Sunday, 19 February 2017

Pigeon-chested from Venus and Mars

Saturday, temperature mild but with an edge if not sheltered from the wind. Snow drops and aconites and second time round Cherry blossom. Camellia about to burst buds. What does a Bureboy's mind turn to in the early spring? Trotting into the backend that's what.

Up onto the iron bridge for a look see, buzzard mewing. In the depression sits mossy green, long, mean and green with the 60 mile smile. Behind, respectfully line up dace and roach, and in front haphazardly across the flow (eyes wide open perhaps)  two groups of smallish chub, 8 in total and 2-3 lbish. Minnows for this stretch. Cunning plan hatches.

Set up on a nice glide above the feeder, deepening and quickening with the feeder's scour. Drennan 13 footer teemed up with the centre pin. 5bb stick and a pair of red maggot on an #18, one hooked through the blunt end and one thought t'other. Prime the glide.

Onlookers point out mossy green. In with half a herring and up on the bridge to check. Mossy green has swung back down into her pit to think about a snack.. decide not to twitch it but see what develops. onlookers melt away, Noddy train puffs and toots over  the bridge.

Feed and swing out  for the first trot of the day. Over depth but stick stabs under, not drags and the first of the afternoon, a lovely plump roach.

Settle into a reasonable feed,swing and trot rhythm, mostly coming up trumps in a couple of predictable spots on the trot, mostly dace, with the odd smaller roach in the deeper bits. The flow good enough, and the float big shouldered enough to peel the line off the pin. 1:1 retrieve means batting in the bits but with a better fish winding seems  less painfully slow. Love the bend in the responsive tip section of the rod.

Anything that got as far as the scour seemed to attract the gonks.

The Drennan piker bob is bobbimg and the alarm sounds. Not mossy green but fun enough in the shallow and fast water below the feeder steam as walker's feet pound above on the iron walkway.

Back on the pin and head torch man appears, with his trusty hessian Roys bag, baiting a few spots. A intercepted fish and a tussle is on. Get to the net wielded by head torch man and the pike shakes out the roach, all black spot and now tatty scales and fins.  Repositioned half herring is coming back upstream and after a tussle is in the net, A solid if small 4 ish whilst head torch man shows me a nice double from the Beck on the ubiquitous shattered phone screen. We wonder if they are beginning  to group up for  spawning, I suspect the pike are here for the dace, some of which are certainly developing that big backend pigeon chest if not the sandpaper skin yet.  This one, the last landed of the day had also gorged chub-like on my loosefeed.

The last trot and  the best roach of the day is snatched across the back and a better pike is on. The roach escapes it's jaws in a shower of spray and scales  (it is a much better one) and the pike is after it in a flash, twisting and hunting like a dog in inches of water and right under my feet. Given the slashing and twisting the light hooklink is severed and off it slinks with my prize firmly between its flat and flared jaws. Quite a lot of roach extends either side of those flat jaws.

Think this one (excuse the blur, DSLR's are not really suited to in the hand shots) has had a brush with an otter rather than a pike.

Kingfisher  splashes in from the big point bush and I head off in the gathering  gloom very satisfied with a good couple of hours backend rotting behind me.

As Commander in Chief enrages the Trumpster by preparing a meal from that place he will build a wall against the litle'uns are captivated by the brightest and reddest objects in the early evening sky. A dazzling Venus and  a small but visibly red Mars just above and to the left. 

For those who listen to the Archers  looks like Neyul Carter will be hiding in the piggery as Soosan signals his weekly chore is due. Chilli  tonight Neyul?

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