River Welland (28)
Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Very warm and humid.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
I made the mistake of visiting this stretch on the first day of the season back in 2015, there being rather too much angling activity on that occasion. This time I left it a few days, but I still wasn't the only one there. In fact, there was another chap who had obviously arrived long before me, and was roving the stretch, clearly after chub. Not good news, as having the first cast into a chub lie is preferable, after which subsequent attempts become more challenging.
My first stop was at what I call the beach, where the dogs are taken for their daily rampage. One had clearly recently left as the water was cloudy from the sandy bottom. There were, however, three chub in plain site. At this point I should have moved upstream and cast down to them, but foolishly I set up on the beach, expecting them to drop back downstream, based on previous experience of where the chub lay up in this location. But I got it wrong, no bites were forthcoming from my downstream casts. The chub had faded away.
I decided that it was perhaps time to try a different spot. It was as I walked upstream that I met the other 'chubber'. Then there was a couple of chaps in another swim. Now it's been a very good 'growing' year, and this was evident from the density of the bank-side vegetation. In fact there were probably only around six fishable swims. I had tried two, two were occupied, leaving me a walk up to the bridge where there's a large pool, passing another favourite 'pool' on the way. Well, the first pool had acquired such a depth of reeds that there was no way a fish could have been extracted if hooked.
At the bridge, the usually quite fast flow was reduced to a very slow glide, and the weed growth seemed greater than I had experienced in the past. I spent a while casting into the edge of current, a tactic that has worked in the past, but not on this occasion.
Somewhat despondently I walked back to the beach, only to find the other 'chubber' installed just downstream. So I reverted to the spot just upstream where I had pitched earlier. A couple of times I spotted fish swimming through, but I couldn't tempt them. It was now 12.30 and I had reluctantly formed the view that I was probably flogging a dead horse. Too many other anglers and the river conditions weren't great. So I called it a day. This was only the second time that I had failed to catch on this stretch, the other being when the river was in flood. Perhaps I've lost the touch!