Yesterday lunchtime having taken stock of the river levels of the local waterways it was apparent that my angling choices ranged from high but not bad, right to the extremes of coco pops turns the river chocolatey. Me being me of course opted for the latter option, always a good helping of the bloody minded at times and yesterday was not going to break that pattern.
Getting down to the river it was as I expected, over the banks in places but looked like it had finally peaked, a gravy meets rusty tea colour to it, not the most ideal chub hunting conditions and it was evident that visual and smelly baits would be the way to go, thankfully I had brought the krill cheese paste and some bread with me.
It was a beautiful afternoon, sunshine interspersed with showers and a light breeze. The first few swims were a mixture of slacks and flotsam pockets, good skulking zones. Not a touch was to be had on bread, so a change was made to cheese paste. Within a few minutes the rod tip twitched and was followed by a bite with more conviction, I was soon playing what felt a nice fish and one that put the extra flow to very good use, ten seconds later and the hook pulled, I was annoyed with myself as I had perhaps given more side strain than I would have liked but had very little choice given the snags and debris.
A few mumbled curses later and a move of swims was on the cards, moving upstream I found a marginal area where the river over the years has scoured away the bank, having seen chub laying up along here in summertime I thought it would be worth a trot through with the link ledger. It didn't disappoint and I had my first couple of chub of the new year the larger a fish of 2lb not huge but given the conditions I was buoyed and hopeful that one of the better fish might put in a showing. Near to this area is a swim that at times is choked with too much detritus, however given the recent rain a lot of this had been flushed through, leaving a few planks of wood and other junk in its place but with enough room to run a bait under for any unsuspecting chub. A few small lumps of cheese paste were introduced and these were soon joined by the hook bait. Twenty minutes had passed when I received a confident bite and I was given a good scrap by a better stamp of chevin, a fish that made repeated headstrong sprints for the sunken debris.
I was suitably cheerful with this fish and could have gone home happy, but as you can see from the first photo I decided to fish on into evening in hope of picking up one of the waterways 5 or 6lb fish. Just into evening the rain picked up and changed from light showers to heavy downpours, the swim I was in was a bit of a mud pie to say the least and having somehow conceived to lose one more chub to a hook pull I decided it was time to pack up and head home. Sliding my way out of the swim and back to one of the adjacent paths I somehow managed a combination of tumble, forward roll and head first slide into a ditch that I had not seen, thankfully as I fell I dropped my rod at the top and it was fine, but I was left covered in mud, battered and brambled in the ditch. A check of myself and other belongings found that all was fine and that it had been a good thing that I had not landed on my back. An hour later and an undignified figure that looked akin to a muddy Yeti made its way slowly to the waiting car, mum exclaimed "my god it must have been very muddy today Mark", biting my tongue I nodded silently, there is never a dull moment I can certainly say that.