The float went under for about the fiftieth, another tiny little chublet came whizzing through the water, and was swung gently into my hand. Like a new penny. Glistening, its silvery flank beginning to take on the bronze sheen of its bigger brothers and sisters, scales aligned perfectly and edged with crisp, dark lines. It was a beautiful little thing. In between I had also caught a few equally tiny roach and a huge gudgeon, that writhed out of my hand whilst being unhooked, escaping quickly so that no photographic evidence of the ‘monster’ could be made. Of my intended quarry, a big roach, there was no sign.
The river really looked good today. It’s a strange phenomenon, and we have probably all experienced similar things no matter what branch of angling you practise, that when conditions look close to perfect, the end result is often lacking. That being said, the flow did pull the float through the swim beautifully, and in doing so stripped line from the reel, requiring minimal effort on my part. Occasionally I slowed the rig down, hoping this would tempt a roach to bite, but I never truly believed it would. Maybe this was why I had not caught one.
With the fishing as it was, I became distracted quite easily, and plenty of cups of tea were consumed. A kingfisher flew up and downstream for most of the day, mimicked much more erratically, by various dragonflies. I tried resting the swim and I tried feeding heavily. I changed to different hook baits, bigger and smaller, but still the procession of tiny chub continued. Eventually I hooked a much larger fish, only comparatively however, one which turned out to be a quite beautiful looking roach-chub hybrid. They can grow to a fair size in this river, so this one of eight ounces, has a lot of growing to do. I continued fishing and time ticked on. Still no roach.
As if to proved a point, the one that dictates you can only catch what is in front of you and when it wants to be caught, as the light began to fade, a trio of roach came my way in as many casts. Three immaculate fish, approaching the pound mark, unable to resist the double caster hookbait trundled temptingly their way. And as if they had never existed, the tiny chub had vanished, maybe due to the roach or bigger fish pushing them out. No more finicky dips of the float. No more stealing of casters. A little too late in the day, perhaps.
I’m sure had I been able to carry on, maybe switching to a feeder rod, complete with isotope, and fished into darkness, a big roach or chub could have been tricked. But today had been a day for float fishing. Not necessarily a day for catching the fish I would have dearly liked to. More for appreciating how enjoyable the technique of trotting can be. When everything seems ‘spot on’ and runs smoothly. Night had now taken over. Time to concede defeat on the big roach front, but I left with an appreciation all the same, just a slightly different one. After all angling is what you choose make it.
Until next time,