Last week the whole county found itself in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures down south reportedly getting up around 28 degrees which is barmy for this time of year. From my point of view I had made plans to visit the sankey canal in Widnes to try and winkle out a carp off the top after work but for one reason or another it never materialised which did disappoint me a little as I reckon that was the last chance of the year to try for them but there is always next year for that.
This week the weather is forecast to be really wet which I hope will see the River Dane water levels rise and make a visit there worthwhile as at the moment she is running on empty if the EA river levels site is anything to go by, I really hope it does get some water in as the river season so far hasn't been the same without my chub fishing visits to this enchanted little river.
Typical river Dane swim and chub:
And with those pictures we move onto this weeks fishing:
Saturday 01st October
The weather all week had been really hot as the whole country was bathed in glorious sunshine which it seemed the whole country was taking advantage of with beer gardens and local parks bursting at the seems but my mind was fixed on thinking what the river Dee would be like come the weekend. I expected her to be holding steady around her lower limit of 4.6m but upon inspecting the EA river level website it showed the situation to be a little different as on a 12 hour cycle to river would rise sharply and slowly drop down over the next few hours till it reached the twelfth hour when the cycle would repeat again. Obviously this was down to controlled releases of water from Bala Lake and was only making a slight increase in water level but it would be interesting to see how it effected the fishing as the water would be dropping when we arrived and the flush of water was due around noon.
We had decided quite early on in the week to visit the River Dee at the stretch we had done so well on a few weeks ago and due to a alarm clock malfunction the dawn was already breaking as we made our way to the river bank, although running late there is always time to capture the moment. To think the amount of people in the country that where still in bed a missed the most beautiful part of the day. I love fishing and the special moments it allows me to experience.
We arrived at the river not too long after this picture was taken and she was looking absolutely spot on for a days trotting, not a breath of wind and the trot I was fishing for the day had a smooth pace to it at would be perfect for shotting the stick float right down to detect even the smallest bite.
The river really was perfect and I was that confident I took my time setting up as began to build up a bed of hemp and kept a steady flow of maggots through the swim as I set up. Having fished the swim a few times before I had a fair idea of the depth and it wasn't long after my uncle cast in I was ready for my first trot through of the day and I was full of expectation.
My first trot through and just over my hemp the float buried and a small dace became the first fish in the net and to be honest he wasn't in there long on his own as the very next trot down my tally for the day was doubled. The stamp of fish was not on par with past visits but I was fishing maggot so I hoped the better fish would turn up eventually and I could move over to castor which is notorious for picking out the better fish.
The fishing continued to be stupidly easy as every trot through I at least got a bite and all was going very well indeed, that was until my swim was visited by the local herd of young bullocks. Now usually they give you a wondering glance and continue on their merry way munching the grass as they go, today however was different and as you can see on the picture above one of the herd decided that the couple of acres of grass in the field wasn't to his liking and he wanted the grass on my bank. I had one eye on this fella when another bull appeared on the top of the bank right behind me and he kept coming and coming till he was on the edge of the bank above me and looking for a way down!!.
Taking a picture was the last thing on my mind but to give you an idea of how daunting these can be here is a close up from the same field on our last visit:
Now usually walking towards these young bulls giving them a loud shout and a wave of your arms is enough for them to move on but not this fella on Saturday gave it a blow of his nose and held his ground, stalemate!! backing down now would only encourage him and after a heated few moments he backed up to the top of the hill shaking his head back and forth and in a split second charged towards me,luckily it was a false charge and he cut off and at the end ran back up into the main field, that was an experience to say the least and not one I was hoping to repeat any time soon and I returned to my basket but could not help but keep checking behind me.
The bull on the top picture was still slowly munching his way along the bank to my right and as I was trotting down towards him I could see he was slowly getting closer and it was time to take action sooner rather than later and it was back into my matador costume and armed with my landing net pole i made my way along the bank, this bull had read the script thankfully and moved back up on the top bank straight away. Hopefully these signs of aggressive behavior means they are at an age where they are due to be turned into prime steaks and I will be able to fish in peace lol.
With my visitors happily moved on their way I got back top the job in hand and what a joy it was to be on the bank in the glorious early morning sunlight trotting an absolute gem of a swim. The quality of the fish improved as the morning went on leading to me catching two really nice grayling right at the end of the trot.
one of the nice grayling:
It was after the second of these grayling, as i was recovering the fish in the margin before putting it in the keep net my eye was taken by all the fish in my keep net shooting to the top and a split second later a pike of around 5-6 pound motored in and was literally attacking the fish through the keep net. Of course the fish spooked as i moved closer but it had such vivid colours, these pike in the Dee are so veracious and i just hope come winter they are still as forthcoming.
The two of us caught well all morning till around 12.30pm when both our swims died completely to the point were even the minnows had dispersed away from the bed of hemp. It was during a brief chat with my uncle I remembered the EA water level site and Saturday surely showed me the river fishes well as it drops off but the fishing is badly effected by even the slightest rise in river levels.
The final bags of fish again show how well the river is doing after the pollution of a few years ago that effected it so badly the river will i think in the next few years, if left alone from pollution, will go from strength to strength for all species of fish but most notably for the silver dart, the dace which i think the river has the potential to produce a real specimen.
My uncles net of fish:
my net of fish:
Sunday 02nd October
Sunday saw both me and my uncle visit the carp pond hoping to take advantage of the warm weather to catch a few carp on the pole. The weather although warm was not what we expected with some really prolonged showers moving in from time to time but we still managed between us to put a decent bag of fish together totaling over 15lb. The carp in this pond are really shy so from past visits anything over 10lb is a real bonus and as always on our fishing trips the banter was of the highest quality and i thoroughly enjoyed my time on the bank.
The net of fish:
The best few fish from the net:
Pic of the scales of fortune:
The wildlife at this location is truly breathtaking with ornamental wildfowl, coots, sparrow hawks, herons and buzzards all putting in an appearance and all this only 10 minutes away from a bustling town centre we truly are spoiled as fisherman to have a sport that gives us such front row seats to the wildlife of the British isles.
till next week