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25 July 2012: An unlikely hero

Posted by AddictedToScopex , 26 July 2012 · 4,426 views

Tonights session was organised on fairly short notice and was to see me meeting another AN member, one who I actually met on the river Ribble long before he joined AN. We had spoken about our options and he kindly offered to show me a stretch of a small river which has since made it into my top three locations to fish. It is one of those places where you turn up, take one look and then say to yourself 'there is no way there are fish in here and if they are they will be miniscule'. How wrong I was about that statement didnt take long to become apparent.

I had opted to arrive much earlier than Pete (Latimeria) as it made sense for me to travel to the location directly from work. As Pete was bringing the maggots I decided to have a go with the lure rod while I waited the 1 and a half hours for him to arrive. After seeing the place I though I would be practising casting more than actually expecting to catch any fish. I was so wrong. I set up the lure rod and attached the smallest plug I owned. I had hoped for a trout or maybe a chub. I made my way to the first small pool I saw on the river. It did not look very promising. I had a few half hearted casts across the flow (im talking a 3-4 metre cast tops). On the 3rd or 4th retrieve I had a sudden thump followed by a frantic feeling fish pulling on the line. I was dumbstruck. I hadn't expected this at all. I was soon to be even more delighted. As I worked the fish to the edge I saw what I had caught. My first ever river perch! I know it sounds odd that someone who has fished rivers for years has never caught a perch on them but somehow I had managed all these years to not catch any. I was over the moon and had a massive smile on my face. It was not a big fish but most anglers will be able to appreciate the feeling of catching a new species on the river as it is not something that happens often when you have fished them for so long. Here is the little blighter:



After returning the fish I stood there feeling really surprised as I looked at this unassuming little river which resembled more of a brook. I could not believe it had just produced a fish let along to a lure. Maybe a stickleback to a pinky but not a perch to a lure. I decided to see if it was a total fluke and had another few casts in the pool. Nothing resulted. I wondered if I had caught the only fish in the place. I decided to look for another pool as Pete had told me there were loads all up and down the length. I found another and had a cast in between some weeds. I couldnt help but think how much this place resembled one of the chalk streams you see in southern England.

Nothing came from this next pool so again I moved on. I had a cast in a very similar looking pool and immediately had a thumping take on the lure. It definetly didn't feel like a perch this time and had some nice strength on the lure rod. I knelt down and guided the fish to me. It was a chub. So not only had I caught my first ever river perch but I had now caught my first ever chub on a lure. I couldnt believe my luck. Unfortunately in the spirit of keeping this place as it is and not flooded with anglers I cannot show pictures of it as it may give away the location but you wouldnt even believe there are chub in this place to look at it. I unhooked the chub and slipped it back and it quickly made its way to back under the weed that it came from.

I moved on again and kept my eyes on the water looking for spooked fish from the weeds. I didnt mind spooking them as there was no way on earth I could work a lure with two trebles on through the weed. May have been a good spot for a jig headed shad though. I saw loads of small chub darting in and out of the weeds. This place was surprising me more and more by the minute. I was quickly growing to like it despite its appearances.

I found another pool very quickly and had a few chucks. I had a vicious take but unfortunately it didnt hook up. By looking at the swirl it was clear it was a strong fish. A few more chucks but nothing. I made my way to another pool. I had a run through and immediately met with another fish. This time I landed it. It was a smaller chub than last time but more than welcome. I was very pleased.

I continued to make my way down the river and working the pools. I lost another fish or two and then found a slow corner pool. I crept up and kept low and cast to the end of the run. I retrieve in a smooth fashion with the odd jerk. As I neared the end of the retrieve I spotted a shadow approaching from behind. I gave the lure a few sharp twitches and the shadow made its move. Another chub nailed the lure. I landed it quickly trying to keep its head out of the weeds. It was find perfect as all the fish had been:



I made my way a little further down and then got a phone call. Pete had arrived. I decided it would take to long to get back to the car to retrieve my trotting rod and proposed we share a trotting rod and just have a nice chilled out session trotting. He agreed and I made my way back up the river to meet him. It had been some 3 years since we last met and had got to talking about closed face reels and he had kindly offered to let me try some out. I have since made an order for an Abu 706 as I really enjoyed using them.

Pete set up a small stick float rig and said we should try the first pool. I mentioned I didnt expect any fish to be in there as I would have spooked them while lure fishing. How wrong was I. The first run down produced a trout. The next produced another. Then another. Then a chub. I was almost speechless. How could such a small patch of water produce so much. We fished away for a while feeding very small amounts of maggots and catching consistently. Pete showed me how to use the closed face reels and we took it in turns to trot the swim.

After a while we decided to move on as I mentioned I would like to catch my first perch on trotting gear. Again it is a miracle that I hadnt up to that point. We moved pools and began catching trout again. No perch on that pool. We then moved to another and were straight back into the fish. First trout. Then dace and then finally I had a perch. That was 4 new achievements for me in 1 short session. 1st river perch on the lure gear, first perch on trotting gear, first chub on lures and first fish full stop on a closed face reel. An excellent session by anyones standard. The dace were a nice size in the river especially for the size of it and Pete told me they went much bigger. I cant wait to test his theory. We tried a few different pools and Pete showed me the best spots to go at in certain conditions. We eventually moved back to the original pool and again we were straight into the fish. This time it seemed some good sized trout had moved in. We had none stop action. Some very good sized trout came out for the sze of the water. Here is Petes biggest:



Overall it was a really good session and I cant wait to get down there again. For such an unlikely looking river it was packed with fish and was really awesome sport.

Cheers Pete




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