Friday, 17 March 2017

One Last Hurrah

The final day of the season, still as special as always despite the close season rule changes on stillwaters. A last chance to sit beside running water for a whole three months. My chances to fish of late have been extremely limited but there was nothing that was going to get in the way. A whole day away from the business for which I owe my wife a large debt of gratitude. She will make me pay I'm sure!
I arrived late, the joys of getting three kids sorted for school but the whole day was ahead of us so I did not fret. Martin was already well settled in a swim, the first stage of his plan to fish the early morning for predators in full swing. I hadn't even finished tackling up before I was commanded over to his swim for photography duty. An excited Martin had a pb Zander in the net. At 9lb 9oz he had smashed his previous best by over six pounds, his half smile hiding obvious delight. 

My tactics were different, my target was Barbel and I intended to fill a swim with maggots and hemp, wait a while and empty the river of its slippery residents. A few Chub and a solitary Perch fell for the tactic, but they weren't exactly crawling up the line as I had hoped. 

Between bites I amused myself watching the lumberjacks trimming the tree opposite. With my vertigo I felt sick just watching!

On Martin's advice I chucked a second rod upstream with pellet and a pva bag and it finally gave me the prize I desired, not a monster but a Barbel landed and I was happy.

A Jenny Wren gave an opportunity for some playing with the camera.

Eventually as darkness fell the fish started to feed in earnest, Martin had sveral Chub and a solitary Barbel and I managed an Eel and a Chub of 4lb 5oz...

and finally a Bream of (strangely) exactly the same weight.

And so the sun sets on another season and I have just one target for next, to get more time on the bank!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

River Test Grayling plus the Inevitables

The sun had just risen over the horizon as Martin and I pulled into the car park following our long journey South to fish the Hampshire Test. It was time for what has become an annual pilgrimage to the mecca of Trout fishing however our aim was to plunder the stocks of Grayling that live among the spotties.

The Test is a truly stunning waterway and despite yesterdays torrential downpours it was reasonably clear with just a tinge of colour-perfect conditions. It is truly amazing the different depths of each swim in this river. I began the day in an old favourite spot that is only three feet deep but the weed, which should be long gone by January made trotting impossible so I moved upstream to a swim that was over nine feet deep. With the freezing cold overnight temperatures I fancied some fish could be holed up in the deeper water.

I wasn't wrong and soon enough good numbers of Grayling fell for the maggot hookbaits up to a biggest of 1lb 4oz.

Inevitably Trout were attracted to the loose feed and it didn't take long for the thrashing Salmonids to clear out the swim.

 One interesting visitor to the swim was this Little Grebe, that is their imaginative name, nothing to do with their size and the first I have ever seen/identified- thanks to Google.

A move down stream became imperative and I focused my attention on a lovely long glide close to the confluence of main flow and backwater.

Again plenty of Grayling were landed up to a pound but after a while they didn't get much of a look in as a procession of Trout were landed. To be fair they were good battles on light tackle.

Quite a variety of good looking Brownies with one Rainbow thrown in for good measure. I lost count of the total number of fish caught but it was well over sixty. A great days fishing and a lot more fun than a commercial Carp-filled puddle, Cannot wait until the next visit.