From the water’s edge



December 2011 - you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.

This is the picture (above) that breaks my heart. It is of my Spro passion ultra-light rod carrying  a Pfleuger micro reel with a typical selection of my favourite lures alongside. All summer long I have been using this outfit and it has become my preferred way to fish. Flicking tiny baits about on the canal is relaxing, interesting and peaceful way to enjoy a day by the water.

Scraps of rubber, sometimes realistic, sometimes just off-cuts, twitched and tweaked along the margins or across the channel have caught me large numbers of fish in a range of sizes. Although these pictures show mostly small ones there have been better ones amongst them.


Pete and I have enjoyed great sport with this sort of light tackle and although the size of the fish won’t set the world on fire, we have caught more than our fair share.

Even a crafty cast or two into an adjacent brook has proved productive and fish like this wild brownie are worth more than gold to me. It is surprising what a 2” yellow Kopyto will catch you and fished on a balanced set up like the one at the top of the page the whole technique is a joy to use.

Really I have got to the stage now where I don’t just expect to catch on this set-up, I expect to catch a lot.

The real key to the great improvement in my catches has been the use of nylon traces instead of wire ones. I am careful how I do this for obvious reasons. There is nearly always a pike that will want to set the nerves on edge, but so far I have been fairly lucky in that I haven’t lost any more on nylon than I used to on wire.

All the same I only use nylon with small lures of 3” or less, fished on single, barbless hooks of as small a size as is compatible with my baits that is 2/0 down to size 6. If I want to use trebles, larger baits, or fish clear water containing numbers of pike, I always revert grudgingly to wire. Like it or nor since switching, my catches have multiplied at least three fold and I can count my bite-offs on the fingers of one foot.

Anyway having taken time out from my tiddler snatching to fish (with wire) on the Trent taking this low double and joining some of the lads including Dan (above) , his pal Andy, and Pete Felstead for a local LAS chapter fish-in, the need for some ultra light lure relief was becoming increasingly urgent. I went to the rod rack on the office wall to collect the little Spro and ..... there it was - GONE!

I checked the car - not there. The shed - where I never ever put it anyway - not there. I checked the rack again - and again - and again. It was always there , but not now. I still check the rack at least twice a day but it is sinking in at last - I have left it leaning against the wall somewhere and somebody else has got a bargain, top quality ultra-light set up, complete with two inch yellow Kopyto ; all rigged up and ready to go.

Up in the loft and I am going through the huge pile of lure rods that ten years of obsession has bought and the nearest I have got is a tiny, 4.5 foot Quantum 1/64 - 1/8 ounce micro light rod. Pete Allen has lent me a tiny Shimano sedona 500 and we have set off for a new stretch that produced some perch for Pete about seven years ago.

The weather is totally rubbish, A howling gale and a cold one at that. My makeshift set up is frankly interesting, but no replacement. It has some redeeming features. The fish fight like mad on the rod, it weighs nothing at all, but it has no feel. I can’t begin to guess how many takes I missed today.

Even so we caught and how. Getting on for 30 fish between us including several  perch over a pound including two at 2-2 and two more at 1-13/1-14; a zander close to 4 lbs and an 8 pound pike.

Old Pete hit the decent perch first and weighed this one in at just under 2 lbs after deducting the weight of the net. Then it was my turn with a couple of fish on consecutive casts that both weighed 2-2.

Check out the casting weight on the rod 1/64 to 1/8 of an ounce. Four and a half feet of pure elastic!

And a nice Z from a new stretch - always a pleasure, but what could I have caught if only I hadn’t left that Spro behind somewhere. Despite the sensitivity of this tiny wand, it just doesn’t transmit gentle takes through to the hand in the same way.



God I hope Santa or Harris Angling read this and take pity on me before I have to sell Julie’s car and buy some new gear.





journal 2013.



journal 2013.