River Welland (16)
Arrival time: 10.20
Weather: Overcast, calm and damp.
Hardly a breath of wind.
Swim: The large pool and roaming.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Cheese and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three chub, best fish 4lb 5oz
I didn’t manage to get to the river last week, so this trip was my last before the close season.
I was hoping that I could end the season with a good day and things certainly started well. I catapulted some loose pieces of cheese and luncheon meat before I tackled up. First cast was with luncheon meat and after a minute or so the top twitched and then pulled round. The first fish was on. A brief battle, during which the fish repeatedly tried to get into the dead bankside vegetation to my left, ended with a fine 4lb 5oz chub on the bank. It was only 10.40.
I recast and at 10.55 another twitch, followed by a drop-back of the line, got me into my second fish. Again it tried for the refuge of the vegetation but I kept it out. This fish was 3lb 14oz. I couldn’t believe my luck.
After this things quietened down. In fact nothing happened. Two good chub out of one swim is probably about as much as one can wish for, so I walked a little way upstream and dropped a piece of luncheon meat under a tree that was overhanging the water from the opposite bank. I had left my gear at the first swim, taking only the rod, landing net and bait. After a short while a twitch, and a pull on the rod top, and I tightened into a fish. I thought it was another chub but it was a different type of fight. All was soon revealed as a small pike could be seen darting to and fro. This isn’t the first time that I’ve taken a small pike on luncheon meat from this river. It weighed 2lb 13oz and it was now 13.15.
After this things really did go dead. I decided to gather up my gear and try roaming some upstream spots. First I tried the large pool beneath the footbridge. I have taken good chub here but it’s a tricky spot to fish, and certainly not very comfortable as you need to sit on rocks on the steeply sloping bank. I explored various parts of the pool and the downstream run-off with luncheon meat but didn’t get a touch.
I then tried a spot above the bridge where I’ve had success previously; but again not a tremor. Walking back towards the footbridge I tried further down the runoff from the bridge pool, but again there was nothing doing.
I returned to the large pool where I had started, hoping some chub may have moved back in, or regained their confidence, but a couple of hours trying both luncheon meat and cheese produced not the slightest indication of a fish. Around 15.00 I decided to roam downstream. The river was low and many spots I have favoured in the past were quite shallow. I tried a few likely deeper areas under trees on the far bank but again drew a complete blank. I met another chap who was roaming with float tackle and he hadn’t had any luck either.
Around 16.00 I went back to my original spot and decided to give it another hour. The fish often become interested again towards the end of the afternoon. But they didn’t, so I packed up just after 17.00.
So, a magnificent start with two lovely chub but a rather disappointing end to the day. One final fish to celebrate my last river trip this season would have been very nice.