Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Yes, today I know what day it is.
Today we fish again,
I/We am/are back in the room, bar the surfeit of backslash punctuation
from distance of course,
smothered in sanitiser and with body temperature monitored every two minutes (orally!)
but fishing all the same.
The fishing hut is out of bounds as it is difficult to observe social distancing rules in an abode that is 8ft by 8ft square.
Fishing at Bransbury will be a little bit different this season.
Yes the Corona, and yes the social distancing, but the river has not been in this kind of form for some seasons.
There is a good head of water, clear and free from foam and algae.
There are fish, many many fish.
And there is weed, that I have already cut in April which is always a portent of a super season ahead.
And we are fishing, which is brilliant, but we are fishing SAFELY!
The Angling Trust have chucked up advice on the correct course of action to take when flicking a fly or flinging a float safely in the coming weeks. It mirrors the advice we sent out to our regular rods a few weeks ago on how we envisaged fishing would be at Bransbury this summer. If we all stick to it, then we’ll see the season out. If people bend the rules as they go about their business, then the season could be curtailed sometime this summer when we go into lockdown for a second time.
A few mayfly have hatched and fish are just starting to show a little interest.
It’s surprising how often this happens early in the season. It seems that sometimes trout need to get their eye in when feeding on surface flies and they miss the fly. Anglers are often hard on themselves when they miss a rise to their artificial fly but sometimes it is the fish that is at fault.
On a few warm days last week our kitchen played host to several daddy long legs, which may be the fly of first choice for the new opening day of the season. Hawthorn hatches were a bit of a dud, but then we did have a wettish winter, which doesn’t hawthorn fly larvae who have taken up residence in a soggy meadow.
I don’t know where all the swifts and swallows are.
Lord Ludg insists they are have all been captured by natives in North Africa and put into pies.
I’m not so sure.
Lord Ludg has been out in his hot tub in the sun quite a lot of late (It is difficult to unsee the digital images).
Weather could be a factor in swift and swallow absence. Clear air with a dearth of airborne particulates may have caused them to move through the airborne significantly faster than they expected, causing them to overshoot Blighty for a sojourn in Iceland.
We don’t know,
In further news of occasional cohorts,
The English has let his locks down during lockdown and now sports a tight head of curls on what was once a smooth shiny pate.
It’s an alpine look, with distinct echoes of Heidi. There is no doubt The English is apt to wander. He now sports a goatee, and with the wind in the right direction, each morning we can pick out faint yodelling….who will be his Peter?
Sunday, 3 May 2020
The Itchen carries some colour and I haven’t seen much grannom during my fleeting visits to its banks, but it is main river and has always taken a little more time to clear than this tributary of the Test.
Hatches of hawthorn have been all what one would expect following a wettish winter, sporadic and light with, with more of these terrestrial flies making it through the rain on higher ground.
Wet winter water meadows are anathema to the Hawthorn fly.
Only Valeries (singletons)
and fish demonstrated little interest, but mayfly all the same, which brought a lump to my throat.
It’s a special time of the year to be on the banks of a chalk stream and the appearance of Ephemera Danica et al always causes the mood to soar.
A few stretches have opened, which has come as a bit of a surprise.
We could open, and provide a safe fishing experience for our regular rods. There is a washroom in the yard where cars are parked and anglers would be asked to wash their hands on arrival, don a pair of the plastic gloves provided and make their way to the river via a single designated access point, that will be disinfected each day.
The fishing hut will be out of bounds, all seats will be sanitised daily and daily catches will be recorded online, filled in by yours truly each evening.
The fisherman’s washroom will be steam cleaned each morning as will all gates and points of multi contact.
I am confident we could fish quite safely,
I hope that the few stretches of river that have ignored the advice from The Angling Trust and T&I and opened for business, have given the matter a similar amount thought.
It’s been many months since I visited my mad Turkish friend who always insists that he could do great things with my salt and pepper locks via the medium of some sort of jollup he imports from the other side of Europe. He likes to surprise me with his lit lighter in order to deal with any nasal hair that may be about.
It grows into an unusual shape and there are echoes of my Jesus and Mary Chain/ Inspiral Carpets phase of life .
and where's the sunshine?
Crete if memory serves, with Madam and our mates.
They didn’t have gyms then, at which point I’d like to point out that I have never set foot in a gym in my life, which some people may find quite surprising, and let this photo stand as evidence that If you live well, look after yourself and keep clean you will never lose your looks.
Taken with my Praktica SLR by the way, on old fashioned film.
Colour film was available at this time,
but I took quite a bit of black and white stuff on this trip.
Six figures and counting in the digital form and a coffin full of the old school solid state stuff that takes two people to lift.
I don’t know how many photos you have to have to qualify as an archive.
Anyway, I’m off to order a magical thing called a “comb” on Amazon, plus some scrunchies for my impending pigtails.