Tuesday 2nd Feb, Upper Warks Avon. 15:45 - 18:15
I think we’d all agree that catching fish requires a mix of watercraft, angling skill, tackle know-how and of course luck - in roughly equal measure. Most people can succeed in catching enough to keep them interested without all elements falling into place and there is always room for improvement for most people in most areas.
I might be oversimplifying things here but I don’t get on well with modern carp fishing methods as when I’m sat behind rods the combination of elements is not sufficiently balanced to provide me with any great enjoyment. Alternatively, I’ll happily spend a day on the hoof stalking carp at close range and have a wail of a time.
For me our sport remains captivating because you never quite know what challenges await you on each trip. Sometimes additional dimensions will be thrown into the puzzle-pot for us to deal with.
This Tuesday I planned to notch up an easy point in our competition by catching Chub from a previously productive peg. It has a long run of bushes downstream on the far side and my plan was to cast to the head of the cover and pull the Chub up in a procession that would bring four-pounders to the net at regular intervals.
The river was still up but the section over the footbridge was now accessible. I made my way through the deep thick mud on the path feeling confident. I could see just one pair of boots had passed this way since the water subsided and whilst I was setting up the owner of the boots walked back downstream. We stopped for a chat and talked Chub.
The peg I was on is almost in two parts. So much so that I was sat on 25A and just downstream is peg 25 proper. The bushes on the far side run from the bottom of 25A and down through 25.
The guy I’d been talking to dropped into 25. He was perfectly within his rights to do so, it just meant we were essentially fishing to different parts of the same feature.
By the time I’d set up he’d caught a Chub - casting over to the bushes. Within fifteen minutes he’d caught a second.
I cast out but all I could see in my minds eye now were wildly flickering needles on an analogue dial superimposed on top of the subsurface Chub’s heads. I’ll try to explain my hallucinations. My small river Chub fishing and observation has shown a repeating pattern. Being omnivorous souls if chub are in the area you will soon get indications to that effect after casting. Once you’ve caught a Chub there will be a lull whilst the remaining fishes confidence returns. I imagine the dials on their heads reading +5 on the spook scale when the angler arrives, bouncing wildly around whilst their shoal mate is hoiked ashore and then coming to a twitchy rest at say +10. If a second Chub is caught then the lull between the next bite is exponentially longer and so on, and if there were just three Chub in the shoal to start off with you might as well pack up now. Because after the second capture I believe the dials go into the red rendering the remaining Chub nervous wrecks.
I had intended to pull the chub up from the cover but all I could imagine now was them bunched up more tightly under it than previously.
I accept this is a potentially lazy assessment of my lack of bites but I stuck it out to try and prove I would have caught had the dimension of another angler not pissed on my chips.
My only problem now was that the platform I was sat on was becoming submerged by a rising river. I let the water rise approximately seven inches before the thought of crossing the invisible wooden footbridge in the half light got the better of me and forced a move. I gave the peg in the reeds half an hour but I was sat ankle deep in water. It then started raining hard and I had no brolly and so needless to say a retreat soon followed.
On the walk to the peg that evening the pitch perfect A of a full orchestra tuning up was clearly audible in my head. All the component instruments could be heard and each section seemed poised and prepared to launch into a melody, a symphony why not, of Chubalicious proportions.
On the return walk to the pub it was the discordant soundtrack of a late seventies Polish animation about the cold war that accompanied my steps. The only respite cam from a blackbird singing in a nearby bush. A sure sign spring is only round the corner.
Have you ever heard of so much effort going into writing up a blank!?