You should always have a plan B (Entry 74)

This week was a bit of a strange one really. My intention was to head to the small river stretch I have been fishing for its rather large, but very elusive, chub. Classic winter chub fishing was the plan; light ledgering with cheesepaste, bread and liquidised bread for feed if needed. Although the countries rivers have been swollen, a day or two before my session the levels began to drop and I was greeted with a slightly higher than usual but very coloured river. I wandered the stretch for an hour but I really didn’t fancy it. I should have known better. The river rises and falls quickly enough, but sometimes takes an extra day or two to get back into ‘perfect’ trim. Time for plan B then. Erm, yeah, about plan B…

Hardly ideal bream conditions either

In truth I hadn’t thought that far ahead. So heading back to the car I formulated a plan to go feeder fishing on a canal wide not too far away. Maybe fish a small cage feeder, bread flake on the hook and liquidised bread for feed. If I was lucky, a bream or plump roach would come my way but if I caught nothing at all, then that too wouldn’t really matter. It had turned into an absolutely glorious day. Hardly a breathe of wind, blue skies and sunshine. Not very good bream conditions then? Ok, enough of the excuses. After arriving at the canal I set up a running leger. Simply a 15g cage feeder stopped by two rubber float stops. This allowed me a quick change of tail length. Coincidentally the same setup I use for chub fishing. Of course this had nothing to do with my being a little lazy and not rigging up something different. I mean, it did, but its as good a setup to use than any other.

Initial feeder full of breadI found a gentle slope at around 30 yards out and elected to fish two thirds of the way down this. I clipped up and cast to the spot three times. That would be enough feed to start with. It was bitterly cold after all. I planned on casting every half an hour and that would be more than enough to keep the swim topped up. After an hour I had not seen any signs so I reeled in a lengthened the tail somewhat. Changing the feeder to a straight lead I began casting more regularly but to different areas of the swim, in an attempt to see if there were any fish hanging off the feed. There didn’t seem to be. On the far bank however it was a different story. For around twenty minutes I watched, not one but two kingfishers diving for the small fry fish. Much too far away for me to get a picture but it was amazing stuff to watch. The dual display that these vibrantly coloured little birds gave me kept me more than entertained as the sun started to drift lower in the sky and the shadows lengthened, I fancied it was now my best chance of a bite. My gaze was fixed once more on the delicate tip. Willing it to move. Jolt forward. Something.

Getting colder as the sun starts to setBut as the light faded I knew that no fish would grace the bank today. Nothing was rising or rolling. Even the small fish were notable in their absence. Apart from the birds and the odd dog walker, it had looked quite lifeless all day. I fished an hour into dark without success. The tip didn’t slowly pull round and the bream didn’t give themselves up. Still with the cold, bright conditions I never really expected to catch. But something that every angler will know, is even when your logic and past experience says ‘no chance’ there’s still that optimistic voice whispering in the background. ‘You never know…’

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Until Next time tight lines



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