Monday, 28 November 2011

Severn Blues Blown Away on the Dee

 Last weekend we all endured at very disheartening day on the River Severn, the river was in perfect nick and the swim a trotting dream and just screamed fish. The big chub aside we caught around 7 small dace and gudgeon between us which in my eyes says that something was not right at all with the River.  This week the inquest began into the reasons behind this and amongst the numerous reports of the river fishing really bad at the moment was a reoccurring comment about otters being active in that area of the Severn system and how much they have devastated the small fish population and in some cases wiped out fish stocks on once prolific stretches, no wonder the big fish only came onto the feed under the cover of darkness.

There have been numerous reports of otters on the river Dee system and I myself have witnessed what looked like an otter on one of the River Dee’s tributaries a year or so ago and at the time I was honoured to have seen such a beautiful animal but with the amount of pressure our fish are already under on the Dee from cormorants, mink and illegal netting of fish, could these already pressured fish take yet another predator in the food chain? Only time will tell. A recent survey that was done found that otters now populate every county in the country so it would seem this animal are here to stay if us anglers like it or not but I will reserve my judgement till I experience there level of predation and effects on a fish population for myself.

  I have recently moved desks in work and have been fortunate enough to now have a window seat, good for me to wish my days away till my next fishing trip but bad for my work output levels!!.  Last week I watched as clear blue skies and ice cold mornings passed us by, wishing only to be on the banks wetting a line on such a perfect morning but alas it was not meant to be and I would have to wait till the weekend for my turn to be on the bank.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all came and went and the view out of my window hadn’t changed at all, still perfect and calm and I couldn’t wait for Saturday morning to come, all that was left was Friday to get through and I would be there re-enacting the fishing I had done all week in my head as I day dreamed out of the window.

  Friday morning came with a bang as I walked out of the front door to be met with a howling ice cold wind and heavy rain.  The rain and cold presented no problem to myself as you can always layer yourself up against the cold and it was going to take rain of biblical proportions to flood the river to a point where it was not fishable in one day but it was the wind that I knew would present the biggest problem as the next day we were due to go the River Dee trotting, my heart sank a bit as the weatherman confirmed my biggest fears as on the radio he uttered the words “windy today but gale force winds of up to 50mph are due to sweep the north west all weekend” Disaster for our fishing trip to the Dee but being far from a fair weather fishermen we wasn’t going to let it stop us trying to winkle out a few fish!!!

  Friday night and the air in my house was heavy with the pungent smell of hemp seed cooking on the stove and how weird that although I have only started to prepare my own hemp for a few months it has become a smell that already conjures up an excitement inside that you know tomorrow you are going fishing, with me its almost as if it kicks me into a fishing mindset and no matter how tired I am from my week in work I find the energy from somewhere to get those little jobs like re spooling my reel and making some hook lengths that save me so much time the next day on the bank done.

  One good thing with winter fishing is it doesn’t get light till gone 7am now so you can actually get a decent nights sleep before having to get up to go fishing as in summer a lot of the time it seems to be pointless actually going to bed as our fishing meet up time in summer is usually 3am so most times I just stay awake but now those extra few hours in bed really are not only welcome but essential to making sure you are keeping you concentration levels high during the whole day o the bank.

  Saturday morning and my slumber was interrupted by the dull monotonous thudding sound of my alarm clock going off, a quick rise of my head revealed to time to be a insane 4am, my toes retracting back under the warmth of the blanket told me the over night temperature had dropped considerably, had this been a work day it would have been a struggle to be enthusiastic about getting out of bed but today was far from a work day, today was Saturday morning and isn’t it amazing how easy it is to get out of bed on a weekend or maybe I need a new job lol.

  The hard work had all been done last night with regards bait and rig preparation and all I had left to do with regards preparation was to make the essential flask of coffee and make sure I had enough layers on to keep out the icy cold wind that was now howling through the ally way at the back of my house almost like it was telling me not to be so stupid and get back to bed, my dad of course has no intentions of making such a silly decision as to go fishing on such an appalling day and shook his head as I loaded up the car and set off on my way to my uncles who was also joining me for a day on the bank, who ever said anglers are mad was well and truly having their point proven by us two today, if only they knew what they where missing eh.

  Arriving at my uncles we discussed where we should head and we settled on the idea of fishing a large ox-bow in the river Dee hoping that at least one of the stretches would be sheltered from the wind and if not there was a multitude of stretches we could fall back on if this wasn’t the case and after chewing the fat on all things fishing we set off into the night.  We arrived at our destination and decided to walk the stretch first before we unloaded the car and what a wise decision this was as although where the car was parked was really calm the second field where we was due to fish was taking a real battering from the wind blowing off the welsh mountains and after checking all the swims we decided to take the short drive to Farndon to see if the cliffs there where offering any shelter to the wind but we knew no matter where we fished today we where in for a tough day on the float.

 Arriving at Farndon at 7.30am to an empty car park on a weekend in the middle of November is practically unheard of and I was totally shocked as I turned into the carp park, maybe the weather had seen a few of them off but still dint expect an empty car park.  The stretch here was a hundred times calmer than our previous destination when we arrived and we wasted no time in choosing our swims and getting set up as it was already light when we had arrived.  As we were setting up the wind began to build a bit and I began to question my decision to fish such an open swim but I knew from experience if the fish where here I wouldn’t have to trot far down to get them.


  The clock within the church across the river in Holt chimed to signal it was 8oclock just as I was making my first cast and for the first hour of the day it wasn’t too bad the float was going down nicely but already we were getting the odd big gust of wind that would see you turning round to make sure everything was still where you left it and not floating in the river.  The best fish early on was this nice roach shown below.

   The morning was a real blustery affair and one of the toughest on the Dee so far with really prolonged spells of strong wind blowing upstream so much so at some points my rod tip was bent round and facing upstream while my float trotted down steam which made striking very difficult.  The other major problem I faced was getting my bait out and accurate bait placement could only be achieved in the gaps in the wind.  Below is a picture and a video of the swim I fished if you look closely through the arches on the bridge you can see how bad the weather was below the bridge.


  The morning continued to be on and off with bite coming and going and the fish never really got going on the bait heads.  My uncle was fishing the peg above me and around noon the scheduled high spring tide hit and the water began to rise and rise and rise so much so my uncle had to move up the steps, on the picture below you can see the extent of the rise in level as the water was well below the bottom peg when the session started and on this picture it was fully submerged.

  From a fishing point of view the rise really changed the session as it got the roach really feeding and for the whole of the afternoon we bagged up on dace and roach and as the match finished on the other bank at 3pm we continued to fish on through and the last hour and a quarter saw some really top quality roach move into the swim, the best of the bunch is shown below.

  At the end of the session and in the early evening sunlight we got together to compare bags of fish, my uncle had done a lot better than he had anticipated as the rising water took all of the movement out of the peg and made it hard work, whereas the extra water in my peg really got the trot going and the roach on the feed and I ended with a total bag on 12lb 2oz a cracking result on the bank and I can only imagine what weight it would have been had I been able to present a bait well all day.

Uncles net:

My net of fish:

Video of my bag:

  Special thanks again go to my uncle as without his help this year I would not have got anywhere near two pound of fish from the dee never mind 12lb of roach and would just like to say a public thank you to him.  I am on strike this week on Wednesday so there may be a midweek session but that depends on if anything comes up but next weekend we are looking to get on the stretch we had earmarked for this weekends trip.

till next week

tight lines


Monday, 21 November 2011

Monster chub sends uncle into ‘Severn’th Heaven……

  This week the blog’s email address went into overdrive with numerous readers contacting me with regards all things to do with fishing and I would just like to take the opportunity to again thank all these people for taking the time and effort to email me, it really is great to hear from readers of the blog on their thoughts of the blog and any questions they have on the fishing I do.  These nice emails about the blog and helping people with their questions are something I really enjoy and look forward too come a Sunday afternoon and thank you all again and as I said on all my emails let me know how you are getting on its always great to hear about other peoples fishing adventures!!

“The River Severn a Whole new adventure!!”

  For some weeks now there has been a air of certainty about our fishing the River Dee has been very nice too us for the past months while I have been nurtured and schooled in the art of trotting by my uncle, when I got my technique and presentation right she would gladly reward me with one of her prizes to show me I was doing it right and when I wasn’t there was no compromising all culminating in the feeling that we knew barring the river having a really off day we would catch a few fish.

   After our last adventure on the River Dee last week we decided on the way home that no matter what we where going to try a new river for our next outing.  The first river we mentioned was the River Wyre at Church town on the Warrington angler’s card, a place I had fished a year of so back and had a really mixed bag or chub, dace and trout on but had never been back due to the distance it is away from my home.  The rest of the week up until Thursday afternoon was taken up rigorously scouring the internet for any scraps of information on how the river was fishing and what species it could contain and we where all set ready for a trip there on the Saturday.

A chance meeting between my uncle and an old friend talking about old times changed all that and our venue was changed to the River Severn, a quick check on Google revealed the river to be around 45 minutes drive away but with the majority of it being motorway and dual carriageways it was a simple route down to the banks of the river.  A day and a half is never an ideal timescale to put together some information on a new stretch of river and even if it had been a new section on the river Dee I wouldn’t have felt comfortable never mind a completely new river all together but with weeks of delightful fishing behind us we had nothing to loose and after a final get together on Friday night all the gear was ready and the bait prepared and like children on Christmas eve we both wished the night away.

  There would be no need for alarm clock on this most energetic of mornings long before we were due to meet up I was up ready waiting for the clock to signal it was time to set off, last minute checks on gear was made as leaving something behind was not an option on such a long trip and I passed the time by checking out some of Stewart Bloor’s journal entries of his time on the Severn and this only fuelled my excitement of the unknown which lay ahead.

  Eventually the time came and with a fully laden car we set off on our new river adventure with not a clue what lay ahead of us or what type of river we would find at the other end, would the banks be bad?? Had we picked a stretch devoid of fish?? where what occupied the conversation for the first part of the journey as we passed by our home river the Dee but apprehension soon turned into optimism as thoughts of bags of dace and monster chub where voiced as the hype train reached a crescendo.

  The drive was although quite long a nice easy drive and before we knew it we arrived at our destination and we quietly unpacked the gear from the car and made our way over the usual obstacle course that is present on most stretches of river we fish, barbed fences, gates and styles all present challenges to the modern river angler when trying to get to the river banks and after a short but eventful walk we got our first glance of the mighty River Severn.

  The light was dim but from what we could see the river looked like a dream to trot with an even flow all the way across even under you feet and it was running at a steady pace.  We decided to walk the whole of the stretch before setting up in the first place we saw and to anyone thinking of fishing the Severn the banks are not for the faint hearted, very steep and muddy once you are at water level but once you are at water level I found the ground to be more than manageable and easily found a comfortable swim but be warned the river is as deep in the edge as it is all the way out a place you certainly don’t want to fall in.  We settled on the swims towards the lower end of the beat and hastily set our gear up and I admit to being a little over excited and I think it took me longer than ever to set up!!

    As the day broke and the first rays of light began to creep through the gaps in the trees the true beauty of this river became apparent, she looked in top nick and without a breath of wind how could be not catch.  In went a few handfuls of the magic mix and it was time for my first trot down the swim.  The float traced a arrow like path down the river and at a glorious steady pace and right where my hemp was the float went under a quick strike was met with thin air and after another trot down it became clear you couldn’t fish over depth as with only an inch on bottom the float would get pulled under, a quick change of depth and it was back down and this time the float went through un touched and for the first two hours I was set in my trotting rhythm of feeding, running through in front of the feed and reeling back in as time after time the float just went down untouched.  Numerous changes where made to depth, shot pattern and bait but with the same result and by 11.30 I was to tell the truth stumped!!


  A quick look down stream showed my uncle to be in the same predicament and a visit to his peg was well over due, scaling the bank showed why the barbed wire had been necessary as the field was now populated with a small herd of beef cattle that as soon as they spotted made fast tracks in my direction and by the time I had got back to my peg they were now looming large on the top of the bank. 

My dad as many will know isn’t the best lover of these animals and began to try and move them on long the bank armed with his stern voice and landing net pole the standoff began!!.My dad as much as he wanted to move them was having no joy and as he approached they just held their ground so much so they got their own pet names from my dad, the leader of the herd, “sirloin” was as stubborn as they came while his side kick “oxtail” was on his shoulder backing him up, of course my dad used these names when addressing them, politeness is everything.  

Something needed to change and that’s where my no nonsense approach came in and a quick wave of the arms and walking towards them saw them moving on along the bank and to be honest apart from one other occasion they left us alone.  As normal with my visits to the river of late a pair of swans again managed to seek me out and the following pictures of these swans shows how high the banks on this stretch are.

  The day didn’t get any better from my point of view, my dad had a few bits on the feeder and my uncle had a few small dace trotting but it really was a labour of love and the hardest days fishing I have had on the river.  As the day wore on it became apart that something was really wrong on this stretch it just seemed devoid of fish, that was till a shout from down the bank from my uncle stating he had just been snapped from what felt a big fish. 

  The next hour passed by and the weather really clouded over and almost an hour on the dot another shout came from my uncle and this time the fish was on, I rushed along the bank with my landing net and camera and could clearly see whatever he was connected to was really big with his trotting rod bent double, the fish kept deep and just wouldn’t come off the bottom and with one quick dart went from the middle to the inside edge and straight into the bankside vegetation and came off, whatever loomed here was big!!.


  My uncle set up again and I returned to my fruitless swim and just on the verge of packing up my uncle again hit another fish that like before kept deep and was not budging at all.  My uncle, fishing with a 1lb 7oz hook length and a size 20 hook really was odds on to loose another fish but being the good angler he is played the fish really well and every move the fish made he countered with just enough pressure to convince it otherwise and the battle was well passed the five minute mark when he finally managed to bet the fish up towards the surface where a flash of white lips gave the fish’s identity away and with that turned hard for the bottom. Knowing what was on the other end now eased a bit of the pressure and my uncle began to apply a bit more pressure and the fish came up to the top and I took my opportunity and scooped it up first time.

  The fish was by far the biggest chub I had ever seen on the bank, it was as thick as a breeze block and as fat as they come a monster of a fish in my eyes and a definite PB for my uncle who’s previous best was a baby compared to this at 3lb 5oz.  The following pictures of my uncle holding it don’t do it justice but I think the pictures in the net show its true size.

  We left for home not long after this capture due to it being such a long drive home but both earmarked the stretch for future investigation later on in the year and although I had a poor day myself I was really made up for my uncle who to top it all off celebrated his birthday on Saturday and what a birthday present he got!!

  Next week will see us back on the River Dee as I’m in desperate need to see that float sinking again, let’s just hope she is playing ball and I don’t go home with another Blankety Blank cheque

 till next week

tight lines 


Monday, 14 November 2011

Full Nets and Wet Welly Regrets.......

Normal service is resumed this week with a Monday night update, the camera I have been using of late packed up last week and I managed to get pictures off by removing memory card and placing that in the memory slot on computer.  The downside is that I now have to revert back to using my Iphone4 which is ok but does mean a reduction in picture quality and a bit more trouble for me with regards getting the pictures ready for publishing as with the Iphone the pictures have a tendency to publish upside down, back to front and any other combination that I don’t want it to be lol.

  It was with great pleasure this week whilst fishing a rather remote location on the River Dee that both I and my uncle received a visit from the Welsh Environment Agency to check our water authority licences.  I am always glad to see these guys being so proactive on the bank and this is the second time this year I have been checked on the Dee system.  What was also great to see was the fact the man who checked our licences also stuck round and took great interest in what we had to say regarding fish populations with salmon sightings being low and dace and pike being high and more importantly he made a note of the poaching problems I had seen evidence of on a recent visit to a local tributary of the River Dee, all in all a great boost for my confidence in the environment agency.

  The last few weeks I have been looking at getting out on a new River and a few times I have mentioned on my updates that a new river will feature in the next weeks article but from when that article is published at the beginning of the week something has come along by the following weekend to change our minds and after a few weeks fishing the River Dee at Farndon me and my uncle this week decided if we couldn’t fish a different River then a new stretch of the Dee was as good as and with that in mind we headed off to a quiet sweeping bend on the river big enough for us both to have a decent trot at either ends of the same sand bank.  We could tell from our midweek scouting on Google earth that the bend was deep close in due to how dark the water was on the images and although not ideal for trotting what wonders it held we just had to try to unlock.

  As normal with our trips to the River it was a strict 5am meet at my uncles house for a early morning cuppa and a chin wag about all things fishing before hitting the empty early morning roads, two explorers off discovering new lands which could be really bad but on the other hand could be a another jewel in the majestic Dee’s crown.  This season has always been on of discovery for our fishing and even now we have a far more detailed picture of the rivers whole system and over time we will learn at what times of year and conditions these places fish best. 

 The best advice I can give someone fishing the river, from what I have learned this year is not to fall into the trap of thinking all fish live at Farndon, yes in winter there are a lot of fish shoaled up there but from my experience this year the whole river system is full of fish all the way down its length.  That’s not to say you wont find me on the banks at Farndon though for example I was there this Sunday but I fish it more for convenience and ease of location than anything else as in you can park your car right next to your peg.

We arrived on the new stretch and was met with clear skies and the haunting sight of a family of swans cutting their way through the deep fog smothering the river which was made even more atmospheric by the fact the whole scenario was being illuminated by a full moon, fishing does at one time or another provoke the full range of emotions from within.

  The bright moon made our big torches redundant as we set up our gear basked in its twilight, bait waiter, keep net, landing net and rods all ready for first light and all that remained was a quick brew and it was off to our stations.  My uncle decided to fish from shore on his basket while I was a bit more adventurous and decided to stand in the river, a decision that almost instantly earned me a ‘welly’ full of cold water!! Not a good start but hey that’s fishing.

  My trot was at the start of the bend and from the off I was having trouble with the float dragging under as the hook dragged on the sandy camber of the corner and for what seemed like an age I fed and fed the swim with only leaves to show for my efforts, a change needed to be made and a change of swims seriously crossed my mind.  I made a few changes to trotting line and bait placement and almost as if someone had turned the light on I started getting fish, small dace and roach to begin with but then I hit something a lot bigger that was solid on the strike.  I felt the fish on the end of the line for a good 30 seconds and then the anglers nightmare, a hook pull!! Chub and barbel crossed my mind but in hindsight I think the true culprit of this bite showed itself later on in the session.

  My uncle was having better luck trotting the straight after the bend and was getting dace and roach from the off, from little eyes to palmed sized fish when he, like me, hit a better fish again we both thought chub as it was solid on the take but what came to the net shocked us all, a pristine big perch with not a mark on it like a penny fresh from the mint. To explain why this surprised us you have to look at the locations we where fishing, medium to fast paced water coming off a bend in mid river is where the fish was hooked a far cry from the snaggy backwater slow paced eddies where you would normally expect to find these greedy aggressive fish .

  The day continued to plod along with better fish coming every now and again in the form of grayling which I suspect was the better fish I lost before and it wasn’t till later in the day I hooked a real donkey of a fish that fought dirty for the whole fight, staying deep then shooting to the surface with a aerial display of jumps to rival the high jumpers that will grace the London games next year, eventually I got the fish under control which is never easy on such light gear and a out of season trout lay on the bank ready to have its picture taken.

  It wasn’t long after this fish we had our visit from the Environment Agency Bailiff who like I said we had a good chat with about all things concerning the River Dee and while he was there in the space of a twenty minute conversation we noticed the River starting to rise and when I got back to my peg water that had come half way up my keep net now submerged it, it was time for another welly full of water as I moved my bait water and net further up the bank.  When the river begins to rise like this the fish go mad as they thing the river is about to flood and expect a rush of food coming down and they really come onto the feed and today was no different and for the last hour or so we both bagged up on dace and grayling.

Uncles net

My net

  On the way back to the car we spotted yet another likely looking swim with tree lined banks and a steady flow just off the rod tip, a trotting dream and if next weeks planned new river fails to materialise this is a sure fire bet as to where we will be.

Sunday 13th November

  Sunday saw me going solo on the Dee with both my Dad and uncle busy I was again left to put into practice all the lessons learnt over the last few months.  If you follow me on twitter you will have seen me “tweeting” from the bank whilst I waited for first light and for anyone that doesn’t follow me it’s a great way too keep up with the blog and I always aim to post some pictures on there pre the blog going live and I also post my thoughts throughout the week on all things fishing related.

  Angling brings people together and Sunday was a prime example of this, whilst unloading my gear the guy on the peg next to me came along and started talking to me about how the stretch was fishing, before we knew it we were onto other stretches of river and other angling cards and from no where the angler from upstream came along and joined the conversation who turned out to be a member of a forum I post on and also a reader of my blog and before we knew it there was four of us all stood in the car park chatting away about all branches of our sport, sharing experiences, giving tips and help on what rigs they find best and you know what it was great to see, four anglers who had never met before all happily chatting away as if they had know each other for years, the conversation so good it was well passed setting up time before we all dispersed and I am still yet to meet an unhelpful anger on the banks on the river bank.

  You could be confused for thinking the blog has turned into a swan watch blog but honestly these guys find me wherever I go and Sunday was no different as these birds went from angler to angler in a circuit, my mistake was feeding them a hand full of corn and hemp I had in my box, big mistake never feed them as you cant get rid of them after that they hounded me all afternoon for that little mistake.  On the wildlife front I was visited again by the local Robin but I still cant get a picture just a load of pictures of trees when I look at them, but don’t fear one day I will get the winter picture I am after.

  The fishing was red hot from the off with fat dace and roach coming every cast to my castors and to say they where having it was an understatement with the float being buried on every trot down the swim which after a while caught the attention of the guy pike fishing to my left who commented on how many I had caught.  The a angler on the far bank who was long trotting was also getting a fair few fish as was the angler trotting the peg below me and all seemed well till the wind got up a bit a really hampered me seeing the bites.  The gaps in the wind meant almost guaranteed actions as the float slid away time after time and I fully enjoyed catching some really nice fish right under my feet. 

  It was during this hot spell of action the float buried and was met with a fish that kept deep and felt a lot better and was definitely a netting job, once on the bank the true size of this dace took me back, it was a colossal size for a dace and easily the biggest dace I have caught, its belly was one that resembled one of these big carp you see caught and although I don’t think it’s a record beater it was a really big dace.

 The fishing continued after this specimen till the atmosphere on the peg changed, the fish in my net seemed on edge jumping up the mesh and boiling on the top, obviously the constant splashing had attracted the attention of something sinister from the depths and in my heart I knew a pike was about.  The bites that where so predictable and solid before became sporadic and fast as if the fish where not holding but shooting in and out of the swim and I knew all was not well beneath the shimmering surface.

  My thoughts on the matter where confirmed as the float buried right over my hemp and my light 17ft trotting rod arched over solid, at first I though it was a snag till the line began to move upstream and I knew what ever I had hooked was big and heavy.  After around five minutes of playing the fish I tried to get it to the top and it surprisingly came up quite easily and the full extent of what had been in my swim became apparent as what I can only describe a as crocodile came up and then flipped and shot back down and it was with this that it mush have bit through the line as my float shot back at me.

  After this pike the swim died completely and barring the odd fish it was hard work and it took me well over an hour and a half to get the fish back feeding confidently again and for the rest of the session I continued to catch fish with great regularity till I called it a day at 2pm, happy with my efforts. A quick apology for the quality of the pictures but as anyone who has ever tried to take a picture of a net of fish will tell you it’s not the easiest thing to do.

Till next week tight lines


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

short update on last weekends fishing...

  A late update to the blog this week due to technical problems with getting this weeks images off my digital camera but finally today I have managed to sort the problem out and get the images downloaded onto the computer.

  This weeks update will be a lot shorter than normal due to the fact I am writing it on a school night and I really don't have the time tonight to devote three hours to writing the blog in my my usual detail.  One last thing before I get into this blog is that I'm thinking of changing the day I update my blog to a Friday night, by doing this I allow myself time during the week to put the blog together rather than having to put it all together on a Sunday or Monday night, its a decision I will have to think about.

  This week while on the bank I decided that 24 followers on Twitter is enough to start updating from the bank of a weekend and this weekend I posted a few pictures from the river bank so if your on twitter you can follow me by adding @satonmyperch and let me know how all you are getting on with your angling exploits.

on to this weeks update and as I said due to time will only be a small update.

  Saturday morning found us again on the River Dee in search of the dace shoals and arriving at the bank to find only one peg taken we had a choice of the swims that where left and I settled on a short trot down to a submerged tree.

  The river was flat calm with not a breath of wind at all to hinder my presentation and 
I was able to fish really sensitively with the float dotted right down till it only pimpled the surface.  The water was gin clear close in and whilst setting up I started a small jack pike in the edge that bolted along the near side cover towards the sunken tree, a little prayer to the fish gods for it not to hang round and ruin the fishing was said and I was all set for the day ahead.

I had planned to input a few pictures that I had taken throughout the day here of the local wildlife but when we recovered to images from the camera these where no longer on there although others I took after are all fine.  One such picture I did take was of a house that is situated on the stretch I was fishing which looked like it had seen better days but what a lovely location for your house to be, fishing on your doorstep!! although I am pretty sure the reason its derelict is down the fact that during the yearly winter floods this house gets flooded.

  The fishing was a bit hit and miss with bites coming thick and fast for the first hour only for it to die completely and then come back good again a hour or so later, was this down to a pike or where fish all in the upper layers due to the mild weather.  The bag of fish was made up mainly of roach with the odd better dace which really surprised me due to the speed of the flow as roach usually reside in the slacker water.

The final net of fish was by no means a bad days work and although small compared to recent nets it still was a great achievement for me as I was again trotting alone and had nobody to give me and hints and tips as the where I may have been going wrong.

the final bag of fish:

 Sunday saw me and my uncle back on the River dee but this time I was after a late season barbel and my uncle was trotting the swim further down from me.  The car loaded and we where ready for the off.

  I had pinned all my hopes on halibut pellets but as we made our way down the motorway the warning light came on the car dashboard to let me know the weather outside was between 0 and 3 degrees, this was not good for my chances of a barbel as halibut pellets are a bait that ideally you want to be fishing in temperatures around 10 degrees, still l had made my choice and there was no turning back now.

  We arrive on the bank and was met with a deep heavy fog all around us and the ground was white with the first frost of the year.  The swim I set up in was ice cold but I knew I would be treated to a glorious sunrise and an atmospheric morning on the dee. A few picture I took are below:

  The day for me was not good at all with no bites at all coming on the barbel rod but I did take my left over casters and small bomb rod and managed to catch a few big dace that call this place home and have grown fat on the small pellets that are fed here by anglers for the barbel and chub.

  My uncle on the peg below me was having a good day on the float and at one point I brought the rods in to go to his peg to have a brew only to spend the next hour watching the master at work and it was a joy to watch how he swapped and changed methods to keep the fish coming all day long ending the day with a lovely mixed net weighing in at 11lb 7oz.

  That is it for this weeks blog but before I finish I thought I would add one non angling related picture to this weeks blog,  I regularly travel passed the river Mersey on my way to work of a morning and on Monday morning I captured these two pictures of the first deep fog on the the river a sure fire sign winter and cold weather is on the way till next week tight lines!!