Monday 20 March 2023

End of Season Glut.


 For the final fews days I had many plans in my head but the weather made things very difficult to set plans in stone. In the end I did a session on the R.Loddon for a night and blanked, of course. Then the following day I set my stall out for Chub, that was when I got a bit giddy with excitement.

 I did think long and hard about where to go, the Dorset Stour was in the running until a couple days previous when we had loads of snow and then rain to follow which bought up the river into a swirling cauldron of brown freezing cold water, it was a no-go, so I had to fall back on plan B, as Plan B's go this was a wonderful session all told, but it didn't start off in the best of ways.

Chub conditions!

 Having waded through cold waters to get to the areas I wanted, ( nowhere escaped the floods ) I made my way to a couple of likely looking spots, marginal trees which looked ideal to hold some fish, as I made my way up I kicked an unseen rock and lost my balance, hence falling forward with the gear on my back and rod, landing net pole and keep-net bag in my hands, I got soaked and before I'd even setup my gear I was contemplating going home, that was not pleasant and found myself soaked and waders 6inch deep with cold water (8.7c).

 Needless to say I got myself together and mercifully the sun was warm and winds light so I did get to dry out a bit and the fishing once I got started was terrific. In my first hour I had banked four Chub with one settling on the digi's at 5lb 10oz and my best of the season ( in truth its been a lite season for the species ) a real big framed fish that just lacked length otherwise it would have been comfortably over 6lbs. 

Best of the day, should have been a "six" all day.

 The average stamp was great with mid 4's to mid 5's coming in at fairly regular intervals as bread flake was clearly the winning tipple. Fishing for the first time with my new Drennan Acolyte Plus 12 ft Feeder rod I was very impressed by its responsiveness to very shy bites and when connected to fish it performed so well, even when a little beauty of a carp decided to get in on the act!

 Not to be outdone another of the rivers inhabitants, one that I would never have expected to find, ( well it found me ) let or lone land on such fine balanced gear, not sure it was designed to tackle fish of this stamp but after a ten minute war of attrition I finally slipped the now very small looking landing net under what was surely a twenty pound plus river Carp! Bonkers right? 

21lb 1oz River Common Carp 😜

 A real turn up for the books on what was already turning out to be a great outing for Chub now had the added bonus of two Carp, one of which was a big fish. After that a few more Chub averaging 4.08 came to the net but a real big one was remaining elusive and as the day was starting to draw to a close the warmth of the sun was now wearing off and the adrenaline of the days sport done the cold set in fast and found myself scrambling back to the car to get stripped off and warm. 

A quartet of five pounders.

 Oh what a day. 17 Chub from four snags best five weighing over 5lbs ( 5.00, 5.04, 5.04, 5.06 and 5.10 ) with the remaining fish all over 4lbs bar one ( 3.07 ) plus 2 Carp and also lost one too! which I didn't mention above to keep it fairly short as I have so little time to do any blogging as you may have all noticed, as Spring starts to wake up the Bream and Eels I'll be back out and hopefully plenty more fishy goings on will be scribbled here.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Big Grayling, Barbel No-Shows.


 A good three weeks has passed since I had a decent trip out after anything so I had to put that right. After an exchange of messages Mike and I were R.Wylye bound, however given the fact Brian hasn't had much chance to get out following his invasive treatment I thought it would be good to get him in on the act and get amongst some of the best Grayling fishing this country has to offer, very kindly a couple days later I got the all clear from Mike that Brian could come along, I had a sneaky feeling he would enjoy himself.

 Before we stepped foot on the R.Wylye part of the plan was to target Barbel on the R.Itchen, conditions were poor but I am just conscious that we have so little left of the season and would love to get one more river chalked off, however after a few cold hours trying I called it a night around 0300 as I needed some kip so popped to the car for some shut eye. 

 Unfortunately even after a quick fire 30mins rolling meat in the morning which resulted in nothing so we made the 40 mile journey north to the wonderful surroundings of the Wiltshire countryside with the target of trying to achieve a long standing desire of mine, a three-pound specimen Grayling, a fish that has eluded me for the six years that I've been trying (admittedly not very hard), I hoped I would put that right.

 My tackle for the day was my 13ft Drennan compact X-Tension float rod, centrepin loaded with 4.4lb float fish line and an 18'' 3.6lb flourocarbon hooklink and size 14 wide gape hook (micro-barb), a 7BB wire stem float fished with a combo of red and white maggots but not mixed.

Got the trots....

 My day started off really well as I had banked fish of 1lb 10oz, 2lb 1oz and 2lb 2oz in quick succession and hoped the day would follow that similar vein of form. Within thirty minutes the swim had gone pretty quiet so I decided to move on up the river and quickly crossed paths a spirited 1lb 15oz specimen before finding a few smaller ones between 7ozs and 1lb 12ozs ( slightly bigger ) it wasn't until after I'd photographed a beauty for Brian that was when I started to find some better fish much further downstream. 

2.2 & 1.10 under very gloomy skies.

 A super two hours followed where even though it was very hard graft getting bites and indeed keeping the Grayling on the hook a run of six fish came weighing 1.10, 1.12, 1.8, 2.2, 2.4 and a mega looking 2lb 11oz pewter clad beauty, which incidentally is the third 2.11 Grayling I've caught and all represent my personal best, can't seem to get away from that number :) but with such a pristine fish who could be unhappy about that!

A mint 2.4

Then this amazing creature at 2lbs 11oz

Always wanted this shot!

 That run of fish seemed to spell the end of my days big fish as I wrapped up the day with five fish over 1.8 to 1.12 by which point the sun was going down and we both called a day, Mike had had a great day too landing a couple of 2lbs Grayling and a handful of smaller fish and Brian' day...well you can read it here Brian' Blog I think he would say he had a "cloud nine" kind of day. Must say I really enjoyed myself too.

8 Years in the Making.

   So we find ourselves finally able to get back on the rivers and thank god for it too. I don't mind stillwaters and canals now and aga...