Sunday, 11 December 2011

A bag of prime winter roach

A quick check to see how the river was faring on the EA website revealed a bit of an issue - it was 7m up and rising, near record height. I briefly considered hunting down some backwater, but thought better of it! Ah well, a trip to a local stillwater was in order, with quality roach the target. Despite all the rain, the day dawned very cold, and this meant match tactics. I scaled right down to a 1lb 8oz bottom, size 22 spade hook and used caster as bait. The float was shotted down to a pin prick, and loose feed kept to a minimum. Some of the loose feed was being eaten by a friend....

By shotting the float down, it was possible to hit the tiny indications i was getting, and most resulted in roach that averaged 6oz or so, with the best probably hitting 12oz. It was enjoyable fishing, but i couldn't cope for more than a few hours with the biting wind. On a seperate note, i was trialling out my new drennan floatmaster, 13ft to 15ft combo - what a cracking piece of kit. Easily deals with fine line, and the 'jag-jag' of a roach run is no longer a problem. I also hit into something bigger on it, probably a carp, which was ultimately lost, but the rod does have some back-bone as well. Anyway, my bag of roach...

A little trick when you have a pint of maggots - riddle them twice a day to seperate the casters. Put these casters in a small amount of water to stop them taking on air (alternatively, seal them in a bag tightly). The day before fishing, dry them off and bag them up. You will find all are sinkers, and perfect for loosefeed.

On the next day i decided to try the river out, which was starting to fine down, but stil a couple of foot up with plenty of colour. Chub and Barbel were the intended species, but despite flogging away in various choice swims, i failed to catch any. The temperatures dropped to -4C the night before, which probably didn't help.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The lady of the Stream

For a change, i decided to leave my pike rods at home today, and head for some fast clear water. Upon getting there, i noticed the river was up a bit and pushing through hard. I attempted to float fish for a short while, but found it difficult. Out came the quiver, a swimfeeder and a pint of maggots. Initially i dropped it in near some weed nearside to see if any chub were interested, unfortunately i got minnowed out...
In the meantime i'd been dropping a constant stream of maggots going in along a crease that had formed in the water, where fast met slow water to see if anything was feeding (see pic)..
Conditions were cold, and my setup was a size 20 on a 1ob 10oz hooklength, to try and breed some confidence into the bites. However my patient feeding provided it's reward, as dropping the swimfeeder into the crease resulted in two instant grayling, a fish which are to my mind the most beautiful around (note the teardrop eye).
It was a nice, cold morning fishing, and in such conditions few fish feed as well as the grayling - the lady of the stream.