River Welland (27)
Arrival time: 08.40
Weather: Misty and calm and little warmer than of late.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub, best 2lbs 8oz
My last visit to the Welland was on the first day of the season in 2015! My New Year's resolution was to go fishing more often and I've been waiting for the freezing conditions to ease a bit. The conditions today were almost perfect. The river was high but not flooded, with some nice deep glides. There was no wind to speak of and while still cold (it's January), it wasn't bitter. There was, however, an awful lot of mud!
I started at 'the beach', a popular dog-dunking spot, but fortunately there weren't too many dogs around. Three years ago I took seven chub from this swim, so it's always my first port of call. I cast across and downstream and got a pull almost as soon as the bait had settled. A beautifully conditioned 2lb 6oz chub (09.00), not big but a good start to the day. I weighed and photographed it, not because of its size but because it marks a long awaited return to the river. A recast and again almost immediately got a touch and a second chub was on. This one was smaller at 1lb 11oz (09.15).
A had few more casts but no more bites were forthcoming. I tried another spot just upstream of the bend where I had caught before in the winter, but again there were no takes. I decided therefore to walk further upstream and look for likely chub lies. There was a deeper glide just above what is the shallowest section on the meadow and I had caught there before. Second cast I had a firm pull and was into my third fish, this time a chub of 2lb 8oz (10.25).
I remained a while at this spot but there were no further bites. In fact this turned out to be my last fish of the day. I walked upstream trying various known haunts, losing my terminal tackle to a tree in one swim, and ending up at the large pool below the footbridge. But there was nothing doing. I decided to walk back and retry the two spots that had produced, thinking that the fish may have settled after a break, but it turned out to be wishful thinking. There was a chap fishing the spot where I had lost my tackle. We had a chat and he hadn't had anything. He said that he usually fished the Nene but it had been very poor this winter.
I had previously decided to pack up at 14.00 but as things were so quiet I actually stopped fishing at 13.30. A chap I had seen on the opposite bank at the bridge pool came along and it turned out he was a member of the club that had the fishing rights for the top stretch above the bridge. He told me that the club had actually closed because there wasn't anybody prepared to fill the positions for club officials. It was a club that had been in existence for 150 years; so sad. He had been float fishing maggot and told me that he had had a lot of dace. He also confirmed that there were a good head of roach in the stretch. So perhaps next time I'll forsake the chub and try a bit of trotting, although the odd chub could still turn up of course.
It was good to be back.