We are right in the festive period so there will be some of that in the introduction as well as a look at the unseasonal weather of late and we then move into the fishing in the update that saw us grab a small window of opportunity to get on the river and run a stick through. A day when it would have been easier to go piking under a brolly but the river was worth a punt.
On with the update
A Very Merry Christmas To You All..
Well another year is nearly coming to a close and as we move into the festive period we begin to look back over our angling year and for me personally its been a year that has passed by in a blur. My pike fishing has come on leaps and bounds there is no doubt about that and i also enjoyed getting back to my roots on the canal during the closed season. Winter is a time i look forward to on the river and lets face it this year has been a none event so far. Confidence i feel plays a huge part in angling and i think the biggest development in my all round fishing this year has been a huge increase in my confidence on the bank. Whether pike fishing or running a stick float through a river i hit the bank confident in myself and my tactics and also in the decisions that i make, this can be huge especially with the pike fishing.
Away from fishing and looking at Christmas i have to say its been a while since i have been so excited about Christmas. My daughter who is 3 years old now is brimming with excitement at the thought of Santa coming down the chimney with her presents and the little guy is just starting to walk and play with toys so i have got a little feeling we could be in for a very special family Christmas.
Well that is a little look back over my thoughts on the year and Christmas time and i would like to first of all thank everyone who enjoys reading this blog and follows my angling exploits and secondly i would like to wish you all a Very Merry and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year and tight lines if you are brave enough to sneak out to the bank over the festive period.
Winter? What Winter?
So sat on the bank on Sunday waiting for the pike float to cock and slide away i sat back and took in the nature all around me. This is something i do tend to miss whilst stick float fishing and your attention is so fixated on getting that presentation right you can miss a lot of the nature around you. Sunday i was relaxed waiting for Mr pike and i noticed the green buds on the tips of the trees and then my eyes noticed a patch of flowers on the foot path. The more i looked around the more i saw signs of change, green of daffodils breaking up through the soil and ducks all beginning to pair off, it was like spring had arrived.
A barmy 16oc and it felt wrong to be pike fishing, i am sure had i gone on the canal fishing on the pole i would have had a good chance of hitting a tench. When the pike runs came it was hard to know how long to give them if I'm honest so early striking was the order of the day and thankfully all managed to stay on although i have to admit i did net them at the earliest opportunity. It did leave me thinking if we will get a proper winter this year of will we just plod along till march and the official start of spring, surely we will get a cold snap of some kind. If we do it could see snow and then the rivers would be in serious trouble it might be we don't get on the Dee again this season.
A Small Window Of Opportunity.....
Having fished nearly a good deal of rivers over the north west you get to learn the levels at which they are fish able and in some cases what the clarity will be like depending on how long they have been dropping for. This only comes with time on the bank fishing all conditions and recording the levels on that day. Sat in my uncles on Friday night most of the rivers where a mess, some not even in their banks and the ones that where dropping where still at the upper limit of what we considered fish able.
One river had been dropping for two days and sat in my uncles the sky was clear and no rain was forecast over night. We knew this would mean come morning the river would be clear and at a speed that we where able to trot a float through. We also had a look on the weather app and saw rain was due to hit at 7am so we would be fishing in the rain and the river being like it is this rain would eventually see the river rise on us with a high possibility of it flooding and becoming unfishable in front of our eyes. How long we would get out of it was any ones guess but we both agreed it was worth it even if we only got a chub each.
Waking up the next morning at 6am the sky was clear and it was not until I hit my uncles and we loaded his gear up we felt the first drips of rain. Already the countdown had begun and we where against the clock. Arriving on the beat we raced to set up in the rain and get a bait in the water. I fed the swim heavily with good hand fulls of maggots and hemp to try and get as many fish in the swim as possible. First trot down and the float buried, striking i felt the fish and instantly it was off. Gutted a hook pull was the last thing i needed today. Fortunately the fish had got straight onto the fact the river was rising and a few trots late the 6 number 4 stick zipped under and striking my korum 13ft rod arched round. A chub for certain and boy did it feel good! Solid as a rock and what a fight.
The chub in the keep net as to not spook the shoal i dared to try again. A dace that evaded the camera and went back in followed as did two ever greedy trout, never good for your swim as they flap and jump about in my opinion. It took a good 40 minutes till i hooked into my next chub and again i thank my blessings. The river was certainly gaining pace at this point and the swim was quickly becoming unfishable as the river zipped round the corner.
I gave it another 30 minutes but then decided enough was enough and walked down to see how my uncle was getting on. He had caught three nice chub and was also now struggling to fish his swim with the extra pace. We decided on a change of swim that we felt could take the extra water for longer, it was also conveniently on the way back to the car. Time was certainly of essence now and but with the rods still set up i knew i had at least enough time get a bite.
Three hook pulls on the bounce it was quickly becoming a disaster. This is when the rising river came to my aid as i knew the fish would have sensed this and as such would be heavily on the feed and not spook away for long. Sure enough a steady flow of maggots and hemp got the fish back and over the next 40 minutes i picked up 3 chub.
After netting the last fish the first signs of trouble began to show. A few bits of grass in the flow at first and then some driftwood. When a big log came down and i noticed my basket that was on dry land at the start of the fishing now had its footplate fully submerged i knew the game was up. In total i think we got 3-4 hours fishing in before wet through to the bone we beat a retreat. A few chub on the bank we left happy anglers and shows if you put the time in and learn your rivers you can find windows of opportunity to winkle a fish out.
Till next time i wish you all