Saturday, 19 March 2011

The End of The Season...... Sigh....

Well folks, there she goes.  The river season came to an end on Monday.... the weather was mild, and most rivers were in perfect condition.  Due to my lovely wife being very ill, I left the river to meander it's way peacefully through the countryside. 

The penultimate day was a different matter, the running water was whispering to me, and who am I to ignore the call of Mother Nature, she is a force much bigger than me, and I hate arguing with women.  The last thing I want is Mother Nature holding a grudge.  I kissed my wife, and headed to the banks of the Cherwell for a 3 hour later afternoon/evening session.  It was beautiful.  Huge flocks or redwings were dilly dallying on their imminent departure to Scandinavia?  They filled the trees in the field behind me.  Robins, finches and tits filled the bushes, chirping and darting from branch to branch, a bee bumbled it's way around my fishing bag.  Spring had arrived!  The temperature was 12 degrees, it felt balmy.

As I opened my rod carrier, I realised in my haste, I'd forgotten my quiver tip section.  This was annoying, but just being on the river righted this in no time.  I now intended to touch ledger for chub, but with my only reel being loaded with Drennan's 6lb Feeder Braid, it wasn't going to be easy.  This fishing is close quarters stuff, and the braid simply isn't the right tool.  I missed bite after bite, assuming the chub could feel the the bangs back up the braid.  Though I knew I would catch eventually.  I was using a paternostered ledger set up.  A small cage feeder, a Grippa Stop, and a size 6 Kamasan Specimen Hook, three items of terminal tackle.  If they got snagged up, it took two minutes to set up again.  Ideal for snaggy little rivers.  As the sun slowly dropped behind the naked trees, shafts of golden light bounced off the river bank and the huge dead tree that I'd chosen to fish downstream from was lit up beautifully, shadows and highlights along it's old horizontal trunk detailed every notch and crack. 

I felt a tap back up my line, and another, there was a pull, and I struck.  A chub had sucked in a huge chunk of crust, that had been balanced with a big chunk of blue cheese and dumpling paste.  Close quarter battles on braided line is hair raising stuff.  The line has no stretch whatsoever, therefore when a fish takes up even the tiniest amount of slack with a flick of it's big head, the braid can snap.  This fish took it fairly easy on me, and in no time was in my net.  A lovely way to end the season.  A pristine Cherwell chub of over 4lb.

There is still time for me to catch my monster perch on a stillwater, and that's the next plan of attack!