The winter sun didn’t last for long as the clouds moved in just after lunchtime and the temperature dropped. I didn’t manage to get to Ron to pick up my half pint to go maggot drowing so will wait yet another day. The forecast for tomorrow is set for rain so it looks like the rods will stay in the corner of the room till the weekend.
The winter sun is back again today and the wind from yesterday has dropped off considerably, I sense a trip to Ron’s Tackle to pick up half a pint of red and whites to trot in the deep pools in an hour or so on the outbound tide. The marks I fish ususally fish well just before low tide and again just on the turn. As the temperature is again in double figures the odd roach or dace should fall to a single maggot suspended below a stick float. These floats featured were made by Paul Dady of turned cork and crows quill.
In a recent quest to find a fine set of floats I happened across a float maker called Paul Dady, his fine floats are well made using only the finest crow quills and painstakingly painted in acrylic, finely whipped and finished with many coats of varnish. Also another float maker Patrick makes traditional quill floats using swan, goose and crow quill. These float makers make ideal floats for the traditionalist, everyone should have one or two of these in their float case.
After some early morning rain the wind set in and blew easterly down the Thames. The tide was heading out by late morning and my daily stroll along the foreshore was one with a chill wind behind me. Yesterday I saw a group of spotted redshank but they soon took flight with a noisy shrill of ‘Tu tu tu’. As the wind blew stronger and fishing wasn’t an option on the low tide I headed back again against the wind only to be battered by discarded lids of bait boxes and a stream of plastic beer cups.
Another winter day of sun and warm temperatures. Tides were high this afternoon and the full force of the tides are now clearing much of the sediment from the pollution from the sewage spills in the summer months.
With clear skies and a strong breeze I decided not to fish so the rods stayed in their bags and reels were given the day off.
If the weather holds out maybe an early trip to Ron’s Tackle to acquire some maggots and an hour or so out on the water at low tide tomorrow.
After an early morning journey south I headed back to Spitalfields to consume tea with Mr Andrews and discuss his plunder from the National Vintage Tackle Fair or the ‘Redditch’ to those in the know. Aquiring a fishing seat along with some brass wieghts, fishing tickets from the Great War years and gifted the rubber band to adorne a recent Milbro catapult purchase from Mr Andrews I then headed back to the banks of the Thames to imbibe a pint of Marlow Brewery Rebelion Beer and meet an old friend and discuss all things about the river.
An early start from Barnes via Richmond Bus Station lead to a rewarding morning to a secret location somewhere south of Guildford in search of highly prized Ceps or Porcini Mushrooms. Due to the unseasonal warm weather the season for finding these gems of the wood has prolonged as there have been few frosts to draw the season to a close. Equipped with a make-shift basket, a bar tenders friend, leather lined Le Chameau boots, flat cap and a Barbour rescued from a Church Hall Fair, we headed south. My companion on this trip was Mr Grounds a renowned copywriter and a culinary genius.
On arrival at our destination the early morning sun shone through the mix of oak and birch trees, the ground was glistening with early morning dew with layer after layer of fallen leaves and patches of moss.
It was hard at first to find the Ceps but once found they stood out from the crowd of other fungi which was abundant on the floor of the wood. The musty smell of rotting vegetation and the decaying wood of fallen trees filled the air.
We discussed recipes of Guinea Fowl and Ceps, Venison and Ceps and plain pasta, creme fresh, salt, pepper and shaven parmesan.
It was an enjoyable experience which I hope to repeat whilst these mild winter days continue.
As for the state of my beloved Thames, the tide was on it’s way out at 7am, the black assasins took up their place as if lining the court room as briefs dressed on gowns.
My only judgement of the day was to spend more time out in the country.
Whilst the banks were clear of gentlemen with rod in hand watching floats on the tide the shore was peppered with the menacing silhouettes of cormorants waiting their turn to dive and retrieve small silver fish. Their numbers have grown steadily over these warm autumn days and clearly the bounty of small fish in the margins keeps their watchful eye on the slightest movement.
In my quest for all things fishing I found a hardwood 8.5 inch priest along with two antler handled salmon carriers soon to be photographed and shared.
Tomorrow brings an early start at first light in search of wild mushrooms and then a trip to Spitalfields to drink tea with Mr Andrews and discuss his recent plunder of the National ‘Redditch’ Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair.
I happened across Eddie who pulled up in his van as he observed me leaning over the wall watching the tide retreat. I was out on my daily watch to see what the tide was doing, the state of the water and if it was going to be fishable. I had seen washed up a Maggibox lid and an assortment of floats caught up in the autumn leaves but before I could go down to retrieve them I stopped to discuss what Eddie and Brian had caught over the past weekend, to my amazement Eddie took his iphone and showed me a picture of Brian with a stunning Bream that fell to a maggot being trotted on a stick float in one of the deep pools down stream of Small Profit Dock.
At last it seems that some of the better size fish are moving in amongst the Dace and Roach. This gives one that extra confidence to get the trotting rod and adorn it with an Abu 1044 and try one of the recent quill floats I’ve acquired. The weekend tides look good so it will need a trip to Ron’s Tackle in Sheen to buy a half pint of his prime maggots.