Sunday 14 January 2018

Dace O'Clock, the Hens Begin to Show.

Looking splendid in the frosty morning sun.
 Before I flew off to Asia for five weeks over December to Mid January I did embark on a couple of trips, one which I'll touch on in another post and this one, a short trip to a favourite chalk stream of mine where big Dace take a leave of absence for what seems like a couple of years. For possibly ten years, maybe even more I have conceived every possible reason for their miraculous disappearing acts, one season it's boom, the next, bust. Quite often more.

 This season however I have already located a shoal of possible monsters with a couple spotted likely to get close to magical barrier of a pound, the premier league of Dace weights. Knowing where they are doesn't guarantee you one, furthermore, they seem to move with great mobility. Many times I have done my level best to keep track of them, yet a shoal, sometimes sixty strong in a hole the size of a dustbin lid under a bush and you'd never know they were there. The task of catching the larger ones isn't an easy one, that said, I relish a challenge and would love to get my greasy mitts on another 1lb+ Dace. In the past I have been very lucky to cross paths with seven of them in my twenty plus years of angling.

 With a few days prior to my departure a morning became free to go fishing with, what could be better than targeting Dace with ultra light tackle. I confess that even though in physicality they are small, there is something about their fight which it rather addictive, that Grayling like corkscrewing through the pacy water before trying their best to shed the hook, which happens often when they aren't feeding confidently and the hook doesn't set correctly.

 No such misfortune on this particular trip as white maggots seem to be order of the day when a shoal was finally located, I had around an hour on the shoal taking six fish to 12oz and a few drams (pictured below), no doubt larger fish reside within this pod. A little more time on them should start to unearth the monsters I believe to be present.

Best of the trip. 12oz+
  It will take possibly another four weeks before the Dace really start to fill out and the large hen Dace will possibly be within touching distance of the pound mark and the odd couple will have already surpassed that incredible milestone.

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