With the settled weather and not sure how long it would last, that urge for flowing water was ever increasing, my mind did not take long to make up, a trip to the gentlemans river was planned. Freezer raided of its cheesepaste supply and I was ready to head off.
On my way to the river I had a chat with one of the local farmers and he mentioned how badly the flooding had affected him, to be fair the area looked in a right state, his field more like a boggy marshland and not looking like you would even get a 4x4 vehicle through it. After passing through some very waterlogged areas, the river was finally in view, it had fined down, but with a fair tinge of colour still.
I had brought two rods with me, one being a barbel rod, but in fairness I had no plan to put it to use, I did however have trouble making my mind up when leaving home, so it ended up as a companion to the quivertip rod.
After some thought a swim was picked, hawthorn and bramble tendrils everywere and I must admit that I was rather glad to have brought a bait spoon with me, so as to lower the cage feeder into the spot, even then it was a tricky affair to say the least.
Thirty minutes later, a solid thud to the rod tip was followed by a thumping take and I was into a fish that was very keen on giving me a whistle stop tour of every bolt-hole that it could find. The tip was buried low to the water as I slowly and warily played the fish. Eventually a grey shadow of a chub appeared and after one more enthusiastic sprint, it was resting within the confines of the landing net.
It was in great condition, more or less scale perfect, weighing 4lb 7oz's , I was buoyed by this early fish and decided to let the swim rest, trickling in a few more pieces of cheesepaste and maggots, before finally easing the cage feeder back into the same spot.
During the the course of the day, I was kept company by a friendly, brazen faced Robin, whom regularly returned to feed on the odd bit of liquidized bread and maggots, a bird which epitomises a british winter, so bold and with a very hearty character.
Not long after one of its visits, I had a seemingly light plucking bite, which developed into a lurching take, as soon as I struck, this fight felt different, less bullish, but it was to be literally cut short, feeder coming back sans hook, the line showing signs of bite marks, possibly a small pike. I did contemplate a move downstream, but thought to myself that I may be better to stay static and fish this spot until evening, seeing if I could perhaps trick a few more grey lips from the shadows. Whether the pike had spooked the swim I am not sure, but there was no more bites forthcoming, I decided to attempt the age old fishing trick, sandwich in one hand, cup of coffee in the other, in hope that I might tempt a surprise bite with this ploy, but no, all remained calm and peaceful, save for the call of a Buzzard overhead, whom is usually bullied by a group of Red Kites.
Pluck pluck pluck came the next bite, on striking all hell broke loose, the fish bolting downstream, line being taken rapidly, holding the rod at an angle whilst trying to avoid the limb of every outstretched branch, I slowly gained line but the fish ploughed off again, this tug of war continued before I finally saw a silver flank flashing beneath the surface.
My first words were, "that's certainly not a chub" and sure enough it wasn't, it was an out of season trout of 4lb 4oz's that had taken a liking to my garlic and blue cheese hookbait, admittedly I have caught Trout before on cheesepaste, but regardless of that it always remains quite a surprise.