River Welland (17)
Arrival time: 10.15
Weather: Sun and clouds.
Strong westerly wind.
Swim: The large pool and roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Cheese and luncheon meat.
Fish: Two chub, best fish 3lbs.
Unfortunately I hadn’t managed to get to the Welland so far this season, so I missed my summer chub stalking. However, the river was low and there were still opportunities.
I started at the large pool, which has been very consistent over the past few years. Today, however, I didn’t get a touch on either cheese or luncheon meat. The strong downstream wind didn’t help, but I thought I might extract at least one fish from this spot. Another angler had stopped to chat soon after I arrived. He was travelling light and obviously stalking chub. I mentioned a few spots he might try, as at that stage I was hopeful the large pool would deliver. An hour and a half or so later he returned having caught a couple of chub further upstream. This convinced me that perhaps it wasn’t the day for sitting still, however good the pool had been to me in the past.
I went upstream although was conscious that he had already worked this stretch, so wasn’t over hopeful. I tried the bridge pool on the way but the water level was low and it didn’t look too inviting. About 100 metres above the bridge I spotted a few small chub. I tried a few casts but nothing took the luncheon meat. I also tried placing the meat between streamer weed in the shallows in case a chub was laying up under the weed, but agin no luck.
Returning below the bridge I tried a spot just upstream of the large pool, which had yielded a fish in the past. It’s a tight spot, with a tree overhanging the water to the left and another tree overhanging from the opposite bank. I put the first cast under the tree opposite, but drew a blank. Next cast was downstream behind the tree to the left. After a very short while the rod top pulled round and a fish was on. It tried for the various snags but I was able to keep it clear. It was a chub of 3lb and was taken at 14.05 on luncheon meat (photo).
I next tried the large pool again but still nothing.
Walking downstream I tried a number of likely spots. One of these was where a large tree overhangs the river, and a couple of years ago I took a small chub from under this tree. It’s a tricky cast but I was lucky and the luncheon meat fell exactly where I wanted it; close to the opposite bank in a slack created by a submerged bush. It hadn’t been there a minute when a pull on the rod top provided my second fish. This one was 2lb 14oz but it had a long wound the length of one flank. It’s difficult to guess what had caused this, but after quickly weighing the fish I returned it immediately. It had clearly already suffered enough trauma. The first fish had also had an injury near its tail, but nowhere as severe as this second fish. It was now 15.25 and the wind had become very strong. I continued working my way downstream, but other than one possible pull (it could have been the wind) there was nothing doing.
At 16.50 I reached the point where the path back to the car branched from the river bank and I decided to call it a day. The bank was in any event starting to get a bit busier with the late afternoon dog walkers, and the wind was making life very difficult as I tried to cast to the far bank.
It was a tough day, as I had to work hard for the two fish. What was also clear was that my ‘roving’ tackle had evolved to become too bulky. I had become too used to sitting all day at the large pool, which to be fair had been very productive, and consequently had added a comfy chair and a second bag to my kit. Time for a review I think.