On recent trips to this stretch of the river it's fair to say that luck has deserted me. Well, not so much deserted, as changed its name, appearance and upped sticks to a completely different county without leaving so much as a forwarding address.
Free lining has always been one of my favourite ways to fish - whether it's a large lump of luncheon meat rolled down the bottom of a fast river for barbel or a couple of dog biscuits floating on the surface for carp. There's also something special about free lining on a small river, and something pleasing about using a bait like breadflake, pinched onto the hook and then dunked to make it sink and give it weight for the cast.Read more
Sometimes it feels as though the rain has settled in for the summer. It’s had a good look round (the wettest April to June since records began) and likes what it sees, so it’s hunkered down and is here for the duration.
It's not often that I've had my rod pulled in - or nearly pulled in. It happened on Munky Island once on the Thames when I returned from a crafty slash to find my rod, reel and everything to do with both had just...gone. I eventually spotted the tip of the butt end poking out of the water about 20 feet downstream...Read more
I once held the record for the most roach caught in a day from the village pond - 40, if memory serves. I caught them all on tiny bits of cheese fished on a size 16 hook with a matchstick as a float. In order to reach the fish I took off my shoes and socks and waded into Latchmoor pond...Read more
Sometimes it feels as though I have many lives. Most of us have at least two - our personal life (or family life if we're lucky) and our professional life. If you're an angler, then you need to add at least one more to that; and if you're a musician, another on top of those three...Read more
Ray & I went to the river yesterday. Sometimes at this time of the year, this is a bleak place. The wind whips across the flood plan and freezes your knackers off before you've had a chance to tackle up, but for January yesterday was almost warm - in fact, I was in shirt sleeves for most of the afternoon.
Rob Beattie is the author of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.