Along the stretch of river bank on Lynn Road, Littleport, between the 48 hour mooring and the end of the old road, is a free fishing area; all that anyone needs to fish legally is a rod licence. This relatively small area attracts a vast amount of people from all walks of life.
Some years ago we met several people from Hackney. They would arrive two or three times a year, set up camp and enjoy the wildlife of the river, the countryside, and of course the fishing. This was so far removed from the 16th floor of the Hackney flat where one member of the group lived. I was informed by the person I spoke to at the time that his mother had been evacuated here during the war and had stayed with a lovely couple who lived in Ponts Hill. She had such fond memories of her time here she had brought her family to see the area, and as keen fishermen they had been coming ever since.
A young couple from Wicken had arrived early on a fine August morning for a day’s fishing and their intentions were to stay the night. They had erected a small tent. I spoke to them just as they were starting to pack up; they informed me they had caught a sizeable perch. The young man looked slightly more impressed than his partner!
Further down the stretch of water were two young chaps from Diss. They had set up the familiar round dome which was to be their home for a couple of days. I asked them how they knew about this particular area as they had travelled 40 plus miles. I was informed that many years ago an uncle used to live along Ten Mile Bank and used the area regularly. They added there was a photograph of the uncle sitting in virtually the same spot.
A solitary figure was close by. It was obvious that his intentions were to stay a short while as his fishing gear and a small lunch box were his only evident belongings. I asked if he was local and he said indeed he was. He told me that his wife had taken the children out for the day so he had escaped for a few hours. His keep net looked quite full; he said his catch was mostly skimmers and a few roach. I went on to ask if he met many people on his ‘escape’ days; he said the last time he sat near two middle aged men from Milton Keynes who worked in the same place and arrived for a ‘blokey’ day to enjoy the sport, he did not think to ask how they knew Littleport.
After an interesting afternoon I made my way back home feeling very happy to live in Littleport and to have quick access to such a lovely spot.
If anyone fancies some time on the river bank fishing there is a ‘closed season’ from 14th March until 16th June inclusive. Licences can be obtained online or from the Post Office.