Monday, 31 January 2011

Lower Ellastone

Having not fished for a few weeks I was looking forward to a session on the River Dove hopefully tempting a few fish to my Czech nymphs. The water looked in great condition but I knew how cold it would be and I do well to last a couple of hours in these conditions. The river really was at a great level for this time of year and I was soon into my favourite winter run just below the fast water. Alas it was not to be yesterday and I did not trouble the scorers. A few other anglers were out and had also found conditions tough, there was a lot of talk about the fish being hammered by comorants whilst the still waters have been frozen. I got cold enough to put me off for another few weeks although Andy at work today gave me a huge batch of T&S and FF&FT magazines so it won't be long before I'm well and truly 'hooked' again.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Burton Game Fishing Festival

This is a bit of an early notice but this looks like a worthwhile event particularly as it is aid of 'Casting for Recovery' and 'Fishing for Heroes'. I picked up this flyer at the Foremark Fly Fishers event at the John Thompson last Monday evening. Steve Parton was the guest speaker and those of you who have ever spoke to him or visited his premises will know how entertaining that could be. Steve didn't disappoint although some of his messages were not quite what the members expected I suspect. My son still considers his visit to Steve's 'shop' one of his most amusing shopping experiences (and so do I).

Good to see the FFF on the up though with a very good attendance. Those interested in their other events can find details here.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Sloe Gin

January and February are not the greatest of angling months in my opinion and are a good time to occupy one'self with such things as decorating. Far better now than when the weather picks up and you will curse even more for being stuck inside with a paint brush.
Today I took the opportunity to bottle my sloe gin. I have been meaning to do it since the Christmas holidays and finally made the move today. This is a real winter warmer comfort drink and I would recommend it if you not tried it before, it is good fun to make your own. My recipe is as follows:
2 bottles of the cheapest gin you can find (make sure it is at least 35% alcohol though)
1 and 3/4 pounds of sloes
8oz of sugar
First find your sloes which are the fruit of the blackthorn bush. Pick some after the first frosts, this is a good way to spend a late autumn afternoon. Wash them in water and then prick each to release the flavour. Put them into a liquid tight container and then add the sugar and the gin. You can vary the sugar depending how sweet you prefer the sloe gin. My wife's uncle would use 1lb of sugar to 1lb of sloes but this is too sweet for me. All you have to do now is wait but give the mixture a turn every day for the first week and then once a week. It should be ready by Christmas, I am a little late bottling this year. It is a nice tipple and makes the thought of decorating bareable.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Back to the Dove

Today was the last day of an extended Christmas break for me and I had planned on getting over the Ellastone again for a couple of hours this afternoon. The level had dropped since my last visit on New Years Eve and this morning the EA site gave a reading of 0.31m. It was perfectly fishable at this height particularly as it was fining down as you can see from the above picture.
I thought I was in for a corking session when on only my second cast the line darted forward and after a brief struggle the lady below was soon in the net. This fish took one of my hares ear shrimps with an orange hotspot. However, this turned out to be the only success of the session the angling being particularly tough. As ever it was only a brief visit as the water chilled me to the bone, I was fishing less than two hours.
Another angler soon arrived on the Norbury bank and went up to fish up above the fast section. He had some limited success and mentioned the dreaded comorant having shooed some off earlier in the day. Apparently they have been making a beeline for the rivers whilst the stillwaters are frozen over. Not good news.