Tuesday, 28 May 2013


2/2 of perfect roach
Why don’t I go fishing more often? It’s a question I’m sure we all ask frequently in our busy lives because a day by the water is always so enjoyable whether we catch or not … and my last outing was no exception.

our view of the sunny Scillies from above our cabin
a happy crew
Sue and I, along with close friends Michael and Penny had just spent a week in a beachside cabin on the Scillies and despite an un-seasonal force ten gale and rain, we had enough sunshine to convince us we were on holiday. 

our cabin in a sea of flowers
The wild flowers were glorious and I even managed a few casts off the rocks outside the cabin, catching a little ballan wrasse on half a rubber bass lure tweaked between the kelp. They certainly fight with ‘attitude’ and I’ll be trying to repeat the trick off Dorset’s rocky shoreline before too long.

a bonnie ballan wrasse
On return I was really keen to catch my favourite quarry, big roach, so I arranged to meet an old pal at Sway Lakes for a catch up and hopefully a hook up too. Malcolm Swinfen informed me that we last fished together there ten years ago, a gathering that included Paul Hamilton and Chris Yates, along with Peter Elleray who sadly is no longer with us.

Robin in his element - the wilds of Patagonia
Only last week I lost one of my closest friends who I had shared many adventures with since childhood. We grew up together in the wilds. He was our best man at our wedding and I his and it served as a stark reminder that we should make every effort to share our days with friends as often as possible before it’s too late.

Malcolm concentrating on his precious float
Malcolm and I had kept in close touch on the phone but hadn’t fished together since Oct 2003 and judging by our results last week we should do it more often! I found priming roach close to the reeds in the half light of pre dawn … I was keen … and creeping down to the waters edge with a couple of pole sections I lowered a pellet in very gently, the float didn’t and I landed a splendid roach of 2/9. What a start!
polling station - coiled like a rusty spring
what a great start - a 2/9 first cast
Malcolm with a two - first of several
Malcolm arrived soon after and it wasn’t long before I was happy snapping a two pounder for him, followed by another cracker an hour later. He was fishing a pellet below a tiny crowquill he has treasured since 1972 would you believe and we had a bit of a crisis when he nearly lost it in an overhanging branch. The day was saved by my extending landing-net pole with weed-cutter attached.

you can't beat pole fishing short for ultimate sensitivity
Malcolm considered this a 'marvellous moment' and certainly the highlight of the day, despite catching more than ten roach over 1/8 with three two pounders the icing on the cake. I had ten big roach, the last one another two pounder, along with a feisty little tench, all on poled pellet. 

another biggie
It sure was a perfect day, for I left Malcolm still catching big roach, having decided by mid-afternoon that I had caught enough. We decided after that splendid result that we should fish together more often … and we will.
what a cracking roach

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