Saturday 25 January 2014

The eye of the storm

Last weekend's outing had whetted my chub appetite,  not withstanding the news of a good fish of the stretch in the week. Despite the rain the river was well within it's banks and much clearer than I had been expecting. Into  the boily swim, and with a little more lead presentation much better. Worked hard to search the swim but no indication from a fish.

Dropped into next spot, which was the dace aquarium from last week. Fished  quite a good sized lump of cheese paste which had matured a little over the week. Kept the same lead on as the bites last week had come on the crease down to the edge of the  trailing fronds  rather than tucked into the bank. First cast  and the tip did the classic two jags then into a healthy curve. Strike resulted in thin air..perhaps the point  hadn't pulled through the water hardened paste? At once thrilled by the chance of what clearly was chub take, and painfully aware that the chub on this stretch can be quite serious fish. It was 3.40 and I had been fishing since 3. Decided on 10 more mutes in the swim before  the next move, getting dark just after 5 now so a couple of swims to get into.

Decide to flick the anti-reverse on, with a little clutch to hopefully connect better with  next take. Also held the rod though still using front rest to give a slightly quicker response to a take. Which did not take long  to materialise. A more pronounced jag and then pull and in truth it was probably pricked already but the anti -reverse measure worked and I was into a fish, which by the darting fight was probably a chub.Once it bored to the near bank and made for a small tussock I was sure it was a chevin  and sure enough a silver/gold flash confirmed it. The rod, a Des Taylor 12 footer does  not transmit much feeling for some reason and it is quite hard to gauge size by pull etc but at the net a deep flank was a good sign. In first time and it was clearly going to be over 5 as I pulled it up on to the bank. The size 4 was well in the mouth but not in very deep and came out with the slightest of pressure. Slightly protruding lower jaw and quite a small head but apart from a red spot  above the ventral fin  a very clean, plump fish. Into the placcy bag and the Waymaster's read a very healthy 5lb 9oz.

Probably a better barbel hold than a chub pose but that's quite a healthy size paddle.

Decided to drop straight into next swim which is a longer glide with a more even paced far bank area and lightened down to 2 SSG on the link. I was studying some bubbles in the far bank glide which actually started to move and missed  another take.  Not sure what was moving under the surface but an otter didn't exit so possibly a water vole. Certainly some fish movement too and I have my eye on it for a sardine next time out. This swim actually would suit trotting very well so that's another plan hatched. I thought I heard some fast jets rumbling over the coast, unusual for a weekend but a flash and it was a winter thunderstorm approaching.

Heading back to the car in the increasing rain headed round the bend onto the meadow below the mill and it suddenly felt very mild, despite the rain. Must have been in the proverbial eye of the storm. The light show was rumbling round the valley  but almost as suddenly was lighting up the white weather boarded mill frontage and the storm was right overhead. Felt a bit exposed out there holding a wet carbon rod.. A huge crash and what felt like tons of very cold rain was dumped on me, and simultaneously setting off the car alarm and it was with some relief I was inside and tuning into the final minutes of FA Cup 4th Round day.


  1. We got the same storm and today is now fence mending day… nice chub. John

    1. I'm on lino duty on a muddy school pitch at 10..your perch was a clonker by the way, the biggest of fish when they are in their pomp.

  2. That Perch was a beauty but the weather curtailed everything, I was sodden within seconds having thought, no need for the waterproofs it's lovely and mild… how wrong can you be? This particular spot that farmer lets me fish has really big perch, as I saw last week, so I intend spending some time fishing for them in the next few weeks. I must have got to the car at about the same time you did, flicked on the demise and radio and it was Colchester and Hull in the FA Cup.

    When we're in Newcastle next week I'm going to buy some new scales. No fishing until next Saturday.

    Enjoy running the line! John

  3. Sorry, Southend not Colchester, I suppose that will see me hanging from a lamp post in Colchester...

  4. John. Local rivalry is seemingly less intense when considered from the lofty heights of League One. We've got a better mascot anyway. Eddie the Eagle is Mr. Ironic at times. Think he/she also does a similar thing for Essex in the cricket.