It's getting near spawning time and how I look forward to those pigeon-chested and sandpaper scaled dace. Saturday was foul and this was just about the most enthusiasm I could muster during my charabanc trip with littlest 'un.
Would Sunday be any better? I wanted a couple of hours on the Greys 15 footer and given the gusty wind I would team it up with a fixed spool. The pool was free if low when I got there and the with main push coming down the near bank I dropped down on to the second tank trap concrete block to fish over to the back eddy. Anyone who has read Bailey and Miller's Chub and Dace will know those blocks
Tackle? 3.2lb bs Float Fish straight through to an #18 Carbon Match spade end under a 7bb wire stemmed Avon, undershotted to cope with the boily water and rough bottom. Bulk mostly down.
Bites from the off, and even at some range the twisty dace visible in the clear, cold water as the hook hit home. The dace came in many colour variants, some making me check for a convex anal fin given the deep red of the fins but no sandpaper skin and their general plumpness was more fit fish in a balanced system than swelling ovaries. This one nearing the traditional toffee colour.f
A more determined tour of the fast pool signalled what was on the end of my line, and indeed it was going well. Salmonids spawn a lot earlier even than dace and this one was in need of a spring conditioning. I guess a wild fish. Big tail.
I had to retackle as the extra length of rod saw me tangle above in an elder, and though I got my Avon back I'd run low on BB's so stepped up to AAA's and what I thought was a fresh #18 but perhaps not. With an increasingly swirly wind and more water coming down the main sluice I struggled to hit the still plentiful bites. I'd simply got the presentation wrong and bite conversion suffered as a result. I did retie a new hook and things improved but once I had surrendered my favourite Avon to a snag I gave it best and had a little wander with the camera.