I was still keen to get out to the bank so decided Monday afternoon/evening would be a suitable substitute but with weather still remaining fair I decided that the trotting would be best left for more suitable conditions. That being the case I made my way after work to the small river I've been frequenting recently, albeit to an area I had only fished once before and even then only roving in a few swims. This time would be different and I would attempt to do the entire stretch.
It is always my preference to walk to the furthest end of the stretch and work my way back towards the car, especially carrying the videoing equipment which is part of my fishing these days, which in itself constitutes about half the weigh of my gear. Getting the long walk out of the way first to be replaced with a punctuated ramble back is definitely the more enjoyable way to proceed. So this I did.
Having not even laid eyes on the majority of these swims previously they were a sight to behold for an angler...overhanging trees, rafts of debris, bends, deep glides. I was in heaven.
The rod was quickly assembled. Link-leger, bread flake, mashed bread and lobworms would be my mainstay with maggots and pellets at hand as a backup.
Unfortunately all the promise did not come to fruition and I fished 4 or 5 swims without even the merest knock on the quiver tip or any interest in the baits. I consoled myself that this was to be expected in the blazing sunlight.
I rounded a bend to find a fast moving pool below a shallow section and it was here that the quiver tip finally twitched and after a spirited fight a juvenile chub graced the landing net. Finally!
By this time the sun was beginning to set and the river came alive, small fish topping seemingly everywhere.
I moved to the next swim where the flow in a deep pool was punctuated by a tree on the far bank. There was immediate interest in the bread flake here and after a couple of tentative plucks a small chub was banked. With nothing further for the next five minutes I pressed on.
As twilight slowly took hold I dropped into a swim downstream, flicking a piece of breadflake towards and overhanging tree and raft on my own bank. Ten minutes was allocated before I was to move on but after only a couple I was distracted by, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful sights in nature. That of a barn owl hunting over a meadow. Truly awesome.
A tap on the rod top bought me to my senses but it came to nothing. A recast was in order and in followed four tiny balls of mashed bread. Within a few seconds the quiver tip danced into life and the rod arched over as it only does when attached to one of the larger residents of this small waterway. I was clearly connected to a chub as it made tracks for every snag in the swim but before too long it was subdued. What a stunning fish it was.
With the minimum of light and disturbance a piece of breadflake was flicked into the darkness, followed, once again, by some tiny balls of mashed bread. I sat there in the gloom, watching my rod tip which was illuminated by a small torch, contemplating how any fish could find a piece of breadflake in the blackness. Just as this thought crossed my mind the tip twitched and pulled round. I struck and happily connected to another chub of decent proportions whose fight in the camera light did justice to its stature...however before it could find sanctuary in the maze of tree roots protruding into the water at my feet it was safely ushered into the landing net.