Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A Return To The Great Ouse?

It's a wonder I catch any fish. There's something within me that shuns the easy life and the runs waters.
 I like the quiet places, you see? Not for me the commercials and heavily stocked lakes. There's no release from the shackles of work there.
 I make life difficult, a kind of piscatorial masochism. I set myself challenges that I rarely fulfill, but it's not the success that drives me. I just like the difficult path.
 Many of my quests are ongoing. My hit-list includes 'The Common', A double figured Tench, a Grand Union crucian to name a few.

 They're all do-able, but difficult....and now I have another one niggling away at me.
 I want to catch a barbel again. That's easy enough.right?....Wrong, because I want another Great Ouse barbel.

 The Great Ouse wasn't easy when it was in it's heyday. Yes, we all know about those massive fish, but they were never there in the numbers one finds in the prolific barbel rivers.
 The decline in Ouse barbel stocks has been dramatic. I've witnessed the decimation of those wonderful fish for years, it breaks my heart.
 The fish pictured above is from the fabled Kickles Farm stretch, it was caught a few seasons back, some time after the death of The Traveller and all.
 Kickles was difficult in it's prime "a blank waiting to happen"said one highly respected angler. Yet  there I was after the circus had left town, cradling that fish.
  I need to catch one more from the Ouse....just one.
 Conversations with them that still try do not fill me with optimism. I hear of just a handful of captures a year. There are just so few.
 The fish pictured here is my biggest ever barbel. It was caught from a club stretch many years ago..

...The stretch produced some very large fish up to 19lb+ and was taken over by the Barbel Society for a while.
 I loved fishing there and had a lot of success....A private syndicate of 30 members fish there now and  not a single barbel was caught from the stretch last season.
 I just love that river, I'm going back to try for just one more...and I'll write about it here.


Monday, 20 May 2013

When Trees Eat Signs 8

Well, the quest for sign eating trees has gone global. This image from Nathan from the United States based Swamp Yankee (cracking URL !!).

 He says,"Ya got me looking too.... I'll send some more, some signs are a long hike out."

 Cheers Nathan.

 While you fellas keep sending them, I'll keep publishing

Saturday, 18 May 2013

When Trees Eat Signs 7

Another from Brian who say that now I've got him looking for signs..haha. Cheers mate.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

When Trees Eat Signs 6

Another great sign pic, this one sent in by Brian (aka mspaddler). He writes, "Thought you might like these signs from Bradford City Angling Association at Buckden in the glorious Yorshire Dales".

Keep 'em coming chaps......

When Trees Eat Signs 5

Next in our series are these photos, kindly sent in by Jeff Hatt from the excellent Idler's Quest. He writes, "Came across this specimen the other day on a riverside walk along the Wark's Avon. Pretty damn old and once a Warwick & District Angling Association sign I'd have thought. Shame there's no lettering left to read, though the Homer Simpson overbite is interesting!"

 Cheers Jeff.

 Send yours to

Monday, 13 May 2013

When Trees Eat Signs 4

My thanks to Mick from Piscatorial Quagswagging for this one.
 It is still in its infancy, but the tree is slowly taking over....Send your pics to


Thursday, 9 May 2013

When Trees Eat Signs 3

My thanks go to Dave from A Derby Angler's Journal for sending this shot of another predatory tree. Send yours to

When Trees Eat Signs 2

This one sent in by Brian of Pike Blog..Cheers mate. If anyone has any more send them to .