Norfolk playing its part in filming of Mr Crabtree

It's hardly the Test or Hampshire Avon but TV producers picked the Nar in the middle of King's Lynn to film an episode of the eagerly-awaited Fishing in the Footsteps of Mr Crabtree, which is due to be aired later this year.

Presented by Norfolk's very own John Bailey, the six-part series recreates the famed comic strip and much-loved book, where Mr C teaches Peter the rudiments of our fine sport.

Bailey must be one of angling's most eloquent ambassadors. He hopes the series will encourage more of us 'Crabtree kids' – as he calls those brought up on the books – to devote some time to the next generation of anglers.

As we watched 12-year-old Tadhg Al-Hassan, one of the lads chosen to play the part of Peter, running a stick float through the streamer weed, Bailey said he'd had to resort to YouTube to learn how to cast, because there was no-one to show him.

Norfolk highlights in the forthcoming series include a 1lb 14oz roach from Bailey's old stamping ground the Wensum.


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Things seem to be getting better with every passing week on the rivers. Perhaps the onset of autumn has woken things up and got the fish feeding.

Bream are showing in fits and starts along Ten Mile Bank, with the Modney Bridge – Brown's Farm stretch offering the best of the action to tip or slider.

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Nets around the 50lbs mark are nothing unusual at the moment, with tench also putting in an appearance.

You've got to fancy some of the swims around St Marks to do bigger weights on the right day, once the fish start to move towards their winter haunts.

Roach seem to be shoaled further upstream, around the Danby end. High banks and lack of parking – not to mention switch-back roads – mean a lot of people pass this stretch by.

Last autumn, a shoal of bream that must have been three swims long rolled and bow-waved past my pike rods as dawn broke up there in the wilds – a mass exodus, perhaps.

Keep 'em peeled wherever you fish, for Riverwatch members saw a gang of netters at Littleport on Friday night. The men were gone before police arrived.

As thoughts turn to pike fishing, there's a free day's tuition with the experts on offer on Sunday.

Norwich Pike Club, the Pike Anglers Club off GB and Broads Angling Strategy group are teaming up to offer demonstrations of rig making, bite indication and safe unhooking. There'll be stands, competitions and refreshments on sale. It kicks off at Bawburgh Lakes, NR14 3LZ, at 10am. Youngsters and beginners welcome.

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