July 27, 2016

Back On The Banks Of The Wye

The lake held its spell over me a little longer than usual this year. I still have a strong hankering for some stalking but the disjointed weather has stopped me a couple of times and then I succumbed once more to the Siren call of the Wye.

I had a couple of short evening sessions away from the crowds in places I liked the look of. Chub, chub and more chub was the result but each was hard fighting, slim and very fit. I then dropped into an area that I usually frequent in the autumn and again it was the chub that first knocked on the door. Then something significant happened.

The rod bounced a few times  as something swam upstream oblivious of the weight it towed behind it. I struck. The next few minutes saw me feeling undergunned as something plodded along the bottom refusing to comply with my encouragement up through the water. Eventually it ran with some determination, straight through a snag! I heaved and ho'd and could feel it throbbing against my efforts. It soon became solid and I was aware that the rotten thing had transferred the hook into a sunken branch. I was left to pull for a break and see out another trip without a barbel landed. 

In the recent past I've had carp around the thirty pound mark, drop off almost within netting distance. I've shrugged it off with my usual attitude of 'can't win 'em all, I'll get you one day'. Losing fish is a gut wrenching feeling but I thought I had moved on from the angst and could accept the slings and arrows with a new found maturity. But that barbel stuck in my craw like a breeze block. I had to catch a barbel.... and soon.

Two days later and I'm just downstream where I hoped it would be less snaggy. A chub came to the net within minutes of starting and conditions felt just right. I concentrated on the rod for any movement.

At last!

When it came it was another bounce and a twitch or two on the line. I wound down and hit into a barbel that became the first landed of the season. Not long after, my feed of groats and hemp laced with 10ml Questrami boilies induced a rasping take. This one went a little larger at upper six or low seven pounds. I was on a roll and thought I'd cracked it but I soon again felt the force of a strong fish only for it to scream downstream and into yet another snag. This time I broke off on the hooklink.

Only chub played after that but one looked worth putting on the scales as a sighter. I rarely weigh chub but, early season, I put the occasional one on just to get my eye in. I put it down as a decent four but the needle hovered just past the five so I was glad to have taken the effort.


It was a glorious evening and I am now looking forward to my next visit but I haven't quite finished with the carp just yet.

July 09, 2016

Of Carps And Bats

The lake always looks wonderful but from this swim it looks outstanding. I'd never done an overnight session here until now as it's way too far to barrow my gear but, with access to the dirt track around this side of paradise, I am now able to slip my bivvy between the trees onto a little flat spot just big enough to accommodate it. 

As there's been no pressure on this spot my 'leading' exploration found deep silt over much of the area. Just behind my pitch I dragged my lead over the ground that I've fished many times from the opposite bank and found it quite hard and clean, the result of persistent feeding by many carp. I hope that fairly soon the area where I scattered my bait will be likewise but that will take time. So I added some groundbait mix containing hemp and a few bits and pieces to encourage some truffling from the bream. This will hopefully start the process and entice the curious carp into the zone. It is also, I suspect, along one of their patrol routes.

To pass the time, having got my carp gear ready, I dropped a couple of balls of feed short and scattered corn around it. This was followed by my float gear and within minutes the float was lifting and bobbing before sailing away and the first roach was hooked. A couple of roach later and all went solid on the strike. A deep thumping told me that the bream were quick to seize on a free meal. This went on for a while with the roach being interspersed with heavier bream. I could have caught them all day but that's for another time. I admired the last bream, a male in spawning garb with tubercles on its head and shoulders and the most amazing colouring around its eyes. Quite stunning in close up.

Float rod packed away and my traps were set. As evening saw the light values fade so a Noctule bat did the rounds. Seeing it's size made me suspect it was a noctule but I'm no expert. I do however, have an assistant, a bat detector bought for me on my 60th. The weird boings and dinks that came from the speaker were on a band length used by the species and a Google search on my return confirmed the sighting. Like bird song, all bats have their unique calls and they are very interesting to research and, if you can, to listen to.

http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/listen_to_ ... _bats.html

I had just one take from my new carp spot and a high shouldered, hard fighting 24 pounder made my efforts worth while. No, not worth while. The trip was a success for enough already and to watch the sun set over such a glorious backdrop was reward enough. I enjoyed that carp but it was far from essential on this trip.