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Happy dreams only lead to disappointment!

Posted by arbocop , 04 August 2009 · 217 views

17th June.  River Kennet, Thatcham.

7 chub, biggest 3lb.  5 brown trout to around 1.5lb, 30-40 dace (to 10oz), roach (all small), perch (not much bigger) and loads of gudgeon.  In addition, 4 crayfish managed to hang on the hook long enough to go into my bag.  Crayfish sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.

First day of the coarse season for me and a day off work!  A fairly sleepless night dreaming of large barbel and chub was followed by a relatively overcast morning.  Arising at 4am, I was on the water by 5am. Two anglers fishing the boilie had caught a couple of 7 and 8 pounders which was promising.  Other than them I was the only angler.

I had missed the trotting over the close season and was determined to catch some large dace, chub and possibly some large barbel, but I always struggle to land barbel when trotting. I have no idea how Chris Plumb manages it (note to self - must ask him about it sometime).  I decided that I would start with bread and corn, and consider maggot if these didnít produce.  I walked the bank in my usual roving approach.  Several barbel were visible spawning on the shallows, thrashing around.  I steered well clear of these areas although I watched them for a while.  Most seemed relatively small, certainly no more than about 4lb.  An eerie barking indicated the presence of a muntjac deer, this was confirmed when I went round a bend and came face to face with it Ė both of us jumped and I donít know who was more surprised!

Fishing a slow stretch with a bend about 40metres downstream, I caught dace, roach and chublets on bread flake or corn, feeding mashed bread and the odd bit of corn.  I decided that I wanted more than this and moved off after a couple of hours.  I tried another stretch and managed a couple more chub up to about 2lb on bread flake.

Again moving around, I tried a long deep glide and trotted maggot, hoping that the barbel would move in.  They didnít and instead I caught chub, dace roach and then 5 brown trout in quick succession.  When I started to get plagued by bleak sucking the bait to death I decided Iíd had enough.

Apart from the surprised muntjac I spotted numerous butterflies - painted ladies, commas, meadow brown, small tortoishell, and brimstones, a mink, the ubiquitous red kites, buzzards, as well as sand martins, swifts and swallows in profusion and several kingfishers.

This wasnít the day Iíd dreamt of and nothing really stretched my tackle, but at least I had got back on the water and spun my pin for the day!






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