There are some items in life that become trusted friends, fountain pens, watches, tools, cars, rucksacks, catapults, rods, reels, priest, Barbour, fishing bag, camera and they never let you down and always do what they’re meant to do. Without question these are one of the best knives you can own, simple yet the quality will mean that like a Rolex timepiece they can be passed down to the next generation. One of these Opinel knives will cost you less than £10 unless you want one with a carbon blade. I use mine in the kitchen, when camping, fishing or just out in the garden or in the countryside. If you by one of these as a stocking filler it will be cherished by the user long after the snow has melted and the decorations are down.
I found a small brass spirit stove a while back in a charity shop for the price of £2. This would make an ideal stocking filler. These little stoves are small and robust, if looked after will last a lifetime. This most certainly won’t cook your turkey, rib of beef or goose, however I always carry a small spirit stove if I head out to the rivers, wood, hills and dales during the winter months. Capable of heating up a brew or even cooking a breakfast and if lucky enough to catch one a trout wrapped in foil on a tray or at this time of year to pan fry some pigeon or pheasant breasts.
I believe items like this make treasured gift at this time of year and goes to prove that will some stealth in looking around you can find items for less than the cost of a pint of ale.
A trip over to the Young’s Brewery site in Wandsworth ended up with a quick visit to Plough Lane,Wimbledon. The car park was full for this Wednesday in September so a good sign that there may be more traders. Found on a stall near the Stadium wall was a trader with boxes from a house Clearance, there amongst the tat I found a green fishing box full of terminal tackle for sea fishing and an Efgeeco Bait Box. In another cardboard box near by was an old souvenir penknife from the Coronation in 1953, a Meta 71 camping saucepan, several pike floats and a Platignum Tidy Tubs. Best find of all was a 172mm Sandeel Red Gill by Alex.J.Ingram of Mevagissey, Cornwall. On another stand I found a pewter jug by Cornish Pewter maker Edward Nevitt & Co. of Falmouth and the one item I had called in for a tin funnel for my Tilley Lamp.
The total sum spent in change for all items was £7.50 a number I recall from my admission ticket.
I apologise for the lack of posts on my blog of late but lack of internet service has been the primary reason. Both on the North Norfolk Coast and in the depths of Cornwall internet or mobile service just isn’t great but the upside to this is that if you are away on holiday you do feel you are away from it all.
Our recent journey took us to Maenporth on the outskirts of Falmouth. We were camping at Pennance Mill Farm, tucked away in a valley with a trickling stream and only minutes away from a sandy beach surrounded by rocks.
We were in an ideal location for a spot of bass fishing but after a week of searching out the quarry we can only report that this year we blanked. However, we did find some great marks and also some great tackle shops on our journey. I was pointed in the direction of The Tackle Box, now run by Art Of Fishing who focus on bass fishing with light rods and a great selection of lures and soft baits. What I did find in Falmouth was a second-hand bookshop with a good selection of vintage fishing books of which I purchased those that related to Rock Fishing something I was going to be doing over the next few days.
On one outing to Helford we came across the Shipwrights Inn a fantastic pub nestled in the heart of Helford Village that served fine Cornish Ales and Tarquin’s Dry Gin, the first Cornish Gin I’ve been aware of. If you find yourself in Helford Village this Inn is a worth a visit.
The most southerly tackle shop I found was on the Lizard, this being run by Phillip and aptly called The Last Stop. This gem of a find is tucked away in an out building of a farm-yard and had a more than adequate array of tackle that could more than answer the needs of the most discerning bass fisher.
Our visit to the Lizard was capped off by an evenings Whippet Racing in aid of the RNLI, this weekly event was amusing especially when you can enter your own mutt for a race at the end of the competitive stuff.
A couple of early starts of high spring tides resulted in no sightings or knocks by those predatory fish but we did manage to catch a fresh supply of sand eels that swam in the deep gully we found on one secluded beach. This beach was however frequented by those in the know, some deciding to sleep out overnight and catch both tides.
After a brief conversation with two fellow fishermen it was clear that the lack of mackerel off shore had an impact on the lack of bass around. Even with large numbers of sand eels visible there seemed to be few fish chasing them down. I did learn of one fisherman that managed to catch a 6.5lb bass off the point to the entrance of the large gully I had fished the day before.
I tackled up with a Dexters Wedge at the end of a trace of mackerel feathers but ended up resorting to changing the rig to much smaller feathers in order to catch a few sand eels to use as bait suspended over the rock on an Eva Float later, however this didn’t result in any takes. Simply, the fish weren’t there, well not where I was fishing.
Young Tales was having a ball as he was accompanied by a school friend on this holiday and her family were a delight to be around. We managed to get in some crab fishing down by the Pandora Inn and an early morning fishing excursion to Swanpool resulted in numerous small Pollock taken on Sabiki lures.
We will return again later in the year and maybe the bass will be inshore in greater numbers, who knows what we did take away with us were some treasured moments and memories that will last a lifetime.
After a good nights sleep it was time to sort out the carnage after the few days camping in Cornwall, what I would say is that what we ended up with was nothing like what I saw today of the remains of the Reading Festival.
Having had to pack away the tents and all the camping equipment in the rain everything was still damp and in need of airing on the balcony. Somehow tent pegs seem to be in every bag, sleeping bags missing their correct storage bag, fishing tackle everywhere but not where you’d want it and that thought of would I ever put myself through that again…
Having had time to reflect on the better parts of the few days what I would recommend is a visit to the Millennium Gallery in St Ives to see the works of Richard Nott, his new exhibition called ‘Unearthed’. The Gallery hosts a list of good artists see http://www.millenniumgallery.co.uk other artists such a Sarah Ball, Andrew Hardwick, Joy Wolfenden Brown and others make this a premier gallery of the South West.
St Ives is also home to the Tate Galllery also around the town you will find sculptures by Hepburn and the home of Alfred Wallis.
One good aspect of the inclement weather is that the photographs I took reflected the moody nature of the weather and gave a different pallet of colours to work with. St Ives has always been a focal point for artists, Nicholson, Hepburn, Wallis being names that most people will recognise but its magical nature and spiritual influence still draws artists, writers, sculptures and photographers.
In Porthleven we found a studio possibly owned by the king of reclaim, it was full of items possibly washed up on the shore or discarded by fishermen but then put to good use and artifacts made into sculptures one a boat and the other a dog made out of fishermens rubber boots.
Hopefully I will return in October to paint and fish again.