23rd January 2013
Now that the heading has grabbed your attention, I shall begin.
The evening before my latest trip I really wasn't sure where I would be heading, but heading somewhere I would be.
I was fancying my chances at a Gt Ouse chub, hopefully complete with an ending snow shot.
Minimum gear was readied, one small bag/bucket to sit on, one rod, a landing net plus my small unhooking mat which doubles up for extra cushioning upon my bucket bag. A flask, couple of sarnies and my hand warmer and silly hat completed the requirements.
On route I had to collect Steve as he was to be joining me (even after calling me bonkers) or words to those affect. With icy roads and snow still laying all around, a steady plod was made and one hour after leaving home we were soon fighting as to who was going to unlock the cold padlock to the fisheries gates.
With white stuff covering our boots we slowly made our way down the track towards the end of the section crunching our way as we went. It certainly looked a picture, the two lakes behind us were frozen solid and topped with snow. The only things that stood out a mile against the white background were the cormorants that were circling the area.
We chose our starting points and both our minds were set with the view of moving on after half hour or so depending on results or lack of them! The bait bag only consisted of worms, a small ball of cheese paste and some garlic steak (freshly prepared a few weeks earlier and thrown into the freezer).
Six pound line straight through to a size 6 Nash Fang Gaper hook, whilst two 3xSSG shots were pinched onto a small tag of line and secured in place by two floatstops allowing me to change the hooklink length if I felt the need to.
The river itself looked sexy to be fair with a nice tinge of colour and an extra couple of feet of water on her. I settled into swim and gently flicked two of the biggest lobworms I could find in the tub out onto the crease that was being produced from an upstream tree, I then sat back poured a brew and took in my surroundings. The only thing to catch my eye in the first pitch was a busy kingfisher that kept on darting backwards and forwards at a rate and at one point he actually stopped on some trailing branches opposite to view below for some breakfast, I on the other hand was too slow to react to get a shot of him with the camera. That first swim produced not a single knock so I was soon moving on.
Swim two was a fair bit shallower and the water was a lot pacier midstream but under my feet to the right there was a pool of slacker water. Bait was changed to a two inch slither of raw garlic steak, a gentle swing out on to the flow and left to bounce round and fall to the back end of the slack water. No sooner had I parked my arse down on my seat, the rod end tapped before taking on a full savage bite and I was in. The chub tried its hardest to get to some near bank foliage but with an extra left hook I managed to steer her clear and soon she was in the folds of my net and resting in the margin. I poured a brew and whistled down the bank to Mr Craptree (sorry Bernard) or Steve as he is more commonly known and he was soon by my side to do the honours with the camera. One thing I noticed as I lay her down on the soft snow to unhook her was "how cold she looked with no clothes on".
The hook was removed, I then made sure my hat was straight and my best side was facing the lens while Steve aimed the camera in my general direction.
A weight was guesstimated somewhere in the region of three to four pounds, not massive by today's standards but the snow shot was mine and I was happy. Another cast was made and after another brew it was time to move on.
Swim three produced nothing for me but for Steve his did and he chipped in with one of a similar size on cheesepaste. I returned the favour of photographer, took the piss a little and soon we were in our fourth and final swims for the session.
I stayed on the the steak for a cast before swapping over to the cheesepaste as Steve had received another proper pull but struck into thin air in his position some twenty yards or so upstream of me.
Half hour was given but apart from a tiny little knock nothing else happened and by now the snow had returned and was falling quite steadily as we packed the gear together and left for home feeling quite warm and content with our efforts.