December saw me trotting the river Wye..... for about an hour and a half or until my arm gave out. That was a blank then.
A few days later and with the river still low and cold, I decided to use up the rest of maggots with a spot of feeder fishing in one of my favourite winter chub holes. Twenty minutes in I spotted a disturbance amongst the trees to my side. That'll be a swan, I said to myself and readied for the hissing and snooty stare of our most short tempered bird. I was wrong. A bloody otter rolled not three yards from me and steadily paddled across to the far bank where it hunted either oblivious or nonchalant to my presence. Knowing the effect that an otter tends to have on a swim, my heart sank. But it had only grazed the upper end of my bit of water, I'll stick it out. And I did, for ten minutes. That was when it's cub edged close and stayed under the near bank whistling loudly. This set my dog into a tizzy and the mother into a fast swim back across and back into my swim. The two of them slowly left upstream and my chances of a fish went with them.
|Cane is not happy sharing bank space with otters|
It was mild so I sat there for another half an hour or so just enjoying being there. Yes, I could have moved but I felt lazy and the fieldfares, starlings and siskins were busy in the trees, it was really very pleasant in a complete blank sort of way.
I had a fortnight in Devon in January so bird watching took over from fishing for a while. Notable species like black redstart, waxwings and a desert wheatear made it a notable stay along with a lot of sea and wading birds that were new to me and Nicky. We also stopped off in Somerset for a night as we returned. We watched hundreds of thousands of starlings coming in to roost at Ham Farm reserve, a fantastic spectacle that, for anybody with an ounce of interest in birds or wildlife, is well worth an hour freezing your nuts off. No photo's I'm afraid, I only had my phone with me. Maybe next time.
I seem to have lost interest in fishing the Wye at present. I think it's the lack of expectation that has drained my enthusiasm. I just can't get motivated to sit it out in the cold and wet when there is little chance of catching a notable fish. I know that my pb's are far from river records, but the river has been pretty iffy this last year and I have no urge to try and find a solution.
Because of this, I spent a mild February day fishing for a bite on one of the lakes on my syndicate. The main lake had people on it and although a couple of twenties and a thirty two pounder came out, I was satisfied fishing behind a float for far more modest fare. I had my bite and landed a fish between three and four pounds that was blind in one eye. Not quite a monster but fun on a light cane rod.
|A one-eyed carp, the limit of my angling abilities.|
I've just returned from my third carp trip of the year. It was colder than I expected but I dressed myself to look like the Michelin man (not difficult with my belly) and put a couple of baits on a route I expected any active fish to follow. I got my bite. An absolute screamer but, on lifting the rod into it, I felt.... nothing.
There we are then, one, one-eyed fish to show for my efforts. But I shall try and improve on that over the next week or two as I'm to have a shoulder operation at the end of the month which will bring any ideas of some spring carp to a grinding halt.
Roll on the summer.