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  1. #1
    binka Guest

    Default Sentimental journeys...

    I frequently walk the dog by the tiny River Maun that runs into a town centre dam and on through Mansfield and beyond…



    I fondly recall those evenings after school some thirty five years ago where we’d sit quivertipping a single maggot to give us a fair chance of a few gudgeon from what was, back then, the novelty of running water but nowadays there are signs to inform that local byelaws prohibit fishing in the river.

    That doesn’t really help when I occasionally stand for a while and see the tiny silver glints close to the riverbed on the very same bend where we would sit for hours throughout those light summer evenings until darkness drove us away.

    I think I’m quite fortunate in that other waters from my early angling years are still, on the whole, very much accessible but I would dearly like to sit and have a go on that bend in the river once more.

    Does anyone ever make a point of, or have the urge to, revisit the waters of their early angling days?

    Are they still accessible to you?

    Or is there somewhere like my river where you’d dearly like to but, for some reason, can’t?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Furkum Hall, Sheffield
    Posts
    17,798

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    There are a couple of ponds , one was in a farmers field that has long gone , the other a small private pond my father was lucky enough to have access to that I fished is now a "feature" of a development and no fishing is allowed
    PaSC British by birth, English by the grace of God
    I got the devil in my blood,Telling' me what to do
    (And I'm all ears), Britain's premier bread angler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    North Yorkshire.
    Posts
    10,973

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    To a large extent, the waters I fished as a kid are still accessible to me. When it comes to running water, the club I was in as a kid has almost exactly the same waters. When it comes stillwaters, the odd one is drastically changed due to pollution or predation. Only one of those I used to fish do I consider significantly worse than it was, though others would disagree.

    There's a club stillwater locally that I'd have killed to fish as a kid. At the time the club concerned was massively oversubscribed and a nightmare to get into. It would be easy to get into now but the water is a pale shadow of its former tench and crucian glory.

    The vast bulk of my river fishing could easily be considered a nostalgia trip. Most of the time I'm fishing in the exact same locations as I did as a kid. I'm not entirely convinced that the fishing is quite what it was, but that could be rose tinted glasses. The bonus is that I'm a significantly better angler now.

    Through a school friend, He and I used to have almost exclusive access to a large beck that was stuffed with good grayling. Sadly, the poor sod died a few years after leaving school. I believe that the fishing is not what it was, the water levels certainly aren't, but I'd love to give it a go all the same.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Charente, France
    Posts
    5,063

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    I kept in touch with my old haunts when I was still in the UK.

    However, one place I planned to fish and never got round to it was the River Eden at Appleby. I have enjoyed 'Rod & Line' by Arthur Ransome and wanted to experience how he used to fish. That would have entailed an early train journey from Leeds to Appleby over the Ribbleshead Viaduct, ideally on a steam train. Breakfast in Appleby then a walk down to the river to fish for a couple of hours. Back up to the town for lunch and then a leisurely afternoon fishing for trout under Castle Rock before catching the last train back to Leeds.

    I ever managed it, but there is still time.
    I tread the path where no one goes,
    and cast to fish nobody knows.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Stuck on the chuffin M25 somewhere between Heathrow and the A3
    Posts
    11,493

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    Nostalgia certainly ain't what it used to be! I am a sentimental old sod but a lot of the waters I fished as kid (and as an adult) simply do not exist now or have changed beyond all recognition ....either in terms of looks,access or quality of fishing. Almost invariably for the worse I might add. Such are the joys of living down here where the carp is largely king....be that the ravenous hordes of the commercials or the lumps of the Colne Valley inland seas.

    My equivalent of Steve's spot would be a stretch of the Middx Colne that is nothing like what it was. I could still fish it but I have absolutely no desire to.....like so many of the places I frequented as a kid it looks tired,run down and fishless. The magic has gone and I,ve no desire to ruin some great memories which is why there are certain places I simply will not visit anymore because I just know to do so will kill them for me for ever......and I don't want that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    300 yards from the Wensum!
    Posts
    2,820

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    I occasionally get back to my SW London haunts visiting relatives there, and walked by several of the ponds and "rivers" that were special to me in the late 70s or early 80s. Fishing is now banned in several of my favourite ponds from that time, one being a SSSI on National Trust land where fishing was let to a club who sold day tickets - that pond is now totally overgrown and may not even contain Tench (i suspect that the Roach and Pike it also held are long gone). Other ponds in the Royal Parks that were once noted for Tench or Bream are now over-run with carp (so I understand).

    I would like to get back on the Thames at Romney Island (alas now syndicated and no longer day ticket) to relive many an autumn dawn in the mist casting a feeder across to the overhanging trees. Ideally I would fish a special barbel swim that existed there - known by me and a small group of fishing mates as "the Barbel tree" although truth be told the feature that "made" the swim was removed by the mid 1980s. It is fair to say that we didnt catch that many barbel from it either, maybe five or six in total between us, but as a teenager any barbel from the Thames was an achievement. We caught more bream and chub from it if anything!

    Anyone else remember this one? "Barbel tree" Romney island in 1980:

    Last edited by chub_on_the_block; 05-11-2014 at 20:50.
    Real Ale Alliance

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    I can think of three waters that i fished as a school boy. The first is the river Thame that flows to the north of Aylesbury. It was a 4 mile peddle on my bike after school and at weekends. I can remember catching some of the biggest gudgeon i have ever seen, roach, dace, perch and chublets made up most of what we could catch from a river that you could jump across. The second water that holds great memories is a small cricket pitch size, spring fed pond. this was half covered in reeds and was home to wild carp. Oh how they pulled. Never bigger than three pounds but huge to me. Sadly its totaly overgrown now. The last was a bomb hole 40 yards wide and 30 yards deep full of fish. Me and my mates would spend most of the summer holidays fishing there. The pond and surrounding area has been developed and is now a housing estate.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    300 yards from the Wensum!
    Posts
    2,820

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    Just thought of a better example of a small river i fished with a passion for gudgeon, roach to nearly 1Ib, chub to 3Ib 10oz, carp to 4Ib and tench to 3Ib - mostly using a 1.1Ib hooklength and a pole float. I would set stall about 4 yards back from the waters edge where the banks sloped down away from the river - so as not to spook the fish. This was the "River Ashmere" (as i named it) in Bushy Park (ahem, ...i was too young too understand that fishing wasnt permitted on it then).

    This is what it looked like in 2013: Note the old tree stump where a large willow once stood and how it is now completely overgrown with reed sweet grass.



    and this was it in about 1982 from opposite side looking in same general direction - before the tree was blown down by the gales of 1987:

    Last edited by chub_on_the_block; 05-11-2014 at 21:21.
    Real Ale Alliance

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Stuck on the chuffin M25 somewhere between Heathrow and the A3
    Posts
    11,493

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    Quote Originally Posted by chub_on_the_block View Post
    I occasionally get back to my SW London haunts visiting relatives there, and walked by several of the ponds and "rivers" that were special to me in the late 70s or early 80s. Fishing is now banned in several of my favourite ponds from that time, one being a SSSI on National Trust land where fishing was let to a club who sold day tickets - that pond is now totally overgrown and may not even contain Tench (i suspect that the Roach and Pike it also held are long gone). Other ponds in the Royal Parks that were once noted for Tench or Bream are now over-run with carp (so I understand).

    I would like to get back on the Thames at Romney Island (alas now syndicated and no longer day ticket) to relive many an autumn dawn in the mist casting a feeder across to the overhanging trees. Ideally I would fish a special barbel swim that existed there - known by me and a small group of fishing mates as "the Barbel tree" although truth be told the feature that "made" the swim was removed by the mid 1980s. It is fair to say that we didnt catch that many barbel from it either, maybe five or six in total between us, but as a teenager any barbel from the Thames was an achievement. We caught more bream and chub from it if anything!

    Anyone else remember this one? "Barbel tree" Romney island in 1980:

    Good grief.......yes,I remember that swim ! Never knew it as a barbel swim but in those days we were happy knocking out dace, roach and chublets on a stick float from under our feet. Had to be there before daylight even in winter to get a decent spot. How times change.

    That would be around the same time as I was fishing there. Long old way on a pushbike......that I do not miss !
    Last edited by S-Kippy; 06-11-2014 at 02:53.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    down the lane
    Posts
    6,326

    Default Re: Sentimental journeys...

    The upper Thames around Tadpole Bridge among others stretches, the Little Ouse near Thetford, the Great Ouse at Holywell, St Neots and Over & Swavesy et al, The Hants Avon at Ibsley and any number of stretches above and below this one, The Dorset Stour and even the Medway ............

    Never been back to any of them; not because I can't, but because the memories are like it was yesterday, and I don't want to spoil them. If I happen to be driving in the area of these spots these days I sometimes see the names on a road sign and the memories come flooding back. I don't want to change that I suppose...........(silly old fool!)

    It was tough both reaching these spots and being able to afford the cost of reaching them, but I did it just because I had to..........simple as that..

    Oh, The New River near Harringay, a wonderful place of my childhood...

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