Being someone who prefers flowing water the choice of places to fish were somewhat limiting.The canals did spring to mind but I thought that I would instead head to a new area of river and see if I could perhaps tempt some perch and chub.
Looking somewhat like a jelly baby in chest waders I carefully made my way to the spot, the river had burst its banks in places and despite being a very intimate waterway, it was almost double in width due to the excessive rainfall. I had looked at this area some time ago and it looked like the perfect place for perch to hang around, part of me wished I had also fished it back then too but I was rather distracted by other waterways.
Opting to fish off the main flow and not too far out,I introduced a black cage feeder, filled with liquidized bread (mixed with krill), maggot and caster, with a nice juicy lob worm tipped with maggot so as to help it show up a bit more.
The first few hours showed promise with fish breaking the surface on a couple of occasions, but the quiver tip remained motionless, the coffee flask was opened and a cup drained, it was just nice to be out wetting a line and I was as happy as a pig in the proverbial.
A light pluck, delicate and very tentative, was followed by a couple more, I struck and was met with a welcome resistance, wading out a little way to play this fish I eventually saw the flank of a large perch, looking every oz a 3lb fish, the landing net was slowly being guided toward it when the inevitable happened, "ping" the hook flying out and it was gone. Calmly putting the rod back in the rest and somehow managing to not mutter a single blasphemous word I sat down annoyed with myself, but at the same time very happy to know that they were about.
Little did I know that the scenario was going to repeat itself, but it did, this time I did not get a chance to fully see the culprit, but the bite and scrap felt all too much like another good perch, the same result, another hook pull. By now words failed me and I was beginning to think it was just going to be one of those days where your luck is in but not quite fully.
Not long after these two fish, a pike decided to gatecrash the swim, snaffling up the lob worm and giving me a lively tussle on the light setup. A large framed fish but weighing 6.12, it had some very nice markings and obviously had mistaken itself for a perca.
It was getting near to the end of the trip when I had the faintest of plucks, slowly the confidence grew, each pluck becoming a bit more daring and resembling every inch of a perch bite.
As I set the hook the fish charged off out of the slack and into the main current, this felt reasonable as had all the other hook pulls, "get out of my head" I muttered, but there it was still gnawing at me as I played this fish and was not to be silenced until the net was slipped under it.