River Welland (20)
Arrival time: 10.45
Weather: Bright and frosty on arrival (3℃)
Later it was quite warm in the sun - no wind.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: One chub 3¾lbs
With all the recent snow and high winds it’s been a few weeks now since I visited the river. It was still running high and a lot of water was coming down.
I started at a spot where I picked up a chub a couple of visits ago. On that occasion there were reeds that were creating a small slack near the bank but these were now below the water level. There was, however, still signs of slacker water. Second cast the rod top kicked and then pulled round and I was into a good fish. It went out into the flow and it took a bit of effort to get it back into the slacker water nearer the bank, where I could net it. On the bank it weighed 3¾lbs. Not a bad start after only ten minutes!
Sadly things didn’t continue that way. In fact it was my only fish. I worked my way up the stretch trying spots that I had previously found to be good chub haunts. Unfortunately the increased flow had made some of these less fishable and more importantly less likely to be frequented by the chub. I didn’t get a touch until I reached a spot past the bridge that has been very consistent in the past. However, today the strength of the flow made it tricky to fish. There’s a tree hanging into the water from the near bank and it’s necessary to cast past it and let the bait roll into the slacker water nearer the bank. After a few attempts at this I did get a tell-tale knock and then a firmer pull, but I didn’t connect.
I didn’t get another touch so decided to rest the swim and work my way downstream again. This proved as unproductive as my upstream walk. I finally returned to the spot where I got the first fish but thought that the flow had actually increased as I was having difficulty holding the slack where I caught the first fish. At this point I decided to walk back upstream to the spot where I had the other bite, which is a fair distance. On the way I noticed that just above the bridge, where there is a man-made groyne deflecting the flow, the water was now flowing over the top of this whereas earlier it was below it.
When I got back to the spot I was heading for, sure enough what was a difficult swim was now extremely tricky and unsurprisingly I didn’t get any more bites. I was beginning to think that the upstream controlled weir had released more water and past experience has shown that when the flow suddenly increases the chub seem either to go off the feed or relocate.
I tried a few spots on my return walk downstream but there was nothing doing. I gave the spot where I caught the first fish one more try to no avail and packed up at about 16.30.
So it wasn’t the most productive day but the weather turned out beautiful for February and I was treated to a kingfisher zooming up and down the river. After all, catching fish isn’t everything.