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Old 09-02-13, 09:54
AndyHoldcroft AndyHoldcroft is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Default Family transcript 6: "Fishing Diary" pt 4

The fourth set of transcripts of the diary of Edward Dolton


Jan 8
Haselour in River Meace. Fine warm day for the month. Fished the whole of the water, 2 ½ miles, up and down for pike but did not touch a fish. Heard since that river has been well netted lately by outgoing tenant. A day wasted.

Jan 16
River Alne, Wootton Wawen. Very warm, nice day & water rather coloured. Caught 26 fish – 10 of them kept for bait. Bennett’s man accidentally knocked off ladder into pigstye (sic) and badly injured about the face. Lay unconscious for some time and when he came to says “the pig was drinking his blood”.
Feb 19
Upper Witton Reservoir. Spun for pike with finest tackle but touched nothing except weeds. Saw flock of 30 Widgeon on Middle Reservoir near the side. Very tame and they slowly sailed away into the centre. Keeper says a flock sometimes large and at other times small (according to weather) stays al winter.

Feb 28
Haselour in Meace. Bitterly cold N.E. wind. Fished for perch, chub & roach but no result. Saw a very fine roach abt. 2 lb weight near side but would not feed. Plenty of pigeons, wild ducks & water hens about.
March 12
River Avon at Binton47 with Mr Edwards. Magnificent day, sunny & soft warm westerly wind. No fish caught by either of us, as they did not seem to be feeding. Probably they were courting as the surroundings were favourable. A chub of about 3 lb weight was pursuing a dace of about the same number of ounces – apparently with the intention of eating him.

47 About 5 miles west of Stratford-upon-Avon.
Mar 14
Witton: Upper Reservoir. Cold and dull day; water rather fine & fish biting shyly. Lost several through long bamboo rod being so springy and out of practice with it. Best to use finest tackle here for all fish.

March 19
Wootton Wawen , on Alne. Bitterly cold N.E. wind and occasional rain. Fish not feeding. Saw kingfisher, a pair of tree-creepers48, lots of chaffinches and a bird resembling the sparrow in size & colour but with a glossy black head and a white ring round neck

48 Small, very active, bird which lives in trees.

March 27
River Alne at Wootton Wawen with Mr Edwards. Wind & weather right & water rather coloured. Sport unaccountably bad. Mr E. caught nothing.
April 6
Knightsford Bridge on Teme with Mr Williamson. Beautiful weather, but water fine. No sport at all and no pleasure through a beastly great abscess in the rump developing. Glad to get home as couldn’t fish properly. Keeper says that fishing is spoilt by pike and kelts 49 who clear the holes of fish. Best all round fly for grayling , dace etc is Black Gnat – any time of year.

49 kelts are spawned salmon.
June 19
Upper Reservoir at Witton with Mr Edwards. Caught small perch with worms. Nothing interesting.

June 28
Up. Witton Reservoir with Mr Edwards. Nothing worth having except large perch which got off in the weeds.

July 6
Up. Witton Reservoir with Mr E. Lost a small trout about ¾ lb through getting into weeds.

August 18
Up. Witton Reservoir. Met a barber very polite but far too much grease on his hair. Fished in punt with him all day & partook of his gentles and the smoke of a rather dirty & evil smelling pipe, but not his rum & water with which at intervals he “moistened his lips”. Very nice man, good-natured but would improve if bathed weekly. Perfection of a fishing day wind west & warm day cloudy & water slightly coloured. Fish bit at intervals all day and was broken by good ones twice.

Sep 11
Witton Res with Mr E. Very windy (W) and cold towards evening. Sport not good compared with last time.

Sep 19
Acton near Penkridge50 with Mesrs Williamson & Bernard Moore. Not worth paying so much & going so far for. Water in Penk very weedy & fine, & fish very shy. Fish in the canal51 very small – as usual. Saw a fine carp 6 lb caught in Penk near the town. Angler recommended brains (sheep or cow) dropped into boiling water from 30 to 60 seconds for chub & carp & fish on bottom by ground bait, fine and far off, if very weedy stream let fish run down & keep line at right angle to water, to cut through the weeds.
50 About 2 miles south of Stafford. On River Penk (tributary of River Sow & thence River Trent).
51 The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.

Oct 2
Boscombe Pier with Bertie52. Very cold & rough sea. No use fishing as tide was almost full ebb so came away after trying for an hour or so and running Bertie up and down the pier to warm him.

52 Presumably his 5 year old nephew Bertram: see note 44 above.

Oct 16
Upper Witton Reservoir. Mr E. did not turn up so came away at 1-30 as the water was far too rough for roach fishing with a hanging bait. Walked across to Acock’s Green, about 7 miles, and finished the day with digging potatoes & weeding and then a nice long evening in front of the fire you know!53

53 Conceivably a reference to courtship: Eva Ruth Jones was living with her parents in Acock’s Green at this time
Oct 24
Upper Witton Reservoir. Fished alone & no sport! Fine but windy , & water very clear. Discovered fine patch of gravel in middle of reservoir. Always take pike with roach tackle here in future in case of wind.
Haselour in Meace with Mesrs Williamson, Silk & B. Moore. Very windy bright & sunny. Bernard Moore caught about 8 fish, assorted & no one else anything. Finished up with a glorious feed at the pub – hot roast beef, potatoes & kidney beans and plum pudding with brandy sauce. Had something to drink with it: but one of us was able to guide the others across the fields to the Station

April 2
Sara hole Mill. Fine warm day but water very low & caught nothing. Left at 3 o’clock.
It should be noted that this was his first entry since his marriage to Eva Ruth Jones on 17th January at St Mary’s Church in Acock’s Green. It is noticeably how from now on, he mainly fishes locally at Plants Brook Reservoirs with few ventures further afield apart from holidays & generally much less fishing altogether: let alone with the companions of his pre-marriage years.
June 25
Plants Brook Reservoirs. Half Day. 7 perch small: and a trout in the brook rose and dashed t float instead of bait. Tried him with a bait and no float, but no go.

August 19
Plants Brook Reservoirs. Tried for trout and had one on with live minnow – no float- but hook struck roof of mouth and did not hold. Would not come again.

Aug 26
Plants Brook Reservoirs. Tried for trout but not a touch & the perch came slowly. Very wet, cold & gloomy season.

October 6
Plants Brook Reservoirs. Al half days this year. Fished for roach with no result. Water low & clear.

Oct 13
P.B. Reservoirs. Very cold windy & wet – blowing a heavy gale. Fished from under boat-house for Perch. Number good, but no sized fish.
Oct 14
P.B. Reservoirs. Live baited with perch for Pike, but no results. Had a feed on wild raspberries & discovered bushes of the finest blackberries I ever saw.
Oct 21
P.B. Reservoirs. Capital fishing day & spun for pike from punt –but never a rise. Can hardly think there are any pike in these reservoirs; or they only feed at night in consequence of the water being so clear.
Nov 4
P.B. Reservoirs. Excellent roach fishing day calm & dull & reservoirs full of water. Saw several shoals of roach which took to flight as soon as rod was put over the water, & kept out of reach. Ground baited by hay-rick & caught a nice roach within 5 minutes & then never another in an hour. Suppose they could see the apparatus as water was clear & calm though deep.

Nov 11
Plants Brook Resr. Always half days. Very wet but not windy. Roach shy; & I fished badly – losing several bites with paste through line being too long & slack.
Nov 20
Plants Bk Resr. Very fine day- first right for fishing. Wind S.W. Had some gentles presented to me & fished with them. Caught 3 (?) 3 roach – one being a large one which snapped the line. Used two small pieces of cork to keep line from sinking , and found it a great success.

Decr 3
Plants Brook Resr. Only 3 hours fishing; in morning. Windy, dark & warm. Used new cane rod for first time and very pleased with it. Throws the line out well, and no entangling, as with the old one. First roach caught with it weighed 10 oz. Saw 14 wild ducks, or widgeon, fly past over-head whilst fishing.

Decr 17
Plants Brook Resr. Very misty & cold. Could not see roach float, so had to fish for perch with minnows.
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