Sunday, 4 September 2011

The ups and downs of a weekend on the bank....

  This weekend was just one of those weekends that come along from time to time where it seems the whole world is against you no matter what you do it seems you are destined to struggle.  Fishing to me is always about getting away from the rat race of a nine to five week but I must admit as I write this now I don't think it worked this weekend.   In this weeks blog my aim is to show you that it doesn't always go as we planned and like life has its ups and its downs.

Lets see how it unfolded......

  After the success of the last two weeks on the bank the weekend loomed large and I can honestly say I cant remember looking forward to fishing session so much as I did this weekends.  The homework had been done on my dinner breaks in work on Google Earth and I had come across a new stretch on the River Dee that would see us travelling into Wales and from the aerial shots all looked well.

  Friday night was finally here and it was time for me to try something new which may turn out to be a weekly ritual after seeing the results.  It was time for me to cook my own hemp for the first time, I normally just buy my hemp in a tin ready prepared and depending on where you buy it the cost is usually around £1.75 for a tin.  This week I bought a bag of the unprepared hemp for £1.50 and I must say it wasn't looking too promising looking at the light brown grains.

  With no tin of the prepared stuff the pressure was on to get it right and all the information given to me last week when my uncle showed me how to do it descended into a blur as I stood over the pan willing for it all to go well.

  As first attempts go I think it went really well and if you can stand the smell of the stuff cooking it is well worthwhile preparing your own as the amount you get would do me for two sessions on the river so with me being on the bank most weekends it will save me a lot of money over the year although plans are in place for a bulk purchase.  Cooking your own also gives you the option to add your own flavoring's should you wish too. With the hemp cooked, maggots and castors chilling and a couple of hook length's made up we where all set for our early start on the River Dee and it couldn't come soon enough.

  We arrived at our chosen spot as normal under the cover of darkness and this weekend showed how the mornings have crept in with it still being pitch black at 5am, another sign that we are slowly leaving summer behind us.  The walk to the swims was quite a distance and it was just about perfect for setting up when we arrived at our chosen swims, mine looked top notch with the flow going along side a far bank tree and with what looked in the dim light an even depth to it.  I had gone with every intention of using my centre pin but with the wind already building up I decided to go with my open face reel instead.

All set ready to go.

  The first few trots down the swim resulted in a fish nearly every put through with salmon par and dace putting in an appearance and all was well.  A quick look upstream and my uncle was also getting some fish as well as was my dad on his swim feeder tactics slightly downstream from my swim.

  After catching around ten or fifteen fish the float buried right opposite the tree and I felt the fish for a split second on the line and it kick hard and with that the line snapped, my money was on it being a chub but as we all now the ones that get away always feel bigger don't they.  I kept feeding the swim as I set up again and as I had made a few rigs the night before it wasn't too long till I was back in the water and trotting down the swim.

  This is when the day went dramatically down hill, the very next trot down the same line I had gone down for the past hour and half with no problems I found myself stuck on a snag and it was not budging, the only thing to do was to pull for a break and with that my 1.7lb hook length gave way, back to the box to re set up again on the river you expect to have to do this from time to time as there are so many snags washed down.

  All set up and back in again, this time the float was going through like a dream and rightly buried right over my bed of hemp and I was in a fierce battle with a battle hardened grayling, she knew every trick in the book from jumping out of the water to darting into the fast water and after a hard battle she slowly came round to my way of thinking. Standing in the water I love handing the fish out of the water and taking the hook out and placing them nicely into the keep net, all was going well till the grayling made one last jump and threw the hook which shot into the air and left with me with the birds nest of all birds nests in my line another set up job for sure.  This was not the way it was supposed to be going at all!!

who lives in a house like this....

  After a quick chat to both my dad and uncle I returned to my peg and set up again, I now have hook tying down to a fine art after this weekend. My perseverance was rewarded with a lovely roach which proved to be the best fish of the day for me.

  Not long after this capture the wind really got up and was whistling around the bend in the river and made presenting a bait for me really hard work and made it impossible for my uncle who was already fishing a fast flowing swim made insanely quicker by the gusting wind.  The fish where still there I have no doubt in that but fooling them into taking the bait consistently proved to be a frustrating experience.

  As you can see from the trees on the far bank the wind was really blowing and it only got worse as the day went on.

  I am not one for making excuses when I go fishing in general but when the wind got up the fishing died there and then and after around an hour without a bite I decided to take a walk along the newly explored stretch and found a few deep holes that will need investigating at a later date.  In keeping with the way the day was going my uncle caught a really nice trout right before we where due to leave, I was so relived as in my head I was already thinking about what to put in the blog this week, a quick rummage in my pocket and I found my phone only to find I had it had died and to quote Forest Gump to sum fishing the report on Saturdays fishing "that's all I have to say about that!!"

Sunday 04th September

  I was woken this morning by the alarm clock going off at 6am and after the disaster yesterday I had a mountain of maggots and castors left.  Today's destination would have to have close parking and be relatively easy and only one place sprung to mind and that was Flushing Meadows fishery, this place would surely guarantee me a carp or too on the pole. 

  I arrived on pool 5 to find only 3 cars parked up and all the anglers where right up the other end on the high number pegs.  I settled down on peg number 3 and set up a rig to fish the far shelf on corn and meat hoping for an early water pig.

The swim:

  To cut along story short nothing happened at all for the first two hours and it was gone 9am before I had my first fish which came in the form of a small rudd.  It was after this fish the sun started to shine on my peg and I could not believe my eyes when I looked to my left hand side margin to see four carp on the top right close into the bank.  I slowly lowered in a big piece of meat and no sooner had it gone into the gloomy depths the float was away and I was finally into a carp and boy did it feel good.

finally some luck..

  The fish fought like stink and had me all over the swim as you can see in the video above but with my power kit on kitted with black hydro I felt in full control and it wasn't long before I had him on the bank and on the unhooking mat.

  A quick picture and the fish was back in the water, in went another few pots of castors and a double maggot on the hook and the carp went crazy the whole swim was alive with carp with their tails disturbing the upper layers of the water as they greedily hoovered up the castors as quick as I could pot them in and as a consequence I was striking at line bites left right and centre and lost a fair few carp due to foul hooking the fish, one even left me with a nice token of how big he was.

  The swim was alive with carp both in my margin and out in front of me and just to show how many where about take a look at this video of me recording a carp yards in front of my while only metres away I had a swim alive with carp.

The fish in the video was eventually tamed:

  Another gorgeous common carp the picture does not do it justice it truly did have some lovely markings going from light yellow near its tail to a deep chestnut brown on its head a joy to catch.  The fishing went from strength to strength and even while I was playing this carp there was others lining up in the margin a fisherman's dream!!

  Next out was another lump over 4lb and unlike the other two this one came in like a sack of potatoes I'm sure it thought it was a bream and not a carp!!

  As you can see this fish also had lovely markings and colours along its body which where brought out even more in the bright sun light at this point I had a feeling it wouldn't be long before I hit a proper lump and I was not wrong with my feelings as the very next fish was in another league and had me adding sections to the pole to follow it over to the far bank.  This was going to be a battle as the fish tested the black hydro to the max as it headed for the bottom of the ledge, fishing shallow you only have so much line on your rig and you have to trust that your elastic will stretch enough to follow the fish to the bottom should the fish head there and I'm glad to say the elastic held up and ten minutes later I had the big girl on the bank.

  For a heart stopping moment I didn't think the fish would go in my new net but it did and although I was certain I had a new personal best she topped the scales at 6lb 11oz.  At this point the day came to a abrupt end as I accidentally stood on my top four section as I stood up from my basket all the excitement from catching so many nice fish in such a small space of time came crashing down and to be honest I just looked up to the sky and slowly packed away thinking to myself that, that just finished off a weekend Id much rather forget.

 The good news is that a replacement will only set me back £30.00 had I known this at the time I would have probably sat it out on my top two or set up the rod but my initial thought was that this is going to be expensive!!.

  Thankfully weekends like this don't come around too often and I find the saying "it never rains but it pours" to be very true and lets just hope all my bad luck has been used up this weekend.  Looking at those carp now on those pictures I'm glad I went Flushing Meadows today and those carp are what I will take from this weekend and that hour today getting those carp will get me through to myflu next fix next weekend.

Till then Tight lines and watch where your standing :-)


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