Lee Swords Fishing

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May, I may ‘fish’ a bit but June will be a blast fishing blog

I haven’t done much writing or fishing of late because I have been busy with other projects but June is here once again and that means I will soon be back on the rivers again and I cannot wait.

The big difference this season is I have no targets left to me, I have thrown them away, I no longer care what size fish I catch, if I get a 15lb barbel that will be brilliant and I will celebrate it accordingly with some beer and probably a bit of sweet loving from the wife, the same goes for big chub, bream or carp, they will come to the net or they won’t. I am now too long in the tooth to care.

The main thing will be enjoying the surroundings, the peaceful nature of our pastime and the fellowship of good friends. That is the stuff that matters, not big massive fish, the fun, the enjoyment and the personal satisfaction.

So, what have I been doing?

LondonWell I have been to London with Tina and Olivia, which was great fun, I worked in and around London for a while as a young man, in fact it was on the fringes of London that I met my wife but a fair few years have passed since then and a lot has changed, for one thing we did not have an M&M World when I lived there!

finding it all too much in Kings Landin


In fact I found the whole “Kings Landing” experience a little overwhelming so I went all out Robert Baratheon and got pissed, well not fully pissed just pissed enough to not be able to hear the trains at Kings Cross! London truly is a 24/7 city!

221b Baker Street


Being massive Sherlock Holmes fans we had to see Baker Street and we also had to visit the nearby Gower Steet where the Benedict Cumberbatch version is filmed

Sherlock lives here!


And I have to say I envy the man that owns Speedy’s cafe besides the door that is used as the 221b Baker Street address of Sherlock Holmes as he caters for a constant succession of the “Cumber Collective” and they all have cash in their hands and an inkling to eat something, anything. Olivia settled for a Rocky Road Brownie type combination that was very good and a bottle of water to wash it down with.

All in all 36 hours in London set me back £400.00….I like the North.


Back up North

Caterpillars at Bowden Houstead


Bowden Houstead Field is beginning to really hit its stride and one thing is obvious if things stay as they are this is going to be an epic year for butterflies as they are doing REALLY well with dozens of Small Tortoise and Peacock ‘nests’ showing up in the nettle beds, I did move thousands of caterpillars onto these beds last year …have my actions had an effect?

Quite possibly!!

Orange tip egg

If you take a close look at this picture of the flowering head of a Lady’s Smock or cardamine pratensis you can see the single orange egg of an Orange Tip butterfly,  when I checked the flowering heads of the rest I would say 75% had an egg on them, Orange Tips lays their eggs singularly so that the caterpillars don’t practice a little bit of cannibalism on each other…Nice bit of sibling rivalry!

Everything has an effect, last year I started planting wild flowers on Bowden Houstead and I did this in several ways, one was cutting away all the topsoil and seeding this, the other was scraping away the dead grasses and ‘harrowing’ the soil letting the seed-bank that is naturally present in the soil take hold of the opportunity given.

wolf spider


These natural seeds were also boosted by another generous donation of seeds by Nick Watkins, a Facebook frioend of mine that has accrued himself a fair few beers when we meet.

The seeds take only a few days to shoot and if I am able to keep the slugs and snails at bay they soon get established, the stuff that goes in this year should be fantastic next year.Speedwell

Here is a shot of some Thyme Speedwell or Veronica serpyllifolia that has done really well getting through the grasses given half a chance, I would think that the amount of seed that it will be dropping now ensures its survival.

Spring Watch

I like Spring Watch, its good television and well made unlike Eastenders and Coronation Street that is utter shite and should be forbidden viewing anyways back to Spring watch, they had a bit about Hedgehogs and their decline, over 90% down  and possibly extict in 10 years! This cannot be allowed to co happen!

Seriously, we cannot sit idle while one of our most iconic creatures falls away into oblivion. My good mates Alan Bowles in Nottingham and his wife Mary have the right idea, they have turned their garden over to nature, they have bird boxes, bee boxes and they have a hedgehog house that is home to a family of hogs. Their garden isn’t an overgrown mess, its nice but I bet a pound to a pinch of shit it isn’t full of poisonous slug pellets and there is access to and from it via holes in the hedge or fence

And closer to home my parents have a family of hedge hogs in their garden, they are not an inconvenience and they are not a pest, they do a good job clearing away snails and slugs and all manner of other critters that tend to spoil the odd plant, so it is a win win situation really.

Little things make big differences and we can all make a difference, stop with the slug pellets, use beer traps or a biological and safe alternative, allow access to the garden via holes in the bottom of fences, leave a little area out of the way untidy, check any bonfires you build before lighting them and if you do have hogs on the garden feed them with dog food or cat food, not milk.

Come on, it isn’t a lot to ask is it?

Together we can make a difference, together we can save our hogs!

Avro Vulcan is a big beast!

I have done a little bit of fishing of late, nothing outlandish just a quick trip out to see my mate Dave at Alderfen Fisheries near Wroot. I like Alderfen, its a cracking venue that will only be getting better. We fished on what was the match lake but is now what I call the specimen lake, I think its official title is the gate pool. Dave will no longer be taking match bookings on this lake so it is ideal for anyone wanting to frop in for a bit of fishing without having to worry about if it is matched Alderfen fisheries Wrootup or not. Swords ‘senior’ was fast off the blocks with bream, tench and carp whereas Swords ‘junior’ had to wait a while before tench, carp, ide, bream and rudd arrived at the party.

The best thing about the day though was the sight of the Avro VulcanAvro Vulcan doing a few low level flybys, the first one I did not hgave my camera at hand to get a decent shot but trust me when i say I could see the rivets Avro Vulcan over Alderfen fisheriesin the thing! What a noise this thing makes, it proper has the hairs on the back of your neck up on end!

This will be the last year it flies before becoming nothing but a static museum piece, it dropped bombs from 56-84 and served the RAF well. I salute it. British ingenuity at its best.

Bowden butterflies and other small creatures

Bowden Houstead Field coming into bloom

Down on the field things are starting to move at an increased pace, the summer butterflies have not arrived yet but the cricket nymphs and beetles as well as the Yellow field ants I thinknursery web and wolf spiders are everywhere! but the big winner so far are the ants, they have really started to colonise the bankings made up of the stripped away topsoil. I think these are yellow field ants and I think these are the ants that work with the blue butterflies and care for their caterpillars and chrysalis, here they are looking after their own young. they are very organised and very social creatures, we could learn aparasite wasp cocoons? lot from ants. Something else I found down on the field was this cluster of silky cocoons, I think somewhere in the middle of that may well be a shriveled skin of a caterpillar that has been a victim of parasitism, not a nice way to go but that’s cricket or grasshopper nymph...i am not sure whichnature for you. One thing is for certain there are a lot of caterpillars on the munch right now, the nettle beds are full of what my mate Christian calls “chub bait” but what I call chatting with the antspotential! Anyway that is me done for a few days, the season is upon us and those that fail to prepare should prepare to fail, I don’t plan on failing, I plan on catching, not bothered what I catch just so long as the rods go round and the Delkims scream like stabbed bastards.

One thing to do before you start the season is give Darren a ring at the Hook Bait Company and order some boilles, ask for the ones I am using, that way you may not feel quite so left out once the catching starts :O)

Chat soon!!






5 Responses to “May, I may ‘fish’ a bit but June will be a blast fishing blog”

  1. Hi mate,

    Enjoyable read as always.

    It would appear we both have similar thoughts for the season ahead. My targets for the coming year will also no longer be measured in lbs & oz’s but enjoyment. Too much focus on weight these days and not on the true essence of our pastime. With me going to be a dad ins few weeks my time on the bank will be limited to short sessions so why attach a number to any fish I’m fortunate to catch?

    I’m no longer on fb as I couldn’t be doing with all the constant drivel, desperadoes and a number of other things. It would be good to keep in touch mate & you now have my email address.

    ATB Lewis

  2. You are right Lewis, too much emphasis is placed on weight and weight alone, I cannot carry on down that path it bores me. Becoming a parent is massive, it seems like yesterday mine was eating milky pudding and wearing huggies pull-ups, yesterday she did her first GCSE, which makes you realise how fast time flies, its too precious to waste competing with people that have no life, it has to be fun or there is no point.

    Remember you are always welcome in the frozen North

  3. Great read again mate and at the moment aint set any targets but have achieved one that I set last october and that was to catch a carp of a certain lake attached to our fave river , 3 sessions and 3 carp , they for the first time of got under my skin and can see me splitting my time on there and the river . Tenching has been terrible with the weather and have written it off , 5 nights on Sywell not a sign , only heard of 4 fish out so far !!!!

  4. I usually fish Aldferfen when the going gets tough on the harder lakes. 20 plus tench this spring on float and pin mainly from the match (gate) lake plus quite a few carp to 7lbs which go ballistic when hooked. I have also had two crucian carp this spring both over the 1lb mark. 6pm until dark has been the best period.
    Well worth a visit if your head is down and not catching!

  5. I used to see the Vulcans take off from Woodford, where they were built and op[erated from, about 50 years ago. I would be fishing the Macclesfield canal, and occasionally they would take off under FULL emergency power. The ground would shake and ripples would form at the banksides, crossing the canal. A shame that even that example will soon stop flying. Wonderful beasts.

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