The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

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Tengisgol
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The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Tengisgol » Wed May 25, 2016 11:07 pm

I grew up north of Romford, which is north side of the very lower Thames and, in many ways, is now (and was in my childhood) just an extension of the east end of London. When my parents moved there in the early fifties however (both from the east end) it was considered quite rural, the 'end of the line' was how my Dad described it.

My fishing began on the local ponds but I've talked about them before so this little tale is about what happened next. One of my friend's father (also a fisherman), and after some encouragement, was persuaded to drive us out into the countryside, up to Passingford Bridge, and drop us at the river for a few hours. Oh the excitement, the anticipation! I can feel it now; what would it be like, what fish would be there and could we catch them?

If I close my eyes I can picture exactly what the river looked like that day. I recall turning right at the roundabout and, a few hundred yards up the lane, the river came close to the road. So we were dumped and left to our devices. As I crossed the field I could see a glorious little river, with lily pads and a gentle flow, and on the opposite bank a large tree with its branches trailing the water slightly. That's where I would fish I decided and pretty soon my little crimson tipped quill was settling and then bobbing around as minnows pulled at my baited hook. Minnows, I'd never caught them before!

It was a warm day and me and Gavin (and I think his little brother) ran up and down the bank, in the stingers, showing off the fish we caught. Roach, dace and the biggest prize of the day was my first ever perch, stunning in the palm of my hand. It was a rural spot but the threat of the M25 was very real back then (and completed a few years later).

I never went back and fished there again and I don't really know why. We did find what we thought was a better stretch, further downstream, and there we spent days, months, years in every weather - growing up as we went along.

As I grew older and got a car, every time I travelled the M25 heading west from Brentwood I looked out for my tree. Over the years it gradually leant further over and for a long time stood at an angle that defied gravity. Finally, two or three years ago, a storm brought it down. I swore to myself that one day I would wander over there again and see what the river looked like beneath those fallen branches.

Well this evening I did just that; it was a spur of the moment decision having just visited my Mother. I took the long way home and, instead of going over the Passingford roundabout, took that same right turn and down the lane to the bottom. A hop over the field and there, once again and nearly forty years later, was my swim, the broken tree now laying in the field. The river however looked just like it did all those years ago; lilies and a slow flow with clear water and the promise of a perch or two.

As I wandered back to the car reminiscing something caught my eye, a perfect crow's quill. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. It just needs trimming, an eye whipped on and a dash of crimson paint. One evening this coming season, and in the light of the M25, I will cast it into the shadow where my tree once stood tall and see if I can tempt a perch again.

Look closely and you'll see the remains of my tree in the field and, just upstream, a few perchy looking spots.

Image

Image
Last edited by Tengisgol on Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Tench Dreamer
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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Tench Dreamer » Wed May 25, 2016 11:38 pm

Fantastic post .. I know the Roding and it's a wonderful river.. let us know how it goes .

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Match Aerial
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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Match Aerial » Wed May 25, 2016 11:44 pm

Lovely story thanks for sharing those words.
Makes me think about my old fishing spots as a youngster in the 70s

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Chris Bettis
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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Chris Bettis » Thu May 26, 2016 12:00 am

Oh how your Post brings back memories! The Roding was the first river that I fished as well. I was lucky, I caught a 2lb Chub. I thought it was a Roach! I took it home and it lived for some time in our garden pond. I learned from a book from the Library that it was a Chub and not a Roach but never mind it was my first fish bigger than a tidler that I had caught and I spent a lot of time feeding it worms and it became quite tame, It was OK to take it by the way, in those days you were allowed to take two fish of any species at the end of a days fishing. That Chub was the first and the last fish that I took apart from Trout and they were a long time ahead in the future.

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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Dave Burr » Thu May 26, 2016 9:55 am

Going back to old fishing grounds can end one of two ways Phil. I think that in this case you will have a wonderful time.

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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Bob Brookes » Thu May 26, 2016 10:13 am

Flipping' 'eck Phil, you have great way with words. I have a feeling that your revisit will turn out just fine, I do hope so.

One day I shall wet a line once more in the river Leam at Offchurch. I have not fished it since the 60's and it is where I used to catch my first 'netter' chub, perch and pike. Happy days dusk 'till dawn on my bike with a mate when we never had a care in the world. Went home when we were hungry. Halcyon days when it never rained and the sun always shone.
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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Mark » Thu May 26, 2016 10:18 am

What a lovely account Phil.
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Danny Boy
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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Danny Boy » Thu May 26, 2016 10:32 am

Fantastic Phil ,thank you for sharing one of your childhood memories,we all have have that desire /urged too, but your one step closer to fulfilling that desire,please can you let us all know how get on,it looks a wonderful river .
I go fishing not to find myself...but to lose myself

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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by Lea Dweller » Thu May 26, 2016 11:19 am

A great post Phil, it brought back childhood memories of me fishing The Regents Canal and Hampstead Ponds. I will have to revisit them now that I have read your tale.

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Re: The first time I ever cast into a river was the River Roding and tonight I went back!

Post by PeteD » Thu May 26, 2016 12:46 pm

Wonderful story.

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