Sunday, 28 November 2010

Old Stomping Grounds


As I write this my father is in hospital dosed up to the eyeballs with morphine,unable to walk,my thoughts are always with you,you have never hidden your character or suffered fools gladly and you always taught me to be who I am and say what I feel,because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Get well soon Dad






It was nice to be back home,but after a few weeks,the whispers of the river calls to you like a sultry lady "come fish me", "I know you've missed me".

Not seeing the secluded pools,creases and wonderful spots on my home river for sometime,was really making me chomp at the bit to get down and see if the Barbel,Chub and Carp were around. Whilst the weather wasn't snowy,the windchill was particularly bracing to put it mildly,however there was a nice colour to the water and a steady downpour of rain,not bad conditions.

With that in mind I set about getting my tackle ready,garlic Cheesepaste,mixed with three cheeses and liquidised hemp for any Chub,some small mesh bags with crushed hnv baits,as well as betaine pellets for hookbaits.

The sense of being alive and being thankful of what we all too often take for granted was what washed across my mind as I stood dithering over which spot to fish,in the end I opted to fish an old snaggy spot which had been kind in the past,looking over the swim was like meeting an old friend,who may have changed a little,but the distinctive lines and features were still recognisable,it felt damn good to be back.


This trip would be shorter than my normal trip,I like to usually fish till dark,usually that is when the activity picks up,but this time I was going to be fishing to around about 6pm.


One rod out on the ever faithful cheesepaste and one out on betaine pellet.with low resistance quick change running rig setups and hooklink of ever reliable Drennan sink braid in 10lb,with a little bit of tungsten to pin it down,non complex but very reliable.

The day as is normally the case went all too quickly,the sights of red kites,the odd grey squirrel and the kingfisher,all making the experience that much more satisfying.My cheesepaste rod was silent accept for the odd infrequent bleep as passing debris caught the line,I was checking it every 45 minutes and re-casting it with a small fresh mesh bag.


Not long after my arrival,my betaine pellet had received a couple of sharp taps,but since then had fallen very quiet,knowing what the big Chub are like in this stretch,I decided to sit on my hands and wait to see what developed,as they can be rather cagey leaving large durations between taking the bait.Two hours later as I was sipping a very welcome flask of tea,the rod sharply tapped and bleeped again,"hmm mr Chevin I presume" I said to myself.

Time passed and the rain came down at a steady pace,I couldn't for the life of me think of a better place to be,time was getting on though and I packed up most of my gear and my other rod,leaving my betaine rod out till last knockings.Twenty minutes later and it bleeped again and faster this time,kneeling behind the rod I saw the line starting to move and straighten,I lifted in and all hell broke lose,the fish on the other end which I had thought was a Chub,turned out to be larger and as it sped off I saw a golden flank,"a Barbel?"I thought to myself.


It powered off going with the flow,the drag on the reel comfortingly giving just enough line,I saw the flank of it again,it was no Barbel,but a lovely looking Common Carp,off it surged once more, this time upstream,not where I really wanted it to be going,letting the rod support the lunges,slowly but surely I finally slipped the net under it.





A lovely 16lb 2oz Common wearing lovely late autumn colours of golden chestnut was my reward,I was really happy,a lovely way to end a returning trip to an old stomping ground.

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