Monday, 1 March 2010

Spinning: A Yarn With An Urban Fly Guy

Some lesser known species of ‘trout bum’ found in the mud

A long-time ago another blogger had given me my first lesson on the fly, we’d stalked wild trout inside the M25 (the orbital road that encircles London), a summers day in the garden of england, a delightful afternoon spent on the banks once fished by Dickens, out in the further reaches of the ‘burbs but still technically within the city. 

Ah Mr Quinn I Presume?

After much to-ing and fro-ing we’d set a new challenge, fishing the lowest pool of the Ravensbourne, where it meets the Thames, just as the tide turns and starts to fill it with salt water – as the big-uns came to snaffle up the little-uns. Cold enough to snow, wet enough for the constant light rain to keep it from ever settling, welcome to urban fishing, in London, in the mud, in February. Brrrrrrrrr! 
'Where the Ravensbourne meets the Thames' sounds kind of classy doesn't it? 
It's also known (somewhat more figuratively) as Deptford Creek.

'And for my next trick..............'

We’d both attended the Creekside Centres excellent Low Tide Walk (my version of events here) and seen first hand evidence of the juvenile Flounder, Mitten Crabs and Urban Detritus. The tackle shop didn't have a 'caddice of old bike flys' so  Jeremiah had armed himself with a Flounder Fly. He's an optimist.

The history books are full of mentions of the Eel fishing industry that flourished in symbiosis with the tanneries the area was also known for, even all these years later the mud is still throwing up plenty of evidence both of the tanneries and of course the south londoners inbred impulse, that when disposing of almost anything, lobbing it in the river is best practice.

There is very very little solid ground in this part of the river mouth. Armed with 9 ft of spinning rod I cast out a sprat intending to freeline the current. I was temparily fascinated, and distracted by Jeremiah's vigorous casting.

I thought I was standing on the only other bit of solid ground, I took his photo and suddenly I relaised that my bait had crossed the river at 90 degrees to the current and my line was now disappearing into a mud bank. I stuffed the camera into a pocket, pulled and pulled at the line, but before I could get any back my legs had sunk beyond the tops of the famous YELLOW wellies! Opps!
The guys from the building site on the opposite bank were pissing themselves laughing, and shouting. [As yer do].


Building Site Guys: “Should we come and get you out?’
                                  SBW: “No No I’ll be fine”. [gives cheery wave]

I literally had to use my hands to dig out my boots, thankfully with my feet still in them. The mud really stank. It sucked.


Defeated but not disheartened, we retreated to The Birds Nest to plot further adventures, where our arrival was celebrated by another group of builders.


Building Site Guys: 
"Fishing in the morning, pub in the afternoon, that's the life boys"
I made him about right.
Your pal
The bushwacker


32 comments:

Deus Ex Machina said...

All of my fishing stories sound similar, except not so comical. Perhaps, it is simply your state of reference. I think that I'll stick with the bow. Thank you for the chuckle. May the fishing be good, but the pint better.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

DExM

Glad you liked it. But if you think I suck at fishing wait 'till you hear about how i suck at archery!

SBW

Wendy said...

I don't have any fishing stories, but there was this one time we thought we'd walk out on the clam flats and take a look at what the clammers (all of whom were wearing something similar to your "wellies" - we learned why, pretty quickly :) were doing. I almost lost my shoe ... and my foot! in the soft mud. It looked firm ;). It was funny enough that I was sinking, but even funnier was my girls screeching that they were sinking ... and expecting me to rescue them despite the fact that I was ankle deep in the mud, too. Ah! It's all good, eh?

NorCal Cazadora said...

Nice, SBW. Shame about those yellow wellies, but what a treat to have such an appreciative audience!

Leigh said...

I find comfort in your post! Reminds me of my friends and I going frog giggin' with a case of beer in tow. That was... interesting.

Funny post.

mdmnm said...

Tough to cast a fly with that high wall behind you. I've dealt with a similar sort of obstacle in the Rio Grande Gorge, fly casting for pike. That's a good forty miles from a pub, though, let alone one with such an apropos name for the fisherman.

"Where the Ravensbourne meets the Thames" sounds decidedly classy, too.

Chad Love said...

If I ever make it back to London I'm bringing a travel rod and I expect a guided fishing trip on the Thames...seriously.

Keep up the fishing posts. I always enjoy them because I have such a blank notion of what Euro fishing is really like.

Josh said...

That was a great post! I'll be referencing it at my blog soon.

By the way, I want the recipe for that flounder fly. It is beautiful, & I've got just the place to use it.

Murphyfish said...

Ahoy SBW,
It looks like, despite the grim surroundings that you enjoyed yourselves, well at least I did reading about your mis-adventure! I can’t wait to hear about your archery prowess, tight lines for your future fishing my good man.
Regards,
John

I am Stan said...

Ha ha ha I love that flounder fly...

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Dude, you REALLY need to get to a place where the fishing is hot. Every time I read your fishing posts, there are no fish! Come to California and we'll clean up, grill our catch and hoist a pint or three!

h.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Wendy

I've always been terrified of doing that, glad you got away with it!
SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Norcal

Treat? Hmmm

SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Leigh

Thanks, I thought the building site guys shouldn't have all the fun.
SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

MDMNM
40 miles ouch!
SBW

PS please enable RSS or Feedburner so your fans can follow your blog - i'm reading too many to keep track with just the power of my poor overworked brain.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Chad
For the last effing time it's WHEN.
I even started sorting out some deer stalking this afternoon, just for... well OK not JUST for you...
SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Josh

Thanks man, considering the work you put into your blog that's high praise.

I'll pass your request on the JQ - but judging by the box he took it out of i think he [sacrilege alert] bought it.

SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Josh

Thanks man, considering the work you put into your blog that's high praise.

I'll pass your request on the JQ - but judging by the box he took it out of i think he [sacrilege alert] bought it.

SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Josh

Thanks man, considering the work you put into your blog that's high praise.

I'll pass your request on the JQ - but judging by the box he took it out of i think he [sacrilege alert] bought it.

SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

John St Murphyfishington

Thanks fella, yes if I ever had a redeeming feature it's my ability to have a good time in whatever circumstance come my way.

You really wont believe how badly i suck at archery, its shocking. Still that's never stopped me from throwing money at a hobby before

SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Stan

Careful! you'll spill it!

SBW

Tovar Cerulli said...

Great post, SBW! If my earliest fishing outings resembled that one, I think they would have been my last!

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

tovar

LOL it wasn't as bad as all that, JQ is very funny.
SBW

Anonymous said...

You do put a brave face on a miserable day of fishing, SBW.

True I bought the flounder fly at Farlow's. It convinced me if not the fish. Ah well.

The fish must be there. Would love to hear if anyone else can catch them.

Jeremiah

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

J

I long since learned to put a brave face on it all my early fishing adventures were with the miserable johna, so i had to be cheerful for the both of us.

I say we go back with a net and a boat, failing that dynamite!

SBW

mdmnm said...

SBW-
Thanks for letting me know. I checked and it looks like mine is RSS enabled. Any further troubles and I'll work on getting them fixed.

Ken and Joanne said...

I think they call the sport "fishing." Not "catching." I suspect from my own experiences and those of others that catching does not play a very significant role in fishing. Beer, however, is another story. Ken

LSP said...

Used to drink in the Bird's nest aeons ago - Deptford was an eye opener for me, you understand...

pathfindertom said...

thanks for the comment about ishi on my other blog.

feel free to check out my active blog here.

tomahawk

http://tomahawksadventuretravel.blogspot.com/

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Ken

A wise man once said 'there's a fine line between fishing and standing by the water holding a stick'

Consoles me it does
SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

LSP

I bet its pretty much unchanged. TBN still has punk bands on, still a complete tip.

Jeremiah was quite concerned about the appropriateness of his attire, I reassured him he was if anything over dressed.

SBW

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Pathfindertom

Thanks for stopping by, your new blog looks great
SBW