Kilburnlad | Fishing

Kilburnlad

As a lad I spent every bit of spare time fishing.

The irony is that in those days transport was a nightmare, but my friends and I used to struggle on buses and trains to get to places like Rickmansworth, Richmond and Hampton Court. In time, university, work, career, family and all the usual things took me away from the river bank but whenever I was near water I always yearned to be sitting there watching a float.

We moved in 2004 to Cambridgeshire and retirement was on the horizon, and this was the catalyst to get back out there. We have some good lakes nearby and I have dabbled in the River Welland at Stamford, a place that I’m nostalgic about as I spent time there as a young boy with my aunt. In fact it was at Stamford, aged about 10, that I first wanted a fishing rod, but alas my wish wasn’t granted.

Since getting back to fishing I have been much more methodical in recording my outings. A small digital camera with a tripod facilitates a photographic record, although some of the expressions I make when facing the camera while awaiting its countdown timer are quiet weird.

All this is recorded in my fishing diary, which uses a blogging format that allows me to tag each entry in respect of the species of fish caught, and thus provide links to those outings where they were caught. The Best Fish Gallery shows some of my better recent catches.

A few old photos, mainly from my youth, when a camera was something you put a film in.
  • Barbel - Holybrook 1964/65
    Holybrook barbel
    Barbel
    Holybrook - a tributary of the River Kennet near Reading.
    Stonebridge Park AS water. I was a member.
    Taken circa 1964/65.
  • Barbel Holybrook 1964/65
    Holybrook barbel
    Barbel Holybrook.
    Also circa 1964/65.
  • Barbel - Runnymede - circa 1970
    Barbel Runnymede on Thames
    Thames barbel - Runnymede - circa 1970.
  • I won trophies!
    SPAS Awards
    When I was young I joined the Stonebridge Park Angling Society (SPAS) and almost every Sunday caught the club coach to go fishing.

    We fished the Thames a lot, but we also ventured up onto the Ouse in Cambridgeshire and various other waters that were exchange visits with other clubs.

    Once a year we left at midnight for our trip to the Throop fishery on the Dorset Stour. Quite an adventure for Kilburnlad.

    One must remember that not many people had cars in those days, so fishing clubs were the only way that many could easily explore distant venues.
  • Blenheim Palace - circa 1965
    Geoff - Blenheim
    My good friend Geoff with two tench at Blenheim Palace lake.

    Another friend, Alastair, had arranged the trip. We hired a punt, there being no bank fishing allowed, and spent the day catching the renowned Blenheim tench.

    I remember that I had recently read about the ‘lift method’ in the Angling Times, whereby a large split shot was placed close to the hook, sufficient to sink the float. By adjusting the float setting it just cocked with the shot on the bottom, when a tench lifted the bait the float lifted and laid flat. Amazingly it worked and I caught a tench soon after arriving.

    I was the only one with a camera so there are no pictures of me!
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