Friday 2 February 2018

River Blythe – Flake and Flamethrowers

Many moons ago I lived in Cape Town, South Africa, the two and a half years seemed to last a lifetime as a kid growing up there but a few things that stuck in my mind when we returned was, the proper biltong which was nothing like the mediocre stuff you get here, the kids coke drinking from hollowed out loaves of white bread and the heavily armed security guard keeping the ‘White ’ areas free from the roamers from the townships as part of the Apartheid regime.

Thankfully Apartheid ended, however the freedom of movement that came with it, as a consequence crime exploded, and in 1998 8000 car jackings happened in Johannesburg in 6 mths alone.Such a beautiful country tarnished by high crime rates. The murder, assault, rape, and carjacking rates per capita still are among the highest in the world. This was when one inventor, by the name of Charl Fourie, had an idea; why not attach a flamethrower to people's cars?

The Blaster, as it was named, was designed to provide a fiery defense against carjackings, which were rife in the country at the time. The flamethrower had two attachments either side of the car that hurled out continuous flames to deter (and most likely harm) the assailant.

The inventor claimed that it would be unlikely that it would kill, but "definitely blind" anyone caught in the flame's wrath. In South Africa, it is legal to use lethal force when done so in self defense while in fear of one's life.

There's no restriction on owning a flamethrower. The flamethrower proved controversial in South Africa. It has been claimed that the devices may even cause more harm than good, because the criminals may choose to murder the driver first, rather than merely threatening them.

Apparently Only a few hundred of the devices were sold, largely due to the high price tag. However, there are reportedly still cars in the country that have the attachment.

Now talking of flamethrowers and South African’s recently Elon Musk's new ‘Boring Company’ put a limited stock of 20,000 Flamethrowers on sale.

The tech magnate posted a picture of the newly developed 300 quid gadget to Twitter with the caption: "Say hello to my little friend.", "Obviously, a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one. Unless you like fun."

A photo from a recent trip to the River Severn
Now where do I sign because I’m sure they will be easily modifiable and would help move things on that are starting to annoy me. I’ve got my name down for one anyway, I’ll keep you posted.

As per a previous post the amount of predators I see in the areas I fish has exponentially increased in over the past year, apart from those hairy ones with four legs, and the fishing nicking black bag over shoulder users with two.

The growth in cormorants numbers particularly that I've seen with my own eyes has been frankly quite scary. Areas that were largely devoid of them, now are not. I'm not talking stocked lakes with their easy pickings either, I'm talking flowing water.

Thinking about it considering the varied places I fish, from small brooks, to big rivers, I don't think there are any areas that I've not seen them, and that's most trips too. They really are everywhere. 23 of the huge birds nesting in one tree, that were feeding from dawn to dusk, That cannot be good surely ?

A 'brook' Chub
On particular stretch I've fished for 5 years now, this season predation has properly given it a kicking and it probably won't be the same again.
Feedback from others on this stretch and surrounding areas  have come to the same conclusion.

Hey maybe if I squint a little, the problem wouldn't look so bad....?

I enjoy wildlife, the outdoors, witnessing the bird life, you only have to look at my blog to know that but there is an imbalance at the minute in my opinion, but then as an angler I'm seen as a litter dropping, line leaving, fish hurter'er and my opinion should be taken with a pinch of salt.

The reality is as anglers we spend an obscene amount of time waterside and that gives us an massive advantage over others to see the changes that are happening to our environment. The minority leave litter and we all know who they are, and I urge you to pick it up when you see any, doesn't take much time, and it is to the benefit of us all.

James and Brian being two advocates of sorting out their own patch, just look at their recent efforts here. which if it wasn't for them, it would have never been sorted.

So enough of the ranting, Mick get back on track, and back to the fishing, this session was down at a section of the red signal crayfish infested River Blythe I’d not fished before, Shanghai AC match organiser Brezzy is a member on the stretch and invited us just to have a look to fish it during the winter months to see what we could pick up and a reccy to maybe becoming a member. Dave Roberts, a friend, big fish chaser was up for it as well, so the regular Friday lunch meet up down a lake with the seat box sitters and pole holders was disbanded for a go down the river.

So Breezy what’s it like then ?

“The stretch we will be on is very similar to the Leam above Radford Semele. Typical small river species, Chub, Roach, Dace, Perch and Gudgeon”

So with that in mind and Google earth consulted tactics employed were to be the same as a recent successful trip down to another section of the Blythe.

Travel light, roving approach, rucksack, light rod, landing net.

Bait, well the default bread, worms and cheesepaste which works so well at small rivers like this. Keep it simple is the key at these sort of venues.

A cormarant was spotted straight away, yes they are here too. We walked towards the bottom of the stretch and would make our way down. To be honest, I didn't quite gel with the water. The fishing was tough, a near 3lber first cast to cheesepaste which was a right minter I thought we'd be in for a good afternoon, but fishing flake, no bites whatsoever came, all very odd. I fished probably 6 or 7 swims and walked more than the other two I would say, but I wanted to have more of a look.

Above the bridge looked much better than below, it was shallow on the most part and with the sun out and the river clear, I knew it would be tough. But swims where there was Chub there wasn't.


Brezzy's 3 lber

Like many waters, I'm sure a bit more colour it would fish differently. I'm sure they were ignoring a static bait or tucking themselves away for some sanctuary. I switched to lobworm for the last hour and that seem to do the trick, another Chub and slightly bigger at 3lb and a half pound.

Breezy had a 3lb'er, Dave blanked and was even biteless on maggot.

Further downstream is a day ticket water and that looks more fishy to me, with more cover and narrower so I might give that a go when I get the opportunity.


  1. Plenty of food for thought there .

  2. Well you didn't blank,so it's not entirely barren. The last stretch you tried is frequented by men with shotguns,shooting only pheasants you understand 🙄.I wonder if this helps with keeping both avian and mammalian pests at bay?

    1. I’m sure with a bit more water on Mark it would fish entirely differently but as you say a least a few fish were caught. Presence of humans doesn’t seem to put them off, but maybe the sound of a gun would.


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