SMALL RIVER FISHING, KERRY HILL SHEEP, CANAL FISHING, PASSION v OBSESSION, FORFAR ATHLETIC (Blog entry 692)

With another football-related excursion into Wales, I decided to take my small telescopic rod and do some fishing on a tiny river en route. Right on the English-Welsh border, I was just in the former, although for anyone unfamiliar (and I do get readers from around the world) it’s no big deal.

There’s no passport control or border patrol, and you only know that you’re going from one nation to another courtesy of a roadsign that says Welcome to England / Croeso i Gymru, depending on which direction you’re heading in. This was my first trip to the venue in question and certainly won’t be my last. A small, intimate river with native brown trout and grayling as well as coarse fish, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

Brown trout, Kerry Hill sheep and a small border river
Brown trout, Kerry Hill sheep and a small border river

In fact, even before I cast a line, a small flock of curious Kerry Hill sheep made their way across the field to take a closer look at the intruder. That suited me fine, as I was able to get a photograph. I love British nature but I also appreciate the native breeds of sheep, chickens, pigs, hens etc that we have in this country, albeit as a vegetarian my interest doesn’t extend to the abattoir – and beyond – stage.

The Kerry Hill breed is interesting though as it originates from the Welsh village of Kerry (Ceri in Welsh), which wasn’t that far from where I was.  Although they can be found, in pockets, around the UK, it was great to see them so close to their origin.

I had some nice fish from the canal this week
I had some nice fish from the canal this week

As far as the fishing was concerned, as I only had a couple of hours, it was mostly about walking the length and familiarising myself with it. I did drop a bait in a number of nice-looking swims though. It was a very simple set-up comprising a light lead, size 10 hook and a nice juicy worm.

My first cast saw a small grayling follow the worm as I retrieved it. It was a deeper section on a bend though that produced the only fish of the outing – a small brown trout. I’m aware, of course, that seasons exist on rivers but you can’t exclude species from taking your bait.

More fish and a couple of shots from the visit to Forfar Athletic, with Lesa and Ash
More fish and a couple of shots from the visit to Forfar Athletic, with Lesa and Ash and Callum the mascot

You can only return them as quickly as possible, which is only what you should be doing anyway with any fish you catch – in or out of season. Taking a quick photo at the water’s edge isn’t the crime of the century. The nature was pretty impressive and I just knew it was the perfect habitat for dippers, and that was confirmed by a couple of sightings, as well as red kites.

My next fishing trip was closer to home as I was up at the crack of dawn for a canal perch session. Fishing worm on a size 10 hook over red maggots, I had a great couple of hours, with numerous perch on the bank, including two worthy of a photo. It’s  amazing how the body clock starts to work and a day later I was up again without the need of an alarm clock, with my body telling me to take it fishing.

As far as angling is concerned I just want to do as much as I can, although as my Twitter bio points out, I’m passionate about much, obsessed about nothing. The way I see it is that ‘passionate’ is good but ‘obsession’ isn’t. The former is all about a genuine positive approach to life, while the latter is unhealthy and takes over in a negative way. I don’t think everyone appreciates the difference, how passion releases but obsession snares.

Finally, it was off to Forfar Athletic on the weekend as TNS competed in the Irn-Bru Cup. I did three Facebook Live posts and also there are a couple of regular posts that tell the story of Callum, the Forfar mascot. Enjoy! This is the 692nd consecutive Saturday that I’ve published a blog entry. Still going strong. On the fishing front, next week’s is carp-focused. Why not subscribe to the weekly blog entries via the link at the base of the page.