Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On the tourist trail

I was in hunter gather mode this morning after visiting the Post Office. Among other things, I hunted down some pork pies and gathered a packet of frozen peas as I roamed the supermarket! Those tasks complete I filled my belly with sausage and mash then made two corn dog butties and was on my way.

After lugging my tip rod and a pint of maggots to a coloured river yesterday I almost left them behind. Reasoning that I might as well throw them in the river as leave them to turn into casters I took them back again. The river had dropped - in level, colour and temperature. Having arrived around two the maggot feeder seemed a good option. The upstream rod fished a piece of Spam for a change.

Although the day was overcast it was warm, almost 13c, and the wind light again. Only one regular was on the bank, just having a look before fishing so I let him have the swim I fished yesterday - he'd been blanking and I felt generous. Besides, I was going to fish upstream anyway...

It wasn't long before the double red maggots were picked up by a small brown trout. A blank saved after a fashion. An hour or so later on an identical bite produced something that fought differently and felt a bit bigger. I was hoping for a big chub, but it was a small barbel. Definitely a blank saved this time.

They look a bit different from this angle!

The next bite was identical. It produced another sea trout, as did the following bite to maggot. I've said it before that I don't understand why people fish for these spotty creatures. They fight like mindless idiots, dashing all over the place with no sense of purpose and then they cartwheel out of the water for no apparent reason. Maybe when they get bigger they are worth standing in a river wafting a stick and a bit of string about for like two loonies on the river today.

A tourist

By the time the third trout of the day had been returned it was time to prepare for dusk. The tip rod was stowed and a pellet rod broken out, the bait cast to the area the maggots had been going in. Things were quiet. It really was a joy to be out on a day that was almost warm. Lambs were playing King of the Castle on a pile of hay, their plaintive bleats echoing along the quiet valley. Bats were on the wing as dusk fell, no doubt feasting on the glut of small flies that had been drifting past all afternoon.

There was a slow, deliberate pull down of the rod tip followed by a sharp spring back to the meat. Probably a chub backing off with the bait then dropping it. The next bite came after dark to the pellet. A tip bouncer that resulted in a three pound chub. Half an hour later the tip did it again. This time it was a hard scrapping, but smallish, barbel. I'd heard there was a kinky one in the stretch. If that wasn't it there must be two.

Another for the oddity list

Thirty minutes later and the tip bounced for a third time. Another barbel, but normally proportioned and straight of spine, if a little smaller. The evening was warm enough for me to have to remove my woolly hat for a few minutes. I was getting the urge to dust off the bivvy and do an overnighter. By nine I thought it would be a good time to leave. Back at the car and the thermometer showed it was still 12 degrees. On the drive home the cloud started to clear and the big, bright moon was shining again.

Not much work to do tomorrow. I should be out and about after lunch - if not sooner. If only I could make up my mind where to go.