Caught by the River

Letter From Arcadia

7th December 2010

Fen Pike.


whilst you have been burning tyres to keep warm and to keep on rocking in the chub free world i have been struggling to get back from the county of norfolk. having returned from salt park to arcadia N6 in the late summer i realise now that i left something on the fen. an intangible something that struggled to get back along double backed roads and black soiled fields. near the place close to the chip shop in the village where bible john dwells on the banks of the old nene navigation, cutting lino whilst rufus the ruffe barks at the moon, even at midday. we went back up there, the empress of arcadia and i to fish the dyke and drink fen wine when the clocks went back. instead with the yard full of gallon tins of gentles delivered by the ghost driver from murgett’s maggotorium we got high on ammonia and ended the day with hands that glowed from chrysalid dye. my keepnet was as good as made of marble whilst bible’s was a harvest water festival, a shoal of rudd, a cheerful perch and a roach well over an imperial pound. scales on it like bread tokens from heaven. caught in a thunder storm of hail that cast a veil over the baptist church and woke up the zander.

the dyke is frozen now and the skaters have taken to it. within the frozen stumps of the reed bed sits the pike that bible saw give him a follow last week on the twenty foot and which turned his guts to a bucket of ice.

jardine snap tackle on the birdtable.


We began publishing the correspondence between Dexter Petley and John Andrews back in May 2007 making Letter From Arcadia the longest running feature on Caught by the River. It’s made for a fascinating archive and you can go back to the very beginning by clicking HERE.