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Past History part 1
19-10-2011, 04:56 PM
Post: #1
Past History part 1
Hi all, as your x chairman I have been asked to place a few words and thoughts on this page, before my little grey cells pack in completly. I find it difficult to understand todays modern trend of anglers who spends thousends on gear then proceed to catch the biggest fish around without much basic insight to their surroundings. It is hard to get people into our pastime now, as most young boys are twiddling their thumbs with some sort of electrical gadget, so in the end any new angler is welcome. When I go back to my first angling days, which included wooden center pin reels, catgut line,bread paist or worms for bait only, things were a tad different. Rods were cane only and not the lenghts of today, possibly only 9ft, floats were either quill or cork bodied ones, casting was an art (still is) and our aim on the Wensum was dace,roach,perch,grayling,gudgeon with the odd trout and small jack pike thrown in, nothing above 6oz in the early 50s.
Towards the late 50s I had obtained a rod made from a tank arial, these were very popular easier to cast also it was the invention of the cast easy reel (on of the first bail arm models) which made life better, the local tackle store was Ken Smiths in St Augustines, the smell in the shop was of netting material, keepnets started at around 3ft in length, never dreamed of owning a landing net, umbrellas were not on the scene, and the serious angler had a creel, which I only did away with a few years ago .(even taking it to cuttle mill)Even then there were red letter days among the many blanks, like a 2lb + tench from Costessey pool,1lb+ grayling from Ringland and several 1Lb+ roach from the higher stretches of the Wensum. Access to anywhere was by push bike with all tackle in the saddle bag etc, no specialist cloaths, mainly ex army capes to use in the rain and hurricane lamps if doing all nighters on some of the small ponds/pits that have now sadley been filled in or just died out. The 60's saw massive movements with fibre glass rods and Mitchel reels, line was finer, the broads frequented a lot with a persuit for bream, I believe that the record was about 7 1/2 lbs, rudd were on the raidar and cocky ruff were in abundance.
I remember one of my first night trips fishing a back water dyke in wroxham with a mate, we were both sitting in a one man tent (white) with our hurricane light shining on our floats when the the tent started shaking, it was 3 or 4 coypu eating our ground bait, I can tell you not very pleasent. My worst experience at night was much later when carp fishing Chesire homes from the lawn, it was as black as a witches tit I was doozing/sitting on my creel when I got that feeling I was being watched so I lifted my head and opened my eyes to a peacock which immediatly let off a loud sqeel, my anus come through my eyeballs, and it took me several minutes to get the old ticker back to normal. Even the broads has changed dramaticly, nobody now fishes Irstead half mile (a fantastic match venue then)Irstead churh also a populer place, Ludham banks Horning for boat matches etc.
During this natural process of angling you tend to pick up on the finer side of the game without realising what is going on around you, I was always interest in bankside vegetation, wildlife, and the state of my surroundings and found out what I could by hook or by book. I always kept a diary of catches (unfortunatly I lost mine when I got married, makes you think did I do the right thing)but I do recall catching 3 x 2lb+ rudd within a few hrs one morning while guesting down someones little backwater off the Bure in Wroxham (I was head chef at Bure Court Hotel, and had a row boat),watching tench spawn in a dyke under a bridge, catching 7 pike to over 20lbs in a morning and weighing nets of bream on human weighing scales. There has been a large decline in match angling and clubs in the Norwich area, most firms had a fishing team that fished such great matches as the industries match, the broads open was very popular, several venues for boat matches on the various broads. When I joined WDAC around the mid 70's Bob was living with his mother on Wroxham rd and he had hair! Roy WEbster was the chairperson, and anybody who was anybody belonged to the club as it was at the front of Carp anglers dreams. Dont forget that people like me were chasing to catch a handfull a carp a season, they were not around as they are now, a double was good a twenty? well you would live on that for a whole season. I was taught the art of breeding fish by John Wilson on a work party at the springs, which was very useful at a later stage, Rackheath was clear, free of weed with good stocks of carp,tench,roach,rudd,pike and perch. You had to walk from the side road just past the springs down a long track, which was always firm underfoot through the trees. I still believe that all the flood and run off water has been our main problem coming from the culvert in the dip on Wroxham road, and that adiquate silt traps and a dyke should have been reinstated. Roy,Peter and myself for several years tried to keep the dyke open at the far side, but manually it was very difficult, but this was always done outside of the normal working parties as we all worked shifts, Bob knew what was happening and it was good to be there and do our bit for the club. While Im on that subject I will say that those that have done the good work on the otter fencing need commending, if my health was any better I would have enjoyed the mardle and work. Through my angling life I have fished many great venues with some great chums/buddies and along with Roy have had a whale of a time (he's half inch shorter than me) travelling to Cuttle Mill for a 20lb common, and eventually catching a 23+27 within 20 minutes of each other than a few trips later a 31+, hey that makes me sound a good angler, let me tell you that I recorded 17 blanks on the trot down Rackheath one winter, they may have been small trips of a few hrs but I always recorded wind direction, temp, time of day etc till I found the fish then bingo, several trips with success, it makes it all worth while. Not blowing my own trumpet but it was on a cold winters day that I caught the first 20 from Rackheath, I have the date in my recent diary which is only from around 83. For those who are into Carp, try Horseshoe lake, full of good quality fish 70 acreas and 95% weeded but gin clear, first trip 32+ (after 1 hrs fishing) next trip 8 x 20+ and a scattering of high doubles, worth the 4 hr drive for a long session. Those who can remember REdmire, worth a least a visit only if to say youve been, I will say that Roy had a good result ther (both times)as well as screaming like a school girl when a mink popped his head out of the woodwork and eyed him up. There are too many good anglers that have all contributed to my knowledge or lack of it, but I will also name Blez, Paul, Kenny (who held the Norfolk record for many a year and the fish is in a case at the rat catchers pub Cawston)Sean and the numerious bottles of red wine that have been consumed when on a session.
I believe that you get out of life what you put into it, with ailing health I have been blessed by people looking after me carrying my gear etc and I cant thank them enough. I still try and do what I can for the club and believe it has a good future, but it can be better with the members help, however little. It pays to meet people from the EA for example this all leads to a better understanding of the surrounding your in.

Tight lines
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19-10-2011, 06:44 PM
Post: #2
RE: Past History part 1
Hi RobinSmile

I really enjoyed reading that, im always keen to hear about the angling past, and finding out Bob once had hairTongue
sounds like you had some good times,good catches and plenty of laughs along the waySmile

Im like you and have always enjoyed my fishing, I really class myself as a true allround angler, you made me smile when I read about you "going fishing" on your push bike with all gear strapped to it, i used to do the same as a kid.Smile

Thanks for all the time and effort you have put into the club over the years!
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21-10-2011, 06:20 PM
Post: #3
RE: Past History part 1
Hi Robin

I love to listen/read of stories to do with "The Good Old Days" and the history of local angling.
This is a GREAT post and i look forward to part 2Big GrinBig Grin

Mobile: 07710268854
mhammond57@hotmail.com

All round Angler.
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21-10-2011, 06:36 PM
Post: #4
RE: Past History part 1
Luv it! Pt 2 please Robin.
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22-10-2011, 09:01 PM
Post: #5
RE: Past History part 1
re: Past history pt1.
Hi Robin when is the book coming out, best thing i have read for ages. Everything has gone tech mad these days, with to many rules. For your article alone you deserve a medal, and thats without even considering the tireless work and dedication you have given the club over the years, cheers,Bob N.
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