The July weed cut came and went with most scythes on this river standing undisturbed. The local “big fish” water fired up their water borne pantechnicon to snip the ends from some ribbon weed but most river flora was left untouched. Despite the wet weather, the river’s flow continues to diminish and fishing is understandably hard. Evening time has seen some good hatches of Sedge that have induced some feeding activity, and many fish occupying a mid water station and above will look at surface flies both natural and artificial but presentation must be bang on to induce a proper rise. More big Grayling have been caught with several around the two pound mark.
One evening I had a couple of hours on the pond banging out twenty odd Rudd, Roach and Perch on float fished maggot. Brian the brainless bronze bream put in another appearance. Stuck at around four pound he doesn’t put up much of a fight and for all the times that he has been caught he is in pretty good condition. With a perfect mouth and a small scar behind his dorsal fin he is undoubtedly a nice looking fish, just not very bright. I had hoped for a few Tench but was plagued by small perch who even snaffled two grains of sweetcorn fished hard to the bottom. There are a few Crucians Carp in the pond, although none have been caught for a few years. Notorious “home bodys” Crucians do not cruise a pond like Commons or Mirrors but have their local haunts that they stringently stick to. In my youth I fished a shallow marl pit from which we only caught Rudd, until, by accident, fishing hard to a particular reed bed we had an afternoon bagging up on Crucians. None could be caught in any other part of the pond, but pop a float in a particular spot and out would come a six ounce Crucian. I am sure, that given enough time,a similar spot in our pond, where all the Crucians hang out, could be located.
This week I received the gift of Barley. If Jesus had been a wildfowler he would have placed this higher up his wish list than Gold, Frankincense or Myrrh. A tonne of last year’s yellow gold pulled from the bowels of a grain dryer and bagged up in readiness for September when we start feeding ducks into the pond. There are a few Ducks about, and we currently have a few tufties on both the pond and the river, a bit of early feeding could bring an improvement on recent year's sport.
While we are on the colour yellow, in a Sesame street style of way, Hampshire is currently under siege from ragwort. Bright gold and nasty, it is poisonous to all things equine and bovine and has also been linked to some respiratory complaints in human beans. It used to be pulled up, we still pull it up whenever it appears around here, and Hampshire County Council had gangs that were employed to pull it from the roadside. For whatever reason this no longer takes place and ragwort has become firmly established with some roadside verges a swathe of gold.