Parchay Match 12 September 2020

Parchay to Greylake stretch on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain.

The Kings Sedgemoor Drain has been on the Bridgwater AA ticket for many many years and has the fishing rights from Dunball to Greylake a continous stretch of about 8 miles. Now as a guy who likes looking at remote places on a map, one stretch has always intrigued me. The stretch in question is the stretch between Parchay and Greylake.

Here is a few approximate stats.

Parchay to Greylake is 3.7 miles or 5.94 km

Parchay to Bussex Bend is 1.24 miles or 1.99km

There is a foot bridge called Cradle bridge which is situated 1.98 miles or 3.19 km from Parchay bridge who’s only practical use is for the walker not for the run of the mill angler with all his or her gear. The nearest parking to this bridge is Burdenham farm which a tad under a kilo meter away. From here you go down a track then across a field, if that is not of putting to the match angler with trolley the bridge itself will be. It presents a formidable obstacle indeed owing to it’s width.

I know that some pike anglers use the bridge as a short cut to this stretch but there are not heavily burdened by the amount of tackle like the match or average pleasure angler. But all in in all the only practical way to this middle stretch is by the two road bridges.

So of I went for a hike on the north bank from Parchay to Greylake armed with camera to a place of rarity and seldomness, rarely visited and seldom fished. Once you get passed the first 500 yards which I must say does see a fair few anglers, but after you get a sense of the shunned and the neglected, alright there are a few places here to fish up towards Bussex bend, but this is mostly done from the opposite bank what is locally known as red track. Red track has the distinct advantage of one being able to drive one’s car right on to the bank. However this track only goes as far as the out fall of Andersea Rhyne which is 1.26 km from Parchay bridge. From there on the fishing is only practicable from the north bank.

Now Bussex bend it self is a great dissapointment, the thought of sitting on one’s seat box right on Bussex bend itself and casting a line is only fantasy for nature has decided to have her own way and has completely shrouded it in 5 foot tall reeds.

It’s when you turn the corner at Bussex bend the stretch takes on a new atmosphere a place of the remote and afar. The out back and the back of beyond. It wouldn’t surprise me if no one has fished this stretch for years. To call it a lonely place would do it a great injustice. The word lonely conjures up a world of sadness and melancholy, this couldn’t be further from the truth. One could say of this stretch from Bussex bend to Greylake that it’s a place wrapped up in a lovable desolation.

This is the approach to Craddle footbridge.

Now passing cradle bridge and continuing towards Greylake there is a stretch that is approximately 2.4 miles from Parchay bridge and about 220 yards before you hit where the Sowy river and Langacre rhyne enters the KSD. It is a stretch well worth noting, it is a place like no other on the drain, it is an ideal spot to hold a match. The banks are more or less level with the water and are completely flat. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words well instead of a picture I have a video which is just as good.

There is only one problem holding a match here and that is the remoteness of the place. Like I have already it is 2.4 miles from Parchay and 1.4 miles from Greylake. There is a track of sorts but not really suitable at all for the average family car.

Here is the above said stretch marked on the on the map.

The final 1.4 miles or so of KSD changes in character dramatically after passing where both the Sowy and the Langacre flows in to the Drain the water narrows considerably and in some places you can fish the far bank with a pole. There are a few indents in the rushes suitable for fishing and some of these look quite pleasant but these are very few and far between. Alas this stretch has all the hall marks of a water in decline, a fishery that has been neglected and shunned a venue where nature has taken over and has decided to stay.

Watchet angling match at Parchay 12 September 2020

It is the second time in a row now that the Watchet angling mob has had their match on the King Sedgemoor Drain at Parchay on the permanent pegs. (Bridgwater bank). This anomaly occurred because, put it simply the dilapidated state of the river Huntspill and thus the inability of any club being able to stage a match. Its saddens me to see the demise of this venue, a venue in its hey day held matches for the national angling championships which had attendances of over 700 anglers. I had an interesting conversation last week with the chairman of Bristol Amalgamated Fisheries a sprightly 85 year old guy called George who has been chairman for nearly 50 years among other things, he mentioned about the fact that the EA take in 14 million pounds in revenue from the sale of rod licences but only 1 million of this is put back in to angling. Well that explains the Huntspill then. Enough enough lets get on with the results.

1stEric Searle12 lb 02 oz81
2ndAlan Bland11 lb 04 oz82
3rdPaul Smith11 lb 02 oz85
4thDave Nash10 lb 03 oz79
5thBob Pascoe9 lb 14 oz78
6thGeorge Fletcher8 lb 05 oz84
7thPete Curnow8 lb86
8thIan Townsend6 lb 12 oz77
9thDave Colley6 lb 07 oz80

1st on the day was none other than the Mr carp orientated Eric Searle who showed that he is becoming of a bit of an all rounder. Eric of of peg 81 amassed a net of 12 lb 02 oz. This was achieved by whip and maggot.

The winner.

2nd place went the clubs paste expert and match secretary Alan Bland. Forsaking his beloved paste Alan caught most of his fish on caster and pole for a weight of 11 lb 4 oz. His abode for the match was peg 82.

Alan with his now familiar hat.

3rd place went to Paul Smith on peg 85 who fish the waggler and whip with red maggot as the main bait. Now I let you guys in to a little secret at the end of the match he genuinely believed he had the lowest weight. A nice surprise then mate.

Paul Smith anxiously waiting.

4th was the winner of the previous match a certain Dave Nash. Dave who just could not pull it of this time had a weight of 10 lb 03 oz. Caster and sweetcorn on the whip was the method. Dave’s peg was 79.

Veteran angler Bob Pascoe was 5th on peg 78 with 9 lb 14 oz. Bob caught all his fish on caster.

6th place went to newcomer George Fletcher. Bolton Wanderers supporter George on peg 84 nabbed out 8 lb 05 oz using pole and whip with maggot as bait. Like me poor George had trouble with bloody Pike.

7th was yours truly on peg 86 with a total of 8 lb. I employed waggler and maggot.

8th was Ian Townsend who was 3rd last time but could only muster 6 lb 12 oz on this outing. Fishing the end peg number 77 Ian mostly used double caster on the pole. Luck was not with Ian as he lost a Tench at the net.

9th was NHS hero Dave Colley. Dave employed the pole and waggler with mainly maggot to eek out a weight of 6 lb 7 oz.

Point of note that me and Paul Smith did have quite a lot of Ruffe and Gudgeon.

There are 5 dates to note, these are for one of matches.

Possible venues in consideration are the River Cripps, B&T canal and even the North Drain.

Next match will be at Shiplate on the main lake in 2 weeks time on Sept 26th but this could be in jeopardy owing to new lock down rules and the fishery owners discretion.

Until then take care and don’t forget to change you clothes.

Tight line Pete C

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