Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Little Fishes

How did you start fishing? Father/uncle/brother used to take you now and then? Or perhaps you came at it sideways , like I did. None of my family fished as far as I know. I did occasionally fish as a kid. There was a pond near  where I lived, I believe it was a bomb crater, or so legend had it. Thinking back I don’t think it was, unless it was from World war one, it was too overgrown and silting up. It was full of goldfish, big ones. How or why it only contained goldfish I never knew and I am never going to find out now because it’s been filled in. Me and another lad used to go there now and then and try to catch them and by pure luck we did manage to get the odd one or two. It was never a passion it was just something to do to fill an hour or two of the endless summer holiday. I do seem to be drawn to water for some reason. Perhaps that is why I became a plumber, or not. We lived in the sticks, two bus’ a day with a mile walk to the bus stop or a six or seven mile walk to the main road where there was one an hour. At the bottom of the field opposite our house was a stream. Even calling it a stream may be giving it a grandeur it didn’t deserve but I spent a lot of my childhood in it, one way or another, mostly deliberate sometimes by accident. I loved climbing trees and the best climbing trees were along the bank of the stream so now and then I entered the water from a greater hight than was good for me. I never saw a fish in the stream, not a Bullhead or a stickleback even though it was stuffed full of shrimp. You couldn’t turn a stone over without finding loads of them. The pond and the stream are linked, in my mind if not physically, because the stream is fed from a spring not far from the pond and when we heard the pond was going to be filled in three of us decided to save the goldfish and put them in the stream, and somehow, I don’t remember how, we did manage to put quite a few in the little stream. I also put some in a huge water-butt at home, where they lived quite happily for years. The stream wanders a long way, gradually becoming a proper stream. At one point it follows a road for a few hundred yards before it headed off across farmland and for years we enjoyed the thrill of spotting the odd goldfish as we walked or cycled by. One year I walked the stream for several miles and was astonished to find goldfish several miles downstream from where we had introduced them. I never once had the urge to fish for them. That stream was one of the sources for the Little Stour, which eventually becomes the Stour. I wonder if any of them made it to the big river.

So, when did I become a ‘proper’ fisherman? A proper compulsive fisherman. Believe it or not it started on my honeymoon. We couldn’t afford to go away so on an impulse I bought a load of second-hand gear from an advert in the local paper. £5 bought me a rod, reel, floats, tackle box and loads of odds and ends (this is 1971 btw) and my new wife and I would go down the canal and she would sunbathe while I tried to catch fish. I don’t recall how I became addicted, perhaps like addictions it creeps up on you without you realising it. I knew I was in trouble when my wife put her foot down when I was playing cricket Saturday and fishing Sunday. One of them had to go and I had to spend a bit of time with her……goodbye cricket.


January 5, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. so technically, you’re a criminal for having imported household pets from one body of water to another…. 😆

    Comment by Marc Fauvet | January 20, 2013 | Reply

    • sorry, i meant to write ‘pests’.

      Comment by Marc Fauvet | January 20, 2013 | Reply

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