Sunday, 5 December 2010

Childhood revisited in the white stuff

Sunday 5th December
Well, what can i say? the weather over the last week has been horrendous to say the least! Heavy snow and temperatures down to minus 20 in some parts of the country, around here the lowest i personally recorded was minus 9 so its been positively balmy! As anyone that fishes will tell you, these conditions arnt exactly great for a good days sport, however, there are always a few bites to be had if you know where to look.

I havent been out for a couple of weeks for various reasons beyond my control (the weather!) so i was determined to get out at the first oportunity. All i wanted to do was to go out and get a few bites and get my string pulled and with this in mind i decided to spend a morning revisiting my childhood on a brook which runs through a housing estate where i used to live.
As a kid i used to spend hours down there attempting to catch sticklebacks and stoneloach. Every so often, as i walked up the brook with my trousers rolled up and net in hand, some much bigger fish would frantically shoot past me often bumping my legs as they made their escape. At the time i had no idea what they were but i knew i had to catch one and i guess it was here that the early seed of becoming an angler was well and truly sown.

As i got a little bit older and my uncle introduced me to the art of catching fish on a rod and line, i began fishing down there proper and was amazed to catch Chub, Dace, Roach, Gudgeon and even the odd Trout! All this from a brook that wasnt much deeper than a couple of feet and resembled nothing more than a drainage ditch.
Fast forward 25years and the brook is still very much there albiet somewhat narrower and shallower but the fish are still there to be caught. With this in mind i tackled up an avon rod with a light stickfloat setup and headed forth onto the tundra . The brook was running very low and clear despite the snow beginning to thaw and with the banks being high with no cover, long trotting was to be the order of the day to save spooking every fish in there. I had worms, maggots and luncheon meat with me and after trying a couple of spots without success i eventually managed to catch a small Chub on a worm.
As i made my way along the brook i saw several decent Chub in the 3-4lb class swim past but they werent remotely interested in anything i put in . After trying some more spots and catching just one more Chub it was apparent that they werent overly keen on the bigger baits so i scaled my gear down and went with the maggot only approach in a bid to get some more bites.
The change brought an instant response and i started getting amongst some lovely Dace, really pretty little things and fat as butter, a Perch even made an appearance but the Roach were conspicuous by theie absence. I worked my way back downstream catching one or two from each spot i tried and before long i was back at the car. It was only then that i realised just how much id enjoyed myself.

Id only been out 3 hours and had a load of bites in subzero temperatures. The fish were all perfect and i highly doubt theyve even seen a hook before, what more could any true angler ask for? Size is irrelavent on days like this.

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