We nipped down for a short evening session yesterday. I started off on the float but the swim I had chosen was much slower than I expected due to the low conditions, and I couldn't get my bait through a dense cloud of minnows and bleak. When I did get a proper bite I was miles away and missed it. So I decided to lob a little boilie out and sit back for a better fish. I couldn't float fish anywhere else as Neil had grabbed my waders and had gone exploring.
I soon had a chub of about 4lbs, followed by a slightly smaller one. I wandered upstream to find The Boy and he was happy rolling a pellet around a narrow, fast pool. He'd also had chub and a 'follow' from a small barbel.
I mover down to 'Naked Dip', so named after yours truly recovered Tommo's snagged fish after stripping off one evening - Mrs Burr was quick with the camera and the resulting shots are ideal for the mantel piece........ if you want to keep the kids away from the fire.
I was using modeling clay for weight again, its so versatile and doesn't scare the fish on the cast. Touch legering (shock horror from Shrek Horak), and felt a slight pull. I hit the next one but missed. If a barbel gives a pull like that I will invariably connect so I reckoned it was chub and gave the next one some line to play with. On its third pull, it took a few inches of line, I struck and again missed. The crafty little buggers don't usually display this amount of caution so early in the season but it is often the way when the river is low for a long period, fish tend to wise up and 'learn' about rigs and baits when they have more time and clear water in which to study them.
I changed my position and cast upstream. Now the fish would feel less resistance when it picked the bait up and within minutes the line slackened, then pulled tight as the fish headed upstream - whack! Another four pounder.
I fiddled with my rig and attached the clay to a loop of line making it free running. I cast again and just as Neil returned to the car, I had a decent pull and a scrappy fish, smaller than the last, came to hand. I say 'hand', as I rarely net chub in swims where I am stood at the water's edge. They come sliding in and are either flicked off the hook or gently lifted and the hook removed. It saves a lot of faffing about and causes the minimal stress to the fish.
So that was that, four chub each and a pleasant little session. But if we get an inch or two of rain in the hills today, tomorrow may see a very different sort of result............ hopefully!