An Old Schooler returns...

chub_on_the_block

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Hello

I started fishing in the mid 1970s, in SW London, at the age of ten or so. Earliest memories fishing the Thames, Bushy Park, Cannon Hill Common. Joined Merton Angling Club in about 1981, left in about 1984 (club no longer exists - any old members out there?). With this club, went on coach trips to great venues in Southern England such as the Dorset Stour, Hants Avon, Rother, Wallers Haven and many lakes such as Witley Park (my all-time favourite venue). I used to do OK in the matches at that time, even though i was barely an adult member then - remember catching 67Ib of Rudd in five hours once !

The mid-late 1980s i spent fishing in Norfolk as i was based in Norwich. I spent one autumn and winter in search of a 2Ib roach from a swim in the River Yare in a section that was barely fished at all - saw a shoal of 1-2Ib fish on my first visit in a shaded weed-free pool under an enormous overhanging tree but only managed to get one out that was over a pound despite many dawn or dusk sessions on the stick or leger.

Since the early 1990s i barely fished at all, apart from the odd trip afar, until this season. Still getting my head around all the changes - predominance of boilies, pellets, hair rigs, bolt rigs, spods, method feeders etc which are all techniques or methods i have never used. I am sad that many/most waters now appear to be carp fisheries or are pea-soup commercial waters stuffed with fish. I am sure i will enjoy the odd session on such waters to remind myself what it is like to have some decent fish in my swim, but catching fish with mouth damage from over-fished waters etc does not light my candle.

Ideally I am hoping to find some nice roach or bream fishing on the local Great Ouse, Ivel or Cam or tench, crucian and rudd fishing in a weedy pond in more natural surroundings. A local tackle dealer has pointed out that what i am looking for doesn't really exist anymore ..but hey the places i used to fish were generally off the radar even back in the "good" old days!!. I have found some nice looking waters and wetted my appetite with some modest catches, .so fingers crossed for the autumn.

Tight Lines to all

Dave
 

Bluenose

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Welcome to the site mate. Those fisheries in the natural surroundings you seek are still out there if you look albeit probably in different places from 25 years ago. However there's a good chance you'll often be on your own when you find them!
 
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preston96

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Good to see one of the old school return to the fold.......may we all keep fit enough and live long enough to keep finding those secluded waters.
 

chub_on_the_block

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Thanks - thats encouraging.

I know what you mean about not the nice waters of the past not necessarily being the same today. I was checking out a stretch of the Thames near Shepperton where i stumbled upon a huge shoal of bream once - fish topping and rolling under far bank willows which lined the bank for about 100 yards or more. On google Earth i now see that the trees are long gone and there are grassed gardens backing down to the river in their place - the 1987 gales/development has changed that particular short section beyond recognition.
 

blankmeister

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Hi Chub. I started my fishing in the Thames at Teddington back in the sixties. Bushy Park (Diana, Long Water Leg of Mutton etc) were my next favourite venues. I fished a match once with the Leatherhead club at Witley Park. Brilliant shoals of Crucians. Came fourth, just outside the money:(
Anyway, welcome mate, I think you'll enjoy it here:)
 

chub_on_the_block

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Thanks Blankmeister. I used to mostly fish the Heron in Bushy back in the mid 1980s - wading out for bream, tench to 4.5Ib + nice rudd and roach - even had a 2Ib 5oz crucian there once (real one too) but never saw any others. Remember Hampton Wick/Wall Pond fondly too (no fishing since about 1981). Witley was a stunner too - did a third place once with just over 50Ib of the golden beauties.

---------- Post added at 16:22 ---------- Previous post was at 16:07 ----------

Welcome to FM Dave,

Those good ole days can still be relived, although as Bluenose says not necessarily in the same places.

Here's some crucian nostalgia for you :) CLICK HERE
Thats a nice well written article, ****y - looks a great place too - along the lines of what i am looking for (without limited success so far) around here!
 

Peter Jacobs

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Welcome to FM Dave.

I am very much like you in that I far prefer the 'old' and more traditional venues, and as Bluenose said, they are still out there.

I would far rather squeeze into a small gap between trees and fish a hole in the lillys than sit on a wooden palette on a commercial 'fishery'
 

Colin North the one and only

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Witley Park! What a lovely venue. My club (New Studio/Studio Angling Society) used to have a couple of matches there a year. Dorset Stour (Throop) and the Avon, Wallers Haven, the Rother, Kent Stour, Medway and all up and down the Thames. Happy days.

Welcome Dave to FM
 

chub_on_the_block

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Thanks for the welcomes..the mention of the Medway got me recalling a time our club fished at Tonbridge and the only time i ever fished it - all 20 or so of us blanked!. Had a similar trip to the Grand Union Canal when there was 2ft of snow all around and ice sheets drifting down..we took the coach with no-one expecting to catch a thing or even get a bite. Some form of masochism i think. Needless to say my mate at the time managed to fluke a chub in the last 10 minutes to bag the sweepstake whilst everyone else was completely biteless. Happy days.
 

the indifferent crucian

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Sadly Witley Park, just down the road from me, is a no-go now. Did you know Chris Yates used to poach there as a youngster?

It is worth a Google and a Google Images to read about and see the place. Incredible story and the man behind it is the reason the National Trust actually exists! There is much photography of the place taken by 'urban ' trespassers or whatever they are called?

The Crucians went to Godalming where they died out and to Bury Hill where some still exist.
 

chub_on_the_block

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Hi Mr Crucian..or should i say Carassius?..I had vaguely heard about Mr Yates exploits and have indeed seen the urban exploration photos of the underwater ballroom etc - great stuff ...if only i was young, reckless or could plead diminished responsibility or something I would be back there like a shot!

Seriously though, why didn't the National Trust or English Heritage purchase it or ensure public access - theres not many places as sweet or unusual as that. Mind you, in either case, we would not be allowed to fish it, just look around at what we are missing.
 
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the indifferent crucian

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It is indeed an extraordinary place with a fascinating history. Access is, er...still possible. The current owner is a little remiss at removing trees that have fallen across the Northern wall beside the woodland which stretches right to the waters edge.

However I am told he owns dogs now.


He doesn't answer letters ( the only person not to do so in my requests so far) and no one answers the doorbell, at what was first the stables and more recently a conference centre.

He has now built a house near the site of the old, but over the brow of the hill so that he can't see the extraordinary lake and its features from his house. How strange!



In one of Chris' autobiographies there is a line drawing by his then wife, 'The Guvnor', which mistakenly shows the glass dome rising above the water line.

If that ever happens several houses and the A3 are flooded !


I had always thought the story a tall tale from a master wordsmith...imagine my shock when I found out it was true:eek:
 
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