Itching the itch (Entry 75)

Sometimes, even against all better judgement, you just need to go to a certain venue. Be to fish a certain way or with a specific species in mind. Well thats what happened this week. It took place on the small river I have been fishing, or should that be trying to, the heavy and seemingly relentless rain making arranging trips a nightmare. River levels up and river levels down; up and down in a frustrating cycle. And although conditions were far from ideal again, a few hours spent trotting a float in glorious countryside, beats sitting inside and imagining doing so.

The river was, unsurprisingly, carrying extra water. It had begun to drop the previous day, but another night of rain had ensured that trend wasn’t to last. Far worse, the river was still carrying a lot of suspended sediment and the visibility was poor. The kiss of death? Usually. But I was happy to give it a go in a few swims all the same. Practicing the art of trotting in an increased current. Always learning.

Float choice for todays risen river

The extra pace on the water meant I fished a much heavier float than I usually feel the need to. I started on a 3BB avon float but soon found that a 5BB capacity offered a better presentation. It’s one thing I would say to anyone starting to fish rivers with a stickfloat. Don’t be afraid to go heavier. Although it seems like it shouldn’t, it can offer a greater degree of control and therefore presentation. The extra weight allowing the angler to mend the line without pulling the float off the right line. Something that on a really tough day can be the difference between one fish or none.


While we are on the subject, a bait pouch is another thing that makes it so much easier when float fishing. I’d probably go home if I forgot mine. I value it that much. Small end tackle can be kept in the front pouch and your feed and hookbait in the larger one. No bending down to feed the swim, its convenient. You don’t have to look where the bait box is. Just reach down. Feed, and fish. You can get into a great rhythm and again, this will put more fish on the bank. Except for today of course. After an hour of trotting in two swims I had not yet received a single bite. Or even the hint of one. To be honest its exactly what I expected. But because of making the right rig choices and having everything to hand I was enjoying every minute.

A very welcome reward

After a good two and a half hours and now in my fourth swim I caught my first fish. A grayling at around the pound mark and in lovely condition. Incidentally before catching that fish I had set the rig well over depth and took a shot or two off the line. The hookbait now dragging on the bottom hard. The very next cast produced the bite. Coincidence? I think not. The next two trot downs also produced two small grayling of an ounce each. On the fourth trot I hooked a much better fish. Momentarily it hung motionless, before twisting and jagging in the current. Either a large grayling or a trout. Unfortunately the fish shed the hook and was gone. Those four bites were the only action of the day. I fished another two swims without any more success. Still I left the river a happy angler and had enjoyed my few hours a great deal. The conditions were ‘against’ me on the day but sometimes you really just have to itch the itch regardless.

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Until Next time tight lines



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