Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Blithe with an 'I'

A colleague and fishing pal has come up with a hair-brained scheme this year. A rod-race style challenge which takes the guise of .............. 'The Fishing Olympics'.

Set aside your cynicism for a moment and any other instant judgments you might be making about our ability to lead normal lives in the community. Because if nothing else it has formalised some challenging targets for the coming year.

I've always set targets myself. Normally before dropping off to sleep at the beginning of the new year. I try to crystallise the angling targets for the coming calendar year. One thing that always amazes me is how these targets keep changing. In recent years a 20lb salmon stuck it's head above the parapet. Last year a double-figure Avon Barbel was in the sights and was duly achieved. The previous season a 25lb+ Carp caught my imagination and was reached on a cold February evening exactly when I didn't expect it! But this year we sat down with a pint after a blank Christmas fish on the Avon at Stratford and discussed where the various bars should be set. The resulting spreadsheet has caught my imagination and I am already thinking tactically for the coming year.

Needless to say, catching a Grayling is at the forefront of my mind at the moment. And to this end we set off to a day-ticket section of the River Blithe in Staffordshire which reputedly contained them. Those Mindlanders familiar with the River Blythe take note, this was not the same.

Still running high from the input of recent water from the snow this was not an easy mission. The bailiff indicating that they were certainly not common on the 700 mtr stretch of dainty river.

I trotted maggot all day under a stick float in every pacy run I thought might deliver. But nothing more than Chub came to the net. The fish I caught were all peas in a pod, about the pound mark from the faster water.

My pal quickly became distracted from Grayling fishing by a deep pool and put on cheese-paste to land three larger Chub at about the three pound mark.

Although a thoroughly enjoyable day out, I think we're going to have to rethink venue for the Grayling targets which incidentally are 2pts for a bronze: 0.5lb, 3pts for silver: 0.75lb, 5pts for gold: 1lb.

Any ideas on where these might come from? Drop me a line!!

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