Saturday 27 April 2019

A sad farewell

last week was a pretty sad affair , Our Choccy lab that has been part of the Family for the last nearly 12 years was taken on her final trip to the Vets.  She had struggled with ill health for the last couple of years .  But still had a healthy appetite and an ever wagging tail .  Sadly though the signs of pain and suffering were becoming clearer and clearer .  In January our Vet had expressed surprise that she had made it to 2019 .  But finally and not without much soul searching the final decision to remove her suffering was made .  A very difficult decision but here two weeks on I know i made the right decision .  So in recognition of a great fun filled life here is a blog entry just for Ruby ...

She was a dog that could eat anything , No actually I will say eat almost anything and if it wasnt fit to eat then it was perfect for rolling in .  Badger Shit is a case in point for those not familier with badger shit imagine super glue mixed with crushed earthworms , rotten fish and green slime which contained a secret ingredient making it detergent proof.  Oh and the smell ......

My early dream of a fishing companion came to nothing her love of water was so intense that despite early efforts the nearest I got was a kick sampling assistant .   Winter or Summer fresh or saltwater she loved it all .  Living as we do near the sea seaweed was a popular snack for her , unfortunately the effect on her stomach was like a mixture of epsom salts and napalm only more smelly .  She soon sussed that eating seaweed would result in us shouting at her so she would grab a lump of kelp and race in the sea and sit amongst the waves , chewing and I am bloody sure she was smiling at the winter the the place in front of the wood burner was hers... We had a blanket to cover her with when we loaded the fire to protect her from embers ,  She sure as hell wouldn't move..

She was for all that a perfect dog ,  friendly always ready for an adventure and always ready for food.   Amongst her talents was the ability to sweep up pedestrians .  This involved running along country footpaths carrying a stick ,  well when i say stick actually small trees would be more appropriate .  I have seen her take out whole families .  She even wiped herself out a couple of times , she never really grasped that you cant get through two trees 4ft apart carrying a six foot branch especially whilst running ...

So I will forget the stomach upsets and vets bills , I will forget the tick removals , I wont forget the earthquakes under the dining table when a food morsel is carelessly dropped and she chased it down . I wont forget when after a bit of wine my animated conversation wielding crackers and stilton about resulted in a perfect timed interception and the morsel was plucked from my hand. Last I dont think I will ever be able to use the toaster again without expecting to see the head peering around the door as the toast pops up...

Friday 5 April 2019

So start the clock again

Well folks here we again.  A new spring is here and a new season started .  As has become usual over the last couple of years , opening day has come and despite recent rain the rivers are still pretty low and I an sure that come the summer we will pay the price for the last mild and dry winter.  The results of the winter inactivity have been a decent enough winter Grayling total , to be honest the best I have had for a few years . but it will be nice to hit the rivers for trout again.

I have as always been unable to resist the temptation of a few new bits of gear .  This year a new to feed my growing light line fetish , a Loop 8ft 6" 2wt arrived as did a Scott 8ft 8" 4 wt .  Did I need them ?. Well probably not .  I need stuff like fly floatant and new tippets. But the honest truth is I dont actually need anything significant but there is always stuff that i want.

The river looked stunning but fish have been hard to come by .  Nothing larger than parr size so far.  I guess if I put a nymph on I might do better but determined to have the first of the season on a dry.  So far have had three rise to a fly but to bloody slow or maybe even to anxious. 

The wild Garlic is brilliant right now dense aromatic carpets of it.  As usual a bag full went home with me for chicken and wild garlic soup..  I suppose right now I am just grateful for the first signs of warmer weather appearing. 

This weekend the first few butterflies were around in the sunshine .  The odd bumblebee is waking up to. 

Not to mention the spring flowers ...  oh and I have joined a couple of new clubs this year so will be visiting a couple of larger rivers again.. Watch this space . 

Constable Wallop Brook

 I picked this rod up at the Grayling Society Auction at the last Symposium. What a cracking little rod !!! . I am getting increasingly fond...