Tuesday, 30 January 2018

First sessions of 2018


My first session of the year, first session for almost a month and a first visit to this river.

The morning didn’t start too well as we couldn’t get access to our chosen stretch and had to head to another one blind.

We needn’t of worried as the fish seemed to be on the feed from the off, Mick lost one and had a dropped run before I’d even cast a bait.

The first fish landed came to my rod though, a nice 12lb 8oz fish to a ledgered smelt.

Mick was up next, a jack taken on a ledgered sardine.

Both fish were covered in leeches, obviously laid up on the bottom during the extended cold spell.

After a couple of hours in the first pegs we moved downstream to a double peg for an hour. I had one rod on the bottom with sea deads and a margin fished live in a float paternoster. Surprisingly the live didn’t get any interest, all interest on baits hard on the bottom, so I reduced the height of the paternoster so the bait could  just get to the river bed.

Shortly after the live was taken.

Smaller this time, unweighted, but definitely welcome.

Mick had another dropped run in the double peg before we moved again. Plenty of appealing pegs on this stretch, deep margins and willow lined banks, spoilt for choice really.

No interest for a good hour in my last peg, a change to a full lamprey cast mid-river and an immediate response from a jack. 20 minutes later the margin live was taken by a similar sized jack.

And that was that, back to the car just as the last light was fading and home 50 minutes later. A good first session back and a good first session on this river. 


A week later conditions were completely different. A few days of below zero temperatures and heavy snow followed by a slight rise in temps. I was struggling to decide on which species to target, chub or pike, the pike usually win and they did this time.

I was hoping to get on the river before any significant snow melt made its way in. Tactics for this short session were trotting baits.

Arriving at the river I could see that I had things wrong, a nice level but pushing through fast and coloured not ideal for trotting baits and as I had minimal gear with me I didn’t have the option of changing tactics. A blank.


A big winter flood carrying warmer water saw reports of a couple of winter barbel showing. The rivers swelled and were well up,16ft higher than usual on some stretches. I went down with Mick the day after the flood had peaked, the river was still up a good 6ft and pushing through fast. 

We didn’t have a great choice of pegs as the flood left the banks covered in slippery silt and we didn’t fancy taking a dip. 

I didn’t get a touch all day, Mick had a bit of interest in the second peg and the tip flew round as we were having a brew.

A small but welcome chub.

That’s things finally upto date, I’m still having problems with photobucket as I’m not willing to them pay $400/year to host my images. There are plenty of free options (google images seems decent) however most of my older posts (2014 and older) still the have photobucket ransom link instead of the intended image.

Catching up with the blog I’ve also realised how incompatible blogger and apple devices (iPhone/iPad) are. Trying to compose a post of a reasonable length is difficult as you can’t scroll up or down on the blogger editor. A limited work around is the app ‘BlogTouch Pro’ it works reasonably well but some functions are limited.

A better work around will be shorter more frequent posts.... 


  1. Nice Pike Darren, had a few blanks myself this year. Going to target the pike soon.
    I agree, I never know when to fish for Chub or Pike!!

    1. Cheers Adam, always a difficult decision when you have limited time, occasionally get it right though!