I put the food blender thingy into the bag of bread and hey presto, liquidised crumb, the winter groundbait par excellence. I'd kept back a few slices for the hook and grabbed some cheese paste from the freezer - time to fish.
My choice of swim was governed by how far I had to walk but I was happy that I stood a good chance of a chub or two. I dropped a handful of bread and a few balls of paste into three likely swims then settled into a crease swim between a couple of overhanging willows. Out went a feeder full of crumb and a lump of flake on the hook, I sat back and began to relax wondering how long before my association with my newly acquired New Superb rod and Hodder reel would become fruitful. It didn't take long.
Just ten minutes after casting the rod pulled down toward the river, I lifted into a spirited fish and purred to myself as the rod absorbed the lunges with plenty of power to spare. In the net it was obviously a good chub so I decided, unusually for me, to weigh it. I was glad I did, it went 5lb 4oz, a fitting first customer for my gear.
I put a bit more bait in then fished the other swims I'd prepped for nil result. Despite the lack of action, whilst sat down the bank and out of the wind, the low winter sun was warm and I felt very comfortable. Alas I did not stay long, the first swim was calling me back and I sat myself down for the last of the daylight. Immediately the increasing northerly wind felt colder and as the sun dropped behind the trees on the hill opposite so the temperature plummeted. I sat huddled in my thick coat with hands in my pocket, I was tempted to have Harvey on my lap for his warmth but he's a restless so and so and I'd have just got muddy. I had a few taps from small fish and a quick take that again probably came from something small. It felt like another fish was on the cards. I switched to cheese paste and had another, more positive bite which resulted in a chub of about three and a half pounds, that was enough, my hands were now frozen.
Despite there being maybe half an hour of light left before it got dark I trudged back to the car and quickly put the heater on, they'll still be there next time and I'm eager to have another trip with the rod and reel.