The Ryder Cup was forced to halt proceedings this morning because of heavy rain at Celtic Manor in Wales. By mid morning the deluge had reached the Midlands and the skies were dark overhead when I left work. The wind was also gusting strongly and neither relented whilst I was on the bank.
This was the first time I've fished the river Anker. I was following yet another ruffe tip this afternoon in my marathon attempt to catch the little fish in this years record weight challenge.
The Anker flows out of Nuneaton tracking the Coventry canal along most of its length before its confluence with the Tame in Tamworth about half a mile downstream from where I was fishing. And what a lovely looking river it is. Here, almost at its terminus, the water was clear, purposefully flowing and quite deep.
I started by stret-pegging a couple of maggots over some droppered chopped worm and earth.
It was quite a slow start in this first swim, I only caught a couple of small roach.
The river was metamorphosing in front of my eyes. When I started fishing I was swinging out into slow gliding water down the near edge, just off the crease of the main flow. Within an hour the force of the current had increased and with it my crease had all but disappeared. I thought this might now be a little too fast for the little ruffe and so moved downstream a peg to a big slowly rotating back eddy.
I started with my bait on the deck again but second cast a perch grabbed the maggots on the way down.
My stret-pegging approach no longer felt right for this slacker water so I made a few adjustments and quickly transformed my set up into a regular float outfit. Bites were more frequent after the change and I bagged a few more perch and roach letting the bait drift round the eddy. I tried a small worm but all the fish came to maggot.
With only half an hour left before home time I moved downstream one peg further. I figured my gear couldn't get any more wet than it was and I was really enjoying myself picking up a fish here and there in the moving water without really baiting up the swim.
In the third swim, which had a strong flow on the far bank with a very slow current on the near side, I droppered in one of 'chops and earth' and one of maggots. Here I caught mainly chublets and one gudgeon.
|Contrast the water colour with previous photo.|
By now the river was visibly swelling after the rain of the day. It was changing colour from clear to dusty too.
I called it a day and made my way home in the pouring rain via the midlands motorway network and listened to Ryder Cup commentary on the radio in which the commentators described the bright sun the players were now bathed in.