10 February 2012

Variety is the spice of life | Part 2

A late summer recce of the upper Leam which I carried out last August revealed a small river, no more than a stream in parts, with plenty of physical challenges to overcome (barbed wire, steep banks etc) and just a few fishable swims between the weed. Since I was still very much in commercial carp mode, I filed it under 'hmmm, maybe another time' and thought no more about it.

For whatever reason, by the time I returned to fish it on a bright, warm, breezy day three weeks ago, my attitude had transformed. A few more swims had opened up, the obstacles seemed smaller than before and all-in-all it looked absolutely perfect. I couldn't wait to get started.

Having identified about half a dozen likely looking swims I started at the farthest from the car - a deep pool on a 90 degree bend. With so little flow it was obvious that the lightest tip would be fine, so out went a couple of maggots with just a tiny drilled bullet holding it to the deck.

Perfect, except that the breeze had now turned into a gale. I was definitely getting taps, presumably from small stuff, but it was hard to spot with the rod tip bouncing all over the place. The next swim was even more exposed, so it was an hour or more before I found the shelter I needed to get a still rod and a good idea what was happening beneath the water.

The minnow - a long lost friend of mine
Feeding a steady trickle of maggots just upstream of a fallen tree soon got those taps coming back on the rod tip, but this time I was able to see and hit them - or at least I was when the fish were actually bigger than the maggots I was using as bait! I'd forgotten the joys of minnows, once such a staple of my childhood fishing. I was certainly reaquainted with them on this trip. In between a steady stream of the little blighters came a few tiny chublets, and then over went the rod tip and I was into the fish I'd come for - a chub of over a pound. Well, briefly I was into it anyway. I'd accomplished 90% of the mission - I'd found it, hooked it and sighted it - and then I lost it. The whole process was over in seconds, and I was gutted, particularly since that was my last bite of the afternoon.

Now just try telling me there aren't
chub in there...
I was back the following week. It was colder, just as sunny, but stiller. I only had two hours, but I figured that the deep pool offered a decent chance of some action. Again I caught some tiddlers, but in case you're expecting a happy ending I should hasten to the bit where I lost another decent chub in the reeds under my feet.

I'm starting to think that blogging about my fishing is bringing me bad luck. For my next post I might just review 2011, recalling a time when a) I wasn't blogging about fishing and b) I was actually catching some decent fish. Ahhh, happy days.

1 comment:

Pete said...

ah the one that got away...;)