Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Indian Summer

Would someone like to enlighten me as to what happened to Autumn? The weather the past few days was something akin to an Indian summer,with temperatures hitting the balmy heights of 29c,with that in mind I cannot say that the conditions looked very favourable on any of my local rivers,but  I was certainly not going to miss the chance to get down the river.

I had planned on fishing an area I had not fished in many years,but like everywhere on this river,it was full of wonderful features that screamed "fish me",such is the flow of this very alluring temptress that it has brought many an angler under its spell,but its ever changing moods are all part of its very seductive charms and I am one of those whom has fallen for it.

The spider webs were heavily laced with the  morning dew,which hung like sparkling crystal chandeliers,across the bramble strewn margins and the insect life was in full swing,the hum of bees,diving in and out of the balsam accompanied by the popping sound as the seed pods split open,catapulting their content everywhere in hope that they might find somewhere to grow.

I decided to pick two spots to fish,the first a very small area which would only be suitable for one rod,the hand of indecision plucked at me as to which spot to fish first and I was stood indecisively for a good twenty minutes,trying to decide which out of the two spots to wet a line in first.Eventually I went for the smaller area and quietly lowered in my rod close to some marginal surface foliage.

It was to be a quiet and overly sunny morning,save for the movement of the Kingfisher,who regularly paid a visit to my swim for a quick snack,I was beginning to kick myself for not having brought any maggots with me,as I could have caught some nice silvers and given the bright conditions I think a maggot or worm would have picked me up a better fish or two as well,hindsight is a  wonderful thing though.

I remember many years gone by that this use to be a good spot for Pike as much as it was for Barbel and Chub,in fact many was the time when after Barbel,you would end up being bitten off by the Pike that resided here.It was late afternoon when this memory became reality,as my rod tapped lightly  and the line gracefully moved to some cabbage patch downstream,before immediately falling and sagging limply,a rye smile broke across my face,I lifted the rod,nothing,no rig no weight and on closer inspection the line had teeth marks on it and was cut off sharply,the Pike had given me a warm greeting and some food for thought when the weather gets cooler.

I noted more small fry scattering repeatedly,when the Pike are on the feed,this swim although a very good one for my sought for quarry,would probably result in more Pike activity.I decided to move to my second swim,a pacey spot with streamer weed aplenty and some nice glides as well as an area just off the main flow,it looked sumptuous.

There was room for two rods here,so I placed one into a clear patch in the main flow and the other into a slower deeper glide.It was not until the sun had long disappeared and the owls began their calls, that I had my first bite,a slow stumbling affair,the rod tip plucked round,nodding a few times,before bending round in a steady fashion,I was into a slow resistance,that kicked sporadically,a Bream of 4lb+,it was most welcome,alas once I got it into the net,I saw it did not look in the best of health,in fact it looked rather the worse for wear,with sore looking growths around its fins and black plating all down its flanks,despite this it swam off strongly.

It was around 3am when I had my next bite,this time a thumping bite,but one which seemed in the style of a Chub,the rod tip smacked round three times and baitrunner ticked off in an alarming fashion,I struck and connected with nothing but thin air, "I bet that was a Chub" I muttered to myself,it would have been nice to have at least felt some resistance,so that I could have more accurately guessed what species had just eluded me.The remainder of the night was a very quiet one and as the early morning sun filtered through the mist,I was making my way home,hoping for some cooler weather and a drop of rain,as I really wanted to return to this area of the river,there were some hidden gems that had remained unearthed under the rivers watery blouse,she had brought me down to earth with a bump,but in doing so had just caused  more fascination and enticed me deeper into her loving arms.


  1. Mark
    I recognize the sores on the bream as being a parasitic worm from inhabiting muddy waters but the black plaque is a mystery. It's obvious from your posts that the catch is just a small part of getting out.

  2. Thanks for that John,

    very interesting,I had no idea,the black plaque has got me a bit puzzled too,I am hoping maybe someone can shed some some light on that.

    Yes just being out there and enjoying nature and the surroundings make catching a fish or two a bonus,all part of the complete package that us as anglers are so lucky to have.

    Kind Regards

  3. Hi Mark,
    Like an early morning stroll reading this today, But like John has said it is a paracite that causes these bumps, A lot of fishermen will tell you they are spawning nodules and that the weather has confused the fish,The very dark plaque is part and parcel of the fishes health, I will try and find out what it is called as i cant remember off hand,
    Great Blogging Mark,

  4. Thanks for stopping by Paddy,

    yes the black plaque is definately not spawning tubercles,the parasite that causes the sores that you and John both mean,is it Anchor worm?

    I would be very interested if you could shed some light on the black plaque and what it is actually called,even more so regarding it being linked to the fishes health.

    As I am bit perturbed by it and it's making me wonder if it is indicative of the water quality currently in this particular river.

    Kind Regards

  5. Lovely writing, Mark. I truly enjoy it, and always feel as though I've been taken along with. And pike!!! I'll look forward to some colder weather posts about that...for she's shown that she's hiding exciting and sometimes dangerous things under that "blouse" of hers. As for the Indian summer...I would like to know that too. It's been still summerishly hot, and then Friday we're expecting snow. Sigh, sigh.

  6. Hello Erin,

    Yes I will be looking at doing some Piking for sure now,the weather I know what you mean,we have a gusty northerly now and something more like Autumn,quite a change from the indian summer.

    Kind Regards