My thirtieth on this stretch of river.
But hey ho, that’s fishing.
We continue to bumble about at the weekends in our quest to extend life via the execution of the required number of steps. Upper Itchen looked good and seems to be benefiting from a reduction in the number of swans. The upper Test had a particular late season sparkle about it too, but the clearest water we came across was in the Basingstoke canal at Greywell.
As clear as a chalk stream spring hole, which is what it is.
Goodness knows how the parish got its name cos grey it ain't.
The Greywell tunnel, one of the longest in the land, collapsed in the 1950s and remains blocked. Water emerges naturally from the chalk through which the tunnel was bored, and tops the canal up at a steady rate throughout the year. Having lost its navigable status the tunnel now plays host to large colonies of bats various.
They were back up in a jiffy and goodness the chaps and chapesses from Southern and Scottish Electric were good to come out in the middle of the night to deal with their errant amps and ohms.
Which is a different story to twenty years ago when cocks would now be undertaking the opening skirmishes in their battle to secure the best spots on the spawning gravels. We’ve a river full of lumpen triploids who roam in gangs, have no horse in the spawning race and will feed hard throughout the winter much to the chagrin of those targeting grayling.
Your natural diploid trout will go off the feed going into and coming out of spawning, and are less likely to displace the lady of the stream from feeding lies during the winter.
We do have a few grayling, and they did spawn reasonably successfully in early spring which is a tremendous thing as they remain very much the junior partner in the afore mentioned Trout & Grayling Strategy. A few grayling anglers who have fished here for many years will arrive in the coming months and it will be interesting to hear their take on the grayling population which I have as “slightly improved” on the past few winters.
Last week we ran out of oil.
In harvest news it’s been a bumper blackberry season.
He was quite a deft eater was Otis,
unlike Moss who can catch a crispy yorkshire pudding tossed in the the air and smash it to a million pieces with one chomp.
Wages for the public sector have been frozen.
Madam, a Higher Level Teaching Assistant of over twenty years standing has had her pay frozen for five of the last six years.
There was an austerity on, remember?
Inflation is on the rise so in effect public sector workers on frozen pay are worse off with each year without a defrost of annual salary increases.
If wages rise to a level in some sectors such as retail, delivery, hospitality where the hourly pay rate is higher than some of the lower pay scale public sector workers (dustmen, teaching assistants, carers etc) who have had their pay frozen could thsi lead to the departure of people who were only recently termed “key workers” from the public sector to higher paid jobs in retail, hospitality delivery or other sectors who are trying to attract workers with the promise of higher wages.