Over two weeks without fishing is no good for any angler who enjoys their hobby and I have recently been put on course of cyclizine to combat motion sickness, think feeling you are permanently on board a boat and you would be some of the way there, like all medications it's not without its side effects, one such being drowsiness, although I probably haven't felt this sleepy from an antihistamine since the days of triludan.
Come Sunday and despite the clocks going back I was not fully awake until gone 12pm, it felt like someone had clobbered me over the head, I can understand why such tablets can treat motion sickness because they replace it by knocking the person out instead!
I decided to chance my arm with a spot of link ledgering and when I eventually got down to the river (2pm) I could hear a couple of other anglers walking up the path whilst chatting fervently about football and the sacking of Tim Sherwood, they stopped briefly to ask how I was getting on and told me that they had been fishing since early morning but had managed a couple of chub to just over 4lb on bread and cheese paste.
It was a gloriously sunny afternoon and I planned to fish till 7pm to see if I could perhaps tempt one of the better chub as daylight faded. This particular area of river is quite narrow in places but there is good fish to be found and stealth is very much key. I had hastily packed worms and maggots deciding to use these as my main approach, now I could have taken liquidised bread and cheese paste with me but I wanted to travel as light as possible, preferably without the bait bucket that I usually have in tow.
|Some swims are very much hit and hold|
The first handful of swims produced the obligatory minnow rattles and taps, followed by a very confident bite which I somehow conspired to miss, little did I know this would be a recurring theme for most of the afternoon. Further downstream I opted to fish a slack created by a fallen birch tree and this looked a prime skulking zone for most species, in fact it looked rather perfect for perch, sure enough a few minutes later and pluck pluck, it seemed like a perch bite and my hand was firmly on the rod, five minutes later the tip swept round, as confident bite as one might expect, in fact more so given the bright conditions, my strike was delayed and dare I say mistimed, I once again connected with thin air, by now I was pretty much miffed to say the least and repeatedly chided myself for having been slow off the mark, thoughts of cremating the new medication and offering it to the fishing gods did also pass through my mind.
Further downstream I found a deep slack, once again not a wide swim but one with a good depth to it and just off the main flow, a light feed of maggot was fed in upstream a good ten minutes before I planned run my bait through. The first trundle produced the one and only bite, once again very confident and I connected with this fish for a few seconds, the resistance felt good, the hook hold however was not and that less than favourable anti climax of a hook pull occurred. I was now wondering if it was going to be one of those trips, you know the kind I mean where you botch up every gilt-edged chance that comes your way.
By evening time and with just over an hour left I was well and truly ruing those missed opportunities so I headed back upstream to cover a couple of swims that I had yet to try. It turned out to be a case of fortune at the last chance saloon, when the tip thudded round this time I was met with a solid resistance and the surging sprint from what felt a bullish fish, it was bristling with energy as it made for the weed beds and overhangs giving a brilliant account of itself. My reward was a solidly built chub and one which went a long way to banishing those missed bites earlier in the afternoon, after this fish the swim fell quiet, no wonder really given the run around this fish had given me, but boy was I elated, I thought I had expended all my chances
|5.06 of small river chevin|
My final cast was made in what you might call a pool swim, an area without so much flow to it, this particular spot looked good and had a lot of detritus which had collected, I figured it would be a perfect for any food particles to hold up and also a nice spot for any fish wishing to recuperate from exertions in the main flow.
After a little and often trickle of maggots, I started to receive a few delicate taps, followed by a more confident, slow but steady bite. I knew straight away that this fish was certainly not a chub as it kited out of the pool and headed ponderously downstream, the golden flank of a nicely conditioned bream soon broke the surface.
One thing I have noticed over the seasons on this particular river is that most of these bream tend to have a gorgeous colouration to them and always put up a good a good scrap in my opinion, especially on balanced tackle.
A look at my watch told me it was time to make for home, it had turned out good in the end but I had really fluffed my lines with those other chances.