The suddenly changing seasons, firstly with gales and short bursts of heavy rain combined with a noticeable drop in air temperature, have taken me back to considering canals.
Initially a week too early it seemed as, having endured over twenty narrowboats in an hour and a half period recently, I did wonder what on earth, or water, I was thinking.
Thankfully it was a one-off and a couple of subsequent quiet weekday evening sessions after work have been pleasant however, neither with a boat in view, and both mixing tactics with bread down the middle and worms to one side at the bottom of the towing path shelf.
The highlight of these visits, somewhat oddly, was a lost fish...
A whole lobworm was lowered among a mass of physically discumbobulated dendrabenas and, upon striking, there ensued an initial aquatic hiatus during which the fish (if it wasn't a seal, or Adam Peaty) did nothing and felt relatively manageable. As the realisation struck, the fish decided it was an appropriate moment to make use of it's express single ticket to the far bank and as I searched belatedly and frantically for the tightened clutch I was beaten to it by the crack of the line.
I say that was the highlight but on the next trip a ruffe just under the ounce snared itself on three dendrabenas and a fake maggot. A rarity indeed, followed closely by a surprise but sought-after rudd just over a pound which, combined, provided a few unexpected but welcome Challenge points.
It was nice on a separate early Feldon morning the register the first impressive canal roach of the campaign at a touch over 1.5 and a few perch to just over a pound have succumbed too.
Two new (to me) stretches of canal have been visited, the Ashby for big hybrids (failed) and the Grand Union Leicester Arm for tench (failed)
The first spell of seeking-out Barbus maxima was partly covered in the previous post but that was only the beginning of a truly unbelievable run of three or four sessions either side of the physical feature identified as the most likely holding spot.
Next session after the 9.12 was banked two hard-battling fish were landed at 11.14 another p.b. and 10.9 but then to my parallel amazement and unbridled joy a 12.11 hit the net a day later and raised the p.b. bar yet further.
|Worse than dreadful picture but here it is. 12.11|
An early start on the Grand Union 'proper' this past Sunday was however exceptional. If we can ignore a little three ounce tearaway of a zander the smallest fish of the other eight fish of four species banked weighed a chocolate mouse less than a pound and the biggest, a bream, went 3.2.0 on the replacement, and now suitably calibrated, scales.
I was really after carp however (failed!).
In a feathered sense regular barn owl views on the river, a marsh tit roving through the backside vegetation on the GUC and an unusually showy, quite magnificent, adult water rail wandering out onto lilies in search of the sustenance of the Leicester Arm have been worthy distractions there.
News is though that we will soon be back on The Stillwater, necessary maintenance works having been completed, and this very evening The Boy Wonder and I traced the wending route of The Stream to deduce best options with colder roach, perch and chubby weather on the horizon. Only three swims appeared to have been fished this season and those the armchair options of course.
|"What size tell-tale to hold this down?!"|
BLOGGER'S CHALLENGE UPDATE:
1. James Denison 920
2. George Burton 754
3. Brian Roberts 633
4. Danny Everitt 513
5. Sean Dowling 428