The traditional season is just about 3 weeks old and so far I have managed to grace the banks of my beloved Gt Ouse for three shortish sessions with very little to show for my efforts.
As the season kicked off the whole country was experiencing extreme flooding and my local was to be no different. Opening weekend I managed to get out on the Sunday for a late evening that was followed up by kipping in the truck before once again gracing the river with my presence at first light to angle for the first few hours of the day. Apart from the odd chubby type tap most of the session was sat there taking in my surroundings but it was nice to be smelling running water again.
The following Wednesday I was back in the field, tucked away down the bank and surrounded by head high grass, to be frank I felt like I was nesting! The water level had dropped back a few good feet in the few days that I was away but was still holding a nice tinge of colour.
I had decided to start the day with two glued 12mm elipse pellets as hookbaits to a size 8 hook c/w pva bags of mixed elipse and a 2oz running lead completing the set up. As always I try to set my rod as low to the waters surface as possible (even if backleading).
Half hour or so had passed by and apart from two egrets on a fly by and a couple sharp jags on the rod tip, nothing else had moved. A decision was made on a whim to scale down a little, I now had two 8mm pellets glued to a knotless knotted size 10. First chuck in and the tip bounced and bounced again and on striking my first thoughts were telling me a small chub was going to be the culprit but infact it and the next bite both turned out to be pristine roach in the 12 to 14oz bracket, not what I was there for but nice all the same.
Bite three came 45 minutes or so later and a slightly more definite bite turned out to be a dark old bream of around six pound or so.
I rested the spot for half an hour after depositing some more bait via a small dropper and wandered off downstream with a brew and a marmite sarnie for a look/see. It always amazes me how things change from year to year, tree's move in floods slightly creating new creases and flows, reeds and rush beds become thicker and swims can be created in new areas and all this just seems to add a new life to our river systems.
Back in my swim and just after placing my bait back on the spot and parking my bum back in the chair a cormorant crash landed in the centre of the river some twenty yards or so to my right before realising I was there when once again it clumsely took flight and buggered off elsewhere to destroy someone elses stock!
Perhaps ten minutes or so passed by when all of a sudden the rod just buckled over with no warning what so ever. On lifting the rod I knew straight away it was a barbel as it flat rodded me on its first downstream run, after what seemed like a minute or so the fish turned and tried to make for the tree on the far bank and the roots that come with it, I instantly applied pressure and briefly thought I would win when all of a sudden the hook pulled! It left me swearing a little and also wondering if I should have stayed on the 8 hook and in hindsight I probably should have considering the situation.
I fished on for another hour in the swim but nothing else was forthcoming so off I did trott and a beaten man to say the least.
Session 3 was today, the 27th and on pulling down the track to the carpark I couldn't believe my eyes, I had been beaten to the water! Usually Wednesdays are quiet on most of the stretches that I fish but here on the mill its very rare that you see a soul. I now had a gut feeling that I wouldn't get back in the swim that had produced the bite the previous week and although I dont like to keep fishing the same holes week in week out I did feel I had unfinished business.
I had guessed right, out of two fields the fellow angler was in the nest, so I chose not to disturb him and just quietly dropped in two swims up to his right. Here the water runs fast under your feet and falls slack on the far bank in front of what is probably the biggest tree on the stretch. I had decided to go back to my size 8 hooks but had lenghtened my hooklinks to roughly 18", the reason for this was a 50gm blackcap feeder with hemp and 3mm pellet was to be the order of the morning but still continuing with two glued elipse on the hair.
An hour or so had passed with just the odd twitch occuring and just when I had turned away to view fishy splash's to my right, from the corner of my eye I saw my rod tip bounce round a foot and just hold there.
On striking I could tell it was more likely going to be a chub and soon after a steady plod she was guided in to the waiting folds of the net. On first view she looked every bit at least a big five but the scales confirmed 4lb14oz of spawned out chevin. It wasn't a barbel but I was happy as the slight change of tact had produced another bite from what is quite a tricky little stretch.
I only had till 12.30ish today as I had an appointment at the dentist for a different kind of pull........A wisdom tooth was to be pulled out and if i'm honest I was dreading it but it had to be done.
Nothing else happened apart from the the odd tippy tap that progress into nothing. On getting back to the truck the other angler had already left so must of crept back past me and left me also undisturbed.
So there you have it, the opening couple of weeks in the life of Derren complete with a couple of different pulls.........2x roach, 1x bream, 1x chub, 1 lost barbel and 1 lost tooth!