Married in April, honeymoon in May and five gruelling months of trying to move house!!
Its now the second week in October and I'm relieved to say that things seem to have settled down again in the world of the Burr.
During the summer period and with the majority of my tackle packed for moving I decided on some lake therapy. Feeder and waggler fishing for bits a pieces made a nice change with some good bags of silver fish being caught and is something that I intend to do a little bit more of now and then.
In the last two weeks though on my day off I have managed to get out and back on the flowing water of the Great Ouse for a couple of day trips.
Armed with just a small amount of tackle and bait I was soon unlocking the padlock on the gates just as darkness was turning to light. Black clouds were rolling past above and the weather men were giving heavy downpours as the day progressed.
Surprisingly the river had a slight tinge of colour to it but it was desperately low so in fairness the forecast for rain wasn't a bad thing. As a starting point I decided to head for a swim that I had done ok in on a few previous trips and that I knew had a little more depth of water running off some shallows with the added bonus of a bit of tree cover.
Considering I hadn't stepped foot on the river since July I was feeling quietly confident of a bite or two but maybe that was just the buzz/excitement of actually being out on the bank again after my little break away?
I intended to give swims an hour of my time and if nothing occurred I would move on. By 10.30am after presenting baits in three separate swims the only attention I had received on my rod top were from the crayfish and instincts were telling me to head for a different stretch a few miles further up the road.
After a short drive up the road I was soon pulling into an empty car park 'lovely' I thought to myself, I had the stretch to myself so decided to go for a quick stroll and a look/see to view any favourable areas. A couple of swims caught my attention where a shallow run of water became a slightly deeper pool with trees positioned at the end of the run, hopefully holding a fish or two within its cover?
Just as I was taking the kit from the car the heavens decided to open and let me have it, luckily the swim had some high reeds on my bank so that I could position myself under the brolly and out of sight of anything with a fins view.
The pace of the water was very slow so baiting with a few loose pellets was fairly straight forward and also with minimum disturbance, hookbait was once again two big juicy lobworms (my take anywhere to catch anything bait), a bait that I have massive faith in. A small P.V.A bag of pellets is then attached to a size 6 hook, not only for the added attraction but also to help lay the rig out on descent.
With the bait placed, I was soon sat back and taking in my new surroundings with a brew in my hand, happy days!
Lunchtime soon passed me by and as yet not a single quiver, tap or pull had taken place, do I sit tight, bait and wait or do I up sticks and trot on? The rain was falling steadily and the comfort of the brolly made the decision for me, I was to stick it out where I was positioned in the hope that the foliage would maybe come up trumps?
At around 2.30pm another light scattering of pellet was placed near to the area before once again settling back in the chair. Just after 3 o'clock and just as I saw a pair of kingfishers darting from left to right at great speed, from the corner of my eye I thought the rod end had tapped sharply? Had it? Na couldn't have, could it?
Within the next few seconds or so it happened, the rod whacked over as something bolted for freedom on the other end whilst trying to take 11ft of carbon with it!
Straight away I could tell it was a reasonable fish as it was doing all it could to tuck me up, but after the initial couple of lunges the best it could come up with was to try and gain sanctuary in the margin rushes that were positioned just down to my left. It was at this point that I realised that the culprit was that of a Chub, and a good Chub at that, thankfully I began to win the battle and after one more short but spirited bid for cover she was skimming the net cord, 'white lips an all'.
Right on cue the rain instantly stopped as if the tap had been turned, it was as if somebody knew that I had a job to do?
I left the fish in the net whilst I gathered the necessary tools for a weigh/mug shot, she looked big but how big?
On unhooking her, my first thoughts were she might just go to the magical seven pound mark, she looked every bit of it but soon the scales were reading a very pleasing 6lb 7oz, camera on the pod, smile and jobs a good un!
A celebratory stewed tea from the flask was poured and swigged down whilst I packed the gear up before heading for home a 'happy angler'.
The Cow Run.
This, my most recent trip had been planned with 'Old Man Burr' aka Daddy a few days earlier while we were at work, he fancied a trip to the river but couldn't make his mind up as to where he fancied going. I had already planned in my head a stretch to try and once again it was one that I knew very little about and had angled only once before and royally blanked!
As planned we met in the parking area just on first light and were soon loading our backs with the tackle required. The stretch is known to hold a small head of Chub and Barbel with the added bonus of the odd better one if you get really lucky, not the easiest but its fishing and you just never know? 'In it to win it and all that'.
Before we got our first glimpse of the river though we had a good length of field to cross and one that was full of cuddly things with udders! Now my old man bless him, hates cows with a passion so off we set with him staying rather close to my side like a big girly thing just in case one took a liking to him. I'm sure he won't mind me saying that he's no spring chicken any more, but he can still put a quick stroll on when there are cows close by!!
Once we had reached the waters edge it would be fair to say that we'd both got a sweat on thanks to our little power walk but at least we had made it and we could now angle knowing that the heifers were in the first field and we were in the second.
After placing our kit on the ground we then had a quick gander to view potential swims, shallows, deeps, trees and rush beds, the section has the lot. Pops was given first dibs on swim choice and I then decided to drop in some 40yds above him, both choosing to fish swims that had the advantage of a bit of cover and a slightly better depth.
After tackling up further up the bank behind some high nettles and well out of view, I was soon to be creeping my way into the swim with as much care as possible so not to spook anything that might just be waiting for a nice lobworm breakfast. This part of the river is fairly narrow so just a gentle underarm cast was all that was needed, and one that hardly made a splash. My eleven footer had been set upon the rest as low as possible to the waters surface and was more or less facing the baiting position, the line from tip to lead was hanging limpish and I was feeling confident of a pull round. Twenty minutes or so must have passed by when with no warning whatsoever the rod just whacked over and soon I was connected to an angry hooked Chevin that had its heart set on reaching some heavy looking roots and branches that were situated on the far bank.
After a little side strain and pressure was applied, I soon had the fish turned and heading in the direction of my waiting net. Once again she looked a half decent and was left resting in the folds while I sorted the necessaries out.
The scales revealed a weight of 4.12 and left me feeling quietly satisfied, a short walk upstream to release her was made before I strolled down to tell Daddy of my success and also to see how he was doing while my swim was having a breather following the commotion.
On arriving in his swim his first words were 'where's them bloody cows'? I chuckled and said 'your alright their still in the top field' followed by ' I've had one' 'what a cow?' he muttered. I then chuckled some more and began to tell him the events of my capture while enjoying a brew.
As it turned out, his swim had been quiet be he had seen a couple of half decent rises just down from his position. Shortly after I left him in peace to ponder cows and returned to my swim.
The next cast I made was left in place for a good half hour or so but all seemed quiet and once again I had that feeling that I should perhaps shift.
Ten yards to my left was yet another bush, a somewhat small bush but it looked inviting due to a bit of pacier water that was hitting it and kicking off across the river and causing a slight crease, it wasn't long before I moved and had just settled back in my chair when suddenly I was sitting bolt upright with my right hand hovering above the reel seat following a couple of sharp jagged plucks. For probably another two minutes things settled down again until I decided to grasp my cup and just at that point it happened, the rod hooped over and I was once again connected to what felt like another
reasonable fish, all went smoothly for me and soon she hit the back of the net. Shortly after netting the culprit Dad came ambling by with his kit in tow looking for a move above me, but before he went I asked him for a quick hand in sorting my prize.
She was an immaculate, scale perfect fish with a bit of a belly on her and looked stunning in the October sunlight, her weight was agreed at 5lb 4oz and soon we were once again releasing her.
Dad carried on his way to a bend just up from me while I chose to put out some more free offerings before making my way up to him and once again let things settle down.
The cows by now had shifted a little and were now in our field but still a fair way away, Dad was aware of their position but just chose to moan and grumble 'bloody things'.
I headed back for another go but only fifteen minutes or so had passed when Dad appeared with his kit on his back and he was looking a bit edgy! 'What's up?' I asked, 'them fecking cows are getting closer' he snorted. By now I was struggling not to piss myself but deep down I know that he really doesn't like them so made the decision to call it a day and get us out of there before Dad needed new pants!
At least we had the chance of beating the rush hour traffic and the old fella would get the colour back in his cheeks. I was happy for my efforts and doubly happy that Pops survived the cow run and couldn't wait to get home for my roast beef dinner.
Cheers Dad for amusing me, it was indeed a pleasure.