Sunday, 20 July 2014

River Dane Fishing: No Work and All Play And a FREE Days Fishing!!

A warm welcome to this weeks blog update.  I start this weeks update off with the news of a fantastic incentive being offered by the Environment Agency to support and promote National Fishing Month.  For those not aware National Fishing Month runs from the 18th July to the 31st August and to celebrate this the Environment Agency are running an offer for any angler to take a friend or family member with them for one days fishing between the 18th July and 27th July.  You can cut out the voucher that will be in all the angling press this week or you can go to this link and download a voucher

I think it is great to see the Environment agency supporting this incentive to get not only try and get children into angling but also offer an opportunity for adults to get "hooked" on our fantastic sport and who knows just how many new anglers there will be to our sport after this incentive, great stuff and fantastic to see.

As i mentioned in last weeks update i have been off work for the last week and i have to say apart from the fishing trips you will read about later on i have loved getting out and spending time with the family.  The first stop for us was to Alton Towers to take our little girl to CBeebies Land.  I have to say i was really impressed with it and she loved it, highly recommended.  In the middle of Alton Towers is a huge lake and it straight away had my angling senses buzzing so whilst eating my sandwiches i decided to see what lived in such a lovely lake and it didn't take long for my offerings of pieces of salmon butties to attract interest from some really nice looking and hungry carp.  My missus comments of "can we not take you anywhere without you finding fish!!" drew a laugh from myself, she knows me too well and i think she was on to me as soon as i wandered down to the water. 

Regular reader of the blog will also remember a scathing review i gave to the Blue Planet Aquarium on a recent blog where i was really disappointed by their lack of thought in putting games and rides in every room you go into which i feel really distracts children away from the main thing they have come to see, the fish.  There was a sea life centre at Alton Towers and seeing my little girls face in the video below as she is taken back by the sheer number of fish and amazed by them really goes to prove my point and how the reactions of a child are different when the flashing lights of the ride in the corner are not there to take away from the experience. 

During the week there were also many visits to the local park and a few of the followers on Facebook may remember me posting a picture a few weeks ago of a pair of swans on a nest, well these swans have done a sterling job and now have a healthy family of cygnets with them as well now and it was great to catch up with these on a recent visit back to this town park lake a few days ago. 

 Nature is a huge part of my life and respecting it and appreciating all the wildlife around us is something i hope to pass onto my little girl as she grows up to hopefully enjoy and appreciate the wildlife that is all around us and it really is everywhere and there are some really great sights to be seen and it can be as easy as getting in your car around evening time and going for a drive down some of the quieter areas of town that have overgrown banks for cover, you will certainly have a chance of seeing some rabbits, foxes and if you are lucky like i was on a trip this week a family of pheasants wandering the margins of some thick scrub land.

Before we get on to this weeks fishing i also spent some time on Sunday writing the blog update and also watching some of the International Fishomania and i have to say what a fantastic show it was as the English pair or Will Raison and Des Ship really put on a master class of match fishing and how to really put together an big weight of fish by catching everything that swims.  It also shocked me to see that these anglers and the ladies team were having to sell raffle tickets and put the prize money they earn back into the pot to fund them going out to the World Championships to defend their titles as World Champions.  When you think at the millions of pounds wasted every two years for our disgrace of a football team to go and humiliate our nation in World Cups and European championships when we have THE WORLD CHAMPIONS of the most participated sport in this country then for me its a disgrace they should be held aloft and celebrated for their amazing accomplishments. 

On to this weeks fishing:

Thursday 10th July:  Striking for Stripeys on the River Dane

As many of you will know last Thursday there was a national strike for all Civil Servants and such is my job i am not allowed to go into detail on my views of the right and wrongs of this on the Internet but I am a person that if i believe in something i think i should show my support and as such Thursday i decided to join the strike action.  My work place is in such a location that it does not allow an official picket line so with no official line to attend i turned to a different type of line and i was definitely planning on doing some striking.

The swim i chose was a swim i had fished for a few hours a week or so ago  and done quite well in.  The swim stands in the shadow of a large tree which offers the angler a line to run the float down all day out of the sun light which i feel is a big factor on this river.   It is a swim that has done bites through most of the day on past visits and does not seem to die like the other ones we have fished.

The set up does vary for this swim to account for the over head trees so the 17ft rod was safely tucked away in my holdall and i chose my really under used 13ft Korum float rod, a rod i rarely use now as the extra length of the 17ft and the control it gives you always  sees me fishing this rod if the swim allows, regardless of depth or width of river.

Setting up my basket i positioned it as such so that i would see the float in the shadow of the tree where i expected to get my bites and this is a part of river fishing i feel people go wrong before they have even started and is a lesson i have learned the hard way, setting up so your comfy is not the best way.  I now sit on my basket before even setting up and try to imagine where i am expecting to get bites and try my best to set up so i am trotting down over water where i can clearly see my bites when the float is dotted down to a mere dimple.

The peg has been good to us recently for some roach and small chublet nets so it was no surprise that the first trot down brought a small roach.  The slack on the inside i feel has a lot to do with this and it is very noticeable on the rivers that no matter how slow the flow is roach will always sit in the slack as opposed to the dace and chublets that you seem to get in the main flow most of the time.

The small roach and dace come steady through the first few hours and it was great to see a few dace showing up as well as the odd skimmer which offer some variety in a days sport on the river.  As the session moved on the fish naturally backed off towards the far bank and it was during this time i started to struggle with line control and hitting the bites as the pick up of the line to the float was poor due to the 13ft rod.  I tried my best to try and improve what control i could get on the float by upping the weight of the float from a 6 number 4 to a 3 gram bolo and it worked to a certain extent.

The swim on our previous visit had seen my uncle hounded by a jack pike in his swim and going into the last hour i noticed the fish in my keep net going mad and this coupled with the swim dying i knew it was time for a change.  If you ever see this activity in your net on the river and you do not have a big fish like a perch or a bream in your keep net to disturb the silvers in there then chances are you have some sort of predator about.

I had been waiting for these signs and i had no intention of trying to catch mr pike as i was hoping mr perch was about and i had fed a line in a slack hoping for a perch later on in the day.  With the swim dead a few pound of silvers in the onion sack i moved over to the other line.  Dropping a bait in over the spot it did not take long for the float to slide lazily away, striking into the fish i could feel the pounding and direct downwards fight of the fish letting me know i had a decent perch on the other end.  At this moment you are just hoping the knots and hook hold is good and me personally am always looking for an early opportunity to net the fish.

After a short fish i saw the dark green and black flanks of a perch break to surface and i took my chance and scooped the fish into the net and not a second too quick as the hook came out in the net.  The fish in the net i knew it was a nice perch but not in the same league as last weeks 2lb fish.  On the scales he went 1lb 12oz and with my uncle not around for pictures it was just a simple hand shot of the fish.

It was just about time to call it a day after this fish and from four hours fishing i had put together a combined net of silvers and the perch of 9lb 6oz, not a bad result at all and i left refreshed for the next days trip to alton towers refreshed and buzzing from another nice perch capture.

Saturday 12th July - River Dane -Exploration Time. 

The exploration the previous week where we caught such a wide variety of species saw us both setting of the the river on Saturday with a spring in our steps.  The exploration of  a new stretch or even a completely new river is a big reason why i go fishing, i love the unknown of it and this is probably the same reason that fishing for carp caught so many times they have their own names does not appeal to me so much.  The previous week we had caught Roach, perch, dace, chublets, grayling, minnow, gudgeon and trout so we knew that all the species we had found else where on the river where also present up here and its our hope to find an area where there are good numbers of silvers but also the better chub.  It may be that such an area does not exist but till you have put the hours in and that involves walking field after field knocking down thick walls of Himalayan balsam and getting stung countless time by nettles creating and fishing new swims, not everyone idea of fun but we love it!

As always it was an early start....

In the week leading up the the session we had discussed an area we wanted to target so i had spent a few hours on Google Earth trying to find areas that looked to not only have the depth but the cover for the better chub this is so valuable when searching and creating new swims as believe me from experience its no fun knocking a path to the river bank through thick vegetation to find a stretch of river a foot deep and no good for running a stick through.

I do not normally post my swim on the blog, i put in too much effort for others just to read the blog to find some easy and prepared fishing but i make an exception with this one as if people who are just reading my blog for a free ride to good fishing find this swim they will have done a fair amount of work. The swim had a nice gentle pace to it and setting up i was confident of drawing a few fish from one or two snags further down stream and on the far bank.

The set up was the same as the trip above apart from i swapped my 13ft korum rod for my 17ft Preston carbon active float rod, again for control.  What happened from their on in left me more frustrated that happy with the session and followers on Facebook may remember me posting up how frustrated this river was leaving me.

Basically we have been finding that we are getting bites solid for a good hour or so of the session and then its like a light switch comes on and that is it done the swim dies completely and you can not buy a bite.  sussing this and how to keep the bites coming is the key to unlocking this rivers full potential.  This session started with a bite a chuck, all chublets and all ravenous for the bait with fish coming one after the other.

Then after around a hour or so i went through with out a bite and then again and again.  It was over 2 hours of feeding the swim and trotting through, making slight changes to depth and bait,  before the float zoomed under over my hemp and i struck into what i thought was a snag until in one fast run the fish zoomed from under my feet into a far bank snag, so fast my drag had no chance of keeping up and i was left with no option but to apply side strain to stop it getting to the snag but it was futile as my hook length went, gutted but happy at the same time as it shown better fish where in the area.

It was a good hour or so later i connected with another fish that felt a bit better in the chub shown above but it was not in the league of the previous lost fish and by this point i was struggling with my concentration after going through the swim so many times without a bite.  I had a few trips to my uncle who was trotting some shallow water down to a deeper hole and he had put together a nice net of fish and had some better chub and had also been seen off by one or two better fish but the swim being so snag ridden he had it all one getting a decent chub out with big snags to his inside and far bank and also running down to a deep hole level with a sub merged tree.

my net

uncles net

We left feeling like we had found what we were looking for but needed to work a bit on our swim selection to give us a chance of drawing the fish and also getting them out, it also got us thinking about another trip on heavier gear just for the better fish.

Arriving home i began to unload the car and turning round i was met with the sight below of my little girl sat on my fishing basket.  I cant help but feel our first trip to the bank is nearly upon us as i think even now she would be able to hold a pole but i want to wait till she knows fully what she is doing so she experiences the full magic of seeing that float go under and a little billy perch being on the other end :-).

There have been at least tow more trips out this past week so look out for a midweek update.

till next time tight lines


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