Thursday, 4 February 2016

Old Friends

The sounds of the city,
Sifting through trees,
Settle like dust
On the shoulders
Of the old friends

Take a look at these two 'erberts. That's me on the right, and my old buddy 'Birdy' catching carp that would go on to be 40+.....just like us!
  We met at work, getting on for 30 years ago.
  Soon discovering that we had both found a 'brother of the angle', plans were hatched for many fishing adventures.
 In the early days it was the canal for carp....With us both being welders we became quite adept at 'borrowing' bits of metal to make fishing related items. When we saw our first 'rod pod', the one made by Gardner Tackle, we soon rustled up a copied version each for our own use.
  Imagine the scene then, whilst angling for canal carp one evening with our rods perched on our newly made creations, as Birdy spots the company MD strolling down the towpath towards us with his lady..We were busted, he'd surely recognise the metalware and we'd be 'up the road'....or so we thought.
 Fortunately at that very moment Birdy had a take which produced a fine carp of around 18lb, the likes of which our MD had never seen much so that he couldn't take his eyes of it..Here's the fish that saved our jobs..

..Note my kit in the background, a rather dodgy Argos bedchair and that pod.

Of course we became quite obsessed with be honest that species of fish probably cost us both our first wives!! Fortunately, we have more 'understanding' spouses these days.
We always like to consider ourselves as allrounders though and we have had great times chasing other species, not least the pike..I could tell stories of sea-sickness on Grafham Water and drunken nights preceding a day or ten on the fens and drains. Maybe another day.
We even had a photo with the bait!!

Let's fast forward to this week..
 We don't fish together so much these days, but I thought it was about time Birdy caught a grayling. A plan was hatched for a trip to a little chalk stream that I knew would come up with the goods.

The weather was not the frosty, crunchy ideal that I love so much when angling for this species, indeed we arrived at the first swim quite warm. The weather has been so bizarre this winter.
 The first swim is pacey and has depth. I dropped my bag and undid the tub of red maggots and chucked a few mid stream.
 Little Lady darts drifted in and mopped them up. Staying silent about the presence of fish I told Birdy that he might want to bait a line and have a dabble.
 Having set the depth and baited a hook the cast was made and the float vanished immediately, and so Birdy lost his grayling virginity.

My tackle for the day was my Hardy Perfection Roach and Allcocks Match Aerial combo.
 It has to be said that my relative lack of angling recently has left me a tad rusty and I found myself in all sorts of tangles and strife, not helped at all by the gusty weather. I feel that the shallower drum on the Match Aerial and wind are not a great match.
 Fortunately, I don't take my angling and myself too seriously these days, so kept my mini nightmares in perspective.
 Once I'd learned to trot again I was soon into the grayling and a few rogue trout...

..but my personal highlight of the day was my first ever roach from this river..

..the rod clearly weaving it's magic again.

 Of course the greatest achievement of the day was seeing a bit of that youthful excitement in the face of my old buddy when he netted some fine grayling and one or two large brownies. The years came rolling back..Good times..
Birdy with one of his grayling.


  1. Very enjoyable read Gurn, its always good to fish with your old mates and even better when you catch a plump roach ;o)

    1. Hello Dave..watched my beloved Hatters play Yeovil on Tuesday. Thought of you..Made me think we are both gluttons for punishment though.

    2. Yeovil will have had an open top tour of the town after an away point :o) Could be worse, I know a Villa fan.

  2. Thanks for sharing an inspirational story Gurn. I'm going to re-connect with some old fishing friends and get them out doing something different.

  3. Nice to put a face to the name after all these years.

    1. Hi mate..Indeed, you drew Birdy for that fine publication 'Bolt-Rigged Bullsh*t' many moons ago. It always amazed me how you got it so right without actually having seen the subjects. Someone randomly posted scans of an entire copy of one of the editions on facebook a while back, much to my suprise.Good to hear from you the other week.

  4. An inspiring read. I hope you get to fish more often together. I mean, what's better about fishing than having a buddy to do it with, right? Cheers to even more memories!

  5. Your blog needs a nice Wels picture! You must have one somewhere in the vaults.

    1. I'll see what I can do mate. Maybe another summer expedition is in order.

    2. wels would be impressive.