Monday, 15 April 2013


a perfect pound plus roach

Spring has arrived at last and I’ve actually been fishing! What’s more, a swallow flew past and yesterday, several hawked for insects over our local river, the Allen in Wimborne.

still looking and feeling very wintry
a bonnie fat baby and the future - if the perch don't eat them all!
Better still perhaps, I caught some fish, not in the river of course but at Sway lakes, lots of fat roach to a bit over a pound and a shed load of perch, the best going a chunky 2/11.

a cracking perch of 2/11 and with clear-water colours too
All were taken on a 20 hook with a single dead red maggot, killed by the cold. The fish felt like blocks of ice and the landscape still looked to be in the grip of winter but the trees were full of singing chiffchaffs fresh from Africa and they delighted in swooping over the water to take advantage of a hatch of olives.

chiffchaffs usually identify themselves with their onomatopoeic song c. Norman Arlott
It was a joy to be out fishing again, sharing the waterside with all the wildlife. No big roach came my way but with the water very cold and clear I was pleased to catch anything, especially after a long winter struggle on our local rivers.

blooming more vigorously every year
camellias - a glorious celebration of spring
more here this year than ever before c. Alan Harris
Our garden is blossoming too, our camellias bursting into bloom. More blackcaps are arriving from Africa each day, brimstone butterflies and chiffchaffs are cavorting and better than everything else … [and perhaps  compensating for the loss of our golden orfe to the otter] … this delightful pair of mandarin ducks have set up shop in the garden. I feel sure they’re nesting close by, so it’s exciting if you’re into birds like me.

exotic creatures from China just outside the window

 pretty as a picture

Chinese take-away
However, I’d better get on with some gardening now the ground is warming up, though as the water will be warming too, it won’t be long before I have another cast for those big roach. But first I must ensure that I’ve done everything possible to attract an audience to my charity film show in Wimborne on May3rd, all proceeds going to the Dorset Wildlife Trust for habitat enhancement work on the River Allen.

source of the River Allen and water more valuable than gold
It’s a wonderful chalk stream and I’ll be showing a film I made about it for DWT, along with a movie about this beautiful puma in the Andes Mountains of far off Patagonia. More about this in a future post soon but in the meantime, please catch one for me.
Penny the puma - 'my' gorgeous big cat c. Laurie Campbell

1 comment:

  1. A lovely read again Hugh and as always, I'm looking forward to the next one already. Quite ironically, we (Sandy and I) saw our first swallow of the Spring yesterday and today we have had a Chiffchaff and a Black Cap in the garden at the same time. However, having said that, we aren't sure the Chiffchaff wasn't a Willow warbler. Very difficult to tell the difference. Great to see you finding some time to cast a line. It will soon be tincia time ! Best wishes, Mark Woodage