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   Old school angling pt2.
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   Old Thread  #505 5 Aug 2013 at 11.26am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #504
Raining again but we really need it the ground is so hard it will take a bit to soak in. It should do the fishing some good, graham and I are going to have a try for the barbell, next week we have been fishing for the carp, we have caught a few but no size and it has been far to hot, Thursday really got to me and graham I felt sick and giddy from the extreme heat I was a bit wobbly on my pins as well we should have really put our umbrellas, up. And should have known better at our age I ended up having a cold shower when I got home which made me feel alot better then I started to shiver which went on for a couple of days I think we were not to far from having sunstroke.

I have been trying to remember when I last did a bit of poaching I know graham was with me we had been out with the rifle rabbiting this one hedge that ran throught the property consisted of big hawthorn trees I shone the light up into the hedge what a surprise we got I counted at least twenty Pheasents, that had gone up to roost. It was all to much and we had six of them I suppose that must have been in the sixties we did not like the farmer the other side of the hedge, it was the boundary between the two farms he was an awkward old cuss who reared a few birds for his own shoot he ran a syndicate the members were mostly farmer friends he was always asking us to clear his rabbits he was a big church man and had his own bench in the church with his name on it, because we cleared his rabbits, he also thought we should go to church and thank god, for all we had no way and we told him so after that he was never the same man but as I have said we had a few of his birds we had no trouble getting rid of them and with the rabbits we made quite a bit of money.

There was many ways to make a bit of money in those days Christmas, was 0ne such time we would cut the holy, and sell it to the local shop, the occasional Christmas tree, went missing from the woods, that had been planted with fir. The forestry commission, would cut them down in there hundreds and send them all over the country to Birmingham, London, and all the major cities, it was big business we had a few when they cut them down but you would really have to watch yourselves as they kept an eye open and watched the trees, night and day right up until Christmas, the ones we took we had orders for and sold them to the locals, another way was to shoot the Pheasents, that would mean going out at night. We had no trouble getting rid of the birds, as most of the locals, would buy them it was hard going in those days and this was how we made our pocket money. well a bit more latter

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   Old Thread  #504 1 Aug 2013 at 10.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #502
It was so hot today we came back early from fishing we could not stand the heat we did catch but nothing big we keep trying as we have seen one or two big fish in the lake, I had a moorhen, and her chicks, to keep me company most of the day I took one or two photo she has done well to rear six chicks, one thing that has delighted me was to see a water vole, it looks if the owner has one or two of these lovely little animals he was quite chuffed when I told him I do hope he has no trouble with mink, in the future as they will kill them they are becoming quite scarce in our countryside when I was a youngster they were quite common but the arrival of the mink was their demise.
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The young moor hens
I was talking to my mate graham about the wildlife, when we were young there was an abundance of birds and animals, that we don't see so much today I personally put that down to farming methods that has forced a lot of our wildlife to disappear. One bird I did see today was a curlew, we don't see so many in our county now the hay field have disappeared that the bird, favoured for its nest, when I was young I would watch the bird land in the hay field and find its nest it had four eggs, beautifully marked to blend in with the surrounding ground you could easily walk over the nest if you were not careful. They were lovely days I would also lie down at the side of a plowed field and watch the peewit commonly known as the lapwing it would land on the plow then run to its nest I could find at least three nest in a field we did eat them in the forties and fifties my mother would pickle them in those days but it is another bird that I has nearly vanished from our county.



I loved birds nesting when I was a young boy I was quite a good climber I could shin up most trees I used to collect the eggs until I met Sam the gamekeeper he taught me to look but not take write down where the nest was and how many eggs or chicks the nest held. It was funny really as Sam had a huge collection from the days of his youth and his job helped but as he got older he got more into conservation although he was a gamekeeper he had a soft touch when it came to wildlife, I always remember a badger, getting caught in a snare he took some wire cutters held him down with a pikle it had really cut into his flesh so he got the animal into a sack and took it home for his wife to look after and she did and it survived a few weeks latter Sam took me along to release it back into the wild it was Sam who learned me so much about wild life and to do a bit of poaching oh yes he would poach the trout and grayling. well a bit more latter
 photo 338a6dcc-e561-42f8-9592-949dc7c63692.jpg
Picking the food for the chicks

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   Old Thread  #503 30 Jul 2013 at 8.26pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #502 29 Jul 2013 at 10.48am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #500
When I lived at craven arms that was in the late forties and early fifties all the lakes, and streams, were private the only way you could fish was to poach and I did my fair share of that there was a farmer whose name was price, he had a stretch of the Onny he kept it for his own use, I would watch him fly fish, he was very good and always caught a few I poached it many times using little red worms from prices, farmyard he would have blown a fuse if he thought I was using them to catch his trout.

He was a nice old boy he would say to yours truly go and collect the eggs, if you have the time, he had hundreds of chickens all free range to be honest I don't think he knew how many he had he would give me a bucket to put the eggs, in they would lay there eggs, any where in the woods, under the rhododendron bushes, in the haystack, it really kept me busy it would take all Saturday morning i would fill the bucket to the top he would always give me a dozen and some crisps for helping out I always kept an extra dozen for family and friends what he didn't see never hurt this was in late forties, I was only around eight years old we had to survive the best way we could as it was just after the war.

A neighbour gave me a big hob ferret, I carried him everywhere I went even school,with him he slept curled up in my shirt I was in a miss juckes, class she blurted out whatever smells I got into rather a lot of trouble with that ferret of course it was me I took the ferret, out of my shirt miss juckes, gave a big shriek and shouted take that thing home which I did I was sent to see the headmaster whose name was kennedy he could see the funny side and let me off with a few strict words my mother was always saying take that ferret, out of your shirt it makes you smell but I did not I always carried him there to my mother's disgust, he caught us a good many rabbits, over the years until myxomatosis reared it ugly head that really hit us badly we lived on rabbit, some of the estates also suffered they made a lot of revenue from the humble rabbit.

With the rabbits, dead due to the disease, I started to catch the pheasant, there were hundreds put down for shooting they were quite easy to catch but you had to watch the game keepers, I learned fast I had a few with my catapult but I also did well lying in the undergrowth using a fishing line a hook and sultanas, they would take them greedily it was easy to catch half a dozen and it was always appreciated by my parents and neighbors mum worried that I might get caught I told her not to worry I can run faster than them I never did get caught but I had a few near misses over the years. well more latter
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   Old Thread  #501 27 Jul 2013 at 5.22pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #500 26 Jul 2013 at 10.39pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #499
If i was asked what do I miss most I would answer not being able to walk my beloved hill country its been a big part of my life I loved to be out on a windy night when the moon was full and I could watch the shadows from the clouds dance across the fields or the call of the fox from the distant woods or watch a family of badgers worming in the valleys, or to poach the trout from the babbling stream this is what I miss most.

one such stream was full of brown trout the owner would never let anyone near he gave no one permission in fact he was grumpy old bugger but I did not heed his warning he had signs nailed on trees poachers will be prosecuted, sod his signs I said to my friend Dougie, I will have some of those fish, and I did I would creep into the woods , the stream ran through the woods, all I took was a spinning rod, I mounted minnows,I had caught that morning on a flight, into the water I went it was only up to my knees I would cast to the far bank let it swing around in the current the rod tip would hoop over and I was into a fish they were lovely trout beautiful bronze flanks and covered in spots
they were lovely for eating they were only about half a pound the biggest a pound but we needed them to eat as our life was quite hard wages were not that good. Dougie would not believe I had fished that water he knew the owner who he said was a bit of a nasty man if he caught you would be in court, or even get a hiding, his got to catch me first I said with a smile and a wink you coming with me next time I go Dougie you must be joking he said ill go most place but not there the mans off his head not only that he has those big Alsatians, if they grab you they will do some damage yes but they have to catch me first.

I was there one night when I heard barking in the distance I never took much notice until they came closer oh it was him the mad hatter and his dogs, I was already in the water so I moved across the stream and kept to the far bank still in the water, it was not that deep there was a bridge downstream that's where I was heading I could hear the dogs they were quite near it was dark the far side where I was and there was no scent, I stayed under some overhanging branches I heard the owner call his dogs, back. Good job the water was warm I made my way forward half swimming half walking it was a bit awkward with my rod still in my hand but I made the bridge and lay on the ledge above the water I could hear talking I wondered who was with him whoever it was said no ones here tonight sir, I pushed my head up craning my neck to see who it was but it was to dark, I had got sixteen trout in my bag that was also wet through, they stayed taking for over one hour then I heard Cyril, ring me at the station if you get any trouble, thanks sgt I was away to my bike and up the field I went getting home around two thirty in the morning I laid the fish out on a big plate my family would certainly enjoy them and some would go to our neighbors and friends. more latter
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   Old Thread  #499 22 Jul 2013 at 8.49pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #498
Well I am back from holiday god has it been hot, just like when I was a small boy the hedgerows have been ablaze with flowers, all sorts the foxgloves, have been absolutely stunning I can well remember walking the lanes of Shropshire when I was a lad the hedge rows would be alive with wildlife, and covered in flowers, the fields were not sprayed and the meadows, were also full of flowers,, I would lie down in the tall grass and listen to the grasshoppers, chirping away and watch the skylark, high up in the blue sky.

I would also listen for the mew of the buzzard, or the call of the curlew, they were wonderful days I played truant from school on more than one occasion I would go fishing, all day or birds, nesting I loved the countryside I learned how to set a snare for the rabbits, I learned that from the rabbit, catcher they were the days of my youth that will never return. My schoolmistress was a miss Thomas she called me out of class this one day I thought what have I done now, peter, she said I hear you catch a few rabbits, and the odd pheasant, what could I say other than yes miss I nearly fell over when she said can you get me a couple of rabbits, and maybe a brace of pheasants, when in season yes miss I said in a trembling voice. I walked away with a big grin my face and to be honest I did take her a few I would take them to her bungalow and she always gave me a couple of bob which was an awful lot of money I could buy fishing hooks, sweets, or a comic, or two the eagle, was one such comic the dandy, was another they were wonderful days.

I loved to walk the river side I would take my rod, with me may was wonderful month I would watch the big hatch of mayflies, the river would be covered in spent flies I would use the smallest hook I could get I would stick a hook through a dead may fly, and float it down the side of the river god they would take it greedily causing a shower of silver spray they were beautiful fish, with their golden flanks covered in spots, they only weighed about a pound a good size for eating any moor hens eggs, found would be taken home to eat , we would also see the water vole, they were not rare like today but were a common sight i would also see the otter, in those days they were a shy animal and kept out of your way they were hunted by the otter hounds and were kept to a manageable level as I have said before the river ran red with the blood of this animal. I loved all the wildlife and could not stand and watch this brutality but looking back it was a necessity to control this predator from taking the trout and grayling this river held. well a little more latter



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   Old Thread  #498 19 Jul 2013 at 7.43pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #497
Thanks paul and William really appreciate your remarks just got back from holidays more stories to come
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   Old Thread  #497 18 Jul 2013 at 11.33pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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great story that pete
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   Old Thread  #496 16 Jul 2013 at 8.22pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
Great stuff.
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   Old Thread  #495 12 Jul 2013 at 4.35am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #494 10 Jul 2013 at 10.18pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Thanks pete appreciated
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   Old Thread  #493 10 Jul 2013 at 11.09am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Lovely story there Pete. Makes you wonder if we really need our ipads and games consoles! How lifestyles have chenged eh!
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   Old Thread  #492 10 Jul 2013 at 11.00am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #490
These wonderfull days of summer really remind me of my childhood as young lads and living in the countryside we would be out from early morning, until late evening, our parents knew we were safe I spent a lot of my time in the big woods, that surrounded my home. I would be away birds, nesting or just watching the wildlife, I loved bird watching the woods, lanes,and fields, were full of the different species of birds, more than we see today a lot of our bird, life is vanishing mainly due to farming methods, there habitat, has gone one bird that we are not seeing any more is the curlew, when I was a youngster I would lie in the hay fields and watch where they landed the nest never took much finding there were lots of these bird around. Where I used to see eight or nine we now see two the bullfinch, is another they were quite common we don't see any in our area they have long gone its a real shame as they were a beautiful bird.

I loved those woods and I would be away all day I always carried a catapult I was brought up with one in my pocket and became quite a good shot with it. I made my own amo out of lead which I collected from the railway sidings it was used on the pigeon, crates they let go thousands of these birds every week they came by train from all over the country mostly on a Saturdays. So I collected the lead seals and melted them down making some lead chunks for my catapult I got quite good I would shoot the rabbits that couched in the big nettle beds or in the hedgerows although I was young I could still get in serious trouble if I got caught as the rabbits, were owned by the big farms and estates they made quite a lot of revenue from of the rabbits, they would be sent by train to the big cities and sold to the game dealers I think they got about sixpence apiece for them but this all stopped in nineteen fifty two when myxomatosis arrived killing most but not all how some survived I cannot say but a few did in small pockets around the country we relied on the rabbit for our dinners we even had it at school, so it was a disaster.

I turned my attention to the pheasant they were stupid birds and were so easy to catch where I lived there were thousands all I needed was a length of fishing line a hook a few sultanas and you were sure of a few they loved sultanas and currants I could catch half a dozen within half an hour they were really appreciated back home and became our Sunday dinner we always shared with our neighbors and friends we never locked our back doors and we would arrive home to find and someone had left some potatoes, and maybe, some onions, or carrots, that's how we got by in those years they were hard food was still rationed cheese butter tea but we got by with help from our neighbours we shared and helped one another sadly lacking today. I poached the brown trout in the rivers and streams a change in diet I could catch up to twenty every time I went out so we never starved I would have to watch out for the river bailiffs, and keepers, we had at least three bailiffs, they were in charge of different sections of the rivers I never got caught I would watch what time they did there rounds. I even supplied a few to miss Thomas our school teacher but that's another story. well a little bit more latter.

 photo a1502956-f755-4058-b0d9-60e446c08816.jpg
the pheasents stupid birds so easy to catch
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   Old Thread  #491 8 Jul 2013 at 8.31am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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