Wednesday, 1 February 2012


The conditions for fishing down on the beautiful little River Ouzel really couldn't have been much worse.There's been no rain to speak of, a hard frost last night.
The sun was rising as my mate John and I pulled up on the grass verge and opened the farmers gate.
 Dropping the tackle off in the first swim, we set about baiting  swims with the stinky cheese paste I'd made the night before, Chub being our quarry.

The glory of these winter mornings, the tingle of the fingers, the frosty sheen of the fields and hedges. Sheer beauty.
 John headed towards the weirpool and I wandered downstream, every swim looked inviting.
 When I finally started to fish, I received a visit..Now, I don't mind sharing a piece of paste or half a lobworm, little fellow......

.....but please keep your dirty feet off of my rod.
The rod in question today was my Chapman 500, with a vintage quiver tip attached and my trusty Mitchell 300. Five pound line, size 6 Super Specialist hook. Paste or Worm. Could I fail ? The swims cried fish.

I met up with John for a progress report, no fish. We ate and drank, then moved on. I returned to a jungly swim I'd baited and positioned myself down by the cat-ice. A cast was made into an area of around two square feet among the snags. The rod tip went around and it was fish on. In such shallow,confined conditions I held on, just enough to see a chub of around two pounds shake off the hook and dive back into the tree roots. 

Strolling back upstream, I took time to take stock of my surroundings. How fortunate I was to be able to take up a rod and angle, away from the masses, at peace.

Every baited swim had 15 minutes with paste and another 15 with worm, I strolled on, breathing the cool air and shielding my eyes from the low sun, even though I had my polaroids.
I eventually found John, back at the weirpool, he was fishless. We smiled and chatted, ate and drank. Recalled times past and future plans.."We'll give it another hour", he said optimistically. I cast a worm into the pool and was able to sit on my seat for the first time today.

Just as the water over that weir, the time rolled on, we weren't going to catch today. John called time and we gathered up our tackle for the short walk to the car. John smiled again, and we both looked over at that weir again.

You see, my mate John had a heart attack three months ago, it was the first time he'd been out fishing since then.
 We didn't catch a fish, it's true, but as we strolled off, we both shared the same feeling..We were glad to be alive.


  1. Never waste a chance to fish, especially with a special mate who may be on borrowed time...

    I have a friend in the final throes of prostate concer who was the most competent angler imaginable. He taught me so much and now he cannot fish. I break out in a sweat when I think of the times I could have made time to fish with him in the past but didn't. What a fool I've been!

    Regular Rod

  2. It looks lovely there Gurn, a lovely place and good company, can't ask for much more.

  3. Truly interesting and just how I look at angling. It's not always getting fish that counts but rather spending time with your own thoughts in nice and quiet surroundings. Beautiful bird the red robin, I think it's in English, we had one nesting where I grew up. This story reminds me of what happened when I was fishing trout with worm in a little brook. Three small birds sat down on the rod (think it's called wren or winter wren in English). Unfortunately I didn't have a camera with me. I didn't get any fish but this experience made my day.

    Have fun fishing in good company,

  4. What a fantastic post and the pictures bring the posting to life, Love the rod shots and with the robin on the old swing tip,
    I lost an old fishing buddy four years ago and we went fishing whenever he wanted i had a lot of time for him as he was a true friend, But we had some great times, Good news is heart specialists these days save hundreds of our fishing buddies every year, I wish you both tight lines and screeming reels,

  5. back of the wood is a good area for the chevin. Never caught a chub at the weir!


  6. what a smashing tale to tell gurn good grace to your pal.. BSC