bait in the water and watched it smell the pellet and swim in a zigzag towards it. Finding it in the weed. Unfortunately when it saw the bait, it just turned and slowly swam away. So I will slowly leave now too....

Take a friend fishing

Date fished 21/08/2021

8am until 3pm 

Todays trip was quite different. I made use of the Angling Trust's offer and took an old friend fishing. We fished the Trent at Stoke Bardolph, a day ticket stretch. 

We arrived and parked right behind our swim (25), perfect as it was supposed to get wet later. As we set up, fish were already rolling. 

The swim was wide enough for us both to sit together and not too steep that the bank was slippery. I started with 15mm pellets on a ledger and Susan had 6mm pellets on the feeder filled with bread crumb. 

After a short while of no bites and a chat with the bailiff, I decided to change to worms. The likelihood of a Barbel in the day was slim to zero and with worms we could catch any variety of silvers, Perch or Bream. This proved a good choice, as soon as I had changed baits, the rods were bouncing with the usual knocks. 

I was casting the upstream rod to the same spot. Without the line clipped but out of all the casts in the day I can honestly say 99% were exactly on the spot! 

This accuracy surely helped and most of the constant taps were on this rod. But it was my rod that actually went first though, a small Roach pulling the bait runner as it fled the scene! 

Then the heavens opened. First a few spots, and then a bit more. The brolly was quickly set up and the swim was even more perfect.

The bites were still constant on Susan's rod and eventually she had her first fish. A greedy Perch her prize. 

As we fished on, we missed more bites. It was however no problem. We were out to have a catch up and chat, the fishing was just a bonus. The rain stopped and the sun came out, the brolly was now a parasol! The sun dried all the kit, so we decided to pack away before the next rain came. 

As I looked out on another river, I vowed I would be back. 

Three men and a moor

This is the story of The Lyke Wake Walk - 40 miles across the highest and widest part of the North York Moors.

Dwix, PC and I planned to do this walk over the bank holiday weekend. Unlike Hadrian's walk, Dwix did all the planning, all I had to do was turn up and walk! He planned it so we would camp two nights at the same place and do a car shuffle each day to allow us to walk across the moor. Our plan was day 1, Ravenscar to Wheeldale (12 miles), Wheeldale to Clay bank (18 miles) and Clay bank to Ostmotherley (12 miles) - sounds easy enough!

It is a challenge walk, supposedly undertaken in 24 hours (assume continuous), however we were doing it in three days and at a good pace. We met people who had started at 1am and were doing it in one go. Even chatted with a guy that said his fastest time was 11 hours, I replied simply with a "f@$k that!!"

We met at about 0830 on Saturday at the side of a Roman road. I left my car, and Dwix drove us to Ravensacar so we could start. The official start is the pub in the Ravenscar Hotel, as it was 10am we started at the gates outside. A lovely view of Robin Hoods bay left us as we headed West.

A minor navigation error in the first few hundred metres meant we back tracked a little, this was met with a few laughs and confidence in Dwix's map reading skills. We were soon heading up onto the moors, the phrase "up onto the" is going to be implied alot, but I will try not to type it too much. Dwix saying "its up here", was usually followed by me and PC replying "of course its up here!!"

A steady walk across moorland, some trails and tracks soon had us stopping for lunch. A nice bench providing a seat and a great view of the North Yorks steam train made for a perfect stop. 

We continued along the yellow brick path (really it was) and the chatter and laughter kept our spirits up. The day ended with a ravine crossing! up a very steep bank through thick ferns with very little path, this was serious walking, that I likened to Jurassic park! PC pointing out, "I hope there are no dinosaurs", we didn't see any, but there could be some still out there. 

The car shuffle then started, we drove in my car back to Dwix's car, but instead of going straight to the campsite and doing the shuffle in the morning, we went and parked my car at the end point of day two, we were then ready to start in the morning. After all of that, we went to the camp site. It was fairly busy with lots of families enjoying the sun. It was boiling, and the tent went up as easy as the cold beers went down. Showers followed and we headed to the pub. Not to be out done with alliteration, the evening followed Pate, Pie and Pints - perfect!

Some Bourbon under the skies and it was soon bedtime, still only nine something, but a long day awaited us tomorrow. 

Day two started with a 5. Dwix getting up and making hot drinks and breakfast as PC and I got ready. With lunch made, breakfast eaten it was back to Wheeldale to start the day. When we got out the car it was freezing. The wind was blowing hard across the barren moor and it was Baltic!! A big change from the sunny hot day yesterday. With jumpers and coats on we set off.

It was not only the weather that was different on day two, there was also a distinct lack of path at the start. We had about an hour of wading through knee high Heather just to make our way across the moor, eventually we found a path. As we walked past a dense forest, our voices echoed off the trees. The terrain changed several times from moorland to bog!! A couple of times we were boot deep (plus a bit over) in water or squelching mud!! this was proper walking! 

After a classic slip in mud by Dwix - no pic sadly, the boggy terrain finally gave way to road, and we could finally see civilisation - An old Castlemaine XXXX advert going over in my head, "Snowy, I can see the pub from here!!"
We arrived at the Lion Inn at 11:30, but it didn't open until midday. We took off our boots and sat outside to eat our lunch. By midday we were ready to walk again, so without a pint (I know!!, CRAZY) we decided to leave the sheltered spot and we carried on our way.

The track now was an old railway, flat and stony. Here we were able to pick up the pace and we soon motored towards the highest point of the North Yorkshire Moors at Urra Moor at 454 metres. 

It was always 'just over the next ridge' to the end, and eventually after several ridges, the car park was in sight. An extremely steep downhill (whoop) path got us to the end point for the day.
We didn't prep the car shuffle tonight, we would do that in the morning. We dropped PC back at camp to boil eggs for tomorrow whilst Dwix and I collected his car. Within an hour we were all back at camp, showering and drinking beer. I had booked a table at a local curry house in Beadlam - we called it "Bedlam" what could be more apt?!?

After an amazing curry, my groin had seized up. I could barely walk. The only way I could move was by walking backwards! We laughed all the way to the pub and had a night cap there. This cured me and I was then able to walk back to the tent, I went straight to bed as Dwix and PC and another night cap or two. We all went to bed, but slept a little as our tent neighbours decided they would not sleep at all!

Our day three is most people's start, as usually the walk is done West to East. However, Dwix and always (twice now) go to East to West and never in rainy weather. The reason for starting in the East is that the hardest part of the walk is at the start when walkers are at their freshest. Oops, we were not at our freshest, although the methane curry energy helped us! This section of the walk is described as "the rollercoaster" 700 metres up and 800 metres down steep cliffs for many miles. Just the treat PC deserved on his birthday!

A few snoozes on the alarm and we finally got up. Breakfast and lunch made we packed away the tent and all our stuff. Leaving the campsite behind, we set off. We parked my car is Osmotherley and drove back to Clay bank to start. The roads were slow and winding and not helped by the rain. By the time we parked up it was raining proper and even getting booted up in the car didn't help. It was rain coats on, hoods up and onwards uphill. 
This was the most difficult part of the walk, the continuous climbing up rocky steps taking its toll on my pace, I was doing 2 miles an hour max! The first hour we did not even manage two miles distance. The flat parts allowed us to regain some energy and we were soon getting into it.

A clearing in both the weather and terrain found us at a car park, a sign declaring "hot pies" - this was not to be missed and we sat undercover and had an amazing steak and ale pie each!
The climbs were relentless but after what seemed like an age, especially the last "two miles", we arrived in Osmotherley. A pint awaited us and was most welcome. One last car shuffle back to collect Dwix's car and we were ready to bid farewell.

A great walk and great to enjoy it with old friends. There is five of us in our old school group of friends, maybe next blog I will be introducing you to two more stupid nicknames??!.......

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Plastic Fantastic!

Date fished 24/8/2021

5.30pm until 9pm

During the evenings, I have been sorting out my fishing cupboard. This entails taking all of the stuff out, filling my lounge with it all, sorting through it, throwing about 0.0001% away and then putting all the rest back in the cupboard. When I did, I found my old bubble floats. I had been talking about these during the recent surface fishing trips, so I was keen to take them with me and give them a go. 

Not mine


We arrived at the lake and our usual swim was free, we set up and started to fire out some dog biscuits. I decided to use a fake biscuit on the hook. Tom saw this and decided to follow.

Tom caught a nice Carp about 5lb quite early on. The fish were feeding, we saw Carp and Bream taking the surface baits. Plenty of interest but no further hook ups. The larger fish seemed to switch off for a while and we could see smaller fish just pecking at the biscuits. Even a change to plastic bread brought me no fish! 

The bats signalled it was time to leave and as we did I pondered "surface fishing. Another blank for me. Think it's time to hang up my bubble floats until next summer. Bring on the cold weather!!