Friday, 6 July 2012

Confidence in the Confluence......

A warm welcome to this week’s blog update which again comes after a week of unseasonable wet weather, one bit of brightness to come out of the past week came from the Twitter account which saw an weekly increase of around 30 followers which took us over the 300 follower milestone.  Don’t forget if you like keeping up with our blog adventures you can follow the blog on twitter by following  @SATONMYPERCH and you can also keep up with myself during the week on the blogs Facebook Page, both get regular updates about my angling adventures as they happen and all things going on in the angling world.

Some sad news reached me this week while I was on the bank and that was the rumour,  and I stress at the moment this is only a rumour, that Warrington Anglers may be about to loose a stretch of the River Dee come November, this is due to members behaviour during the early hours of the morning on the opening morning of the season, if true it is a really disappointing way to loose a bit of water and as with most things in life it’s the actions of the minority that can ruin it for the majority,  I do hope these rumours turn out not to be true and are just that, a rumour, but with no Official words coming from the club I guess only time will tell if this rumour holds any substance. 

 Just to clarify in response to comments made in Franks Weekly column, in the last paragraph of the update (link: ).  I am not willing to go out of my way to write an email to club the secretaries or chairman to reinforce a point I have already made them aware of on a Social media site that 1) they are an active member on 2) they chose worthy to delete and 3) only Warrington Anglers members, who have been allowed access by an admin may I add, can view,. The club as high up as the Chairman are now obviously aware of the “rumour” for it to be posted on the Chairman’s weekly blog which was all the post on Facebook was aimed at doing, to raise awareness of a possible future issue that by all accounts they wouldn’t be aware of till it was too late. The post obviously generated a number of views from members who fish the water in question, if the club feel it not right to release an official message to all the paying members that commented on this thread to ally their worries then we all have to respect their decision. I am and angler that is on the banks of Warrington Anglers waters probably a great deal more than most as I am on the bank week in week out and I will certainly not be going out of my way anymore to relay information on such “rumours”, these two paragraphs are my last comments on the matter.

On to this weeks update

Arriving on the banks of the river we quietly parked the car up and for a few seconds sat back and just took in the atmosphere around us, these mornings on the bank where the wildlife loose all fear under the cover of darkness are truly magical, from the small bats scooting around low to the fields capturing a quick last minute snack before retreating to their roost to the ghostly figure in the distance of a Barn owl swooping down into a meadow in its relentless task of feeding its chicks ever demanding appetites no doubt these all are parts in the massive jigsaw that is angling. 

It is amazing how you get used to the not so nice visitors you come across as well as not too long after setting up I was visited by a decent size rat, a year or so back I would have been running for the hills screaming and shouting but over time you get used to their early morning scuttling about in the undergrowth cumulating in them following their nose to you bait tubs and the inevitable head popping up and the uncomfortable moment where you come face to face both faces etched with a sense of shock before normally the rat clears off,  thankfully Saturday was one of these times.

As the light of the new day filled the sky completely the final acts of the aerial display came out in the form of countless swallows which gracefully glided inches above the river grabbing an early morning drink before heading off in there day time pursuit of insects, these birds have to rank as one of my favourites just for the fact of the huge migratory patterns, how such a small bird flies to England for Africa amazes me every time I see them and always imagine how different the banks of the River Dee must look as opposed the African Plains although I suppose they could always travel 2o minutes down the road to Chester Zoo to help them thorough our so called summer.

The plan for the day fishing wise was to spend the morning chasing the bigger specimens and the afternoon trotting. I started on my Shimano Purist Barbel rod utilising that bait for all seasons, the halibut pellet.  The river was a great deal lower than last week but boy she was bombing through at a crazy pace and there was no chance of holding bottom any more than a third of the way across with the gear I had packed.  The upside of the river pushing through so hard is the crease in the river is moved a lot closer in and was easily accessible with a small underarm flick and this is where I chose to lay my trap.  The bait as I said was a 14mm halibut pellet and it was used in conjunction with a open end feeder filled with 6mm pellets and plugged with the heady smelling halibut method ground bait, I felt I cast accurately and regularly enough to warrant my actions being rewarded with a better fish but alas by 10am I was blanking in style, not even a knock.

I went to visit my uncle to see how he was getting on but not before locked my bait away in my box away from Mr rat.  My uncle on the peg below me was catching roach steadily on the float and seemed to be on course for a steady day with both castor and maggot taking fish.

I decided to set up my much underused Korum 13ft Float rod, since purchasing my 17ft float rod a few years ago this rod has become a bit redundant in my fishing with me favouring the improved float control of the 17ft rod.  The one thing that was immediately apparent is how much quicker it is to thread up the 13ft rod I was set up in no time at all.  Whilst setting up I began drip feeding my swim with hemp and castor to begin the process of building up a few feeding fish in the swim.

Today would be my first time trying out the Dave Harrell 10 No4 Dome top float I purchased a month or so ago so that was attached to the line with the customary three silicon rubbers and I teamed it up with a bulk shot of number 4 shot with a few dropper shot, the business end was a number 18 barbed Animal eyed hook.  I have to say before we go any further I was more than impressed with the float which given the right shotting can be shotted right down to pick up the slightest bites which proved to be essential on this session.

First trot down produced the lovely roach above and its amazing how much confidence a bite first cast down can give you, you know the fish are there and being a roach you know they are not alone.  The bait continued to be applied well upstream of the trott allowing for the float to run down amongst the free offerings and I was soon getting to the stage where I could predict when the float would go under.  Roach mixed in with the odd small chublet where the quarry that was coming to the net in the early exchanges and this mix continued till I decided to try the much slower outside trotting line and I instantly hit a much better fish that flew out of the tributary and straight into the main flow of the river, initial thoughts where I have connected with a barbel or chub although the former was less likely as a chub would no doubt have stuck it our solidly in the tributary flow.  The fight continued I was very conscious of the fish getting into the main fast flow as on 3lb line there was no way of bullying it upstream against the flow.

The battle of wills continued and in one massive jump in the air the fish revealed itself not to be the barbel I thought but either a brown trout or sea trout.  A quick phone call to my uncle to help with the net was answered and between us we managed to get the fish into the net by letting he fish run downstream into the waiting landing net.


The fish in question was a new personal best trout for me but given the fight it had put up and us being quite a bit up fro the water we decided to rest it in the landing net held in the keep net for it to recover rather than releasing it to the mercy of the flow and I cant believe I actually forgot to weigh the fish when we packed in at the end of the day.

After this fish the Dace moved into the swim and I began picking up dace of all sizes from small fry to fish approaching 5-6oz in size, these fish really are in great abundance through the whole system and provide food for all predators along the rivers course from herons and cormorants to the greedy pike they all rely on these silver darts.

It was not long after hitting the dace I began a series of bites where I struck into what felt a decent fish only for my line to come flying back at me and it wasn’t till after I had put on three more hook lengths and while I was speaking to a good friend on the river the answer made itself known as when I connected with a nice roach a big swirl of oily green and yellow was seen beneath the surface as a pike grabbed hold of the fish in its jaws.

The pike was on for a good 5 minutes before it knew it was hooked and I made a hasty estimate at the fish’s size being around 6 to 7lb mark.  As the pike was approaching being beat it let go of the fish and swam off, this is a common ending in these fights with only a few ending in you actually catching the pike but this pikes card had well and truly been marked as I am sure it was the same one that took my uncles fish last week.

Fishing the rivers you have to learn to roam the fields along with the other animals that live there and although most are wild there are some more captive animals you come across like the farmers cattle and when you have fished a stretch for long enough you begin to realise just how much these animals are creatures of habit, they will be in the same part of the field at the same time every day and on this stretch midday is always the time these cows come down to drink and no one was getting in between these cows and a drink of water.

As the cows came and went in groups of two or three I began about the task or rebuilding my swim that had been no doubt devastated by a pike thrashing around it.  I began by introducing some handfuls of hemp and a few sprinklings of castor to build the fishes confidence.  The new fishing box I use has plenty of space for winders so I always have a few hook lengths made up ready to go so it wasn’t long before I was back in after the fish.

 A few trots down it was soon apparent something was drastically wrong, the float was going down a dream but the missing the vital part of the equation, the float being buried, was missing and it wasn’t the pike that was missing for sure I knew that girl or one of her mates was still around.  It hard to explain but trotting the river for so long you get a feeling when things are not right and I put away my trotting rod and pulled out my pike gear, it was time move this pike on away fro the swim.

The float had not long settled before it dipped twice and buried and starting heading for the snags on the far side of the swim, a quick application of side strain steered the fish away from the snag and back into open water, as with all summer pike the fight included plenty of aerobatic leaps as the fish tried to throw the hooks but thankfully they held in place as the fish angrily made persistent deep runs for the far bank cover.  Armed with a reel with a decent smooth drag and loaded with 10lb line the fish was soon tiring and ready for the net and I duly obliged, a nice pike in great physical condition was on the net and ready for a picture.


There was some signs of scale damage to the rear of the pike when it seemed to have a red tinge which I think may be down to when these pike have spawned.  It being a summer pike it is even more important to rest the pike in the margin so I took the pike a good way down stream and gave her as long as she needed in the net to recover before she swan away strongly, thankfully in the opposite direction to my swim.

After returning to my swim there was a definite change of weather in the air as the relatively clear skies where being replaced with dark heavy rain laden clouds straight off the welsh mountains, you could literally see the weather closing in and I managed to capture this picture below illustrating the change in weather.

The next hour or so we were treated to some lovely refreshing downpours that really didn’t bother me as the morning had been so warm the rain actually brought myself some relief.  The fish also didn’t seem to mind the rain as they came back on the feed no sooner than I had returned back after releasing the pike.  The fish were steadily getting better as well and as the afternoon wore on and the steady stream of bait continued so the average size of the fish improved culminating in this nice chub around a pound and to add even more variety a surprise capture in this prickly perch.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day on the bank, it was a pity no really big fish showed up as for moments in the day it felt I was going to connect with a decent fish at any moment but I suppose with that pike lurking around it was always going to be difficult to keep the swim active long enough for the better fish to move in. Final net was 11lb of fish and a very enjoyable day.


Till next time I wish you all

Tight lines


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