Sunday, 30 March 2014

Spring Wound Decided Tight

 The dawn chorus was at aspirin pitch and the first visiting Chiffchaff chirped out his monotonous yet evocative song among the myriad jubilant voices

The first rippled and later plate glass aquatic plateau joining wooded bank to a still winter-muddied footpath was conversely mysteriously still

Eventually a small perch was tempted to try to steal a massive collection of gentles but that was all, and soon, before the unavoidable rising sun impacted events, a new perch of my own was sought

This time song thrush and goldfinch respectively repeated and twittered their way through the early morn in the revised location but with again no life under the surface it seemed

Then the distinct 'clop' of a topping roach. A good size, not huge, but big enough to whet the thereforeto diminishing appetite

Soon enough after, as a Dunnock struck up its brief warble in the hedge that now hinted at the greenery to follow as a backdrop, a companion of that excited fish was on. It felt a good one

A new rod is like a new bat to the cricketer. Cherished and perfect for the job in the mind but would it be in the action? Good in the shop is no guarantee of anything in the spotlight of the battle. All of the old gear, light and lighter still, 11' and 13' models, soft and not so soft, had now been slowly discarded and an immaculate 12' imposter installed in their wake

The curve superb, the strength understated, the tip to middle bend giving young rutilus more than a run for his money.

0-14-2 he went, a touch dishevelled on the one side but now the hope of more was set-in

Then the idiocy not experienced for many a year as Misty Blue tore past taking the towpath with it and pushing the Severn bore equivalent to the fore

Words were exchanged, not with the culprit but with CRT. The rest will be history

A distinct, though surprisingly not deathly, cloud grew from the depths and within minutes those finicky residents became confident breakfasting beasts. We were in again, this time a weightier fight and the rod curved deeper into the butt section cushioning every nod and run of the fish without a sign of risk of a hook pull. At last the ideal tool identified, purchased and in use. This one was 1-1-3 but a touch challenged in the propulsion department with some damage to its back leaving only part of a lucky Nemo-esque dorsal fin intact on this slightly foreshortened version of man's best fish

Another quickly followed at around 11 ounces before the coloured reverted to clear and all was still again

What prospect a raked swim one wonders? What prospect indeed?

The trio of tasty roach
24 hours later, or was it 23, or even 25?, I can't work it out, it was time to unleash 'project lift bite' on a stretch of the Grand Union. I had fished here last at the age of twenty-odd, some twenty-odd years ago then, and it was hard but there were tales, and no doubt tails, of bream (together with the rest of the fish one would assume) to be had if one were to walk that bit further and, being bedecked with very little kit, that would not present a problem

I had recalled reedmace and rush beds on the inside of the canal here and, sure enough, they still remained so I set-up in the first gap on what was quite a wide stretch to fish just near-side of middle and introduced three hands-full of bread mash

What ensued could only be described as instant chaos. There were so many fish in the swim initially that the float never settled as the line was being battered constantly by fins and bodies except when registering a bite with extravagant runs and severe lifts. Yes, spring was here

Apart from the best canal catch since returning to the sport at 13lbs 12ozs the other first was three great crested grebe on the canal. Now it was clearly and literally stuffed with fish as they were topping right, left and centre so the fact they were taking advantage of that was no surprise but that they were happy to swim by an angler was another matter given their reluctance to come too close on stillwaters

The first twenty or so casts resulted in this little lot:

 ..and then it died. I was home again by 9am

Hybrids to 2-8-0, bronze bream to 2-2-0, roach to 11ozs, silver bream 10ozs and one little rudd. Most enjoyable!

First decent silver bream for quite some while
Bream dna in all of these but the hard fighting hybrid, top centre, was the fish of the day
Yes, spring is without doubt sprung!!

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