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   Old Thread  #385 28 Dec 2012 at 11.22am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #384
I have never seen the woods so saturated in some cases they are flooded with two ft of water it will certainly take some time for the woods to recover i heard a vixen calling the other night she will not have any cubs, yet but in a another couple of months she will have. I have not looked at any of the hedge rows as yet my health and weather is holding me back but she will have now found a rabbit hole and made it a lot bigger to have her cubs in she will lie up in the same earth until they are born i have one earth just down the field from my house she has had her cubs there every year not the same vixen, this earth has been used for generations it was there when i was young and is still in use.

I see the RSPCA have just prosecuted a hunt for catching a fox some one said they should have called the dogs off what a laugh when on the scent they are unstoppable until they have caught there prey this hunting bill can not be enforced for a start the police have not got the man power to chase dogs and people on horses we can only sit back and watch the proceeding i am not a big supporter of the hunt but they certainly helped the farmers to control old foxy over the years. They are a lovely animals infact my favorite i have watched them for years some are beautiful especially in there winter coat i have seen a black fox and have seen white cubs i have wandered over the years if they survived i never saw them again after the vixen, moved them where they went is anybody's guess but they would stick out like a sore thumb in the wild but that was many years ago i think shooting is the best method to control the fox.

I have loved the woods and its nature all my life if i was not fishing i could be found under the trees or out in the fields i loved to watch the badgers they can become quite tame over a period of time when i was a very young man i would be out poaching it was a necessity in those days most people were poor and needed the pheasant and rabbit for food when most of the rabbits died after catching myxomatosis which was around 1952 it caused real hard ship for the country man not only human, but our feathered friends as well the buzzards and the tawny owl and the many predators suffered The stoat and weasel the latter nearly died out as its main diet was the humble rabbit but they did survive by changing there diet to mice rats and birds. The buzzard turned his attention to pheasant he was persecuted by the old game keepers they would be shot or poisoned thank god that has stopped. A bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #384 21 Dec 2012 at 10.53pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #383
It was on these wet and windy nights especially this time of year i would be out in the woods i could always make a bob or two poaching the pheasants this was years ago we never had much money so going out on a really dark and windy night was part of my early life it was exciting trying to outwit the many keepers they were good men that knew there jobs, i was lucky and never got caught but i had some near escapes i loved the woods and the chase it was a on going battle especially with old bell and his under keepers then there was old Sgt landers a good copper who helped old bell and Jerry, he chased me on a number of occasions it was really funny latter in life i worked for the home office and we used to visit outlying police stations it was at one of these stations i was introduced to the superintendent he shook hands and said don't i know you i had to look away and smile to my self it was the sgt that chased me all those years ago Mr landers he asked where i lived i just said shrewsbury my mate, that was with me asked what was so funny i told him the story about my poaching days and the hard ships we faced and how the now super chased me in his blue land rover.

In the late fifties this same Sgt reared pheasant in his back garden for the local shoot and always kept a few hens, and cocks, to breed with i said to a friend i was going to have a few away you will never get away with it its the local police station i know well on this one dark and windy night saw me crawl through the hedge i think if i can remember rightly i had about seven or eight of his birds they were easy to shoot with the air rifle and torch i also had a few more at a latter date with the currents on a fishing hook god the alarm went up they were asking every one on the village if they had been offered any they even called at my house asking where i had been the night before i really should not of done it he was raving mad but i got away with it once again i had no trouble getting rid of birds in those days and i think i supplied most of our neighbors with the birds although i am now seventy there are older residents on our village still alive that can remember those days god you were a jack the lad they say but they were good years although hard we all got on together you could leave your back door open and never get burgled not something you could do today. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #383 16 Dec 2012 at 12.18pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #382
Well its nearly Christmas time again when i was a young lad Christmas was so different than to today a lot of people i knew never had a Xmas tree they could not afford one some used a bough from a holly tree it looked quite nice with a few decorations they would put small candles on it its a wonder we never had a fire, but to us young lads it was an exciting time we would be up the fields to cut the sprigs of holly we made a few bob selling it to the grocer's shop we would have to watch out for the farmer as he usually cut the holly himself we would also take a good saw or axe and cut the top from a fir tree we as a family always had a tree i was lucky as i had got SAM the keeper he always dropped a brace of pheasants for us one christmas he even bought me a pair of brown boots i cant think what they cost him as money was very tight in those days.

At the time i had a paper round a bike was supplied a great big thing like a butcher bike with a big old basket on the front no lights i would cycle five miles ten in all there and back to deliver to the out lying farms you would come back christmas eve with the basket stuffed with nuts apples sweets even a big old cockerel they had killed on the farm i even had pockets stuffed with money a few sixpences pennies and such it all added up i had a bird from this one farm every years take it for yer mum the farmer would say it varied from geese duck or cockerel it was greatly received by my family i would walk up to sam's the cottage in the woods it was such a beautiful place no electricity only candles or oil lights you could smell the baking done sam's wife she made all her own bread and even made the butter she was a wonderful cook i have sat by the roaring fire eating big slabs of new bread covered with home made butter and jam they were lovely people who i really loved, before i went home sam's old wife would shout out give the lad some of those eggs from the farm i would take them home my parents would be over the moon.

I had no trouble catching a rabbit or two before maxomatosis took hold we lived of them it was rabbit pie roast rabbit or stew we never starved we would eat what we caught christmas eve was a magical time for all us youngster we would go out singing carols and we shared the takings we would have nuts sweets and money some residents would ask us in we would sing for them in front of a roaring fire, after it was hot mince pies and a drink of ginger beer they were wonderful times we would hang our stockings on the end of the bed in the morning we would wake to our presents we always had an orange and a few nuts in the toe of the stocking and if lucky a chocolate father christmas i have wonderful memories from those times long ago though poor we always had an Xmas it has changed such a lot today to commercialized we were happy with the simlple things but today it costs an arm and a leg you never see the carol singers today shame really as it was so much part ot our chrismas long ago so i will wish you all a very happy xmas and new year. more latter
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   Old Thread  #382 11 Dec 2012 at 10.19am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #381
Graham and myself always fished the rivers when the cold weather came we have fished the Rea for the roach and chub and its been so cold the line froze in the rod rings but it never put us off we caught some lovely roach trotting down the side of the river i suppose the year was around 1969 we used mainly maggot or bread flake another bait that was quite successful was tares they were like a little round pea the roach absolutely murdered them we never caught huge roach fishing the Rea most were around half to three quarters of a pound in weight but to us it was fast and furious fishing we also caught dace and beautiful chub the biggest i caught from the Rea was four and a half pounds.

Those days are long gone the roach seems to have vanished and the dace you can still catch the odd one or two but not the bags that we caught all those years ago i have had some great days fishing for the chub i would use Danish blue mixed with bread making it into a paste i would walk the banks casting into nice looking eddies i have caught as many as sixteen chub in a morning they were great days, in the summer all i have taken with me was a loaf of bread and my rod and landing net i had great sport fishing floating bread i would catch chub after chub they were mostly around 2 lb 8oz that little river held some good fish there was also some good eels in the water and if fishing lob worm especially in the evening and into the dark you would certainly catch i never caught anything over three pounds but they gave me good sport.

I have mentioned before about the to salmon i caught from the river how they got past the water falls down river i shall never know but one or two did i was only young when i caught the first one maybe fifteen i was fishing free lined lob worm i felt the line go taunt with my finger i thought i had snagged bottom then it was away it tore down stream i can remember thinking what ever have i got on i stumbled through the nettles and brambles until eventually i had him under control i was only using five pound Bs line and i did not want to loose the fish whatever it was when he eventually rolled on his side i could see this wonderful bar of silver my net was not big enough so in the water i went i managed to lift him onto the bank i stared in wonder it was salmon and it certainly was not going back it had lice on its body so it was fresh run fish, i was not going to hang around i put it my bag and was away home my parents weighted it in the shed it was only eight pounds it was not waisted we has salmon for the next couple of days it was not the last i caught from that river but that's another story.

I have not fished that river Rea for a few years owing to my health but friends do they tell me its really good fishing especially the grayling they tell me they have caught them to 1Ib 8oz its also now stocked with brown trout the chub are still there with the occasional roach i cut my teeth on this river when my grandad took me with him the year was 1946 i have seen some changes since then some good others not i have seen the river polluted with silage it killed every fish but it is now back to what it was i hope it stays that way for many more years. more latter.
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   Old Thread  #381 5 Dec 2012 at 10.24pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #378
As i huddled down beside the small lake it started to snow it was Christmas eve i looked around and watched the duck they were coming to roost and to eat the barley the keeper; has put out for feed i was there for one thing a duck or two for Xmas i suppose i was around sixteen at the time the keeper would now be at the local, pub in they came up with the gun and the first one fell behind me i picked it up a well fed mallard, the next hit the water by my feet two was enough i also wanted a brace of pheasants, but that would take me deeper in the woods where the feed rides were they would soon be going up to roost i was far enough away from the keepers cottage but the dogs may still give me away, i sat with my back to the oak tree and waited i had only got the shot gun with me so i needed to be quick it was still light i would get the birds in the bag and away i made my way to the far hedge row and took two birds high up at roost that would be enough for tonight it would keep the family well fed over the holiday period.

I had just moved onto the foot path when i heard the sound of the keepers motor cycle blast he was not at the pub was he looking for me i heard a shout from behind me and the sound of dogs they were on to me and with it snowing my tracks would stand out like a sore thumb, i started to run i got into the shallow water of the small pool and ran down towards the farm i crossed the farm yard and went between the cattle that had been brought in out of the weather and for milking i made for the hay loft and up i went i could see the path going into the woods it was not long before and Gerry the keeper appeared on his old motor bike, he was not alone he had the sgt from our village and one pc with him and two under keepers i watched as they spoke to the farmer had he seen any one come throught his yard no one he said. I did hear the shots i thought it was you no it is bloody poachers i was dying to laugh the sgt got into the landrover ill take a look up by the quarry he must of gone that way within the hour they drifted away they were looking deeper in the wood as i climed down i could hear the church bells ringing in christmas it was magical as i walked across the feilds to the railway line i stopped and listened i am sure i could hear christmas carols being sung at the church, it was now snowing hard and it stung my face, i made my way towards the main road across i went and up the feilds and throught the fence into our back garden i hung the birds in the shed, the warmth hit me and the smell of baking filled the house as i lay back in the chair i was soon asleep we would not go hungry this i christmas . This is a true tale from long ago. more latter
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   Old Thread  #378 26 Nov 2012 at 1.06pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #377
What terrible weather we are having i really feel sorry for the people in Devon Cornwall why does it happen around Xmas, there Christmas, must be in ruins i can remember when i was young the big snows we used to have but we as kids loved every moment we would walk to school snow up to the top of your wellingtons when we got to school we would huddled around a coke stove in the middle of the class room drying our coats and at times our socks we never really thought much about our elders and how it effected them but in those days it did no milk was delivered and we had to walk to the shops to fetch a paper and much needed things but i loved every minute of it i can remember waking up one christmas morning and beside the bed was a new rod built cane by Hardy's and a Mitchell, reel a 300 spool with the first decent line i owned i can see it now can i go fishing dad bit cold out there for fishing but that did not stop me i was determined i was going to have a go snow or no snow.

It was on with my duffel coat and wellies and away i went i was going to fish stocksay pool it was about four miles from my home there was no cars or lorries and the snow lay thick on the A49 i walked up the middle of the road at times the snow was nearly over my wellies but on i went i eventually arrived at the pool it was ice free but i was Nealy frozen to death but out went the float and a large piece of bread flake it had barely settled when the float shot under i had no net in those days so i played it to the bank it was beautiful fish and his colour stood out in fact it was Rudd the farmer came down he said that's a good fish youngun i can still remember that morning as if it was yesterday there was i fishing and you could hear the carols being sung in the church it was a magical day the farmer's name was marsh away he went and came back with a set of antiquated scales i had left the fish in a old bag in the water it was weighed in at three pounds what a fish when young you don't realize the significance of such a big and beautiful fish.

I did have another not so big but that was the last the snow had set in again it was time for home by the time i got back the snow was to the top of my wellingtons that is just one day in my young life but it has been a wonderful life we did not have that much money but we always had a christmas this was around 1950 not long after the war things were very hard the schools were strict if you did wrong you got punished IE cane you certainly never did wrong again you were to frightened i can remember myself getting three on each hand for playing truant well i was fishing i could not leave it alone but i soon learned my lesson looking back i don't think it did me any harm only two swollen hands it also learned me have respect for my teachers and elders which in some places today is sadly lacking
well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #377 20 Nov 2012 at 12.13pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #376
although fishing has been a great hobby and i have made many friends one of my greatest passions has been nature i love the country side and all that's in it i have had as much pleasure watching a vixen with her young cubs or climbing a tree to the buzzards nest and then holding the young chicks in my hand i would stare in wonder at these beautiful birds why they are persecuted by some i do not know yes they will take pheasant chicks but it should be up to the individual to stop him getting into the pen one bird i was always a bit wary of was the tawny owl i had a friend that had a very bad experience he was lucky he never lost an eye she had him in the face with her talons we were both up the tree we both ended up in the brambles lucky it was not to far to fall she had chicks and peter wanted one for a pet he did manage to get one but his grandad made him take it back.

I have spent hours lying in a hay field watching the curlews until i saw were she landed i would be away and with luck have found the nest i loved there call on a summers day or to watch the pee wits on the farmers field there nests took some finding but we did, in those far off days mum would pickle the eggs as lads we would look in the tops of the willow trees there we would find the mallards nest she would lay a number of eggs we would take a few home we would have them boiled as well as the moor hens for break fast nothing was waisted in our younger days. i would watch the sand martins for hours going in and out of the river bank and find the dippers nest i would really enjoy watching this little bird she would walk under water in the fast shallows looking for her food and the kingfishers nest in the hole under the old bridge.

Hunting was a very big event on most estates fox hunting and hare hunting they got quite a following
one thing i did not enjoy was the otter hounds the river would run red from the blood of this animal to me it was barbaric but looking back they were kept in check how things have now altered not to many years ago i was standing by a fence beside the river i had my gun with me when i heard the sound of the hunting horn i could hear the hounds in full cry and looking across the field i could see two foxes running towards me the hounds were some way back so i hid myself in the long grass and watched as a vixen and dog came under the fence were i had been standing i jumped up if you could of seen the reaction they stood looking at me for a fraction of a minute then away they went i stood by the gate as the hounds arrived i had disturbed the scent the dogs cast here then there and it took them a bit to find a line again the hunts man arrived who i knew have you seen him Pete no sir i said he gave me a bit of a look
i knew were the one old fox would go up an old ivy tree and there he would stay untill he was safe. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #376 19 Nov 2012 at 11.22am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #375
I Am really suffering with a chest infection i have not felt like doing much only lie in bed but i will get by one way or another i did slip down the woods on saturday to make sure my friends were all right on the first day of our shoot i stayed until dinner time but i was really fighting for my breath i saw a few wood cock which are always nice to see and watched a big old dog fox coming out of the wood he was certainly in good nick the guns and dogs must of disturbed his slumber i don't think i got out of the car all morning and was glad when i got home.

iT'S now November and some of the trees have still got leaves on but with the frost we have had and the wind they will soon be down it was this time of year that i would poach the pheasants i was only a youngster but loved to be out at night i have walked the many rides in the dead of night only me and my trusted air gun i would trap a torch to the old gun barrel and shoot them at roost .
i never took more than three out of one tree then move on to another i usually shot about six and i was away i have been chased a few times and had a gun fired over my head the keepers got away with a lot more than they would today but they were the salt of the earth all good men that knew there job.

I suppose i have been very lucky in life not to have been caught i have fished the many trout streams and lakes and never ever been seen i can remember one night it was on one big estate old frank bell was keeper i had been worming the river and had caught a few when i hear the dogs barking in the distance i thought some one had disturbed them at the house but no they were coming nearer they were onto me why i had not seen any one i looked across the field but could not see a thing but they were there i was away down stream i forded the river hiding my rod and fish and splashed down the side of the water then under the bridge there was a big shelve of concrete i climbed up and just lay there i pulled my old coat up and over me and there i stayed for a good hour.
I heard them talking the police had joined the search i know the one was the Sgt from our village with another PC the dogs even came under the bridge but i was high up i never moved a muscle its that bugger from the village said old Bell i nearly started to laugh but knew better we will call at the house tomorrow said the Sgt i don't think we will see him tonight he is well on his way home by now thats what they thought i waited an hour for them to go picked the fish and rod up and started to fish again i think if i remember right i caught twelve fish i got to my bike but i had one more thing to do before i went home i always tied a couple of trout to old bells gate i would have loved to see his face in the morning but it was my way of saying thanks for your hospitality indeed the sgt did call at our house but he could not prove a thing. a little bit latter
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   Old Thread  #375 13 Nov 2012 at 2.19pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #374
The one lake i fished was private and is still private to this very day no one was allowed on the estate only the gamekeepers and the gardeners none of my friends would fish it they were to frightened of the head keeper but i just had to have a go i would bike the few miles to this old lake hide the bike in the undergrowth then creep through the reed bed until i could see the water and make a bit of space to poke my rod through i would float fish bait was a bit limited to bread, or maggot, i had collected from the local slaughterhouse, i caught mainly Rudd but did have a few nice tench. This one day i went i was in for a surprise i got to my swim and had just cast out when i see all these table and chairs being brought out of the hall they were all laid out with table cloths and such then all these ladies and gents appeared and took there places around the table there was at least twenty then the food was brought by the waiters god they were posh i could her them talk from where i was hidden i had to stay what seemed hours to me i could not move i did manage to get my rod, in i waited until they dispersed then i was on my bike and away it was a lovely old lake and i was determined to give it another go i told old SAM the keeper where i had been dunner thou go there youngster he would say in broad Shropshire dialect Thu whilst get caught yes SAM i replied yer wooden headed he would say yer wunner take any notice of me whatever i says.

I would walk away laughing to my self how i loved this old man and his wife i suppose i should of listened but i could not keep away the one time i went i really got a shock they came down to shoot the duck and beat the undergrowth around the lake i really thought i was going to get caught so i i dumped the rod under some big big bushes then i was up one of the big old fir trees and there i stayed until the keepers and beaters moved away from my hiding place there must be at least sixteen guns accompanied by there wives all dressed in there tweed jackets and long skirts i marked one or two birds that had not been picked up it was not that long before i had a brace of pheasant and a couple of mallard duck i stuffed them into the old mail bag i had been given i carried all my tackle and sandwiches plus my bottle of home made ginger beer i grabbed the rod and was away to collect my bike i did this many times. The one time i went i got to greedy and picked up to many ducks and could not carry them all so i had to leave some and come back latter on for the rest they were certainly appreciated by our neighbors and my family the river onny ran past the estate and was stocked for sir and his many friends god i had a few trout from there mostly spinning with a small Devon minnow it was nothing to arrive back home with ten or twelve nice brown trout they were soon shared out between friends it was late forties early fifties so times were still quite hard . well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #374 7 Nov 2012 at 11.38am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #373
Not far from my home was another lake that was full of carp us young lads would cycle the six miles to fish the lake. The owner was a nice old chap and never charged us a penny to fish his water i can still remember the first time i fished a night i was in the company of another friend whose name was Raymond we had no idea how to fish the place at night i can remember us both sitting on a old sack watching our indicator which was a piece of silver paper folded across the line in those days i fished with two rods both had been made from tank aerials by some freind of my fathers the reels were star backs the old wooden ones line was silk a bit crude but that was all we had at our disposal i know that platal came on the market around the same time but we never had any for the first couple of years it was not until i got my hardy rod and Mitchell reel loaded with nylon line that thing really started to improve.

I think it was around 1952 that i had a copy of Mr crabtree goes fishing which really helped us there is a story in this old book about peter going carp fishing using a method that dick walker used fishing a crust as bait the reel was a multiplier, i can honestly say that method caught us carp above any other method we tried, we were only ten years old at the time we had watched the carp moving in the weed bed at the far end of the lake we chucked out a few pieces of crust and watched as they slowly disappear below the surface with a loud slurp we managed to acquire some big hooks as the size eight we were using were to small we would push the large hook through the big piece of crust dunk it in the water coil the line behind us then give it the big chuck most time it flew out other times we lost the crust but we managed and caught fish it was an exiting way to fish we had no landing net and played them to the side of the lake which was only inches deep then scoop them onto the bank i can remember catching the first one we had a smile on our faces the old farmer fetched a pair of scales from the house thinking back they were a bit antiquated and rusty we watched as he weighed the fish four pounds that will do i said ill have him for my tea said the farmer he smiled i am only kidding we returned it to its home in the weed bed and watched as it swam away we were both exited and over the next few months caught many more from this old lake using floating crust. a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #373 2 Nov 2012 at 11.33am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #372
I have been really lucky in life i would love to have another bite of the cherry but that's not an option, and i am really thankful for what i have had . I have made lots of friends over the years mainly through fishing and shooting there are not many lakes and rivers in Shropshire that i have not fished, when i was a young we only had our bikes but they got us fishing i have cycled miles to fish a lake or river and not all legally as in my younger days most estate lakes and rivers were private so we poached them our tackle was not that good the first good rod i had was made by Hardy it was a combination rod i had it for Christmas also a Mitchell 300 god knows where the money came from as i was only around ten years old and my mother and father did not have that much money, as things were very hard in those days. That rod was used for catching trout and carp Rudd as i said it was an all rounder and the Mitchell loaded with palatal line was a dream to use after using silk on a wooden star back i came from a very loving family and i can remember waking up one christmas morning and beside my bed was a Diana air rifle now that really altered my life i got quite accurate using it and i would go up the fields and lie waiting for some poor unsuspecting pheasant to pop his head out of the wood, i would shoot a couple then i would be away they were well received at home the old lady would worry that i may get caught i told her not to worry but i did get caught by a most wonderful man who remained my friend through my young life his name of course was SAM who i have already told you about in part one of my stories i learned so much from him i will always be grateful that i met old SAM and his wife they both treated me like a son SAM took me every where even poaching a few trout he taught me to cast a fly i was not that good and the tackle was a bit crude but we got by.

I lived by the river onny it was full of trout and grayling it was looked after by bailiffs all our neighbors said i would get caught it did happen once it was not really my fault but that another story i was chased on a few occasions but i always managed to get away i was young and fit and could run a bit faster than the bailiff, there was one island on the river it was covered in wild garlic i would get onto the island by climbing over a fallen tree i would fish from this island no one ever suspected that some one would poach the river from there i would stink of garlic and when i got home i was made to wash myself and then change my cloths it really did stink. Just below the island was Halford falls i caught all sorts from those falls chub trout and some beautiful perch i never weighted them as i had no scales but most were around a pound and a half they were a beautiful coloured fish it was the only place i ever caught them they were mostly all caught spinning with small minnow mounted on a flight if i had of taken them home they would have been eaten perch were a baked or fried people would eat most fish in those days, but the fish i took home were trout and would be shared with our neighbors who were always grateful . A bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #372 30 Oct 2012 at 10.57am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #371
The frost clung to the ground making it sparkle like a frozen lake as we looked behind you could see where we had left our prints we were making for the big lake to try our luck at the pike that inhabited the depths of this old water. The film gone to earth was partly made on this water they called it the sarn we were dreading it had frozen over but we need not of worried we had no permission to fish this lake we poached it as we had done since our childhood we were only fifteen and the both of us knew this water and the woods that surrounded it we kept our eye on the keepers cottage that stood like a fortress at the end off the lake there was no sign of life we cast our rods the spinner hit the water with a splash the rod was nearly ripped from my hand as the pike grabbed the old kidney spoon he stayed deep but we soon had him in the net he only weighted in at twelve pounds my old friend Gerald want take him home but i would not kill such a beautiful fish my grandad would love him to eat said gerald but it was to late i had returned it to his home and i watched as it swam away into the depths of the lake.

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another nice pike
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The pike lay in the net

We caught another three before we were discovered as i looked over the big water i noticed a landrover stop on the track that went to the keepers cottage it was the sgt from the local police station he was a freind of the keeper it must be a shoot day we both ran into the thick cover of the wood getting over the fence into the feild as i looked back i could see the lanrover in the distance we crossed the railway line and made our way to a wood called the berries we climed up the steep incline and looked back at the woods and fields below we could see the landrover parked beside the railway line three keepers and the sgt stood looking our way it looked if they had given up the chase we watched as they made back towards the woods and lake it would not be long before we heard the sound of gun shots it was indeed a shoot day they were shooting the partridge we stayed and watched as the guns were lined out behind the thick hawthorn hedge it was a good hour before we saw the beaters in the distance we watched as covey after covey flew over the guns i wondered how many they had shot, as we watched we could see the dogs and keepers picking up there must have been at least sixteen guns we watched as a tractor with bales came and picked the guns up to take them to the next stand we had had enought for today and made our way home there would be other days to fish the old lake . a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #371 24 Oct 2012 at 10.47am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #370
Horrible weather and its forecast very cold on Friday a couple of the members from this forum have been on Redmire this week skeff and Rob d from somerset i wonder how they are fairing i do hope they catch. The times i have sat with dick in his office and he has told me the story word for word how he caught Clarissa i would sit there fascinated i have been to redmire years ago but have never fished it sitting it out in this weather would not suit me one bit i have packed night fishing up my poor old bones will not stand it i really used to enjoy being out at night it was piece and quite my friend graham and myself have caught some truly big fish night fishing but in those days i mean the late sixties it was very hard we had trouble staying awake after watching a doe bobbin a few hours your eyes would start to close and it was not that comfortable lying on a garden sun lounger i have fell through a few times they weren't that strong but we managed and really enjoyed our fishing.

My fishing altered a bit when dick gave me the Heron bite indicator i did manage to get some sleep i caught some very big Bream using them god how time flies that was over forty two years ago not many had the herons then i used them at Acton Burnell and caught some beautiful tench we were really lucky the owner issued us with tickets and told us we could fish it when we wanted you never saw any one on the water we had it all to our selves the Keepers would check us out and have a chat when they came down to feed the birds i never once poached those woods but years before i knew graham, i did poach the two lakes the top pool and the bottom pool and caught some very nice roach in the company of a friend Robert willocks but we were always on edge in case we got caught, when it became syndicate we would still fish the lakes it did not go down to well with the syndicate they would come down and ask us to go i always said go up to see Mr smyth he would over rule them he was a nice old boy and would come down for a chat.
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Bern with a carp twenty seven pounds
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ME WITH ANOTHER



It was in the late seventies early eighties that we started to catch the Carp my friend Bernard was in the syndicate and he really caught some big fish there were fish over thirty pounds then, the biggest Bern had was thirty three pounds but she was rather spawn bound but there was bigger in there we had seen two commons that looked well over thirty pounds but we never connected with them other than carp there was some truly nice tench in the water it was nothing to catch them to seven pounds they were a deep golden colour i loved to catch them i don't think i had one smaller than five pounds it also held some beautiful roach and some of the syndicate would float fish for them at night and catch them to around two pounds but i was more interested in the carp my poor old mate graham never managed one but he caught some very big tench night fishing. well a bit more latter

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Rods out at burnell 1982
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   Old Thread  #370 17 Oct 2012 at 9.06pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #369
My mate graham Bern and myself have fished and shot together for years we met Bern about 1969 we met him when we were two struggling anglers trying to catch the bream on a local water he always fished in the company of his father Aubrey and his brother charlie they were fishing the the water to catch the EELS, and were very successful i know for a fact Bern caught them to six pounds, we were fishing nights for the bream and roach we would bait up with maggots and bread crumbs which i got from the local bakery we usually baited a little bit often stepping it up on the night we fished usually a Friday or Saturday night we would fish two rods each indicators was a piece of doe pinched on the line between but ring and reel we used little night lights in a jam jar hung on a rod rest it gave us ample light to see the bobbins we caught hundreds of bream using this method in the late sixties, we also caught some very good roach from the same water graham and myself got quite a reputation in the sixties and seventies catching big fish.

Another water not to far from a shrewsbury held some truly lovely bream and Rudd it was called heart break pool we both were determined to catch those bream but the locals told us we had no chance we managed to get permission from the estate owners, we tried different swims but the lake was so deep going down to twenty feet fishing from the bank we managed to catch some really good perch they would get the bends if we were not careful playing them. We also caught some tremendous Rudd to three pounds but the bream always eluded us i managed to acquire some sausage rusk white and pink i managed to get some maize from my brother in law who was manager of a local mill we would boil it up and mix it with rusk and bread crumbs we would let it stand for a few days in the bucket until it really stunk we started to bait up three times a week the first night we fished we really hammered the big bream we had them to nearly nine pounds we were truly over the moon if we told anyone they would not believe us at the same time we had started to fish the big meres at ellesmere in the company of Dennis Kelly from stoke he was well known for his big bream exploits he was also chairman for stoke anglers it was around the same time that we met dick walker who really encouraged us to fish he wanted me to write a few articles for angling times but i had to refuse i just had not got the time i had a young family and i needed to work i remained a friend of dicks untill his untimely death from cancer after his death i felt quite lost as i used to go and see him regular at his factory or i would ring him most weeks it was really sad but we carried on catching the big bream i won one or two holidays with the news of the world and angling times for catching big fish. well a bit more latter

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a young me i had just won a holiday
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me on front page of angling times with another big Bream
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   Old Thread  #369 16 Oct 2012 at 11.09am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #366
I went to have a look at my small shoot last week god was the ground wet nothing has come off the trees as yet the leaves are turning but still on the trees i sat in the car and watched the distant fields i spotted a fox moving up the one hedge row i pulled the binoculars out it was a small vixen she looked in good nick i wandered if she was the dominant female was she looking for a mate it wont be long before she mates the cubs should be born in march but i have seen young cubs in february now that is very early looking back towards the hills you could see the woods of acton burnell they are only five miles away then to the left bells wood that certainly brought back memories god old bell was a good keeper although i poached his woods i had respect for the man it did not seem so long ago that i fished the stream in those days it was really looked after the owner of the estate stocked the stream for his rich friends to fly fish it was a lovely little stream that meandered its way through the fields and woods it had a number of water falls that was the place to cast a worm it would not be in the water long you would see the tip of the rod fly around they were nice fish the biggest was around a pound but good for eating i loved this small stream i loved to be there in the dark while the keeper was in his bed i fished it for miles the one farmers name was Mr cartwright he would stand no messing and part of bells shoot joined his land.
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the woods on bells shoot
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our small shoot the feed ride in my beloved woods where i have spent so much time

i would also fish a stretch that belonged to the blind school in those days it was controlled by old bell he chased me one night and i tried to cross the falls but i slipped and fell in it was about three ft deep i made it to the far bank i headed towards condover hall there was some big old box trees they used to cut them in different shapes of animals the one tree you could crawl under it was so thick and warm under this tree i would stay there until things went quite, then i would make my way home i was wet through but i had still caught a few trout before being discovered old bell knew i poached his land and reported me to the police on a few occasions i would have a visit from the local police man and Sgt Mr landers wanting to know where i was the night before it was like a game i loved it i was very lucky and never once got caught over the years i had a few of his pheasants if i fished the stream i always left my calling card i would hang a couple of trout on old bells gate it was my way of saying thank you for the fish i would have really liked to see his face i bet it was a picture the shoot must of been one of the biggest in Shropshire it was well known for it partridge shooting i would watch from a far as the ladies and gentlemen arrived they would really be dressed up in there brown brogue boots and tweed jackets. the ladies would also be dressed up in there finery god they certainly were posh and talked just like they had a plum in there mouth. well thats it for now more latter
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The blind school where i hid in the box trees

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