I'd left the drain rods at home and rigged up the old faithful P-1s, nigh on 20 years old now but still hard to beat as all round pike rods. Initially I was going to pair them up with the 10,000 Baitrunners I'd recently spooled with fresh mono, but when I came to remove the old Spheros's from the rods I just couldn't do it. The spool sizes are pretty much the same but the Spheros has a nice chunky single handle, a big anti-reverse switch (the new Baitrunners have minute ones), are more compact, lighter and just feel bomb-proof. So I loaded two of them with the new line and put the 10,000s back on the shelf where they have spent most of the time since I bought the bloody things.
|Spheros 5000F + P-1 = piking perfection|
With the weather remaining unseasonably mild I was full of confidence. The hint of easterly in the wind I had taken shelter from should have made me think otherwise.
|The Big Guns|
The bird life was notable by its absence to start with. As the day warmed more feathered creatures showed themselves along with the robin that had found the remains of a another day's angler's maggots. A pied wagtail was the first to appear along the water's edge followed by blue and great tits in the willows. An unusual call alerted me to a movement on a tree trunk where I eventually spied a nuthatch working its way up and down, inspecting crevices as it went. As nimble as a squirrel it ran down the trunk head-first at an alarming rate. Another quick movement made me think I had seen a treecreeper taking flight to the base of an adjacent tree, but I wasn't sure. A few minutes later my intuition was proved correct as I watched one make its way up a tree trunk and along a thick bough.
Birdwatching is fun, but catching fish is better. As I wasn't catching fish I wasn't to bothered to have to leave. I packed up at two and went to buy my plastic bags. Leaving the factory I headed towards my local tackle shop. I've been finding new uses for Braid Stops all the time and am in need of some more. There were other things I wanted so a stop at the tackle emporium would see me prepared for another session soon. The autumnal light and the mist hovering over the Coastal Plain as I descended Parbold Hill made me change my mind. I'd go and give it an hour on the drain before dark. While there's a bait in the water there's always a chance. So some say.
The chance was slim. No chance as it turned out. What heat the sun had soon dissipated as it set. With no shelter the chill from the east was more apparent than it had been earlier in the day. I had my excuse - when the wind's in the east the fish feed least. It hadn't stopped them topping at first light, however, and it didn't stop them at dusk either. What do we know of fish behaviour?