Magots & Garlic. Delicious!

What d’you catch it on –triple Magot?

Some of you may not be familiar with the humble maggot or gentle. My dear old Dad used to buy his from a farm on the inside of a very slight bend in the road near our village. This spot was known as Gentle Corner. The village copper’s surname was Brass. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

When we could still move about freely, my regular trouting jaunts to the upper Loddon took me past an unprepossessing warehouse on the outskirts of Basingstoke. It’s the main operation centre of Britain’s best wine merchant. There’s a shop in it where they sell bin ends and all sorts of vinous treasures. I bought these three Magóts there. A very refreshing alternative to the ubiquitous Prosecco. It’s sobering to think that it comes from benighted Lombardy.

This is supposed to be a rod maker’s blog, not a botany lesson!

We took a walk along the river Enborne, a Kennet tributary, a while ago. The wild garlic was already well up, displacing the wood anemones and filling the air with its pungent scent. Also known as Ramsons or Buckrams, these plants like quite acidic soil. The Enborne flows over greensand, unlike all the chalk streams round here, so it’s the only place where it thrives.

If you haven’t tried it, you really must. Wilt it as you would spinach, with a generous lump of butter and an egg cup full of water over a very low heat. Delicious with your Easter lamb, or placed under a chicken for the last twenty minutes of its roasting time. Don’t stint on it. This is one of the best free meals known to humanity.

Why am I telling you this? Well, most of you can’t fish at the moment and after a while, you’ll drive yourself potty staring at all those pictures of beautiful fishing rods on my website.

Take a walk if you can, to somewhere with water, plants and trees. It could be a park in a town. Collect feathers that might be useful for fly tying –especially seek out heron primaries for your Kite’s Imperials. Pick edible plants. Look for quiet places to set your crayfish traps in May. See what fish and insect life you can find.

Make a three meter diameter Hula Hoop from an old hose pipe. That way, you’ll guarantee social distancing while improving your core strength.

Anyway, I’d better go. These fishing rods don’t build themselves you know.

Until next time, stay well and look after yourselves,

Edward Barder and Colin Whitehouse

Still very much operational, available via phone and email, not breaking the law or endangering the health of others or themselves!