The Poacher Diaries. | Page 8
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The Poacher Diaries.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing' started by crabby_old_man, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. crabby_old_man

    crabby_old_man Member

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    Caution. This post contains bad language, possible over-use of ***'s and a bit about an officious little twit that some readers may find disturbing.


    What a day.

    May the somethingth 2019

    We all have days like this. Days where nothing goes your way and the whole world seems dead set against you. From an early morning issue with the car, to getting pulled over by the bluebottles for a routine check, to forgetting something important and having to turn back, before realizing that you had it in your bag all along, today was a comedy of errors and false steps. The plan was to be on Loch T by 6am, but by the time we had finished faffing and fiddling around that became closer to 7:30am, far too late to start a days fishing on such a well known and popular water. Well, bugger it I said. We had been through far too much to turn back now. Never have more foolish words been uttered.



    Now, as big as the loch is, the danger of being discovered is ever present, with ghillies and rangers on patrol ,and on the lookout for pirates and poachers. We had chosen a spot that was, as far as we could tell from maps and snooping around various forums, well away from the most popular marks and out of reach of all but the most ardent and dutiful welly-booters. How wrong we were. The very moment we got out of the car we were greeted with an obnoxiously loud 'HALLO!'



    We turned and were greeted with the hilarious sight of a little red faced man, no more than 4 foot tall, with the bushiest moustache I have been witness too. He was dressed all in green tweed with a silly little hat with a feather stuck in, as though he had just stepped out of a period costume drama. After all the stress of the mornings attempts to wet a line this was too much, and I'm afraid to say that I might have laughed. This dis-pleased him, and he let us have it with both barrels.





    You need a permit.



    To stand on the pavement?



    No, to fish here, smart-arse



    But I'm not fishing, am I?



    Not yet, but if you intend to fish you need a ****ing permit.



    A ****ing permit? But I only want to fish, not ****



    You know what I ****ing mean, ****.



    This finished me off and I burst out laughing at the absurdity of this little drama. My companion, who does not always share my sense of humour, tried to reason with the gnome, explaining that we were just out for a days wandering and that we had no intention of fishing, but thanked him for the information all the same, explaining that I had a respiratory problem and that's why I appeared to crying with laughter.



    Aye, well, if I see you on the ****ing water I'm calling the ****ing polis. Arseholes.



    With that, he turned on his heel and marched off just like a munchkin from the Wizard of Oz. By now, I was gasping for breath and had to be helped back to the car. What a little tit. I have no doubt that he is a well known resident of the area and holds himself in high regard, but for crying out loud. What a way to start the day. What motivates these people?



    Well, after that we had no choice but to drive on until we found a likely looking space to hide the car and get on to the bank. We found a delightful little spot and got ourselves ready. The place was heaving with trout, rising and jumping for the stoneflies on the surface, or just for the sheer joy of it. We reckoned it would a matter of ease to hook one, and both chose a fly that looked enough like the hatch and cast out.



    As I said at the start of this entry, nothing went right. Every rise to my fly resulted in a refusal, every take spat out a split second later. I lost count of how many fish I missed, or how many missed my fly. Damn and blast your googly eyes, you slimy little sods! I lost about a dozen flies to mistimed or misplaced back casts, used almost all of my tippets and wasted at least half an hour tying and re-tying. My friend fared little better, and gave his frustration it's full head with such dreadful language that I'm sure he must have loosened a filling or two.



    Eventually, through sheer perseverance. I managed to get the hook into one of them and played it for as long as I dared, having left my net in the car. It wasn't very big, maybe 2lb or a little less. A decent fish under normal circumstances, but the loch holds much bigger specimens, so it was a bit of a disappointment after all the trouble we had taken to get here. Trouble, I must admit, that was almost completely of our own making.



    Not long after I put it back, we saw a boat drifting towards us and we sneaked off back to the car and debated what to do next. We were within casting distance of about 20 more waters, but we didn't know them at all, so we had a bit of brekky and drove to one of my favourite hill lochs and spent the balance of the day chasing brown trout and watching the visiting sea eagles glide around, screech at one another and generally be magnificent. No members appeared until around 7pm, so we had the place to ourselves for the whole day, and had little trouble in catching the grown on fish that swim freely there. Wonderful. It was agreed that we should have started and stayed here, but only with the benefit of hindsight. How dull it would be if we could predict our every moment. No thanks.



    So, another day of misadventure and bad luck, but it's all part of the game, and I love it no less for all that it deals out the occasional bad hand. There is rain forecast for the next few days, so I will probably spend them writing my book, sorting my tackle and dreaming dreams of silly little midgets being chased by moustachioed buccaneers.



    Until next time, tight lines and Tally Ho!
     
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  2. crabby_old_man

    crabby_old_man Member

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    Hello!



    Sorry it's been so long since I wrote an entry for the diary, but all sorts of unhelpful things have happened in the past few months and I've been kept on the back foot. Comes with age I suppose. I won't bore you with the humdrum and tedium, you all have to deal with real life often enough. If fishing is about anything, it's about getting away from all that.



    Incidentally, to the clever clogs who thought he had 'outed ' me, you didn't. All you accomplished was making yourself look stupid and throwing shade on a completely innocent party. I would prefer to keep my identity a secret, but it's really not that important. I'm just relating my experiences, hopefully in an entertaining manner. It's not like I'm writing a subversive political manifesto for goodness sake. Try too keep some sense of perspective.





    I have been out fishing when I've been able, and I have had some great days. I even bought a ticket for a very famous river and had a wonderful time with a small group of friends being patronized by a half ****ed guide, caught a few sea trout (see below) and almost fell into the the main pool, having partaken a little too liberally of the rather poor quality usige beatha included in the price. No harm done, but we were given a stern talking to like a couple of naughty schoolboys. Well worth the £80 asking price on its own in my opinion.





    With luck, the misfortune that has befallen me recently has petered out and I will be able to get on with my dark and underhanded business unfettered and unhindered by such trivial banalities as have plagued me for far too long now. The season is drawing to a close, and the weather isn't helping at all, but I have plans and personal ambitions to fulfil before the dreaded 6th comes around. I'm hoping to get out later this week to a river I haven't fished for a while and where I have had some success in the past, so I will return soon, possibly with a tale or two to tell.

    Until then, Tight lines and Tally Ho!
     

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  3. hullcitytilidie

    hullcitytilidie Member

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    Illegitimi non carborundum Crabby, I for one enjoy the tales you tell and wish you all the best. Only hope you write that book. Regards.
     
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  4. crabby_old_man

    crabby_old_man Member

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    Oh rain, rain go away!

    I really did have plans to go so many places, but the entire summer has been a total washout so far. Everytime I've made a plan, either the chosen river has flooded, or the hill lochs have been inaccessible due to high winds and lightning storms. I expect a few of you have had the same experience and I expect that you are becoming as frustrated as I am now. I'm considering taking a short holiday in Spain, or one of it's many islands, just to get some fishable conditions. This is unbearable.
     
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  5. Shirleycodlin

    Shirleycodlin Global Moderator - The Cod Obsessed one.

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    Ill take all the rain you can send, even if it means spending the winter working in it. All I ask in return is that you send some Cod down to Dungeness!
     
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  6. crabby_old_man

    crabby_old_man Member

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    After a wait of far too long to get out on the water, I chose today's venue with some care. I had a disastrous trip here last year, with a twisted ankle on the ice rink like riverbed, a needless and tiresome confrontation with a ticket holder and a dropped fly box being among the best things that happened. In order to forestall a repetition of these unspeakable horrors, I employed the six military P's, left early and carefully made my way to the chosen beat.



    I love this time of year, especially on this particular river. Choosing the more popular rambling path I got to where I wanted to be within an hour or so, just as the sun was rising. The water was lower than I would have liked, and it was gin clear, neither being ideal for fishing in, but I had no choice other than to make do with what was on offer. After carefully selecting a team of flies using the proven 'eeny meeny' method I tied up with a sedgehog at the front, a parachute dun in the middle and a tiny Copper John at the end. The hope was that the two dries would keep the john out of the weed and high enough in the water that the fish would see it. I have used this team in the past with some success so I was hopeful of a catch.



    After an hour or so of fruitless casting and some colourful cursing, I caught a small brown of maybe a pound or so in the bigger of the two pools on the copper. With shallow water at both the head and the tail of the pool it had nowhere to go and raced up and down like a thing possessed. Netting it was problematic in the relatively fast water at the head, but I managed to get it in within a few minutes.



    Encouraged by my success, I moved a little further up the river than I had originally planned, but I could hear voices and was wary of being discovered by legitimate fluff chuckers, especially after my experience here a year or so ago. I needn't have worried though. It was just a dog walker, one of many who use the river to walk their pets or packs. Lulled into a sense of security and serenity, I lost focus for a time and stood with my eyes closed and listened to the sound of a world without the intrusion of man.



    To hear the bees gently buzz as they went about their timeless business, and the song of the swifts in the fields as they gathered insects over fields of golden wheat swaying to and fro, caught in the careless whim of a summers breeze brought peace to my inner self. A soothing I have not felt for many a long day. I breathed it in heavily and felt the joy of the sun on my face and the water at my feet . I felt the rhythm of nature as it carried me along on its ineffable and unhurried tide. To surrender ones self to the day is something we do far too seldom, especially in these turbulent times, and I cried aloud for the sheer joy of it.



    Well, after another hour or two 's stubborn refusal to go to the trouble of changing my flies, I hooked into another brown of around the same size and called it a day as far as fishing went. An unhurried walk back to the car and a pleasant conversation with another angler, found me back just in time to have an ice cream and watch some adventurous and youthful types skilfully surf their way along the bay. Wonderful stuff.



    After a long delayed start to the season, this was a very good day all told, and I feel that I have recharged my battery and am looking forward to the rest of the year immensely.



    As ever, tight lines and Tally Ho!
     
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  7. bigfish murtha

    bigfish murtha Member

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    Welcome back crabby.....and tight lines for the season......:thumbsup: your adventures are a glimmering light in the dark mire bud....:thumbsup:
     
  8. crabby_old_man

    crabby_old_man Member

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    Thank you Murtha. Its good to be out fishing again. I fear that my wits may have dulled a little with age and lack of practice, but I'm sure I can still give the ghillies a run for thier money.
     
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  9. glandyman

    glandyman Member

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    You have made my day crabby, followed your adventures for years , lovely to see you back on the water. How is the book going?
     
  10. crabby_old_man

    crabby_old_man Member

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    The book is progressing slowly I'm afraid. I had hoped to have at least a dozen more stories to tell, but after last years wash out summer, yet another move and the current situation I expect that it would have been more of a pamphlet.

    All going well, I hope to have it finished by christmas or thereabouts.
     
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  11. katana

    katana Member

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    These are great reports. Thank you. I’m doing some harmless experiments in the way of not buying permits myself. Down South the territory is a bit different of course. The bailiffs are just as peppery though. I’m just starting out and have had a few undisturbed trips, and one blazing row with two charming gentlemen by a muddy Sussex seatrout pool. My conclusion from that was, fishing in the pouring rain is very nice actually, and bailiffs don’t like that weather, however, when the downpour stops, it’s time to leave. So far, zero daytime seatrout for me, which is the target. Going to mix it up a bit next time out; still on the sea-trout in the day hunt. I plan to take a kayak to the lower reaches of a certain famous chalk stream. Now, I say mix it up because as far as I can see I won’t be transgressing. The spot I have in mind is tidal, and outside the boundaries of named fisheries. However, there’s a mobile unit of shouty bailiffs who basically hate anyone being on what they see as their river. Apparently they really really like shouting a lot and really really like shouting at kayakers. I think if they see a kayaker fishing it will just about cause them to explode. So let’s pray for heavy rain...
     
  12. katana

    katana Member

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    And I agree with everyone else; your book deserves to be the next Compleat Angler. While I’m on here; I hope it’s ok to share my speculations about acting and poaching. I do sometimes get paid to do the former. I think my most successful poaching experiences have been when I didn’t actually realise I was doing it. It’s the insouciant self-confidence that carries me through, I believe. A few times I’ve wandered without knowing from a public to a private stretch on a river. I’ve gaily nattered with legitimate permit holders and not been challenged. On those occasions the sense of self-entitlement has been unconscious. It didn’t occur to me I was doing anything wrong so all the little furtive tells that reveal someone is up to no good weren’t there. I wish I were good enough at my profession to pull that off consciously. But then, if I were, it really would be a bit perverse not to buy a permit as my status and financial rewards would be close to DeNiro’s (incidentally Willem Dafoe is a keen fly-fisherman, I’m told). I think the unconscious sense of self-entitlement thing was working in the first few seconds the time I had the barney with the Sussex Seatrout Cops. I’d been poaching for hours, frankly, with no success whatsoever, and was just practising casting, seeing how far I could shoot line when the two meanies walked by. I wasn’t actually trying to catch a fish by that point and was quite bored and so; relaxed. The thing is; chief meanie actually said ‘Alright mate’ in a friendly manner as he was going past. Then I saw the dreadful realisation dawning in his eyes that he didn’t know me. I guess that club has some sort of triple-security identity checking system that they bought from the C.I.A . His eyes started twirling around and getting bloodshot and so on. He stepped much too close to me, trembling with anger and told me that I couldn’t fish there. His friend sneered that he couldn’t ‘believe I thought I could get away with it’. In these situations I’m afraid I rarely show myself in the best light. It might be the actor in me but I find myself actually believing my own bullshit. I riposted that how was I to know that it was private water? Were there signs? (There were but not at the exact spot where I was). I then, full of righteous indignation, told the pair of them that they were very rude and I wasn’t surprised that angling was in decline. I’m not tempted to go back really, because though I saw huge seatrout jumping, it’s a muddy pool that probably only responds to a fly a few times a year.
     

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