The Saxon Ponds

This is JAA's page for The Saxon PondsPete's Ponds diary page, which is one of 'Pete's Waters'. A few years back, I was searching for some or any background information about 'Luckfield Lake...as I was still trying get to grips with it...' and stumbled across a page from the book "The Net on the Garage WallIf you have a copy of this, you should treasure it." displaying a reference to Luckfield, by one Peter Rolfe. As it happened, a contributor to "Crock of Gold"If you're puzzled why crucians from different waters don't always look the same; or why stocking with crucian carp can be such a gamble - why they sometimes disappear for years or, at the other extreme, why they sometimes run riot and take over a pond - then read on"" had asked my opinion about something related and putting two-and-two together, I contacted Peter to see if he might tell me anything about Luckfield Lake...as it turns out he was considering putting together a website...

You can work the rest out for yourselves...the below are JAA's diary entries for The Saxon Ponds in chronological order, since my first fishing here in 2011 to the present day in April 2018. There are a few figures at the bottom of this page, it that sort of thing is of interest.

split shotSplit...(and back to the top of the page) split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot split shotSplit... split shot...shot

2011: crucian 3rd May 2011. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. Might tell you some more about the day later. Might not.

'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' A good carassius to start off with 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' The view from my second swim 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' The view from my second swim 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' a perfectly fine tinca
'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' a considerably better than fine tinca 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' towards the end of the pond 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' the dam, anglers for the seating of 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' almost sunset on a fine fine days angling

2011: crucian 16th June 2011. 'Pete's PondsThe Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. The 16th, a ceremony day and one should, if at all possible, celebrate between lily pads with tench. This is of course something of a dream. This high-day's pond is untrammelled, uncivilised even, with no boards, scalpings or gravelcrunch, even the path around the lake is little more than shorter buttercups than those on either side, the whole enclosed in a small green valley. The main concession to mankind is the double sleeper that provides the bridge (and I dignify it) across the source of the ponds' life blood at the valley's tip.

N.'s nicked the first of the best fishable lily swims, quite right too, but made room for me to sashay by his spot. Making a space among the buttercups, I did no more than plonk a fine cane tipped porc. quill by the lilies and wait for something to happen. N. recommended bread so I started with that and a few thin hemp scatters. Very little happened for 20 minutes, except N. showing me a 1¾lb crucian, a wondrous gleaming treasure that didn't deserve so light a weight. I missed a twitch-bob and when P. turned up, doing the rounds, I got a firm, obliging bite and something bolted hard into the pads and pulled out the hook. I was reminded they go hard here.

'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' right hand patch 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' left hand patch 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' three perfect pitches
'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' 'one' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' 'two' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' 'three'

After this I caught one, two, then three carassius all about 1lb, small tench plugging the gaps. This continued during the sun's patches, scudding clouds moving too fast for rain until late lunch, then we had the first of the showers that stropped down the valley like a haughty mezzo-soprano making the noise of tearing newspaper. Calm intervals are scented with wood-smoke and damp earth and have the expectancy of fish edging out from the pads' shelter. Crucian arrived in clumps of like size, some hand sized and two stunning fish that went 1½lb and 1lb 10oz. On top of these riches were tench that pulled very hard despite their lack of size, perhaps 1¾lb the largest. After several mini Sturm-und-Drangs, I missed a sitter, bumped another and then lose a fish in a massive swirl, near carp-like. No mudpigs here though.

'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''4' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'onemoretinca 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''5' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'yetanother tinca 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'one of the better ones
'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'I love these shreds of mist after rain 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'expectant after the rain 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''one half dozen' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''lucky number seven' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''8'
'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''9' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''10' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''11' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'the pitch 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'the whole point, a whole dozen, this at 1lb 10oz

The crucian fight is hard and fast, rattling up the line from the fast tail beat, the carp has a slower beat and a draught-horse pull, the tinca's softer muffled beat from the big flexible screws nature provides it. A big tinca then, or big for the pond, a reminder that seldom caught tench fight really hard, harder than 'king' carp pound for pound, as hard as a 'wildie'. Crucians are not be sneezed at, they have a sudden standing-start power and even a 1lb fish races across the swim and pushes hard into the pad-stalks. Roach, rudd and perch all slower off the mark and quicker to give in.

'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'reduced to a number ('13') at 1½lb 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''forteen' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'no bad ones... 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'rain, rain... 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'...do as you like I'm not going home.
'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'the float 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'the float, the pads 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''15' so handy in dominoes 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''16', square 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'prime, '17'

The swim fades and the last bite 40 minutes later gives up another 1lb gold-service plate, I realise that concentration is shredded after five hours of rapt attention to a needle-slim piece of bamboo. I take a stroll about, noting a flower not seen yet, tall, lightweight cow parsley like, mauve flower heads. This, I later find out is Valerian, once and still used as a sedative, possibly the last thing you'd need at this well in reality's surface. There are buttercup petals floating on the pond-surface, gently wavering from the under-squirm, so sated, pack away, stroll about the lower pond and head for some buttered-toast scrambled eggs.

'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''18' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''19' prime again 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'a score, too good 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'seven three's are... 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''22'
'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''23' annoyingly prime 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'one more little tinca 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'eight three's are...two dozen 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'square again, '25'
'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' last but not least, '26' 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' pie and coffee break 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' threading the needle

The best of 16th's, eclipsing a misty dawn on a Stour weir with grayling - I ramble on home along the lanes with Led Zeppelin II and a smile.

2011: crucian 23rd June 2011. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' - 'The Top Pond'. Another great day's angling, slow for the first couple of hours, most of the fish coming in a 'rush' between 2 and 4 o'clock. Tiny frogs about the feet, some crucians topping, a water rat about the place. All terribly bucolic and peaceful. Really good...

Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'tichy tinca Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'very nearly 1lb of bullish tench Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'A 'netter', well technically. Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'teeny crucian, worth two in the water Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'small but beautifully marked tinca Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'the swim of the day Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'the Upper Pond looking fabulous as usual
Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'the Upper Pond still looking fabulous as usual Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'Another technical 'netter'... Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'A 'netter', well technically. Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'1lb par for this course Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'1lb par for this course Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'1lb par for this course, they go in bunches you know. Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'bruiser at 2lb 4oz
Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'at about 1lb... Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'Green Mint beetles... Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'How can you not like these? Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'A 'netter', well technically. Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'1lb 6oz, same orange spot as the 16th... Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'another fabulous carassius Pete's Ponds - 'The Top Pond'the more or less traditional float picture

...half as many fish it would still be good, better than a bare-banked lucky-dip.

2011: crucian 19th November 2011. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. In autumn, so blanked obviously. But it was really pretty.

The Lower PondJust a nice view of the lower pond The Lower PondJust a nice view of the lower pond The Lower PondJust a nice view of the lower pond The Lower PondJust a nice view of the lower pond
The Lower PondJust a nice view of the lower pond The Lower PondThe psycholgically suggestive path over the dam The Lower PondDusk over Donhead The Lower PondThe overly optimistic Harcork bobber

I finished up worm-fishing against the damn wall for one of the perch. Nope, that didn't work either.

Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Carp? What addiction?a very subtil fish Carp? What addiction?Watch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Carp? What addiction?if you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it.

2012 24th March 2012. The Upper Saxon Pond. The sunlit dam-wall is perfect, so I sit on it, promise myself an hour to take a fish, accompanied by a really rather fine honey, almond and lemon cake and two bottles of the best icy cold ginger beer ever (not due to the brand, I'd not had a drink for seven hours hence, three of them up to my nicky-nacky-noos in water and pulling nets of fish). Now, if your answer to the truly complex question "What float should I use?" is "My favourite one" then you're in good company.

The Upper Saxon Pond all in all The Upper Saxon Pond lashings of ginger beer The Upper Saxon Pond ...not a bad cake as it happens (Moley)

A lady appears behind me with a small dog and tells me I'm well camouflaged, "It's a trick" I say. It occurs to me later I never heard the gate screech. I hate it when that happens.

The Upper Saxon Pond from the dam wall, looking south The Upper Saxon Pond misty, sort of The Upper Saxon Pond a golden host of blah blah...

Crock that I am, too old to wall-sit like a boy, I ache when the hour is up, so decamp to the south bank in the lee of a small host, ease my bones onto the chair and swap the float over to another favourite, thinner. Starboard Ratty is radiating ripples and a carp rolls noisily under the willow at the top end. Flat calm.

The Upper Saxon Pond the lone tinca The Upper Saxon Pond flat calm The Upper Saxon Pond dead calm

Crows, cockerels, bees, church bells and the sweet edge of silage from the shed. Not too shabby. A fish moves on my left, one of the grass carp unless I miss my guess, they have the turning circle of a blimp, so I feed it as part of a longer ploy. I look back as the float blips and the reel rattles briefly as I pick up the rod and let a tench play itself out and pose. Always good. The tussel tips my last lap-sang over, hey ho.

Dogs bark in the distance (why is that a good sound?), the cold and damp roll down the little valley as the light dips, briefly smelling like the Thames of my childhood, rush beds and mist. I listen to the sluice and rattling ratty. Once then, my float sinks slowly and returns, the bread now silty. Then the owls are calling and it's time to go.

2012 31st March 2012. Stuck in the mudThe great upper pond netting. Well, greensand clay as it happens. Wader stuck so firmly in the claybottom of the upper pond I had to abandon them for the rest of the morning. Pah. Moved very many fine fish to the lower pond which augers well for the 16th...but naturally I can't move a limb without some protesting muscle complaining. Whatever happened to the fitness of my youth? (It is, of course, stored around the midriff of my middle age, dammit.)

'The Upper Saxon Pond''The Upper Saxon Pond'
The upper pond south bank, from the dam wall....1
'The Upper Saxon Pond''The Upper Saxon Pond'
The south bank and the inlet end...2
'The Upper Saxon Pond''The Upper Saxon Pond'
The inlet end...3
'The Upper Saxon Pond''The Upper Saxon Pond'
The north bank and the inlet end...4
'The Upper Saxon Pond''The Upper Saxon Pond'
The upper pond north bank, from the dam wall....5

2012 16th June 2012. The Big Day, Pete's Ponds. The season started well enough, myself and The Woodsman bagged the place (well, no one else was there). I got there first and popped myself on the south bank by an overhanging tree. I threw in some hemp and with my old Octofloat and 'pin loaded with 4lb line, plumbed the depth with a BB shot on the '14' hook. The float settled and then obligingly bobbled off to one size and I pulled it back in, rather than strike assuming some kind of line bite. Thing went rather sold and wallowy and I think both me and the fish realised at once what was going on and the carp whipped off to the right under the sunken tree, which swayed alarmingly. I watched the fish arrow into the lower part of the pond, my line angled under a branch, assumed a fouler and that all was lost.

I made my way left, widening the angle enough to free the line from the tree and then dipping the rod into the water up to the first ferrule it plucked (alarmingly) free, leaving me attached to the still moving carp, some thirty-odd yards off. I can't claim so much skill; I assumed an inevitable 'sudden slackness' so played the fish fairly firmly, the Octofloat bent into quite the quarter circle most of the time. I gained a few yards at a time until the fish was wallowing on the right side of the tree - it almost fitted in the net. I was surprised to find the hook firmly in the top lip and it went just over 15lb on the scales.

Pete's Pondsthe 15lb pound shot-eater... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba...
Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba...
Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondsthe 16th tba... Pete's Pondssome grey-beard bloke on the 16th...

I spent the rest of the day catching tench and crus are regular intervals but mid-afternoon it dried up completely - The Woodsman nabbed a couple of roach for under a tree by the dam and then decamped to the upper pond for some fun with some smaller crucians and tench - where I left him at about 5ish, happily nipping them out.

2012 21st July 2012. Pete's Pond. Nobby came out to play and we caught fish, bent cane, ate sausage sandwiches and generally behaved like big kids. Great funNobby's Nirvana - boys will be boys.

My day is in the pictures below...for Nobby's follow the link above.

The Saxon ponds a rare picture of JAA doing his thing The Saxon ponds An upper Saxon pond crucian The Saxon ponds A Saxon pond tenchlet
The Saxon ponds An upper Saxon pond crucian The Saxon ponds The upper pond pitch The Saxon ponds Nobbyngton-Smythe
The Saxon ponds The umbrella pitch The Saxon ponds The umbrella pitch's tree The Saxon ponds a lower pond crucian

2012 18th August 2012. The Lower Saxon Pond. So, fishing delayed in turn by hoping for Bairstow's century and some escaped maggots in the boot. Buggrit, must get the lids back on the right boxes. Very very warm...I 'don't do hot and sunny' so remain on the shady side, contra instinct, fishing to all outward appearance, pre-baiting for dusk in reality. Long thin porcupine, no.4 laid on, the opposite of fishing delicately, a tactic worth a try. Just in case I feed the island and the bush to my left and listen to dumbledores and oddly autumnal bird chirps.

An hour slides past and I swap my maggot swaddled '14' for a pinch of bread, there are signs of fish, faint dimples, odd tiny bubbles. No pogrom so far! Clang of a gate. Visitors? Second tea-time, nothing like a bite in any pitch, although the feeling persists that fish are passing by from time to time. A dab-chick, fluffy ping-pong ball threaded, edge-of-panic, past my feet, too fleet for my camera. It's tempting to fish the top pond, easy pickings for small fry, but today, I'd rather wait, even with blanking a real threat. Having said that, if I don't get a few sun-down I'll be surprised...

The Saxon PondsLooking across the pond from the umberella pitch The Saxon PondsWest of the island in the sunshine The Saxon PondsThe path towards the dam The Saxon PondsLTT

Tea three, light muzzied, still not a sniff. Might have done better to bait up and fish for bites in the top for a few hours. Cockle on the hook, but the sun's dipping now, and I've had many worse Saturdays. I could be clothes shopping at Castle Point...for example. A small bunch of long tailed tits pass over and around me, like draught pieces in continual jumps, I get a few good shots from about 10ft. Always a good thing, still nothing approaching a bite. I confess, that if my float is unwaveringly cocked at dusk-fall, I'll head for some stir-fry, pleasant though this is.

The Saxon PondsLTT The Saxon PondsLTT The Saxon PondsLTT The Saxon PondsThe left-hand path up the lake, I often think someone is there, even when there isn't

Sun-set, not a twitch. For a slightly overstocked lake lightly fished it's quite bizarre. Still, not over yet...a few fish topping, but the. Bees in the late blackberry flowers over my head have taken an early night. A few bubbles. A bite would be nice. At the point my float flickers in half light, punctuated by a lone bat, I head off, and along one of the lanes a big hare stepped out of the hedge, looked at me, and as casually as you like turned round and stepped back. I look in the mirror, imagining it sitting, infinitely patient, for a clear road.Her loyalty is not to me, but to the stars above. Two hares now, one in the fields ten days back, first one I've seen on the North Down, they run towards the fire you know.

The Saxon Ponds It's not going to move... The Saxon Ponds damsel The Saxon Ponds The distant hare on the evocative track
hookJust another fish-hook...(and back to the top of the page) hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook It's a space. Accept it and move on. hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook
hookJust another fish-hook...(and back to the top of the page) hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook It's a space. Accept it and move on. hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook hookJust another fish-hook

2013: grayling 21st June 2013. The Lower PondYes, those ponds.

The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond
The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond
The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond The Saxon PondsPete's Lower Pond

2013: grayling 24th June 2013. The Lower PondYes, those ponds.

The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond...
The Saxon Ponds 'More of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon Ponds 'We have a barn owl

2013: grayling 1st July 2013. The Lower PondYes, those ponds again.

I'd like to take some credit for great skill and application for today, but in truth is was down to a very early start, on the bank at 5:45am, a stealthy approach and fish feeding in my favourite swim from the off. I fished a very small porcy with a 4" long antenna made of 1mm cane and this fished as a lift float allows a tell-tale of 1 x no.6, which I placed some 1½" from the hook. Bait was for the most part either a grain of corn or a small gilt tail worm nicked once through the head with a size 14. Some bites were sail-aways but many were classic lift bites and the crus. in particular bit exactly as the rig was designed - a tiny dip follow by a lift, with a strike at the top of the lift getting the fish every time. Bites tailed off towards late morning, even so I had a tench at 12:45pm and packed up a tad later.

Pete's Lower PondThe Lower Pond Pete's Lower Pondroach#1 Pete's Lower Pondroach#2 Pete's Lower Pondcru #1 Pete's Lower Pondroach#3
Pete's Lower Pondcru#2 Pete's Lower Pondtench#1 Pete's Lower Pondcru#3 Pete's Lower Pondroach#4 Pete's Lower Pondroach#5
Pete's Lower Pondroach#6 Pete's Lower Pondcru#4 Pete's Lower Pondroach#7 Pete's Lower PondThe Umbrella swim Pete's Lower Pondroach#8
Pete's Lower Pondcru#5 Pete's Lower Pondcru#6 Pete's Lower Pondcru#7 Pete's Lower Pondcru#8 Pete's Lower Pondcru#9
Pete's Lower Pondcru#10 Pete's Lower Pondroach#9 Pete's Lower Pondthe Lone Perch Pete's Lower Pondtinca#2 Pete's Lower Pondtinca#3

Nine roach to 1lb 4oz, ten crucians to 1lb 8oz, three tench at 2lb 12oz, 3lb 6oz, 3lb 10oz, 1 perch. I lost 4 fish to hook pulls and missed a dozen bites. Looking at the fins on the roach and crucians they'd both spawned and there's already small shoals of fry on the pond. Mid-morning I saw a carp mooching about that I'd put around 17lb - but when I reached for my camera it faded like the Cheshire C. It seldom gets better than this.

2013: grayling 8th July 2013. The Lower PondYes, those ponds.

The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond...
The Saxon Ponds'The Woodsman' with crucian... The Saxon Ponds'The Woodsman' with another crucian... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond... The Saxon PondsMore of the Lower Saxon Pond...

2013: grayling 13th July 2013. Pete's PondsYes, those ponds. The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages).

Pete's Ponds Nobbyngton-Smythe moves to full alertness at The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages) Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages)
Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages) Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages) Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages)
Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt teaboy gets on with cooking the added sausages Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt teaboy gets on with cooking the added sausages
Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages) Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages) Pete's Ponds The Great Lower Pond Crucian hunt (with added sausages)
The Lady of the StreamThe Lady of the Stream...(and back to the top of the page) Thymallus ThymallusThymallus Thymallus The Lady of the StreamThe Lady of the Stream Thymallus Thymallusgrayling The Lady of the StreamThe Lady of the Stream Thymallus ThymallusThymallus Thymallus The Lady of the Streamgrayling Thymallus ThymallusThymallus Thymallus

2014 18th May 2014. 'The Saxon Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. The plan being to clear the paths around the ponds a 'first cut' for the opening day and some minor 'test fishing'. The fish in the Lower Ponds were willing and The Woodsman had five crus, one of which was over 1lb. The other were spawned out and rather too eager to feed, there was a surfeit of small perch, looks like the few fish put in two years ago have spawned. Hm. Weed slashing (mostly comfrey) done, top and bottom ponds both, pollarded a poplar, a brew and then some test fishing, which yielded one cru, a large tench and a small one.

Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...1
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...2
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...3
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...4
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...5
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...6
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...7
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...8

The Woodsman turned up and knocked out eight or nine tench and one more cru before wandering off to try a different swim for more crus (which failed to appear). I nabbed a couple more small tinc's and then it died a bit. The Woodsman went off with the buckets (but without his fleece) and of course then I had a run of fish, three crus, three more ½-1lb tench and lost a big one which kept out of the lilies first go, roared off toward the middle leaving my hook behind and tangled on the rod tip. Drat. Good enough.

Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(1)
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(2)
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(3)
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(4)
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(5)
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(6)
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(7)
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(8)
Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'Pete's Patch, 'The Upper Pond'
Cutting paths, testing the fishing...(9)

2014 16th June 2014. 'The Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. Long anticipated, but the three-week wake of 'a bit of a cold' left me a 4am shadow of myself, but nevertheless, arrived slightly ahead of the sun and fished 'the usual spot' for a plethora of sprats, three clonking tench and a few atypical perch - a cake break brought the news that The Woodsman had managed a baker's dozen of crus plus three tench. Then an hour on corn (not a bite), an hour snatching bait-fish. TW lit a fire for welcome bacon'n'eggs and I slipped off for Wetland pike, nabbed one, missed one smaller than the nabbed, saw one sleek 2½lb fish which slunk off. I dozed for a bit, the bait passed on, PR came and went on his '16th Tour', I dozed again, headed home beat. To the pit at 9pm, out before the mysterious death in Jonathan Creek.

Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsroach Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondstench Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsroach Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondstench Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsperch
Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsroach Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondstench Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsroach Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsroach Pete's ('the Saxon') PondsThe lower pond looking west from the 'umbrella pitch'
Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondslooking east along the bank on the Lower Pond Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsnorth view across the Lower Pond from the 'umbrella pitch' Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsroach, caught accidentally while dibbing for live-bait Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsthe Upper Pond from the dam wall Pete's ('the Saxon') Pondsanother one of the Wetlands' pests

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2014 29th June 2014. 'The Saxon Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''.

Pete's Ponds - 'lower'the pitch Pete's Ponds - 'lower'roach Pete's Ponds - 'lower'not-a-crock Pete's Ponds - 'lower'tench Pete's Ponds - 'lower'not-a-crock
Pete's Ponds - 'lower'the float(deceased) Pete's Ponds - 'lower'roach Pete's Ponds - 'lower'tench Pete's Ponds - 'lower'roach Pete's Ponds - 'lower'tench

2014 19th October 2014. 'The Saxon Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. Fishing slow internally and out, so loll on the mat as the float lolls under an alder. I nabbed a roach on half a lob at its second time of priming, requiring a cast to the riser. Heh. It's proper autumn, blustery, leaves on the water, green-floats-and-worms day. Except the light here works best on orange...I have decided that the water not driven by the wind is the thing and will trickle corn and chopped worms and wait...

The Saxon Pondsthe float of the day The Saxon Pondsup through the umbrella pitch The Saxon Pondswind-piled leaves The Saxon Pondsa perch The Saxon Pondsa laid-back view up the Lower Pond

I just about finish my tin-cup and the little orange bob is off...perch, always good.

On the road in, were a host of big cars attending church, (those who 'Old Bob' would call 'the great and the good' but he didn't mean it as a complement), a mass of expensively clothed, who would argue with the Man himself about exactly what the good book meant. The uncharitable half of me hopes they get the chance...although I should have apologies to make myself in this event.

I miss a 'sitter' for an imagined foot-fall, then switch to a '14', nab two more roach, the first twice the size of the second. I'd seen the pimples on the surface, so was expectant. Tiny worms then accounted for two tiny perch. Heh. I put on a '12', was so busy snapping a yaffle at range I pricked a bigger fish, then miss-timed a strike and lost something quite solid, then redeemed myself with another nice roach. Not so slow.

The Saxon Ponds two micro perch The Saxon Ponds nine of the best The Saxon Ponds nearly autumn across the lower pond
The Saxon Ponds a long-range yaffle The Saxon Ponds a perfect roach The Saxon Ponds the biggest of the day, with a brass tint on the shoulder

This last fish signals the pace is picking up, so it is, I nab a further half-a-dozen, the pick of them the last, needing the flash, which accentuates the brass of the scales. I debate a torch on the float and then consider it a good day if ended here.

2014 21st December 2014. The Nadder/'The Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. Midwinter mixed nuts.

The Nadder'Pond 1', The Wetland The NadderThe first swim The NadderA bunch of wild brownies, good sport all The NadderAn interesting but unproductive swim The NadderAlso interesting, but unproductive

A couple of hours on the Nadder prodcued these four spotties, the largest (top right) twice the size of it's fellows. They came to worms and bread, and I didn't get anything else. I ambled back across the (stock-free) field and parked just to the right of the 'Umbrella Swim' tree and caught steadily for the rest of the afternoon.

The Saxon PondsThe winter-view from the 'umbrella pitch' The Saxon PondsThere's a float in there somewhere The Saxon PondsThe rest, key-sized to 8oz The Saxon PondsEntry for the smallest perch of the year The Saxon PondsOne of this year's, fending for itself The Saxon PondsBig head shaking cannible ('big' for this pond)
The Saxon Ponds A find roach just over 1lb The Saxon Ponds A big brass-tinged roach, 24oz or so. The Saxon Ponds Midwinternight
small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up...(and return to the top of the page) small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and one more time... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...got it?

2015 11th January 2015. Labour saving tools. "As you get on a bit," said Pete, "you employ tools to make things easier for you". "Like us?" I said...there were, of course, potatoes, we'll be kind and call them 'well done' and for myself, a selection of aching muscles to grace the following day, testament to brambles cleared, willows pollarded and whatever word one uses to describe razing sheaves of bamboo at ground level with a felling axe.

The Saxon PondsThe lower end of the Lower Pond, sunlit The Saxon PondsThe upper end of the Lower Pond The Saxon PondsThe top pond, a rather less flattering view of. The Saxon PondsThe fire, the pond and the clear patch

Still enjoyable for all that. Netting next...

2015 14th February 2015. The Nadder, Pete's Ponds.

Pete's Ponds The Lower Pond, denuded for winter Pete's Ponds The Lower Pond, denuded for winter
The NadderA nuisance of brownies The NadderA small stream roach The NadderThe small-stream pool of your dreams... The NadderThe respectable 3oz roach
The Nadder Coffee on the dam wall The Nadder The view from the dam The Nadder The small-stream bobber waiting for the fish that never came...

2015 21st March 2015. Woodfrys Farm, Melbury Abbas. I've had my eye on this lake and had been angling for a chance to drop in - a morning 'emergency' netting on The Upper PondThose ponds... provided me with such (a bottom board on the sluice had gone, bringing forward a planned netting, we relocated some 70 odd tench and probably 200lb of crucians, all is well).

Woodfrys Farm The upper pond from the dam Woodfrys Farm The lower pond's hollow tree Woodfrys Farm The lower pond looking towards the dam

I levered open a caravan door, paid my seven squid, slipped down to the lake and found some carp, but they simply wouldn't play in 6" of water although the odd one took a mixer - as long as it didn't have a hook in it. There was a thick layer of decomposing sludge on the surface, the water warmed enough to start decomposition off again, in turn starting the algae, ahead of the daphnia hatch that should mop it up...the thick silt made bottom fishing over this sludge tricky, even with corn, must have seen a dozen fish spook off the line. I gave it a couple of hours and zipped off for fish'n'chips, creaking with cold once I decided to move, defeated by a handful of small carp in water that barely covered their backs.

The Saxon Ponds One side... The Saxon Ponds ....and the other The Saxon Ponds The best shot of an egret I could manage at that distance.

I've wanted to come here since I saw the landscape on 'google maps' and it was in the end something of a disappointment. It's a nice looking place, but it has an air of decay that is barely dispelled by the neatly mown grass. 'Up' the valley, along which a clear stream runs, was a tumbled-down hatch pool, clearly to supply just-visible drowners in the grass with warming water, but long since ruined. There is a mill leat along the south of the valley, cut clearly into the slope. With the odd shape of the lake and its square marsh with a ditch around it, it reeks of old water-management, but left to nature far too long ago. The ditch is silted, the lake barely a foot deep anywhere, and for the most part barely 6". There might have been more fish than the few carp that mooched about, bellies skating the silt, but I saw no sign of them. There is tatty litter on the slopes, old corrugated iron in heads, scrap metal, old out-buildings - against one such a big old millstone is canted - a giveaway, glad I went, shall equally glad to drive past next time. If the place was for sale, I'd seriously consider giving it a go. But you'd need to spend some money to get nature back on its feet. Such a shame.

2015 18th April 2015. 'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. An antidote to the asininity of office life. Hard graft, bushwork, lily root toting and planting, spreading lime...when did my back age ten years more than the rest of me?

 the upper pond, drained and dredged  the upper pond, drained and dredged
The Saxon Ponds one of the bunds and silt The Saxon Ponds the upper pond, drained and dredged The Saxon Ponds one more pike out the Wetland...as it was on my way home.

2015 16th June 2015. The Big Day. At 5am I stayed in the marital b., a good place to be sure, lay, listened to the dawn chorus until I was sure sleep was gone. It was a drive of wraiths, more than once visibility vanished into cloud without warning and a spectre or two remained on the top pond as I crossed the dam.

Pete's Pond, LowerThe top pond spectres Pete's Pond, LowerThe lower pond far to early in the morning Pete's Pond, LowerThe cork ball-bobber rides again Pete's Pond, LowerAn inevitable perch

Umbrella swim then (I just like it), some hemp ladling, then hard boiled eggs, ciabatta, zingy orange marmalade in buttered rolls - the last interrupted by the first two of a plundering of tench. Heh.

Corn to start, then a switch to shrimp brought crus interspersed, then both golden tench in successive casts, the morning streamed by punctuated by tiny lifts and slips, then P. arrived, 'on his rounds', about elevenses. We talk of this and that, P. went onto the lakes and after a quiet interval, livened by a foot long grass snake slipping onto shore and the bees over my head in the azalea, a continuous light drone with lower pitched bumblers fading in and out. I opted for lunch at, it transpired, noon. Breakfast was around 6:30am tho'.

Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...1
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...2
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...3
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...4
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...5
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...6
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...7
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...8
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...9
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
crucian#...10
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...1
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...2
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...3
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...4
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...5
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...6
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...7
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...8
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...9
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...10
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...11
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...12
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...13
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...14
Pete's Pond, LowerPete's Pond, Lower
tinca#...15

Sport tailed off after bread, olives tomato and Parma ham, during though, two outrageous lift bites on corn landed the smallest tinca so far and another 1lb of crucian. Ginger beer...feet up eyes closed...D. came by making me start, I'd drifted into a sleepy reverie playing a word game on the small technology, I had one bite after D. went on, a gentle lift yielding a single roach.

Pete's Pond, LowerThe 'umbrella pitch'.. Pete's Pond, Lower...and one of its lost blossoms Pete's Pond, LowerThe 'umbrella pitch' from the other side Pete's Pond, LowerDrifting off Pete's Pond, LowerThe post-script roach

...the big decision now is the cows, various, JAA for the braving of. Since I arrived the farmer flushed the herd into the gated meadow that I have to cross to leave. But when? And how avoid (a) fright [mine] and (b) letting any bullocks out at either end. Hm...

2015 19th July 2015. Pete's Ponds.

Pete's Pond, Lower A cork-ball special fished under the branches and mostly under the water. Pete's Pond, Lower Down the path towards the dam from the 'umbrella pitch'.
Pete's Pond, Lower Looking down the barrel of the LHSRE, NW across the lake. Notice the 'impossible to forget' rod-rest. Drat, I'll lose it now for sure. Pete's Pond, Lower A handy vase, a boot sale find, now co-opted for those long useful things one collects when one makes floats.

2015 12th September 2015. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''.

The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'A very small porcupine quill very close to the edge, holding up a scrap of bread, the 'Weyfarer' method. The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'A 'constellation' of crucians The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'The lone and vegetarian perch The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'The lone, late and very welcome tench
The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' One of the scale perfect little crucians, small but not a hardship to fish for...'Little fish are sweet.' as 'Old Bob' used to day. The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' Another of the scale perfect (but humped for gape defence) little crucians
The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'The 'Saxon Ponds' - a panoramic view taken with the new 'Small Technology' of the lower Pond from the 'Umbrella Pitch'

2015 20th September 2015. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''

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The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'A 'constellation' of crucians The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'
The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold'The 'Saxon Ponds' - a panoramic view of the Lower Pond from the the dam side of the 'Umbrella Pitch' (taken with the new 'Small Technology')
The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' the smaller of the golden tench The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' The 'Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold' one of the 'regular' tench
swivel...and...wait for it...swivel ;-)...(and back to the top of the page) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-) swivel...and...wait for it...swivel :-)

2016 8th May 2016. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''.

The Saxon PondsJust an interesting sky The Saxon PondsThe Lower Pond from the 'umbrella pitch' The Saxon PondsThis is what the float did for about four hours. The Saxon PondsIt's the grass carp. Honest it is.
The Saxon PondsYou wouldn't think it was spring, would you?

2016 29th May 2016. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''

Today's plan for the 'Saxon Pond Dabblers' DDIncluding today, but not limited to: 'JAA', 'Dave', Garry' and 'Pete'.  was to fish for crus of less than 6" in length and redistribute, then to cut the bankside paths out, a simple and satisfying job, levelling a yard-wide swathe through the spring greenery. It's not so much a path as a 'rough guide on where to walk if you want to avoid sliding into the pond'.

My plan was to fish from 8am or so, try for the six-inchers and see who turned up and when. The 'umbrella pitch' was all 'toil and trouble', so little further incentive or walking were required. Although the first fish was a tench, there were seven crucians in the bucket before another body arrived. I was all set for some slashing, but was firmly instructed to keep catching. "Oh, all right then" I thought to myself...as luck would have it, the tench were spawning for the most part, so absent and the crucians were very busy indeed. From 8am to 1pm a serendipitously constant stream of bites kept me amused and by the time I'd had enough, was forty odd crucians to the good, with the largest at 1lb 14oz and half a dozen more well over 1lb.

Dave, inspired, picked up his rod, fished alongside for the last two hours or so, and neither people on the bank nor path-clearing put the fish off in the slightest. Dave further padded out the six-incher crucian tally, bracketing them with several tench, some larger crus and a couple of greedy but reasonably sized perch (which took bread and corn). A fine effort considering Garry and myself did our best to trash his swim by cutting down some substantial willows on the other side of the rhododendron. All-in-all 27 six-inchers were bucketed and of course none of the fish count as it's still the close season. Just as well I didn't enjoy it at all then.

Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
The Lower Pond from the 'Umbrella Pitch'...(1)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
The first tench...(2)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(3)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
The second tench...(4)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(5)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(6)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
Tench 3, the destroyer of swims...(7)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(8)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(9)
Pete's Ponds Pete's Ponds Pete's Ponds1lb 14oz Pete's Ponds

The four best pictures, including a rather fine 1lb 14oz crucian. That's probably the most crucians I've taken in a session and suspect it will remain that way for some time.

Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(1)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(2)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(3)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(4)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(5)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(6)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(7)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(8)
Pete's PondsPete's Ponds
...(9)

2016 16th June 2016. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. Opening day in the right place.

Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower.
Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower.
Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower.
Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower. Pete's Ponds, lower.

2016 14th August 2016. 'Pete's Ponds'The Saxon Ponds' - see 'Crock of Gold''. Catching to order.

Pete's PondsThe pitch. Arriving at 9:30 the window of opportunity was closing rapidly, not that this was apparent at the time - although this is entirely consistent with August fishing on the Lower Pond. Pete's PondsThe best of the three crucians I managed. I had one of a few inches more-or-less on arriving, then this larger one, perhaps 8oz, then a smaller one, which went in the keep-net for transfer (managing to contribute two fish to the ten Pete and Dave manged between them). I missed a couple of bites for good luck, but that was it for the day. Pete's PondsA picture of a float awaiting a crucian, that of course is far better than anything else I've taken this season. Pete's PondsThe path leading to the dam. If you care to compare it with other pictures of the same, the damage done by the adjoining herd of cows when a careless person left the gate open can be inferred.
I like porcupine quill floats...I like porcupine quill floats...(and back to the top of the page) I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats... I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats...

2017 swivel 26th June 2017. Erstaz opening day. Busy with stuff, I eschewed the 16th, a rare thing, but the mind was elsewhere, plus the Saxon Ponds are unusually busy this year. Nevertheless, I got my usual shady swim and fished from early afternoon through to dusk and managed four small perch and the same number of tench, the last coming as the light left. Small perch and roach made bread and shrimp fishing twitchy work, but for my size '11', I could've plucked a fish every cast albeit a tiny one. I lost a couple of fish to hook-pulls, one weight zipping under the tree after the float slid off 'on-the-drop', I suspect a 'fouler' and the second, a tench, headed straight out and the hook simply slipped.

The Lower Saxon Pond Looking up the pond The Lower Saxon Pond Looking across the pond The Lower Saxon Pond Tench I
The Lower Saxon Pond Tench II The Lower Saxon Pond The path leading to the dam The Lower Saxon Pond The float, poised.
The Lower Saxon Pond Tench III The Lower Saxon Pond Tench IV and a few of the perch.

Plenty of roach priming and perhaps one or two crucians at the end topped in their skittery way. Nice day out (but you knew that).

2017 swivel 2nd September 2017. The Saxon Ponds. So, the plan was to potter about the Lower Pond and try a bit of 'drop-shotting' for perch with the MKIII. That is to say, I tied a no. 4 hook on, put three swan-shot on the tag end of the line and bumped a hook full of maggots across the pond-bed. This yielded a number of small indignant perch that found little about a size 4 hook that impeded them in any way. Heh. I slipped on a small quill and removed more small perch at one-per-cast until I thought I'd had enough fun and so headed for the top pond...

The Saxon Ponds The MKIII The Saxon Ponds An indignance of smal perch The Saxon Ponds The small blue poised porcupine quill...

...I decided on the last swim by the willows before the bridge and it was a nice enough evening, if overcast.

The Saxon PondsThe Upper Pond in the evening

I'll try to capture the spirit of the evening here; stare at this float for four hours, drinking a cup tea every half-an-hour.

The Saxon PondsThe motionless float

There you go, that was my evening. The moon was rising over the cowshed and the camera, for once, took it like it was, blurry with autumnal mist and cloud.

The Saxon PondsThe sacred moon overhead

2017 swivel 18th September 2017. The Lower Saxon PondPete's Ponds. Crucians are in here, catching them on the other hand....The ponds were uncharacteristically busy and I manfully tried to catch something on sweetcorn. I had a bite about 20 minutes in which caught me by surprise and after a couple of lunges which made me think 'crucian' it belted under the tree and skillfully nicked the hook onto a root, much like tench do...drat. Garry arrived on the tail of this mild incompetance and witnessed a series of probable bites, which immediately ceased when he left. After a while I gave up and worked out how many small perch it is possible to catch on pieces of a single lobworm (answer: 37) and it would have been more if the last piece of the unfortunate worm had not slipped the hook. Jim, meanwhile, was even more manfully trying to Christen an old rod that meant a great deal to him. Despite heroic and some might say sarcastic fish-rolling in front of him, he also struggled with all but the small perch. I finally took a small roach on corn, then a last bite on flake excited me until the undoubted specimen crucian that took it morphed into a 1oz perch...then the barn-owl floated across the gap in the trees over the pond and wafted up the meadow. Jim and I gave in and headed for the cars.

The Lower Saxon Pond The usual pitch The Lower Saxon Pond The useful blue quill
The Lower Saxon Pond The bucket, some floats... The Lower Saxon Pond ...and the token roach

There was, 'top ponders' included, a considerable gaggle of dabblers, so in the gloom we stood, drank tea, ate fine cheesy crucian-shaped biscuits and made disparaging remarks about relative expertise in the useage of storm kettles. A fine ending.

Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook (and return to the top of the page) Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook

2018 ''Crossroads'' 7th January 2018. The Saxon Ponds. A slash and burn party, bank clearing and bonfires of previous clearings. All good fun, even the charred potatoes.

The Saxon Ponds The smaller of the two bonfires, nearing its nadir. The Saxon Ponds The large land drain in the corner of the Lower Pond The Saxon Ponds The view across the drained Lower Pond, the dam wall, the sluice and the other bonfire.
The Saxon PondsLooking up the pond on the north side of the island

2018 ''Crossroads'' 14th January 2018. The Saxon Ponds. One of several work parties, as we prepare the ponds for dedging and some landscaping. I was helping Pete clearing a patch of rhododendrons where the ground was boggy and the path, defined by a fallen tree on the uphill side, is a quagmire even with two drains run under and a timber'd walkway.

After some lopping, it was clear that there was one primary source of water, a spring perhaps, and that the fallen tree, in form, but in reality a loose collection of rotten wood held together by a shell of bark, had simply dammed the natural path of the water and turned the area behind into a small bog. It was immensely satisfying to cut a new channel from the welling spring next' the fence, to the pipe sunk under one of the paths' timbers. This involved, variously, pulling out rooted rhododendrons, clumps of matted roots, digging out some grey-and-greenish clay and finally cutting a gap in the fallen tree, achieved with only a shovel, so loosely was the rotten wood bound by its bark.

The 'bog' drained before our eyes and two further trickles of water, under sleepers and through gravel, dwindled to nothing in less than an hour. A slick of silt drifted down the shallow water left in the pond itself, but the spring-water, after the initial rush, ran clear. Why this was all quite so satisfying I can't tell you. But it was. It's an engineer thing. It's been fixed, that's what it is.

The Saxon Ponds and its meadowThe view across the meadow on the south side of the Lower Pond

On the way home, rattling along the top road, I was flashed at by a man in white van who was making 'slow down' gestures. I assumed, assigning low integrity to said driver, a speed-trap, primed by the 'white van' and its popular notoriety. Around the bend was a lady struggling with a horse. I wasn't exactly pelting along, so slowed, stopped, to give her time to get the fairly panicky mount under control and off the road, achieved in the end, by dismounting and leading it off. This is how assumptions can get you into trouble...

The Saxon Ponds' cowsThe resident livestock, and although I for one do not like cows, I've grown used to these woolly faces watching me wrestle with wellingtons, and to the warn sweet smell of the silage and hay.
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You've reached the bottom and the last trip to "the Saxon Ponds". There are 36 entries on this page. Most of them involved fishing.

Because this is a 'single venue page' and as I have the capability to extract all sorts of bits of information with a "criteria engine", here are some summary details:

Over the years I've nabbed at least; 133 crucians, 34 tench, three golden tench, one carp and countless perch and roach.

On the couple of occasions I fished the River Nadder and managed to extract eight brown trout along with a few roach.

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03:31am on 2018-04-22 JAA