Sunday, 18 August 2013
Snakes & Stripeys
Roving has to be among one of my favourite styles of fishing, small rucksack, light amount of bait and a compact landing mat doubling as cushion for the derriere.
Thoughts of Perch were milling about in my mind and having not fished a certain little river this season, I only had one thing in mind, a couple of trips roving in search of some nice looking stripeys that I had spotted during the close season.
A little link ledger with 3ssg, a heavy wired size 12 hook, maggots,a tub of my last few lobworms and I was ready to try my luck on a new area of the river. To say I was spoilt by features would be an understatement, lily pads, streamer weed, sunken trees and hidden snags, an anglers dream and nightmare all rolled into one. The first spot I came across was fairly open, no brambles and a nice set of lily pads in front of me, a bush to my right and an undercut bank right beneath my feet, a light scattering of maggots were placed just above this area, around 4 foot in depth, it looked the perfect early morning resting place for a sergeant. No need to cast just a case of lowering the bait into position and waiting. almost instantly pluck, pluck pluck, not the jangling bite of a juvenile Chub, more delicate and cautious.
I eventually struck, the reply was solid and felt good, but in a flash the hook pulled, line tangling in the branch above, a simple case of me pulling on said branch and gradually picking the line out of it.
However as I sat there it was not till later that I began to look at this branch more and realize that it really was not a branch at all, something quite different.
How I had not noticed it straight away was beyond me, it was in fact the corpse of a snake, with just the head section remaining to identify it, how it got up in the branch was a bit baffling, but I presume a bird or maybe even a rodent had perhaps been the last thing it had ever seen.
I carried on spraying a few maggots upstream to a bush on my right, hoping to either draw a perch out from the cover, casting back out just under the tree, the link ledger settling in this slightly deeper area of the river. Not long after I was greeted with a few tentative plucks which developed into a much more confident bite, on striking there was a reassuring thud and the reels clutch purred in agreement as the fish tried to make for the safety of the streamer weed. My first thought was Chub, thinking that perhaps a chevin had got to the bait before perca.
Once the tell tale stripes broke the surface It all became clear that this was not the case, as my line clipped the overhanging tree branches I muttered to myself "looks a nice perch, lets not be losing it!"
A lovely looking river stripey was my reward and new Blackwater pb (2.2), replete with stunning colouration and beautiful stripes.
Well I was well and truly over the moon with that and would have gladly packed up and headed home, but I carried on trying a few likely looking swims downstream and up, taking many other perch but not in the same league as this fish.
It was later in the day when I was retrieving a smaller perch, that I spotted something rather large shadowing it right up to my margin and then grab it, I immediately opened my bale arm and waited for this fish to make off with its free meal, whether it saw me or perhaps had a touch of empathy at eating one of its family I don't know, but it dropped the fish and swam off from whence it came from.
The rest of the day was a battle between my legs and dense brambles that could have been from a fairytale, eventually managing to fumble my way through to more likely areas, I managed to take a few smaller fish from these swims, including Roach and a Chub just under 2lb, but time was running out, however with my fire well and truly stoked I can not wait to return.