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   Old Thread  #1000  9 Dec 2009 at 9.12pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #384
Great thread and essential forum reading .I shall sticky the thread for a while,to encourage Pete to continue to add to the thread







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   Old Thread  #1258 21 Feb 2011 at 12.53pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #991
I was known in shropshire when it came to foxes even if we were shooting them, the keepers on most shoots would ask me to put the standing guns out but it was not always about killing i have respect for this rouge of the woods and the hedge row, he is a most beautiful animal a rouge yes but also a gentleman of the country side in his red coat, they do vary in size the biggest i have seen was absolutely huge he weighted in at 28 pounds and he was a hill fox from a shoot on the welsh border the average fox lets say male only weights around 6.7 kilograms and the female a bit smaller at 5.4 kilograms so the one from welsh border was big maybe an English record.
Photobucket The dog and the vixen
let me tell you a little more about this animal the selection of the earth is made in October and then the vixen takes up residence they do not provide bedding for the cubs to lie on unlike badgers that do, the cubs are usually born in february maybe even late January the vixen then suckles them for the first month under ground they are born with a woolly chocolate coat and are blind for the first ten days after the first twenty eight days the cubs start to emerge from below ground i have watched cubs of this size sitting in front of the earth as dark approaches looking for any movement that may be of interest to them, i have even seen a tractor coming down the field with his lights full on which did not seem to frighten them, but from my observations there is not much of a family life the dog rarely visits his off spring leaving most to the vixen you would think the vixen would protect her young if threatened but no they are away and leave them to it. but on one occasion i was proved wrong the vixen had been shot from this one earth leaving her cubs to fend for there selves, no way could they survive it was certain death, or was it i watched another vixen feed those cubs and even the dog gave a hand in feeding them he would bring a rabbit drop in the entrance to the earth and would be away over the fields i suspect the vixen that took over the feeding of these cubs was the litter sister of the vixen shot i really don't know but that's my theory but they survived it was wonderful to see if you read the books it says that does not happen well i can ensure the books they are wrong as i have seen it with my own eyes

Photobucket a cub at six weeks

I have spent some wonderful times watching these animals and i think i have learned a lot about there life stile i have took many others with me over the years to watch these lovely creatures some would never of seen a fox in the wild , it was away of life i still loved my fishing but i also loved nature its a pity these beautiful creatures do so much damage to the farmers, the country side would be a sad place without old charlie as he is known i hope i have a few years left to watch this splendid animal of our country side, as over the years he has given me great pleasure, i have watched him from the cover of ditches and he has passed me by i could of touched him and he never knew i was there, i have watched him from the cover of an hay field not once did he suspect my presense, well thats a bit more about my favorite animal i could tell you more but i dont want to bore you all with my tales of charlie . so a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #1163 28 Feb 2011 at 6.14pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1161
It is as cold as ever today when your younger you don't feel it as much a few years back i would fish in all weathers but not now it does me no good at all my mate the bailiff had another good day after the barbel once again he came up trumps doing a couple of hours at the weekend he caught 10 barbel the biggest going ten pounds four oz well done Rodger you deserve every one of those fish they were well earned.

Rodger is a very good fisherman and seems to sneak a few out where others fail but i have heard a few stories about others catching and having some really good sport i love to go but i am afraid to say its still a bit to cold for myself and graham never mind the weather will soon warm up and then we can try our hand i have in the past had some very good sport fishing in the evening until about midnight i have caught some real busting fish twenty in a session was not uncommon with a few chub thrown in we could have some hectic evening and would have to keep an eye on the rods or they might get pulled in and believe me i have seen a few pulled into the river some they got back others they did no, well graham lost one last season its not been seen since so easy he was sitting by me tying up a rig and away it went the river was in spat and i watched the rod handle disappear into the water you could see it was being towed by a fish it is a bit upsetting when it happens but as i said after the unfortunate incident you must keep your eye on the rods at all times it happens in seconds lucky it has never happened to me i hope it never does as rods and reels are not cheap to buy .

The daffodils are once again in bloom so spring must be on the way i have a few in the garden and they look well the snow drops are also up and in bloom it wont be long before the country side starts to awake and the buds unfold on the hedge rows and trees i notice there are buds already on some of the trees the mountain ash is one the sycamore although the tree is an alien not really English but i have one in my garden they are self setters so ,i have to continually pull any new shoots up if i did not i would have them all over the garden, i will maybe go down the woods this week and have a look around i notice some of the under growth is throwing a few shoots up so it wont be long before its impenetrable with the brambles nettles and such but it hides the wild life and keeps it safe from pr-editors the perquine buzzard sparrow hawk owls and such, but it does not stop the stoat and weasel they will find plenty in the form of young rabbits. well thats it for now more latter
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   Old Thread  #1162 28 Feb 2011 at 6.12pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1161
It is as cold as ever today when your younger you don't feel it as much a few years back i would fish in all weathers but not now it does me no good at all my mate the bailiff had another good day after the barbel once again he came up trumps doing a couple of hours at the weekend he caught 10 barbel the biggest going ten pounds four oz well done Rodger you deserve every one of those fish they were well earned.

Rodger is a very good fisherman and seems to sneak a few out where others fail but i have heard a few stories about others catching and having some really good sport i love to go but i am afraid to say its still a bit to cold for myself and graham never mind the weather will soon warm up and then we can try our hand i have in the past had some very good sport fishing in the evening until about midnight i have caught some real busting fish twenty in a session was not uncommon with a few chub thrown in we could have some hectic evening and would have to keep an eye on the rods or they might get pulled in and believe me i have seen a few pulled into the river some they got back others they did no, well graham lost one last season its not been seen since so easy he was sitting by me tying up a rig and away it went the river was in spat and i watched the rod handle disappear into the water you could see it was being towed by a fish it is a bit upsetting when it happens but as i said after the unfortunate incident you must keep your eye on the rods at all times it happens in seconds lucky it has never happened to me i hope it never does as rods and reels are not cheap to buy .

The daffodils are once again in bloom so spring must be on the way i have a few in the garden and they look well the snow drops are also up and in bloom it wont be long before the country side starts to awake and the buds unfold on the hedge rows and trees i notice there are buds already on some of the trees the mountain ash is one the sycamore although the tree is an alien not really English but i have one in my garden they are self setters so ,i have to continually pull any new shoots up if i did not i would have them all over the garden, i will maybe go down the woods this week and have a look around i notice some of the under growth is throwing a few shoots up so it wont be long before its impenetrable with the brambles nettles and such but it hides the wild life and keeps it safe from pr-editors the perquine buzzard sparrow hawk owls and such, but it does not stop the stoat and weasel they will find plenty in the form of young rabbits. well thats it for now more latter
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   Old Thread  #1161 26 Feb 2011 at 11.44am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1258
When i was young i would fish a lake not far from my home it was a mysterious place to us youngsters it was surrounded with firs and and old oak tree it was strictly private but the owner whose name i shall not put in print was a nice old boy who would turn a blind eye to us fishing there, in fact in think he really liked to see us and on occasions would come down for a chat you can fish when you like but please not on shoot days he would say don't come on Saturdays but your most welcome Sunday, we got on well with the old gentlemen at times he would bring his wife down to see us and she would bring a big bottle of home made ginger beer, us lads loved the place and we would do nothing to hurt the old boy in fact we helped if asked, we did do a bit of beating on shoot days SAM would turn up and soon take charge of us youngsters, they were really big days the lords and ladies would be all dressed up to the nines in there brogues and plus fours as i have said they were real posh and when they spoke it really sounded if they had a plum in there mouths, us lads would try and copy there speech but old SAM would say keep quite these people are our bread and butter. He always called the gents sir or the ladies mam but they were good days we were always given something to eat at the hall at dinner time and when the day was finished we were given a brace of pheasants each and three bob for beating, the old gent came to see my my mother to make sure it was OK to go beating on a Saturday at christmas we would all be invited up to the hall usually christmas eve they would have the local carol singers, stand around the christmas tree giving us a song, and the old gent dressed as father christmas would hand out presents to all us youngsters usually some sweets or nuts and if you were lucky a pair of long socks they were great days and will remain in my memory for ever.
Photobucket The wild pheasent down the woods
Now back to the pool the water was fairly covered in weed it looked just like cotton wool only coloured green you could see the fish in the holes between the weed at first we did not know what the fish were we asked the old gentleman and he said they were Rudd and his grandfather had caught them to three pound in weight, it also had a few carp in which his grandfather introduced to the lake many years ago, but he said he had never ever seen one caught i was standing there one day and saw this big long shape under the water it sliced through the shoal of Rudd throwing up a glistening spray of water, and then he was gone normality returned of course it was the pike i was absolutely fascinated i wanted to catch that fish above all others, we would float fish with big pieces of flake or bread paste we caught the most beautiful fish you could not get your hand around them. Then one day i was playing this fish and all went solid i thought i was hooked up in the weed, but it started to move away we had no landing net put i managed to get the fish into shallow water and literally pull it onto the grass i stood shaking it was a pike not big but a pike the old man came and had a look ill kill it for you he said no please don't said i it was so beautiful a lovely green colour so we ended up putting it back after the the old man had took some photos i think it only weighted about three pounds but to me it was enormous a little bit more latter

Photobucket The beautiful Rudd like the ones we caught all those years ago
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   Old Thread  #1160 25 Feb 2011 at 3.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1258
In the days when i was at school i would be up at six to go on my paper round , the days always seemed to be long we would come home from school and then go birds nesting or swimming in the river as long as you were home before dark nothing would be said. In the summer holidays us lads would set up camp beside the river onny and we would search the reeds beside the river for the moorhens nest, the eggs would boiled in an empty tin and we would eat them with bread and butter brought from home, they were hazy lazy days i would clime the old oak to the crows nest we would find the owls nest in some hole up in a tree clime the jackdaw rocks to see the blue speckled eggs or maybe take a youngster home to rear they made a lovely pet i have already told you about the one i had he would ,steal the spoons from within the house and hide them in his pen mother was none to pleased. He would meet me as i came from school he was a marvelous bird.
Photobucket The jackdaw like i had as a pet
Before myxomatosis reared its ugly head we depended on the humble rabbit for our meals when the farmers cut the corn us lads would always be there stick in hand as the rabbits bolted from the corn we would chase then across the field they could not run that fast in the stuble and we would hit them on the head not only the lads but adults as well they knew the farmer would give them one or two at the end of the day, it was another meal and free i wander how many rabbits were consumed in this country in the war years and after it must have been thousands we had rabbit pie most Sundays for dinner, and a pheasant or two we were quite lucky really as old SAM would always drop by and give us a brace in the shooting season, we also had the one or two i shot with my pellet gun but i never touched any of old Sam's in all the years i knew him, he would give me a cussing telling me if i got caught taking pheasants i may go to court or be given a clip around the ear from the keeper, or policeman, but he always had a smile on his face and would say i may as well talk to that old chicken because you take no notice, it goes in one and out the other but deep down i did take notice and i was always frightened, that i may be caught.
Photobucket The wild rabbit we lived on in the war years and after
poaching was a big offence in those days and you would end up in court i dont know about a youngster but adults did and they would have an example made of them you could even get put away for a few weeks but that was very rare thing to happen it was the gangs the keepers really looked out for who came from the towns looking to make a bob or two but even in my young life poaching was coming to an end as things started to improve, you would still get the poachers but not the big gangs another thing us boys loved was when the farmer got the thrashing box going threshing days were very hard and dusty and the men became very thirsty i can remember the farmers wife coming down to the stack yard with big jugs of cider or beer most of the men helping were from neighboring farms she would also bring down a big basket full of bread, and cheese, they would sit around the stack yard eating the food, their hands were as black as coal but you rarely saw them ill. The exiting part was nearly at the end the of the threshing hundreds of rats would hide until the last bit you could see the rats moving under the straw the men would hit the rats with a pikle or stick anything handy some even brought dogs along they would kill hundreds like this, as boys we only wore short trousers so we were always on the look out incase one ran up your leg but it never happened they would line up the dead rats after and they would be counted very few got away but i loved it that is how we lived in those days. well a bit more latter

Photobucket The brown rat
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   Old Thread  #1159 24 Feb 2011 at 8.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1258
Spring approaches fast it will not be long before the woods are ablaze with flowers and new growth, the snow drops are already out one small copies not far from my house is a sea of white the floor is covered with snow drops the blue bells will be next with the primroses i love to sit in the woods at this time of year just to sit and watch the wild life the birds are now paired up i have a black birds nest in the garden with eggs and a pigeon nesting in the ivy that has grown on the old plum tree, mind you pigeons will breed any time and long as conditions are right , the doves are also building nests they are back and forward carrying twigs my resident robins are also in and out of the hedge i suspect they will once again have there nest in the old teapot which i put in the hedge years ago that teapot as seen some action so many birds have had there nest in it over then years but the robins seem to have made it there own.
Photobucket The lovely robins nest
Photobucket A pair of robins
The resident buzzard did well last year rearing four chicks they have been hanging around the woods until lately but have now gone to pastures new. The old pair will have their nests high up in the old fir tree as they have done for generations they have used that tree as far as i can remember it has been known when i was a young man to clime the tree so i could look at the eggs the foxes should now have there earth sorted and maybe the vixen has got cubs it wont be long before they are sitting and playing out side the earth usually the end of march early April i will have to go and look in the adjoining hedge rows usually she will use a old rabbit hole making it bigger for her self and youngsters, the badgers are also moving around a bit more i have already had them in the garden ,the one old set i have been visiting for years has about forty holes to it. The other is massive last time i was down the farmer said he had counted 90 holes in this one set absolutely huge but he was having a few problems they had under mined the adjoining field and his tractor had got stuck a few times as the tunnels had collapsed under the weight of his machinery but i love to see old Brock and i really hope they don't kill all these beautiful animals with gas and such it has been temporally stopped for now so we will have to wait and see what the out come will be, the sets where i live are frequently visited by the badger conservation officer he is a great friend of mine and does a fantastic job checking on all the local sets .
Photobucket The common buzzard
The waters on the lakes will soon be warming up unfortunately some of the ones i fish are ssi so there is a close season and some have lost the stocks of fish in the bad weather we had over christmas so i really dont know what graham and i will do we have a few options so we will have to wait and see how things turn out well that's it for now. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #1158 23 Feb 2011 at 10.59am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1258
I hope you all liked my bit about foxes i could tell you so much more about this beautiful animal he really has been part of my life i have had the cubs in my garden a few times over the years my next door neighbour used to call me a hypocrite for not getting rid of them i would say why they are doing no damage, ill ring the vermin control he would say go a head they wont come on my property, but as neighbours we really got on together the trouble was he loved his garden and these little chaps could make quite a mess by rolling around and flattening his flowers etc but that's nature i would feed them chicken wings the vixen liked them also, i have one neighbour who is a police man and he said to me one morning i wandered what ever those things were walking down your drive then i realised they were fox cubs there are six pete. She has brought them back to my house for many years maybe not the same vixen but i would say one of the old litter from a couple of years back, i think she knows the cubs are safe here but up to now this year i have not seen her. Maybe she is dead i know the dog was a bit ruff looking i think he was in his last few years but hopefully they will be back they are quite safe and welcome here.
Photobucket Small cubs like i had in my garden
The badgers have been around digging holes all over the garden looking for worms they love peanut butter smear it on pieces of bread they will come for ever, my neighbors were asking what causes the holes in there garden i told them badgers. The people from house the other side have been watching the badgers form the bedroom window as the security lighting comes on when the badgers trigger it, but it does not seem to frighten the animals away the one old boar is a real big fellow all muscle he really looks big but they seem quite happy we just leave them alone. I told you i feed the birds well the badgers have been having there share of any seed or nuts that gets knocked to the ground by the birds they clean it all up they have been rooting around like little pigs under the feeder i suspect looking for the odd peanut that has got buried,
Photobucket The beautiful badger
A friend of mine has been braving the wet weather and chilly winds to fish for the barbel the water has been bank hight but he has managed to catch a few good specimens the biggest so far is Ten pounds fifteen oz a nice fish he caught six in one short afternoon session the other biggie was nine pounds five ozs the smallest was six pounds they were all caught on maggot but there is not much time left the season ends in march for another few months but it wont be long before graham and i grace the banks once again and try our luck for these hard fighting fish we caught some excellent chub last year the biggest falling to my rod a six pound five oz fish, very good for the severn. well that's a bit more . ill carry on latter

Photobucket My friend Rodger the bailiff with his 10- 15oz barbel
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   Old Thread  #991 20 Feb 2011 at 11.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #989
I suppose i was only about seven when i first fished acton burnell it was well before we moved to craven arms Bert owlet was the keeper and then a very young Peter jackson was the under keeper, i went with a lad called robert wilcox we really should not of been there in fact Bert owlet caught us but instead of telling us off he let us stay i only had an old bamboo cane rod not much good, in fact i think our next door neighbour Mr Jarvis gave it my mum for me to use mum bought the line and hooks but that's all she could afford as things were very hard the war had only just finished. I was not that good at fishing we really played about i did not know any one that fished who could show us how, so we struggled by. The only fish i caught at the burnell was a small pike it took a small roach i had on i was immensely proud of the fish and took it home with me i remember my mother cooking this pike all of two pounds , it really tasted muddy not really for me but in those days you would eat most things.
Photobucket The beautiful pike

Bert owlet was there when i caught that pike and really made a fuss of me, take it home for your mam he said funny really because this was not the last time i would see Bert and peter i became a good friend of Bert especially when i became older it was him who saw the owner and got me permission to fish the burnell i was issued with a permit well a bit of paper signed saying i could go at any time and take a friend but that's another story, in the mean time i fished the river Rea and i started to learn i loved to just sit beside the brook and listen to it babbling over the stones or just sit by the falls and listen to the water crashing down and watch the water foam and swirl, i was a learning i would see the king fisher and marvel at the dipper as he walked beneath the falls in fast water mum used to worry i would fall in i used to say don't worry ill be alright but i could not swim so i learned myself in the same brook the river rea i was not that good but i knew if i fell in i could get out i could only do the doggy paddle but it was enough to get me out of trouble, i could also swim out to the moorhens nest and get the eggs to take home for my mother as they were a good source of food we would have them boiled or fried the ducks eggs i really liked and i could always find a nest or two along the river bank.
Photobucket The lovely moorhens nest with eggs hatching
I would also walk down to bomere pool in those days you had trouble walking around the lake as it was very boggy the ground would move if you stood on it there were pheasants every where you looked it was keepered by Gerry haiz and a few under keepers there were signs every where keep out private property or you will be shot on sight i was a bit to young to poach the pheasants but i must admit it did cross my mind but how i did not know but over the coming years i soon learned, i would fish the pool without much success but i was learning i did manage a few small roach, i went to school with a lads called Gerald Harris we would go to Bomere fishing and birds nesting that's when we got chased and gerald fell into a hornets nest but that's another story. well a bit more latter

Photobucket The beautiful roach similar to what i caught at Bomere
Photobucket
The hornet gerald fell in a nest and ended up in hospital
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   Old Thread  #990 20 Feb 2011 at 11.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #989
I suppose i was only about seven when i first fished acton burnell it was well before we moved to craven arms Bert owlet was the keeper and then a very young Peter jackson was the under keeper, i went with a lad called robert wilcox we really should not of been there in fact Bert owlet caught us but instead of telling us off he let us stay i only had an old bamboo cane rod not much good, in fact i think our next door neighbour Mr Jarvis gave it my mum for me to use mum bought the line and hooks but that's all she could afford as things were very hard the war had only just finished. I was not that good at fishing we really played about i did not know any one that fished who could show us how, so we struggled by. The only fish i caught at the burnell was a small pike it took a small roach i had on i was immensely proud of the fish and took it home with me i remember my mother cooking this pike all of two pounds , it really tasted muddy not really for me but in those days you would eat most things.

Bert owlet was there when i caught that pike and really made a fuss of me, take it home for your mam he said funny really because this was not the last time i would see Bert and peter i became a good friend of Bert especially when i became older it was him who saw the owner and got me permission to fish the burnell i was issued with a permit well a bit of paper signed saying i could go at any time and take a friend but that's another story, in the mean time i fished the river Rea and i started to learn i loved to just sit beside the brook and listen to it bubbling over the stones b or sit by the falls and listen to the water crashing down and watch the water foam and swirl i was a learning i would see the king fisher and marvel at the dipper as he walked beneath the falls in fast water mum used to worry i would fall in i used to say don't worry ill be alright but i could not swim so i learned myself in the same brook the river rea i was not that good but i knew if i fell in i could get out i could only do the doggy paddle but it was enough to get me out of trouble, i could also swim out to the moorhens nest and get the eggs to take home for my mother as they were a good source of food we would have them boiled or fried the ducks eggs i really liked and i could always find a nest or two along the river bank.

I would also walk down to bomere pool in those days you had trouble walking around the lake as it was very boggy the ground would move if you stood on it there were pheasants every where you looked it was keepered by Gerry haiz and a few under keepers there were signs every where keep out private property or you will be shot on sight i was a bit to young to poach the pheasants but i must admit it did cross my mind but how i did not know but over the coming years i soon learned, i would fish the pool without much success but i was learning i did manage a few small roach, i went to school with a lads called Gerald Harris we would go to bomere fishing and birds nesting that when we got chased a and gerald fell into a hornets nest. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #989 19 Feb 2011 at 12.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #988
I have walked most of the hills in Shropshire and even wales when i was younger i would get invitations from all over to take part in fox shoots even over the border into wales. I have stood in some of the big forestry plantations in the welsh hills and felt how insignificant i was. It was so quite you could hear a pin drop some of these forests were absolutely huge you could easily get lost they were dark and awesome places, the canopy of trees never let any light in and you were in semi darkness you never saw much wild life, i would stand on the ride the only animal you may see is the old mountain hair but you would see foxes they would live up in the mountains amongst the trees and bracken it was nothing to see as many a ten or twelve foxes shot on one drive, you could be standing for hours as the beaters and dogs made there way across the mountains or hills and through the forests, some of those forests had not seen a soul walk through them for years, there could be as many as thirty beaters made up of hill farmers and dogs they knew the terrain well one of the locals would put the guns to stand , we had plenty of time i would find a bank to sit down on as you would see no action for at least three hours some times we would think they had forgotten us but then out of the stillness you would hear the unmistakable yak and whine of the dogs , they were on the scent of old foxy. you would stand still and shake with excitement you knew any minute a fox would show its self and the rest was up to you if you missed the farmers would be none to pleased as they had walked miles and expected to see some thing for there efforts in fact if you did miss you would not stand again you would be put in the walking line thank god that never happened to me but i understood the farmers needed to clear the foxes because they would take the young lambs.
Photobucket The big forests of wales where we used to go foxing
Photobucket The old hill fox

Over the years i got to know some of the farmers well i fact i still do we have all aged over the years, but they still keep going and some must be well into there seventies it must be the fresh air i am sure they had one leg shorter than the other as they were like mountain goats i could not keep up with them i would be out of breath whats up with you lad they would say, i have had it, and would lie down in the heather i would be giddy but they would only laugh and say come on your only young, bloody young i was in my late twenties and i always thought i was fit but those hills would test you to the limit those farmers were used to walking up hill or down dale it was their job and had done it all of their lives so it was no hard ship for them but they were a great bunch and really looked after you if you came along an offered your help on the fox shoot, ill tell you what the times we have driven home in those days a bit worse for ware from drinking the home made beer and cider, you could in those far off days, as there was not the traffic on the roads like there is today. The other thing was you can fish my stream or lake if you wish it was all good and i made many friends over the years by helping out. well that's a bit more ill tell some more latter
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   Old Thread  #988 18 Feb 2011 at 2.20pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #987
In my early days of fishing we had very few options on what to use as bait when i was very young all you really had was bread flake bread paste and worms and if you were really lucky maggots which i collected from the abitor a bit of a smelly job but they did the job my clothes would really niff a bit. And i had many a good telling off from my parents, but the maggots worked no one else where i lived would take the trouble and collect them, i would collect the brandlings from the farm, they were in the muck heap i would collect a big tin full in no time and they were really good for most fish the perch went mad for them and the brown trout, i could go to the lake up the road and float fish for the perch and could catch them one after the other, not huge but to us young lads they were good fish, probably the biggest i ever caught on that lake was a couple of pounds we had no scales to weight the fish so it was a matter of guessing the weight, i loved the perch with its vibrant colours but a good many people in those days would eat them, as food was in short supply food was still rationed i remember being sent to the grocery stores to get our butter cheese tea i would have to take the ration book with me you were only allowed so much.
Photobucket The brandlings i would collect from the farm in the late forties early fifties

Times were very hard we used the books until the middle fifties when things started to pick up i did not know until i cleared my mother and fathers house out after they had died, that we all had identity cards i found mine it was in a grey card and stamped with an official stamp even saying where i lived i think i still have it somewhere i caught most of my carp on big chunks of bread they were not big most around three pounds but i did manage a few between eight and ten pounds these where actually weighted by the mysterious chaps that used to arrive to fish the lake they had the latest tackle and reels and some even used nylon line which was near impossible to get when i was a boy i used silk until the nylon line came on the market and became popular, i found it was not that good it was a bit thick and springy, but we got by and over the years it altered and was a lot better we really did not have that much at our disposal hooks were not that good and the shop i went to would only have those big old black jobs that looked like meat hooks but they caught with the right bait .
Photobucket The identity card used thought the war
Photobucket The ration books used in the forties and fifties
I well remember a chap called peter finch he lived our my small town he took me under his wing he was one of those mysterious chaps who crept round the lake with a big old hat on his head well in those day we called it a trilby i think it was peter that told me about using small part boiled potatoes by gum they worked where he had got it from i don't know maybe it was not him that told me as it is a long time ago and i cant really remember, but i got my mum to boil a few and would throw a few in every time we fished and we got runs using them the problem was you would not hook every one you would strike and then nothing, i found the old black hook although they looked big were not big enough and when i managed to get some bigger our success rate went up i could not get the hooks from our local shop so my dad would get them from shrewsbury or ludlow they were not that expensive i think you could get around four or five hooks for a few pence but we were learning and catching a few. well that's it for now more a little latter
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   Old Thread  #987 17 Feb 2011 at 12.21pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #986
When fishing i some times like to just sit and watch the wild life i was kept quite entertained last year by a couple of shrews, even the landowner when talking to me commented on them they were back and forth all day i had put my landing net down beside me and they kept vanishing under the net, on closer inspection i found there home it was a little hole in the weed strewn bank i left it well alone and practically every time i went i would see them they were always busy back and forth. I fished another lake nor far from my home its the only place i have seen water voles in quantity and they were quite tame did not worry about you at all. And they would eat your bait or ground bait if they had half the chance. i had a word with the owner and he said because of the big matches he held at the fishery the voles had become quite tame and were used to people being around. The owner had got English nature involved and they had been up doing a survey and taking photos. well ill tell you how bad it was i got home one night and was unloading my tackle looking into my bag there was one curled up in the bottom so it was back to the pool and i let the little chap go when we were kids we always called them, water rats and they were always shy little animals but not these i presume they are still there as i have not been lately and the owner past away a few years ago and his son took over from reports it is still being used for big matches i suppose if English nature is evolved they must be.
Photobucket The hole of the little shrew

Photobucket The lovely little water vole so scarse today

There is always so much to keep you entertained i was fishing a lake not to far from my home and saw a swift fall into the water he could not get out i watched amazed at two carrion crows swooped down a couple of times to investigate the swift struggling in the water, then all of a sudden the one grabbed the swift and was away to a tree just up the field on investigating the tree the crows had got there nest high up in the branches, this was not the last time i watched as they took the young ducklings, the same way in fact they had no fear of water the one family were nearly wiped out by these marauding crows the farmer said to me this one day have we got mink, why my ducklings keep vanishing , no said i its a pair of carrion crows and pointed the nest out well that was that the crows vanished i found out latter his son had shot them and blew the nest out of the tree they were not liked by sheep farmers. i only fished the lake to get a run or two and in one night caught 75 carp from six to 15 pounds in the end i had to pack up completly knakard and to be honest i have not been back since, i do know the place was deverstated by otters not long ago they found hundreds of carp dead on the small island , but i have since heard its being fished again and its back to its former glory i think the otters moved on.
Photobucket The greedy carrion crow
well a bit more latte
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   Old Thread  #986 16 Feb 2011 at 3.00pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #983
Davey asked me about the chicken of the woods it is a tree fungus or a tree parasite only the younger specimens taste good and that only really depends on how they are cooked it has slightly acidic taste and does not appeal to every one it is found in lowland woods likes fallen trees and deciduous trees none i have put up here will hurt you so happy forging

Photobucket Here you are davey the chicken of the woods grows on trees and such but is good eaten when younger
Photobucket jews ear can also be eaten found growing on old wood
Photobucket The puff ball can be sliced and fried i must say i have tasted this and it was very good

The chanterelle is one of the most popular edible mushrooms it has a very fruity odour smells a bit like apricots it has a mild peppery taste and is regarded as an excellent mushroom to eat this mushroom is common through out do not get it mixed up with jack o lantern which also grows in Europe as it is very poisonous and looks very similar and also grows on wood
Photobucket the chanterelle a very popular edible mushroom do not confuse with other varieties that look similar
Photobucket The penny bun another edible mushroom found under trees down the woods
Photobucket The shaggy ink cap can be eaten but if you drink alcohol it will make you very ill years ago it was used to make ink for writing

the horse mushroom is highly sought after do not get confused with the yellow stainer or even amanitas although similar they are poisonous and can make you very ill
Photobucket The Hoarse mushroom

Photobucket saint Georges mushroom another edible variety
You then have the field mushroom which grows in the meadows usually far away from trees but can be confused with other types i would pick a basket full of these when i was a youngster ill put a few photos up of edible mushrooms as it is not my strongest subject
Photobucket The field mushroom
Photobucket The oyster fungus is another you can eat
Photobucket This is another you can eat found down the woods

well that's all i am going to put up as you could fill a book on the subject so if you fancy picking a few when fishing you know what to pick some are most beautiful and i like to see them in the wild
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   Old Thread  #985 15 Feb 2011 at 1.54pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #982
A few years ago we got to know a farmer who had a small farm yard pool i was looking at it this one day when i saw what looked like a fair sized tench, so away to the house and a cup of tea latter we were given permission to fish it it was no more than a quarter of an acre and only about four feet deep we decided to float fish we were not expecting to much but how wrong can you be, we fished maggot and breads flake i really don't think anyone had ever fished this little pool they committed suicide it was a fish a cast it was quite comical as the road ran through the farm yard not a major road but a bit of local traffic they would toot there horn and wave in fact we were sitting beside the road we caught some lovely fish from that small pool i thing the biggest was around four pound plus but god did they fight the locals would stop there cars for a look are you going to eat them some would say . no i would answer but these tench were a shade of green beautiful fish really it was a fish a cast we caught a few small ones also no more than half a pound delightful little fish, we had some great days on this little pool but it came to a catastrophic end some silage got into the water course and killed the lot it was terrible to see tench dead every where you looked, the farmer picked them all up with the shovel on the front of his tractor, and buried them.
Photobucket The small tench similar to the ones we caught


Not long after he contacted me and told me to go and see a friend of his who had a similar pool it was a little bit bigger and covered in Lillie's the farmer said it was full of fish but he did not know what kind once again the road ran beside the pool but a hedge separated you from the road, we float fished once again same tactics what wonderful fishing we had you just did not know what you would catch we caught some beautiful orfe from this pool also big gold fish tench Rudd where the gold fish had come from is anybody's guess the farmer when asked said he did not know but the fish had been in for many years, they were in the pool when his father was a young man we also caught some miniature carp no more than a few ounces but they were quite beautiful, we would fish when we came home from work, and fish until darkness fell, we had some great fishing the tench went to round five pounds and would really fight but we lost a few in the extensive weed beds lilies etc but it was good fishing and cost us nothing, we fished there for many years until we lost touch with the farmer, in fact we passed it the other day i had a quick look it had not altered one bit and i wandered if the same family owned it but there were signs that it had not been fished i wandered if the fish were still there as it was in the late seventies we last fished, the water, it would be interesting to find out i may just call and see the owner it would be nice to be told the fish are still in the water after all those years . well a bit more latter

Photobucket lovely golden orfe
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