Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Last Day - Up With The Lark

My old mucker John and I managed to slope off down to the Ouzel again for the last day of the river season. Chub would be our quarry.
As we opened the gate the shrill warbling of a skylark could be heard and we scannned the sky to see who'd be first to spot it, for a change it was John who had the best eyesight.
 We usually adopt differing tactics, myself the roaming, twenty minutes here and move on style and John more a 'bait and wait' single swim method. Both styles have their merits. We wished each other good luck and I strolled across the first field.
 It's amazing really, you don't think you're making any noise. As anglers, most of us have an inbuilt stealth. Yet here I find pheasants at least a hundred yards away legging it across the field like Roadrunner and rabbits tearing off in all directions, I might as well have been a one man band with cymbals strapped to my knees!
 I walked on through the thicket just in time to see the white flash of the rear end of a deer, they seem to even run quieter than I can walk.
 I started to bait up a few swims along the way and eventually came to the end of the beat.
 Having taken my time to set up the Chapman 500, Mitchell 300 combo, I eventually settled , sat upon my roll mat and made the first cast. Today was going to be a bread day and out when a sizeable lump.
 I was soon distracted by that azure flash and high pitched greeting of my friend the kingfisher. As he shot by he  loudly told me he was off upstream and that I wouldn't be seeing him again today. I bid him good luck as he flew out of sight.
 The rod tip stayed still and my eyes wandered again, this time along the bank. You see, I was tucked away under a tree right down near the water line. as I scanned the mud my eyes were met with this......
....Now I think I know what made this, and I am still undecided as to what my feelings are about them. Anyway, after about half an hour I moved back a bit upstream to the bend in the photo above. That photo was taken last week and in the meantime the rather large chunk of tree in the foreground has moved along to right, it screamed chub. I'd thrown some bait in on the way up , so with a quick underarm flick, I was fishing.
 I was quite surprised when nothing happened..My mate the robin, from last week, happened along, he wondered if he might be allowed to try a sample of Warburtons Medium Sliced. I obliged.
 I sat watching the squirrels run across the fallen tree bridge and up and down the surrounding trees, every now and then a twig would descend from the heights and chart a course downstream.
 Time passed, I felt sure the swim would produce so I wound in, resting it a while. I strolled way upstream to a, thus far, fishless John and I cranked up the kelly for a cuppa and chatted a while about spicy maggots and stuff.
On my return journey  I was buzzed all the way back by a rather large and over-friendly bumble bee. They are amongst my favourite creatures and he seemed to like my greeting of 'Hello big fella'. He followed me for some time, before being distracted by something in the field opposite.
 Back in the swim I re-baited, cast, waited ten seconds and around she thumped, fish on, the old 500 took on an absolutely amazing curve as I tried to stop Mr. Chevin from racing beneath that submerged tree. At one point I thought I had the better of him, but he somehow found a second wind and he shot into the snag and threw the hook, I am not one to curse and pull my hair out at such times, but I was disappointed, to say the least.
 I pondered my next move. Usually at such times I will move swim, thinking any other chub would be spooked out by the disturbance, so I moved up to the next bend,

 I sat here a while, but sometimes you just know it isn't going to produce, I returned to the previous swim, my original roaming plan now abandoned.
 Bread on the hook, I shotted the hooklink nearer the hook, an underarm flick, ten seconds, bang, around the tip went, strike, resistance, off it headed to the submerged tree, it made it, and for a while all went solid.
 I slackened off and he was fooled by the ploy, he tore straight out into the flow and after a real spirited battle he was engulfed by the waiting net.
What a fine conditioned fellow he was.
 I was just about to head off upstream when I received a call from John who said he had a fish in the net and could I come and take a photo or two.
 What a lovely fish he'd bagged, his spicy maggots doing the business.
These fish are by no means easy to catch so we'd had a result, John even went on to catch another before the sun started to dip.

The sun was setting on another river season and as we walked back to car we both said, "Roll on, the 16th of June"


  1. Smashing last river post Gurn. What have you got planned for next month ?

  2. That's a good question BSC. I'm not really good at making plans. I will be fishing on through though.

  3. A suitable way to end the season - nice one.

  4. A beautiful way to see the season out Gurn, what's your plans for Spring?

  5. Lovely Chbb mr Gurn! Are those otter tracks?