Sunday, 30 March 2014


Taking the high road

24th March 1949 at 6am I came into this world at Hammersmith hospital, the first born to Fred & Kath Boney.

65 years later and I'm still celebrating my fortunate life, this time I'm sharing my time with the Scots, although I do think they will need my money more, if they do the daft thing of voting in going their separate ways in the not too distant future.
Anyway, some short while ago, after two recent trips to the beautiful country, I booked three nights at The Old Inn Gairloch in Wester Ross,with an overnight stop in Glasgow on the 22nd on the way up, and an overnighter on the 27th in Edinburgh.
We would have stayed longer, but I've organised bed and breakfast for a few of my International Drinking Society buddies to come over on Friday for lunch and  a jar or two in my local.

Loch Maree on the road to Loch Garloch

Loch Maree a few hours later on our way back

Glasgow and Edinburgh lived up to expectations, but do deserve more than an overnight stay,so penciled in for the future.
The Old Inn however was a bit of a disappointment, looking at it's website it has all sorts of awards and recommendations for it's seafood, but it was particularly lacking in that department,. 
Well it had cod and haddock, but I could go to the chippy for that!
I filed a report to them, but a specials menu that had the same choice over the 3 days we were there. There was a pub menu which we tried, but the food was poor by comparison, cooking wise, to most pub menus we've tried.
Still, the bed and breakfast and the staff were great, let down by a management able to organise even the simple stuff out of season.
We had dinner in the harbour on the second day in a small family "cafe" Na Mara ( the sea) which was really very good, the seafood was plentiful!
.na mara restaurant

We drove the 50 odd miles to Inverness on Wednesday and found a small Italian restaurant  Little Italy on the third day which was also excellent for lunch.Little Italy Inverness

Back Home

Friday, came with my friends arriving within the lunchtime opening period allowing for 4 pints each in the White Hart, before wandering back to my place, for a Fred special of spaghetti bolognaise and a few glasses of wine.
Back at 6o'clock for more beer and wine....and food, until about 11pm
A surprise present was sprung on me in the pub which was much admired throughout. 
I didn't cut it, but I suppose I shall have to soon. It am told it was modeled on a carp, but it looks like one of those Thai fish.
 It'll go to the pub on Thursday's quiz night, for a filleting, and a bit of portion control !

Happy birthday Al.

Today is our  village friend Al Greethurst's 89th birthday. 
Al was a Lancaster and Vulcan bomber navigator in his younger days.
We've heard many a tale of his exploits over the years (some many times) we've been in the village, but particularly about the 101 squadron which was based in our village during and after the War.
So a few pints over lunchtime and more tales were enjoyed.

I've drunk a lot, probably too much, this last week!!

Ends today 

The Jodi & Ella Memorial Auction 

Get bidding please  UPDATE £8066.07 raised!!

Spawning Survey

The Barbel Society are continuing with the spawning survey for 2014. 
The data already gathered from this project has been absolutely brilliant. 
The trends show most are spawning in April and May, quite often on the same dates at sites up and down the country with second smaller spawning periods later on if the conditions allow.
The more sites we can identify the easier it will become to protect the grounds and fish. 
From a personal viewpoint and based on this evidence, I can see no reason to amend the Close Season dates!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Blankety blank blank

End of season rush

So the much heralded river Close Season is upon us with the usual moans and groans about how it has no relevance to modern day angling.
I grew up with the Close Season in it's original form and have to say, I was quite happy to await in anticipation the dawn of June16th for my gravel pit tench fishing.
As it stands, I'm quite happy with it to stay on the rivers, I'm also quite happy that if I choose to, I can fish the stillwaters.
It's no real problem that I can't get to the river, it can wait.

Which brings me to this week, I thought it may be a good idea to see if I could catch myself an end of season barbel, and perhaps even a Trent chub of some size
So I had three sessions at Lady Pitt Farm of  five hours, four hours and two hours, all into darkness, on what I thought was a river in tip top condition.
The river was dropping, all be it slowly and still steaming through,  and it held it's colour over all three sessions.

"the barbel live under that tree"

The end result was not a single bite, not on the two rods one fishing up, the other down stream, and not on the cane rod on the later two outings, fishing mostly down stream into an area that was said to be a holding place for barbel.
I wasn't too disappointed with the trips, because on each day I had a chance for long chats with two bailiffs, and a guy who fished there, when he could, but lived in Woodbridge Suffolk!!
And I think an hour's drive is too much!

On the last day, today, I made up my mind that I would fish the upper Witham all day
Although I got all prepared, changed all my tackle over for an entirely different river and even liquidised a loaf of bread, I just couldn't get up the enthusiasm to make the one hour trip.
A bone idle day ensued, well we had a joint effort at making the contents of a fish pie, but having had a kipper for breakfast we decided not to have two lots of fish in the day. We covered it up, and put it in the fridge for tomorrow after the rugby.
As I'm not certain when my next trip is, it occurred much later to me, that the quarter used tin of garlic spam and the stilton cheese, along with bread flake and the liquidised bread would be better off not being forgotten and left to mature in my bag. 
It's all now it in the freezer, and may well stay there until next season.
Whilst ferreting in the freezer and making room, I found a half used packet of prawns, and having still got some dendrobena I thought that perhaps on Monday I would pop down the farmers ponds. 
Who knows, if I can be arsed, there may be a sister or two of my 3lb perch loitering about.... down in the valley.

A good few hours later with the breakfast kipper telling me it was looking for some company, I went out and got some haddock and chips for us both!

Damsels in Distress

Clicky  vvv
What a lucky day!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Last cast...again

River personal best.

Well, right on one point, it was the last cast as the sun went behind the houses, but a I had another one, whilst I was taking the photo of my new pb for the Upper Witham.
I arrived at around 12:30 to find the river quite coloured, but at normal level, so I put myself in the swim just below the footbridge.
I think I stayed in the swim for about an hour, I say think, I don't wear a watch and left my mobile somewhere in the house!
Add caption
Fished with flake,Stilton and dendrobena, no real takes but as the day wore on after a couple more moves, I found when specifically fishing with the worm that the nibbles I was getting were roach, a size 6 didn't give me much chance of hitting them. I hooked one greedy bugger though!
So I put on a size 14 and fished for the bites on worm and flake picking up a few roach all about the same size.
For the last hour I switched back to the big hook and the Stilton and sat back, watched the world go by, and listened to the birds, the noisiest of which, apart from the rooks, was a green woodpecker laughing somewhere over my shoulder.

So it was just about the witching hour when I spotted some debris moving through the swim.
I thought, "that'll miss", but my tip pulled round and just kept going.
Fortunately it wasn't the debris but a sprightly and angry chub!
 I said to myself "that's an effing big fish Fred" as it came to the net!
 Just a tad disappointed by what the scales said, but chuffed none the less

All 5lb8ozs of muscle.

 Back to the car pretty happy, but wondering if a couple of hours into dark may have been a better call.

Tomorrow, I shall be on the Trent, but will probably make a day of it.