Monday, 26 October 2009

Hedgerow Offerings

Got up early on Sunday but sadly a really windy day. The water was like the sea on a bad day, so decided to make the most of being out and go pick some hedgerow goodies instead. I'd spied a few bushes on Saturday and headed there.
This time of year is full of the tastiest ripe fruits and most of it goes to the birds. First pic is of Haws, these fruits of the common Hawthorn tree make a great jelly which is amazing with meat and game the same way you'd use redcurrant jelly, also nice on toast! They can also be used to make a dipping sauce like Chinese Hoi Sin recipe here. Next pic are Sloes, these grow on Blackthorn bushes which are usually planted in amongst hedgerows of Hawthorn. These make the classic Sloe Gin or Vodka and there are tons of recipes on the net. They can also be used in a hedgerow fruit jelly. Last pic are Rowans and these grow everywhere and the best ones are the ones planted by man not wild varieties. Wild fruits can be extremely bitter and the best thing to do is try fruits before picking from tree. If sweet with a little bitter after taste you've got a winner. These make another jelly for which there are plenty of recipes around and I also use these when making Rose hip jelly. Rose hips have no Pectin needed to set jams so if you use 3 parts Rose hips to 1 part Rowans you'll get a good set jelly as Rowans are packed with Pectin.
Well after an hour and a half I had 2kg Rose hips, 1.5kg Sloes, 2kg Haws and 1.5kg Rowans so off home to make some easy delicious things you just cant buy.

It had to happen sometime, a blank!

Well had a great year so far but Saturday ended my unbeaten run. Went out around two and was greeted by a brisk breeze, not my favourite weather. I find wind is my biggest problem when fishing in general and especially on the canal as it makes bites very difficult to see. With the choppy water you either keep striking at every possible movement of the float or you end up missing bites. Anyway after about half an hour and changing swim I got a very cautious bite, but was off. So cast again to same spot and once again a very gentle drag at my bait but nothing there. Well wind picked up and decided to try deeper rig but after another hour and no more takes I decided to go and try another day. My first blank in such along time. I'd seen some berries on my way down so went of to do some recon on way home.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

My smallest catch ever!

Well another gorgeous day yesterday so couldn't waste it. Went out around 2pm again and thought I'd try the mooring behind Westerhailes petrol station as I've not been there for a while. Set up in lovely warm sunshine and saw some fly activity on water so things looked promising. An hour and a quarter dragged by, my confidence sinking into the depths. Apart from a rat skulking from the bushes to the water I'd seen no movement at all! Then it all changed, caught a nice shiny Roach about 4-5 ounce, put back and popped new bait on. Went for the same spot and again another Roach a bit smaller but still nice. Noticed much more timid takes, think cause the water is really cold now. This time I didn't even see float twitch, I just noticed it had stopped drifting and right enough another but about 2-3 ounce. Next cast a wee one about the same size, seems like a new crop of tiddlers. I topped my day off when I saw float bobbing, lifted and looked like I'd caught a bit of silver paper. It was without question the smallest fish I have ever caught. At 3 cm i didn't even think it was possible for it to take the hook, even the maggot looked impressive next to it :) So decided it was time to go, really nice couple of hours and a good bit of fun.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Long time no see!

Hi folks, gotta start with an apology for not blogging for what seems like ages. I am currently seeking work and whilst this means I have more time I've not been in the mood for fishing with a few financial worries on my mind. Anyway that's my problems moaned about back to fishing.
Went out last Wednesday, but like its been a lot recently, it was really windy and hard to keep sight on float never mind see any takes. None the less caught and landed a nice shiny Roach about 10 ounce within first few minutes. Missed 3 takes in a row and water was rough so decided to call it a night.
Today was so nice out I couldn't not chance my luck packed my gear and started fishing about 2pm. Ten minutes in float disappeared into the depths but not quick enough and it was gone. Nothing much happened for half an hour till once again float vanished from sight, this time I was alert and tightened firmly into a lovely bright 7-8 ounce Roach. Pleased with myself, changed maggot and popped it into a nice fishy looking spot. It hadn't drifted 2 foot before I was into a seriously annoyed Roach, around 9-10 ounce but bite mark on one side. Photo taken, put back, change maggot and presented again. Missed another on the drop! So decided when it went all still it was time to call it a day at four.