Sunday, 18 September 2016

The water witch smiles once again

Since spending some time trying to piece together another waterway recently, I decided on Saturday afternoon to head off for a spot of barbel fishing, the conditions were ideal and the recent rainfalls had topped the rivers up nicely, adding a touch of colour and I guess you could also say that I was hoping to see if my eye was still in after my recent successful barbel trips.

It was around 4pm when I got to the area I had in mind, the plan being to lightly bait a few swims and then fish them on the way back downstream, a nice way to pick off any fish and given that it only requires a rucksack, rod,landing net and tub, it's always a nice opportunistic way to travel.

Compared to my recent trip where the river was low, gin clear and enjoyably challenging in the hot and bright conditions, today was to be in stark contrast, with cloudy skies, a topped up river and a nice pace about many of the swims, it looked in prime condition for a fish and as such I was in no rush to wet a line instead taking my time making a mental note of what areas I fancied trying and others to store in memory for later trips, which included a few very welcoming pools.

Heading upstream to the first swim (pictured in title opener above) I found that a swim had been created adjacent to this and actually worn bare, which was very odd, no grass at all and looked like it had been well fished, despite this I still wanted to give the area a cast or two and see if I might get an enquiry on the gravel run, by fishing close to the foliage on the opposite margin.

Settling down in my swim with the welcome padding of the landing mat as a support to my well endowed derrière I was soon ensconced and watching a bolt of blue in the shape of a Kingfisher on the opposite bank, a couple of powerful dives under the surface and it was gone, call it middle age or what you will, but it never fails to warm my heart to see them, I could be having the quietest days fishing on the fish front and yet that admission to natures theatre is worth the asking price alone.

Despite a couple of rattles in this swim which I felt were chub being a bit cagey it was fairly quiet so I decided to try slightly downstream in hope that fishing off the edge of what had evidently become a well fished spot might entice a bite, but this was not to be the case and Forty five minutes later I decided to move again, heading further downstream to chance my arm in a swim that has some low lying trees with multiple tendrils skipping across the surface providing some good cover, a short underarm cast was all that was required.

It was safe to say that I was in a positive mood especially given such conditions and whilst I don't wish to generalise too much, I feel if you can catch in clear, sunny conditions, then cloudy and coloured water conditions should always be a bit more straight forward (sometimes at least!).

By early evening, daylight had faded away as it tends to do at this time of the year and I was drawn to an inviting pool, this whole area being a solid gravel zone and most tempting, I did however find myself a little torn with the swim adjacent to it at the tail end of this shallow pool, so opted to try both areas as they are within a rod length of each other.

At around 8.30 I was sat doing my own impression of a crayfish whilst devouring my way through a packet of ginger biscuits, when I noticed the isotope pluck twice, before the rod nearly did an impression of an exocet missile launch, followed by the pin clattering off. I was soon playing a spirited little rebel, albeit with half a biscuit still in mouth and looking like a gerbil that had been caught in car headlights, the scrap was an enjoyable one from a rebellious youngster (6-12).

Three on the bounce happy days

Whilst not the largest fish, what it lacked in size it made up for in fighting fit condition. Four hours of fishing and a welcome third fish in as many trips, I could get use to this, although I suspect the water witch may well have other plans, however whilst she continues to smile I am not going to complain!

Back in 2007 I started making a few videos and uploading them to Youtube these usually opened with me sat under my umbrella, talking about the weather and what I was fishing for on that particular trip, followed by showing any fish I caught and wildlife, fast forward nearly a decade and I really can't believe it has been that long, I now have nearly one hundred videos on Youtube and thanks to people taking the time to watch them, some of whom post a comment and regularly view them as well as subscribe to my channel, I have just reached a little milestone in surpassing 2500 subscribers and admittedly compared to some channels this might not seem a great deal, but for a chap whom use to have around 25 subscribers it means a great deal. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who watch the videos and take time to also read my piscatorial thoughts herein. I sincerely mean that so thank you.

Friday, 9 September 2016