Back to the normal routine now and this weeks update is one i have been looking forward to writing for a while as it covers a little project i have been working with pondip on, look out for that in the introduction. The rest of the introduction covers a round up of how the fishing is going this year on the river so far and also a piece on how hard I'm finding it without my longer rod. The fishing is a session on the river where the fishing is really tough but the day is saved by a nice fish right on last knockings.
Lets get into the update....
Pondip Rig Card...
At the beginning of last month i began working with the team at Pondip to create some pieces for their Pondip boxes. The idea is to create a laminated card to go into each box with a carp tip on one side and a coarse one on the other. My task was the coarse fishing tip and i thoroughly enjoyed putting the Rig card together. The whole experience i found a challenge as it is a real step up from the blog in both the expectation in the quality of the writing and even more challenging for me an update in quality of the photos.
The writing i found quite easy if i am honest as i was well within my comfort zone talking about a rig for fishing the canal but i found it a real challenge with the pictures. The problem is with coarse fishing rigs is the fact the line and hooks is so thin that getting a quality picture is so hard. With the carp rigs you are dealing with thick line and big hooks that focus and show up nicely on any back ground whereas 1lb 7oz hook lengths are a different Kettle of fish all together. These lines placed on a black background show well but the picture looks awful!!
The blog is all done on my iPhone and i take all the pictures on the phone and then upload them to an on line photo storage site via an app before uploading them to the blog. This allows me to then use the IMG code for websites, any how i digress. The point being the images are ok for my blog and fit the purpose of use on here but for a company with a set image they are not, well good enough. I really enjoyed working with the team and putting this together, working out styles and images and working to meet their expectations was interesting and now we have done it i can use that to make other ones in the future that are there or there abouts first time.
I was so proud this month opening my pondip box to see my rig card inside and knowing everyone who got a box this month will have seen this card!, so proud.
Tough Start To The Season....
Our time on the river dee a few years ago was spent really discovering this fantastic river and along the way we learnt a great deal about where the fish shoal up during the seasons to a point we had quite a good portfolio of locations to choose from all through the year. The move to the river Dane and we set ourselves a goal of learning this fantastic waterway with the hope of extracting the best sport possible from its depths. Last season was our first full year on this river and although we did deviate form time to time to other rivers this river was always our main stay. We learnt a huge amount in that first summer to autumn but once the rains arrived progress slowed and we learnt that this river can not really handle a lot of water and still fish, not on the stick any way.
There is no doubting the river holds some mature chub, it has to given the amount of chublets, but we have time and time again found the same scenario, frantic bites for around a hour or so and then like a switch going off the bites are gone. Pike where the chief culprit but with no fish taken it is getting hard to believe that mr pike is solely to blame. Big fish is another option but surely with the amount of hours we have put in we would have connected with one of them by now? It is a puzzle that is proving hard to crack and i must admit is hitting the moral a little as we are not progressing with this river at all. We have hit a brick wall and having tried new methods and tactics are yet to suss and crack this tricky little water way.
Not ones to give in we will continue to adapt and dig out new swims to find the areas the better fish are, we will crack it. This is a glimpse at just how much hard work goes into our fishing to find the real jewels in a river. One day we will find that area and with big nets of chub the reward for all this hard work, before that though i feel a complete change of direction is needed and a complete change of scenery.
Size Really Is Everything....
Having snapped my 17ft float rod at the end of the last river season i have started this one fishing with my 13ft Korum Flaot Rod. The small waterway like the Dane it has proved a use able tool but i must say you don't half miss that extra length...oooo err vicar....joking aside though that extra 4 feet of rod brings so much more to the party that makes trotting so much easier.
First of all you have the fact that your rod reaches further across the river so in some swims the tip of your rod is almost behind the float all the time aiding that control of the float. You then have that extra length of rod in the air to keep so much more line off the surface of the river, stopping line from dragging on the inside flow and ruining presentation. The biggest problem though comes in striking, when that float is quite a way down the river your strike with a 17ft rod is so much more direct as you are in complete control of that float.
The part i have missed moat though about not having my longer rod is the fact it is halting our trips to the river Dee. The river dee is a monster of a river compared to the small dane and with depths of 14 ft in places you need that longer rod to even reach the bottom, unless you fish the slider. All in all i am praying for overtime to get this rod fixed and will not be making the same mistake again!.
On to the fishing...
Tough Session on the Bank...
The night before the session started like any other as the ritual of cooking hemp seed and making up rigs was enacted. Mid way through a rig i heard the tapping of rain on the window sill, we have a small hole in the gutter on the new house and the rain drips down onto the window sill so any rain is heard straight away. This tapping was followed by the window being illuminated by a flash of lightning followed by the long low rumble of thunder, we were in for an interesting session the next morning.
Waking up at 2am i was amazed not to hear the rain still coming down and even a hour later loading the car the sky was unusually clear, Accuweather, an weather app i use, was telling a far different story. Heavy rain and thunderstorms where predicted in the early morning with it clearing up afterwards so in went the brolly and the seat box, this was not a day to be stood in the river or not under cover.
The river looked in mint condition as we arrived, holding a tinge of colour with the margins just showing bottom it looked set for a good days sport. I set up in a peg where previous trips had revealed a big snag at my feet but a clear run down the middle and the far run that shallowed up as it reached the tail of the trot.
Expectations where high but settled in the first few trots down the float trundled through without even a knock, strange i thought as normally the fish are crawling up the line form the off on this river. I persevered with the line as with river fishing a shoal can arrive in the blink of an eye as your bait trundling along the river draws fish up to its source.
Eventually the fish arrived in the peg and predictably they where small silvers, almost on their arrival the sky went jet black and in the distance you could hear loud claps of thunder as a storm passed by. Luckily we seemed to be right on the edge of the weather front so barring a quick burst of heavy rain we escaped untouched.
The swim then was alive with these small fish but the bites where lightning fast as they battered the bait on the drop with the float on some occasions not even settling. I put in a few droppers of bait to ensure bait in the swim on the deck and this did seem to settle the swim down a little and bring in the odd small perch.
All of a sudden the bites completely died, all the knocks on the float and the bites on the drop went and it was like a light going out in the swim. Pike? or bigger fish who knows but neither showed when i did finally connect with another fish. A quick try down the indie line i had been feeding with maggot all session brought a few knocks followed by a better roach. Then the float slid away and i was into a different animal all together, at first i thought it was an eel as was its strength but the jagged pulse of a tail gave it away to be a perch even before its green flanks and spiky shark like dorsal broke the surface.
A big snag at my feet i knew i had to pile the pressure on the delicate 1lb 7oz hook length if i was to lure it away from its obvious snaggy home. Time and time again i put maximum side strain on the fish before eventually it broke the surface and flipped on its side, as it did so i took my chance and made sure its turn landed in the net.
On the bank it seems lay the apex predator of these waters and at 1lb 12oz a fish that turned the session round.
The session after this fish plodded away without much to shout about and the final net showed what a poor day it would have been without the perch
Till next time i wish you all