• Agent 99

April Showers 2019


Week 1


A day on the banks of Mother Wharfe, and not a fishing rod in sight. We were there to build.

The scaffolding poles we lugged down to the sewers were being put to use, repairing the path and bank. Plenty of heavy lifting to do. I just missed out on the heavy stuff, and ended up carrying a shovel. My penance for this was a peg by peg analysis of the whole stretch, fish caught, matches won, methods used etc. Unfortunately it was all information from Memory Lane, the days of bank to bank Barbel, 8lb Roach, and no Cormorants. Lovely anecdotes to hear, and a poignant illustration of how much the Wharfe has changed. For better or worse? I suppose that depends on your preferences, Barbel and Roach, or Grayling and Dace?


Sicklinghall. Club ponds. Pond 3.

I chose pond 3 because I wanted to catch one of the big Bream – `Bremner` at 4lb, or `Lemmy` at 5lb, last time they were caught. I was to be joined by Piscator later on, so I began with the whole place to myself. The Roach and Rudd were willing playmates from the first chuck, and kept me occupied for a couple of hours. Piscator arrived,set up, and caught from the off. We then caught in bursts, as previously.

The Elements had no obvious impact on the fishing. We caught in the breeze and in flat calm, we had famine in both, but neither of us caught a single Bream all day.However we had caught plenty of silver fish, including a Roach just shy of a pound. So, when the rain arrived,we didn`t `man up`, we packed up and ran.

Week 2.


Yes, Thursday ! – a day off work,and a visit to Sunrise Fishery in Spofforth with my old friend, and new angler, Trueman. The sky was blue, the Yellafella in the sky had his hat on, and there was barely a breeze to ripple the water.We usually have the place to ourselves, but I guess the fine weather had brought out the `urge`, and today we had company – one other angler.

We agreed the usual categories of our wager - £1 for the biggest fish, and another quid to the captor of the most species, and then we fished. My routine was `catch [ or not ], coughing fit, followed swiftly by a swig of Covonia, and repeat .Truemans routine was Roach, Roach, and more Roach, so, when I added a Rudd, tiny Perch, and a skimmer, to my Roach I surged into an early lead. I could smell the money coming my way!

Plenty of fish came forth ,Trueman moved his tally to four species, but by then I had bagged one of those Cornish Pastie type Carp, giving me five. Then the slurping began – not the other angler drinking his soup – Carp guzzling bread from the surface. So, bread on, shot off. One `common` of about 7lb joined me, but no more. Trueman had bagged a `pastie` too, but lost a decent one at the death,leaving me victorious and wealthy.

As a complete novice, Trueman was astounded at the amount of kit the `other ` angler had with him. “he`s got a f wheelbarrow full of stuff, hes used hardly any of it, he`s caught b all, and I can hear him wheezing as he pushes it. Why give yourself a heart attack carrying all that, and not use a fraction of it ?”

And, when it came to settling the bet, Trueman had no coinage available. He may be a novice, but he`s learning fast.

Sat and Sun.

Didn’t fish – Elland Rd on Saturday, and a family birthday on the Sunday.

Week 3.


An extra long weekend began with a session at our ponds. Another attempt to bag a Bream from pond 3, and, to cut a long story short, another day bereft of my target species. I did lure plenty of Roach and Rudd , but not a Bream in sight.

Crabtree found a dead Tench. It looked as if it had been stabbed by a Heron, as it was skewered right through both flanks.

Saturday was a non-fishing day.


Shed 7, Crabtree, and myself fished Pond 1.

I had a dismal day, catching only a few Rudd, and a load of Sticklebacks. Crabtree won the day with a good net of Rudd, and Shed 7 thrashed me as well. At least I didn`t break anything,but I did lose two floats.

Pond 3 fished well – Agent Orange had a fine haul of Rudd and Roach, and Pond 4 is nearly full and will be receiving its first fish in due course.


A visit to Sunrise. Hoping for surface caught Carp, but happy with anything that swims.

I was with Trueman again, and we`d started early to try to avoid the Bank Holiday rush. The Sun was out, the factor 15 was on, and so were the shorts. Summer has arrived ! and so had hordes of other anglers. Solitude and serenity were not on offer today. We set up on the middle pond, and the fishing was decidedly average – Roach seemed hungry, everything else appeared to be dieting. Maggots tempted the most fish, corn had no attraction at all, nor bread.

As we were catching plenty, grumbling would have been churlish, however, churlish is my middle name, and we beseeched the `fish gods` to provide us with an array of hungry mouths, not just the reliable Roach. Obviously ,in response to the well delivered abuse, a Bream turned up, then a Perchthen a Rudd, then a `pastie`, and then something that bolted into the reeds and escaped.

The fishing picked up for the next hour or so, and then the wind picked up. As the wind picked up, the other anglers packed up, leaving Trueman and I with the lake to ourselves. The day was improving rapidly. Even sweetcorn started catching. The local wildlife came out to frolic, and we were treated with appearances from Red Kites, Geese, Ducks, a very bold Hare,Coots, Pheasant, Partridge, Woodpeckers, a herd of Cows, and a Spider feasting on a maggot – the maggot still impaled upon a hook.

Then, at 7 o`clock, the Mothers Pride alarm went off. Slurp. Slurp. Slurp.

Commons, Mirrors, Linears, Pasties, all were tempted by the floating bread, and a Bream of about 4 pounds also graced the bank. We had had a lovely day out, we had fished through the difficult hours, persevered, used our loaves, and nabbed plenty of fish, so, when the wind began to howl and the temperature plummeted, we headed home.

Week 4.


I was the only fisherman on our ponds. I collected my lost floats from the previous week, salvaged by Shed 7.I opted for Pond 2. It was 1 o`clock before I wet a line, but it appeared they had been waiting for lunch. It was a three course affair, red and white maggots followed by sweetcorn, with a groundbait starter.

The first hour was solely red maggots, the second hour was whites, and the third was sweetcorn. The tiddlers were first on the scene, with the occasional 4 ounce brute thrown in. The white maggots still attracted some tiddlers, but more of the 4 – 6 oz fish than the reds. The corn produced a constant stream of 6 – 10 oz fish, and one lumpy Rudd of just under a pound. I missed a few bites as I was distracted by low flying Kites, one landing on the bank opposite, and taking off with something silver in its talons. A Roach? I was so distracted, I lost the float that I lost the week before - the weed is growing quickly, beware! However, all was not lost, the Boilie Baron had turned up, and with his gargantuan wingspan he fished out the escapee, and we were re-united once more. I only need to lose that float on Pond 3 to complete the set. There`s always next week.

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