• Agent 99

November Rain!!!

My musings on November.

Week 1.


A bleak looking day. The river is fishable, just. One could trot a float from Wetherby to Boston in about three minutes flat, in the flow. However, I found a slack, and set up my barbel rod. Allegedly, if they`re there, they`ll be `on` your bait in a flash. We shall see.

Well, I gave it two hours – a bit longer than a `flash` - but no barbel showed up.

I changed tactics, and fished a bomb and maggots - the bloody minnows are still there. I put on a larger, minnow-proof hook, and used three maggots on the hook. Nothing is minnow-proof ! I still caught a few of the bucket mouthed beasts, but I also caught a tidy bag of grayling with a couple over the magical pound, and all over 4 ounces. I also caught a solitary chublet.

I was being royally entertained / distracted by a pair of very active kingfishers when the tranquility

was shattered by a familiar voice. I`d had the river to myself for two hours, so I turned to greet my friend, happy to share the bank with him…

“oh, for f sake, you f er. I f knew you`d be in the f peg I f want to f fish. F off out of my peg you f er”

And that`s when he`s in a good mood. I think he was smiling as he greeted me, my potty mouth friend, Shed 7. He laughed, cursed me again, and headed downstream .

I only had a short time available, and I`d used it. I headed home. I rang Shed that evening and he had had himself a barbel, so I was partially forgiven for my earlier misdemeanour.

Week 2.


Club match.

For all that I was delighted to be on the river last week, this was half a day of hell for most anglers, me included. The only fish that fed were minnows, apart from a fifteen minute period when two chublet, a dace, and a gudgeon were caught. I caught the gudgeon, the bloke that caught the chublet won. The less said the better. The pint that followed the match was the highlight of the afternoon.

Week 3.


A very cold day, following a very cold night.Rain was forecast.

Trueman and I visited Sunrise fishery, Spofforth. We had the place to ourselves.

We picked our pegs, and began. I was after silver, and fished accordingly. We had a roachfest – when we could see through the tears, rain, and intermittent ripple – nothing big turned up, but we caught consistently, and both bagged a broach hybrid, and a rudd each. We went home for a cuppa and to thaw out. Better than a day at work, but bloomin` nippy.


A bit of aquatic weeding to do at our ponds.

We used the `mother of all rakes`, dragging it from the side of the pond to the central island and back. Even though I `forgot` my waders, I was quickly given another pair, and then marooned on the island with Agent Orange. We hauled that rake, we depleted the weed, but thankfully we realised there were fish in the weed, so we had to sift through each clump. Baby roach, sticklebacks, skimmers, and a tench were all safely returned.

It was a morning filled with banter, weed, stinking mud, fish, and no end of Chuckle Brothers moments, but it was cold, and none of us were upset about going home when we`d finished.


I was going to get up early. Birdsong and mist, and all that `Passion for Angling` stuff. However, a really heavy duvet, and `do not disturb` cat proved to be unpassable obstacles. So, when I finally surfaced, looked out of the window to witness yet more rain, and checked the river levels app to discover it had risen another foot and was still rising , I opted to watch some football instead of fishing.

Week 4.


Another day off, booked way in advance of the weather forecast. I was heading to the river regardless.

I faffed around. I had all those pegs to choose from. I walked the whole stretch and then opted for a peg just a hundred yards upstream. I approached, and a car pulled up, Izaak himself got out, He saw me and he suddenly morphed into Usain Bolt, covering the distance to his preferred peg in a nanosecond. Naturally it was the peg I`d finally decided upon. Following his victory dance, Izaak greeted me and wished me luck in my second choice peg.

I trotted a float through for an hour or so but caught just the one dace – shoal fish my eye – his mates were nowhere to be found, and I looked everywhere. I was about to visit Izaak, and, as I scaled the bank he appeared before me. His session was going equally badly. We had a quick chat, and then I abseiled back into my peg. I was soon into a grayling but the session remained slow. An `ovver a pund` grayling came next, a male.

Izaak had a late flurry of dace and a couple of grayling to salvage a distinctly average afternoon.

Lesson for the day – be more decisive.


The Doctor and I took a look at the newly risen river. Grange Park was tramming, the Ings was fishable, but we fancied the ponds and some roach. Three biteless hours later, we headed back to the river. We had two hours of daylight left at the most. I went `perch or bust` with a lobworm bait. The Doctor wisely chose to set up in a peg downstream of the only angler there, and plundered a nice bag of dace on a feeder when he twigged that the tiny knocks he had on the tip were dace not minnows. He said he only connected with a third of the bites, but still amassed about 3 lb of dace in very little time at all.

I bust.

We went for a pint. I paid.

Well, November was as challenging as October was. The river was up and down, but mostly up. The fishing was patchy, but if you were there when conditions were right ( I wasn`t ) then there were fish to be had – some good bags of dace being reported.

The ponds remained out of sorts, but a few good bags of roach were had. Again, if you`re there and the conditions were conducive… Again, I wasn`t.

A tough month.

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