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Archive for August 6th, 2011


I have recently received some absolutely superb feeders from Andrew Witham.

I have used them a few times recently and they are first class.  Probably the best, well made feeders I have yet come across.   They are exceptionally robust and I like the coating the feeder has on it.  Its a sort of gravel/sand coating similar to the type found on some ledger weights.

Andy Witham's Feeders

The ones I really liked were the large diameter ones that are perfect for the bigger rivers.  I used mine up on the Wye and they worked a treat.  They also do smaller diameter ones which I’ve been using on the Kennet and in the Lea Valley.  The weights vary from 1 1/4 oz up to 4oz, but Andrew does them in even bigger sizes on his website, up to an incredible 10oz I believe. 😮

Take a look at his site:  www.cagefeeders.com

Prices are very competitive and his service, help and advice is excellent.

Thanks Andrew.

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Lea Valley Fishing


Fished the Lea Valley Tuesday and Wednesday.

By God it was hot.  30c when I arrived.  Walked the river for about three hours just to re-familiarise myself with the old girl.  I used to fish this particular section a few years ago.  It has changed a bit.  Some for the better I must say, some maybe not so good.

Ended up fishing a couple of lovely swims until about 10pm.  The rod top barely moved.  Ah well, next time maybe.

The following day I moved to a different river.  This proved a bit more productive.  I was hoping for the roach.  I set-up with a light quiver tip and decided to fish a small feeder with mini pellets in.  I used a small elips pellet banded on to an 18 hook.  I thought this might just do the trick for these big, wary roach.  First bite was…..yes you’ve guessed it; a barbel.  Not too big fortunately.

I persevered with the roach fishing for a while and then swapped over to bread flake when I had pulled out of 2 more barbel.  I did end up with a couple of roach, but only small ones.  The barbel kept coming and I ended up with 15.  Some days barbel seem to just hang em selves.

A Lea barbel

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I watched the new True Grit movie recently.  I can’t say that I was disappointed because I knew it wouldn’t be as good as Duke’s version.  I know that the Coen brothers wanted to make a movie that was a closer depiction of the book, but nevertheless, there were always going to be comparisons.

To me, John Wayne is Rooster Cogburn and there can only be one True Grit and it was his version.  Certainly, Jeff Bridges’ portrayal added a much darker, earthier element to the character, but it lacked the lovable rogue quality that Wayne brought to the role. A role in which he almost parodied himself.  It remains to this day one of the finest westerns ever made.

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I didn’t find Sherwood Forest on my last trip to Nottingham, or the Sheriff for that matter but I did find a few fish in the Trent.

Its a big river and with a bit of extra water on, it can be pretty daunting, especially when you are used to fishing small southern chalk streams.  The level in itself is not a great problem.  The weed on the other hand is a pain in the proverbial! It just seems to be everywhere when the river rises.

On a recent trip with Geoff we found the river as described: high with just a touch of colour.  Things looked good and we couldn’t wait to get started.  However on casting out we found we had got a problem.  A big problem.  The weed was a nightmare.  Within a couple of minutes the rod tops were dancing as the feeders were being pulled round in the current by the weed.  Tons of the stuff, all over the line, feeder, everything.  Oh dear, now what?

Well the answer was simple; fish in a bit closer and out of the main flow.  Here the weed problem was better.  Not cured, but better.  At least like this it was fishable.  So setting up with a decent feeder and 4 small pellets on a hair, I swung out the bait, just off of an overhanging tree.  It was slow at first but at least the bait tended to stay in position, at least for a while.  After a few casts of getting some bait down, the rod tip slammed round.  A hard fighting Trent barbel was attached to the other end.  After a spirited fight I managed to coax it into the landing net.  Not a big fish but a real confidence booster.

Well the action kept coming.  By around 10pm I had taken 10 barbel to about 6 or 7lbs.  The action really started to hot up and by the time we packed up at around 2am, I had taken 23 barbel to just over 10lbs.  Wow what a session.  Most of the fish were in excellent condition and fought well.  Lots of good, rod wrenching bites too.

Geoff was just up from me but found it slow going.  I think all he was achieving was to bait up my swim for me, so the bugger moved.  Typical.  Once he was far enough away, he started to catch and ended up with 8.  Of course he wished he had taken the decision to move earlier.  Had he have done so, I’m sure he would of had twice as many.  Luckily he didn’t 😉

So after visiting the local boozer for lunch the next day, we headed back to the river.  I was stuffed after having fish and chips and just fancied a snooze.  However it was time to fish.  The river level had dropped and the water looked clearer.  The weed problem had lessened, which was a relief.

Sadly though, the fishing was pants.  I managed a couple of smallish barbel and then we decided to pack up, as we had a long drive back to Kent.  It was a very enjoyable visit and I hope we can return soon.

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