The weekend after my birthday in December is one I always look forward to with gusto as it almost certainly means I will be on the bank with a new piece of kit and this year was no different I am happy to say although this year I had two presents that where fishing related. The first of these after the bitterness of last year was essential and that is a thermal bib and brace and after some deliberation I decided to go with the Sundridge Retex mk4 bib and brace. The second was a complete surprise and god knows how my fiancé knew to get me it but apparently she found it by searching the internet for “good trotting reels” and to my amazement I woke up on my birthday to an Abu 706 closed face reel.
As is the norm in my job my birthday also signals the start of my years allocation of annual leave and after a few months without a break from work I booked a few days of towards the end of last week with the hope of getting on the bank to wet a line and also spend some quality time with the missus which is always important if you do as much fishing as I do throughout the year.
To say winter arrived last week was an understatement and for Thursday and Friday my pike spinning rod lay dormant in the boot my car with the gale force wind, rain and hail all battering down all day long. The rivers on the EA site where all running high and the dee especially was at a all year high, any trip to the river at the weekend was doubtable and on Friday afternoon I decided to take a trip out to the River Dee to see how she was looking and it wasn’t good to say the least as you can see on the video below from the Warrington Anglers Stretch at Almere Ferry.
In the same trip I decided to visit the River Dee at Farndon and it was totally unfishable as shown on the picture of the swim a fished a few weeks ago the difference is mind blowing.
With our weekly trip out not planned until the Sunday it gave the river a few days to fall but even with no more rainfall the river Dee would still not be fishable but I knew from experience that the tributary that feeds the river Dee at Almere Ferry, the river Alyn, is usually fishable and can at times produce the goods when the main river is in flood and with that we made plans for an early start on the river Alyn on the Sunday.
On to this week’s fishing:
When I started the blog back in February I promised myself two things, one I would do my best to get out fishing and a report done at least once a week which so far I have done and secondly to be open and honest about what I catch and not fall into the trap some bloggers do of only posting the good times when they come along. Angling is as much about the lows as it is the highs and you learn so much more from a hard day on the bank as opposed to the days where you can’t do anything wrong and I would hate my blog to give the impression that I catch fish every time I go because angling just isn’t like that, for anyone, even the famous anglers you see in the papers fail to catch and are not afraid to say so if you follow them on twitter.
The forecast for the coming day was dreadful the rain was already falling as we left the house and headed on our way to the river and all the signs where there telling us to knock it on the head and at best get a few hours kip and go for a trip to our local Bridgewater Canal but as always the draw of the rivers was too strong and we headed off into the drizzle bound for the small river dee tributary the River Alyn.
We arrived on the banks of the river at first light and set up in the first swims either side of the bridge and as the video shows below the river was as low as it is in summer, a far cry for the bloated confluence where this river flows into the main river and low enough for me to stand in the river.
As you can hear on the video above the young calf’s in the opposite field where in full voice and obviously mistook me for the farmer that feeds them around the same time we arrived on the river and to say they didn’t shut up was an understatement from the moment they spotted me trotting the river till the time we departed their calls where constant but it is all part of what I love about the river seeing how animals react to your presence is one of the things that always amazes me and these young calf’s were so funny to watch as one by one they grouped till they had the confidence to come forward I just hope they remember that I pose no harm when I share I field with them next summer when they are twice the size and have horns lol.
The fishing was tough as we thought it would be and the rain that had departed when we arrived returned with gusto and for a good hour and half it proper belted down with a mixture of rain and hail and a memory of the day was seeing four runners go over the bridge to my right and I remember thinking how much other people watching me fishing and them running in such conditions would think we had a screw loose, in all honestly I think they may be onto something as the only return from the river from three hours of trotting was a few small grayling shown below, as Stewart Bloor says “at least I am not a blanker”.
At around 11.30 am we got together and my uncle was having the same amount of action as me with only a few grayling and dace to show for his efforts and we decided to pack up and as it was on the way home we decided to spend the afternoon on the banks of the River Gowy, a river we have never fished before and with the day being so bad it was decided it was better to try this river on a day like this than on a perfect day when we could be bagging on the Dee.
We arrived in the car park at the Nags head pub and was greeted by another animal of the bovine variety and I was so glad that my angling journey so far hasn’t crossed paths with one of these shaggy animals without the safety of a barbed wire fence between us.
A quick check of the river showed it to be clear and at some points clogged with streamer weed and apart from where we set up devoid of any bank side features, any bites where going to be at a premium so we baited lightly and had a small competition to see who could catch the most fish. The bad weather had not followed us from wales and we were treated to a clear if not bitterly cold afternoon on the bank.
The fishing as said above was really hard and it was well gone 2pm when my uncle connected with his first fish after a lot of gamesmanship about so called “snotted maggots”.
I must admit I succumbed to the pressure mounted upon me and unfortunately I was on the wrong end of a 4-1 hiding with the roach above my only capture and I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a day on the banks of the river and caught so little fish.
Here are a fe pictures I took of the river gowy and when I get the chance I will be adding both the River Gowy, River Alyn and River Severn to my rivers page.
Till next week tight lines