After the recent cold snap we've all been experiencing of late, my latest trip had been planned around the trusty words of the weatherman.
The previous day the heavens had opened and although I didn't expect it to bring the levels up, I did at least think it might just add a tinge of colour.
I arrived at first light as per normal and followed the watercourse for a couple of fields until I came to a swim I hadn't angled at all this season.
For those who follow my steps, you would know that the last few weeks I have been chasing chevins on a lighter set up, but with the forecast of 16C and light southwesterly winds it was time once again to air the barbel gear.
Double elips pellet glued back to back on the hair was as extravagant as it got and then small bags of mixed elips mixed with some natural gear that I have been sent from the pallatrax stable to try (it looks interesting to say the least) and I look forward to experimenting with it in the coming months for all manner of species.
There is very little flow at the moment so all that was required was a small Stonze on a running link which is pretty much my standard set up for the Ouse these days.
Nearly all of my small river angling is with just the one rod but today I had packed two, one was to be flicked just down the inside behind the remains of a dead reed bed and the other was set on the edge of a far bank tree some fifteen yards down stream where the water had some pace going through with a nice depth to it.
With the baits in position, I sat back and took in my surroundings with a flasked brew just in time to see a kingfisher flash by and it was just at that point with no warning signs, that the rod bounced round and I threw my cup some five yards before lifting into what was obviously no barbel. A spirited fight then led to a nice clean chub hitting the back of the net. No weighing as it did not matter a jot, a quick shot was taken and on placing it back in the net Mr kingfisher shot back past me and was probably thinking.......jammy sod!
I then walked the fish some twenty yards downstream before releasing her back to her watery home.
On the walk back I collected my now empty cup and wiped the rim clean of dirt and cow dung!
A" fresh un" was poured/devoured while the next pair of pellets were air drying, before the next gentle cast back to the far bank feature was made. I always get thoughts entering my head of "where there's chub there could also be a barbel" so with those thoughts, once again I sat back, watched and chilaxed.
A good forty minutes had passed before a gentle tap on the rod tip, this caused my right hand to hover above the reel seat but all went quiet for the next five minutes and then "bang", a proper pull round and on striking, the fish immediately tried to get to the comfort of the hanging branches, pressure was applied and soon i was steering another chub up river and into the net. It turned out to be of similar size as the first and the same ritual was to be made as before.
All went quiet from then on, so after a while I decided to wind in and go for a stroll to have a look/see for fanciable spots and areas that might do me well for the last few remaining weeks of the season.
Which leads me on to another worrying point...........Rain!! We need a deluge of it.
No more do we get Summer floods, the winters are getting drier and on parts of my home water and what is also the case of most rivers up and down our country there are places where all that would be required is a pair of trainers to cross the flows. Its all terribly worrying and the future is not looking too rosy. Never mind the Otters, cormorants, crayfish and poachers as soon we'll have dried up dyke's/ditches and pools that not even they can angle in!
There's no plus points on ending this article, what can be done?
A clue I have not?
Enjoy the remainder of the season, be lucky and make the most of it.
Arriving on the banks of the Gt Ouse at first light this morning, I was greeted with the sight of roughly a foot of extra water and a tinge of colour, it looked good. The wind was a tad on the blowy side and this made things a little uncomfortable but it was good to be out.
After the events of the past couple of weeks regarding the freeze and snow that we'd been given, I and everybody else maybe just thought there might just be a small window of opportunity for a barbel bite (we live in hope eh).
Myself and Mr Beale (not the dick in Eastenders) but a dick all the same, ventured to the stretch where golden balls hit it right just a few weeks ago with a couple of good fish including a nice double.
Golden settled into the same pitch that he had taken his previous prizes from and I dropped in to his left about a hundred yards downstream, a swim that has been good to me in seasons gone by.
Shallower water above me shelving down and creating a nice increase in depth, a crease and a slack, twenty yards below me is a huge snag (a tree) that washed down a couple of years ago in the floods.
If I was a fish, this is where I'd want to live!
Steve rang me not long after tackling up to tell me that he'd just taken the water temperature and thirtynine degrees was the figure, now i'm not one for taking temps (maybe i should start) and just go as and when I can rather than wait and do nothing until we get a reading of 42 plus degrees.
We gave it a couple of hours in the said section with no knocks forthcoming to either of us and it was at this point that I started getting thoughts of a different stretch just a couple of miles away from where we were.
A quick call and thirty minutes later we were setting off on another hike, at this point I'd just like to say that all this walking is doing wonders for my waistline and must admit that I'm looking rather good for it!!
We both tried a couple of swims each over the next four or so hours with nothing to show for our efforts before calling it quits and having no tea left.
The walk back the the car was the usual pondering of........Polar bears,otters,crayfish,cormorants, water too cold, snow melt, road salt, we're a day or two to early or basically we're just shite!!