I nearly wimped out going this week, the forecast was saying there was a chance of wintry showers, the temperature was +2 but feeling like -4 due to the wind factor and it wasn't until the better half said "if your staying local then just go and if its not happening come home" those wise words were taken on board, the flask was made and off I went on the ten minute or so drive.
Earlier in the week my new pin arrived so I was gagging to get out and give it a go on the float and maggot. But as a back up the tip rod ventured out with me just in case the conditions were not suitable for the float attack.
The river itself is a tributary of the Gt Ouse and looked cock on with a little extra water and slight tinge of colour, but would the fish be up for it?
The first swim I chose was a straight that would offer me the chance to work the 8BB avon float that was paired up with a size 16 hook and a couple of white maggots. After what was probably fifteen runs through the swim and with continuous feeding suddenly the float buried away and soon I was playing my first pin caught chevin of around the two and a half pound mark.
I kept on feeding and feeding but no other bites were forth coming and to be honest my hands were bloody freezing so it was time for a move and I would try the peg again for a few trots on my way back past later in the day. The move would also play a part in getting the old blood circulating again as I strolled on down the meadow in to the next field.
The next swim was a sharp bend with a big tree that leaned right across the river from the far bank and debris had built up over time and presented the angler with a big raft with quite deep water below.
The tip rod coupled with my std link ledger set up and a couple of big lobworms was the plan for this peg as I could let the end tackle bounce round and hopefully settle next to the raft.
After casting in with a gentle flick I then settled back, poured a brew and took in the surroundings.
Its funny how our minds wander, as I sat there thinking back to the times when I was still in my teens and used to get dropped off to this little river most Sundays to fish the junior matches for my local club, I even used to bike here with my little trailer in tow during the school holidays (and on bunk off days!!). The river itself does not seemed to have changed too much from how I remember it all those years ago and it certainly is a little gem.
Back to the fishing, I had just placed my cup back on the flask when a small tap indicated that something was sniffing around my hookbait, then another before it gently pulled round with what I would call "a bit of grace". On pulling into the culprit, from the off I could tell it was a better fish as it just held deeper as it tried to plod its way towards the raft, but the gear held out and there was soon a big pair of white lips gliding towards the waiting net. Left to rest for a few moments while I sorted the necessary gear out to make it a star.
A weight of 5.04 was recorded and soon I was smiling at myself through the camera lens for a quick couple of shots. You can just make out the damaged tail on her, cute and cuddly otters?? maybe, but I'd like to hope not! I then placed the fish back in the net, dipped her in the water for a refresh before taking her a short walk downstream for release.
I angled on in the same swim for another half hour or so but apart from a crayfish type annoyance, nothing else occurred so once again it was time to move on and into my final swim for the morning but first I had to stop as planned and have a dozen runs through with the float in the earlier swim but all was to no avail so I quickly passed through and made my way back to the weir pool end of the stretch.
It was now late in the morning, the cold wind had increased making it feel even colder, it was also an upstream wind that was causing large ripples on the surface, again I decided to go with the tip rod and position it as low to the waters surface as possible. Two gigantic worms were taken from the tub and cast out right into the main flow and turbulent frothy water.
As I sat there, listening to the drone that was being made from the weirs the rod tip suddenly took on an arc that could only mean one thing "fish on".
To begin with it felt perchy, head shaking and dogged, fighting for all it was worth against the six pound line, but after my first sighting of the scaly culprit it was soon to be recognised as another reasonable sized chub that was scale perfect and plump as a pudding. A quick weigh that registered 4lb 8oz was made before again resting her in the margin while I sorted myself out. I was feeling quite pleased at this point and decided to call it a day while I was ahead.
Two methods, three swims, three bites and three fish all in a cold mornings work. Was I happy?
Of course I was.