Continuing the theme of fishing with mates I had a rare day afloat with Rich, it’s rare for us to be in the same boat at least. The weather was clear, cold and bloody horrible and we didn’t expect instant action but it wasn’t long before one of my floats was on the move, unfortunately the bait was dropped before I wound down. An hour later I was contemplating a change of scenery when another float started zipping along, this time it was a decent fish which stayed deep then just rolled into the net where it inevitably woke up and went mental.
Nothing else happened so we went for a long move and settled down, sheltered from the cold Northerly by a wall of reeds. It looked and felt right down here out of the wind but only produced one jack to my rods. At least this gave us a chance to discuss the critical state of the world, the Ashes look gone, poor selection and dodgy captaincy. We retraced our steps and stopped just short of where we’d begun and were both into Pike within minutes. I started with a double figure fish then seconds later Rich was into a jack. We’d just got settled again when we had a repeat with me losing a fish and Rich boating another jack, then yet another a few minutes later.
After a quiet half hour we moved for a final time and dropped down again a short way upstream. This resulted in two more quick takes, both to my rod, the second was another good fish, which came in the half light and was the biggest of the trip. Another lovely day with good fishing and great company, for once everything had gone pretty much to plan and we’d caught a few fish in what we’d considered poor conditions.
The next three days brought the dreaded white stuff falling out of the sky, three frosty nights and general panic around the country. The fourth day brought milder air and a nice south westerly wind, for once my luck was in and I had a chance to fish! I was on the water early and set up by torch light, three deadbaits were thoughtfully spread around then I sat back in the gloom to await the inevitable takes. Ninety minutes later the sun was up but it was still gloomy on all fronts, I remained fishless and was pondering a move. I’d had company from a Barn Owl which hung around long enough for a dodgy photo in the murk and there was a hovering Kestrel downstream. There had been Roach showing so I should have been sensible and made a short move, instead I gambled and when for a long row. An hour later I was rowing back again!
A few days earlier I’d been catching fish in crap conditions and now I was blanking when everything seemed right! I kept going, an hour here and an hour there but it wasn’t until noon that I finally found some fish. Scattering Roach gave the game away and in little over an hour I had six takes boating four jacks before the feeding stopped with the onset of annoying rain. A friendly Robin joined me at the boat, pecking at a discarded Herring and a female Hen Harrier briefly perched in a tree on the far bank but typically took flight before I could get the camera out. With a grim forecast and foreboding clouds I decided to get off the water early.
So we caught a load of fish when it should have been hard then I struggled when everything seemed right. What of these weather forecasts and theories? Well closer scrutiny shows the clues, the pressure rose yesterday then bombed again today and the moon phase wasn’t great either. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.