Annoying winds over the weekend. But then, what's new? I hate wind. It's like coots. Hateful and useless. Unless it's a big warm wind hacking into the bank, sending back yards of disturbed silt and goodies for the fish to pile into. Saturday's wind, on the Homestead at least was corralled by the big willows and though not warm not too unfriendly. Waggler again, and double corn. Bream Slayer has a theory that when the fish are right on it it's almost impossible to plumb dead as they dive right into the silt leaving big holes. Having seen the sonar pics of a Broad bed looking like an egg box I can get where he's coming from. I'm a bit lax in my plumbing which is why I'm not Beam Slayer. Didn't do too bad though with seven bream but nothing over 4 ish.
There's always a few roach before the bream move in, and this was the best of the bunch. Bream Slayer was on the Lawns after some of its biggers and betters but with poor for him results
My roach burst was rudely disturbed this lovely tench that really did try its hardest not to get in the the stink net, but the rod and the 3.2lb Drennan Float Fish soaked it all up.
I was worried for it's safety though as down by my feet lurked crocodilian menace in Greasy Limpopo stylee. A couple of roach had met a grizzly end as I slid them back and one of the hapless bream (all 3 lb plus of it) later disappeared into its toothy maw in a tsunami of scattered scales.
One of the six proper un's that survived the death run. I had a hatful of skimmers and hybrids too..
A perch slipped up and after a long dour struggle it was contemptuously spat out by the aggressor, seemingly unmarked. One lucky, lucky perch.
Sunday's wind was spiteful and mean and coupled with a surfeit of kayakers and paddle boarders I was in a foul mood. And I'd left my hoodie at home which made it worse. Though it was an upstreamer it was making control of the line from the centre pin to the butt ring difficult and good presentation was hampered as a result, and this was made worse by a hook (#16) that was blunt from the packet. Once changed bites became fish even with enthusiastic water sport activity. Plenty of roach and some that probably had a different mother. I haven't had any hybrids or true rudd below the next Mill but there is a mix in this stretch and above.
And another fish of dual heritage, this time a roach x bream (or the other way round?) hybrid. This stretch once was famous for it's big, dark, almost black bream with coral fins especially around the Royal Confluence (Taylor, Bill: Bream Fever and The Competent Angler and Bailey, John: In Visible Waters). I've only seen one bream between the two mills but have had a hybrid above and now below this mill which is almost at the upper end of our ticket.
More than a few dace too, and some bristling and boldly coloured perch which got me thinking so out came the livebait rod. A Clubber float and a 1/0 Aberdeen to a fine wire trace, just in case. A small, deep hooked perch (now there's a surprise) swung out along the still verdant cabbages. It comes to the surface in a vain attempt to escape, a lunge and a boil and the Chubber zips under. Wind down and fish on, this is no cannibal perch but a long, mean green killing machine. With teeth.
Said teeth connected with my thumb. Which was nice. Took about an hour to stop bleeding sufficiently for me to be able to decamp to the bridge pool for a last blood caked half hour. A frito misto of small roach, dace, gudgeon and perch followed by a lone signal cray. Entertainment for the dog walkers and kayakers.
And the last trot played out to the gallery who were rewarded with an airborne (in season still ) brownie that might have pushed the digitals to two pound and a bit . Fantastic.