River Kennet and K&A Canal, Newbury, Saturday 2nd March 2013
You’d be forgiven for think that some of these blogs are getting a bit ‘samey’. You’d be right too, one of reasons is that the two venues I’m fishing are quite close together and spending a couple of hours trotting the river before targeting perch prevents me from arriving at the canal too early. Another reason is that the river venue is producing some very nice grayling and dace, I haven’t got the scales or camera out for them yet but hopefully it won’t be too long before a worthy example of either species graces the landing net. The dace in particular are starting to get very plump.
The forecast looked ok, a bit chilly with a gentle north easterly breeze but generally overcast so the prospect of early evening low light levels prompted me to give it a try. The river trotting was great fun again with the usual suspects making an appearance, a couple of the dace I mistook for chublets on the way in but a close look at the anal fin confirmed their identity. Fish identification has never been my strong point, I once publicly congratulated Tiddletamer on a picture of a fine roach when in fact it was a chub! The river itself was still very high, this recent dry spell has done little to affect water levels but I don’t mind that too much. Some swims are still inaccessible but others have been created and if we get any kind of decent summer the abundant reserves feeding the Kennet will stand it in good stead.
By 4:00pm I’d sated my appetite for some ‘pin twirling and was set up on the canal. The breeze and drift would’ve made it difficult to keep a float in the right place in my normal swim so this time I was on the opposite bank where conditions were helping. I’d also brought along a secret weapon, my drop shotting rod had been set up with a light running ledger and this could be plopped as close to the features as I dare. The theory was that a couple of rod rests, a bite alarm and a bobbin with a fairly long drop would give me plenty of time to react to bites whilst I was watching the float. I thought this was a stroke of genius, the rod’s perfect for this type of ledgering and if I fancied some lure fishing I could attach a trace and spinner in no time.
The perch though weren’t quite so impressed with my lateral thinking. Dusk came and went, proper dark loomed and throughout that whole time neither of my carefully positioned lobworms were troubled. My pincer movement had failed miserably and to cap it all the temperature had plummeted at the merest hint of dusk, on the way home the car registered -1 at one point. The mini session hadn’t all been bad news though, the absence of tiddlers at this swim continues and I’ve yet to catch a crayfish. That’s astonishing considering that I’m fishing static lobworms but the reason might be that the bigger perch are keeping them away.
If it warms up a bit I may try again this evening but there’s every chance that the alternative prospect of preparing a roast beef dinner in time for watching Top Gear on the telly will scupper those plans.
Thoughts turn to next week.