I didn’t think that I would be able to get to the river on the 16th as my wife had a hospital appointment at the other side of the county in the morning but all went well and we got home for lunch so there was time for a short afternoon session. After a quick trip to the local tackle shop to pick up some maggots I was off, although it wasn’t exactly ideal weather, hot and sunny, with thunderstorms forecast for later and rain for the rest of the week. My favourite river spot is next to a bridge and surrounded by trees so there is some shade for me at least. I had scouted the swim a few days ago so took some garden shears and cut down the nettles to make things more comfortable!
The water was shallow and clear and I could see the bottom with a few fish moving about. I tackled up and the first thing that I did was to stick the hook into my finger! Not a slight scratch but right in, blood and all so it was out with the antiseptic and plaster and grateful that I use barbless hooks! A little while ago I had been fishing a small pond with overhead tree cover and another guy was fishing there with a short rod so he didn’t get tangled and I thought this was a good idea so I had brought my spinning rod for float fishing and decided to give it a try. In the end I went back to my ten foot rod as it was just too stiff and having to cast out underhand I just wasn’t getting very far.
When I started to fish and could see some fairly small fish then two larger shadows about a foot long followed by a third slightly longer. They seemed to be attracted by the handful of maggots which I had thrown in and although I trotted my float down they took no notice of my bait. After a few minutes the larger one glided off and I got a better look at him, from the shape of the nose I could see he was a pike! The others could have been carp as they are in this river but it was hard to tell, it was nice to see them though but they soon drifted off as well.
Then it went quiet for a bit until the small fish returned and I hooked one which fell off just before the bank. Then I did manage to catch one, a dace I believe, which got the prize for the fish not wanting to stay still for a photograph as he wriggled about something shocking! He must have told his mates about me as they all disappeared and I was on my own again! Still, it was very pleasant sitting in the shade with a warm breeze listening to the birds singing. There was not much traffic on the bridge either so for the most part it was quiet which is how I like it. Then the fish were back and I caught another small one which was just as lively, then they disappeared again. Nothing much happened except that I saw a kingfisher flying down the river then a few minutes later fly back again. You don’t get to see much of them, just a quick flash of blue then they are gone, still, it is nice to know that they are around. The last time I was here a cormorant popped up in my swim, I don’t know who was the most surprised, me or him! Also, every time that I have fished here before I have been plagued by minnows but this time I didn’t see a single one, I wonder if the cormorant was responsible.
I was getting a bit bored by now, not seeing or catching anything then one of those bigger fish glided out of the shadows but again wouldn’t be tempted by my bait. I decided to try the other side of the bridge and cast up underneath it and was soon rewarded by another small fish but as soon as I put him back they all disappeared. I decided that it was time to go, three fish in a two hour session wasn’t a lot but I had had a good time and was very excited by seeing the bigger fish. The low, clear water hadn’t helped and I will return after the rains have raised the water level and given it a bit of colour.