A switch from the unnatural to the very natural this week, as I continued to try to find an elusive, big river perch. The river has been almost at a standstill for the past few weeks, the lack of rain really becoming apparent, affecting not jus the speed of the flow but the clarity. Still, one thing this river does have in its favour is a good depth, which makes spotting fish quite hard but certainly must be in the favour of the angler. If you can’t see the fish then there is a good chance that they can’t see you. Well, less so. The margins would be fished as usual along with a rod further out, in the centre channel, where fourteen feet of water waited to be explored.
After just half an hour fishing it became apparent that merely presenting a bait would be a hard task today. Large plumes of Pennywort, disturbed from upstream by workers clearing huge swathes of the stuff, began repeatedly catching the line and pulling any rig well off course. But these things are sent to try us. So are tiny perch, eating worms more than four times their size, snaffling them like a hungry child at a party, not knowing when enough cake is enough cake. Still, it really had turned into a beautiful Autumn day.
Four hours later, the sun slid behind a rather dark and menacing could. I willed the rain to stay up there. Just float on by without drenching me. A peculiar thing then happened. The float went under! And it started to rain. I struck, into solid weight, pleasingly heavy weight. This felt like what I had come to catch. And it felt huge! I played the fish gently, having previously scaling down to a much lighter hooklength and smaller hook, and as a result for long, long seconds the fish had the upper hand. Making it’s way out from the margin, diving down furiously into the deep water beyond, but certainly starting to tire. The lunges were becoming less pronounced with greater intervals in between. At this point I’d still not seen the fish. A few tails swipes later, a golden flash, still feet below the surface, my heart now in overdrive, sank. A chub. A swine of chub, masquerading as a perch, it certainly had me fooled. At nearly four pound it truly was a wonderful chub but it would have made an even more wonderful perch.
After that little bit of excitement, the rain stopped, and the sun came back out. I was left to calm down, whilst I drank a few cups of tea, and continued to fish the margin line with renewed optimism. More tiny perch babies followed. Pennywort did it’s best to infuriate. Optimism wained. Until one more confident bob of the float saw my strike met with something a little bigger. Not anywhere near the mass of the earlier chub but certainly better than the young whipper snappers that had been taking my worm for the majority of the day. A pleasing perch. Under a pound but a very welcome addition. A good time to leave the water. I’d say it was a draw. Points shared.
Thanks for reading and until next time,