I had a three sessions in thre days on four different rivers in Berkshire and Hampshire borders.
Day 1. 16th, Whitewater and Blackwater. 0500-1300.
Was a bit rusty. Started off legering this very small intimate river after hacking through head high nettles to even get near the river. It's where I fished on the 12th March and landed a 3 and 4lb chub on bread. Nothing doing on free lined and legered bread or worm apart from swim wrecking trout. I trotted maggot and found a shoal of dace in a 'usual swim' where you are almost guaranteed a dace. Had five before the swim went dead up to about 6oz. Lost one much bigger. Didn't count the 6 trout as it's a trout river most of the time. Free lined bread in the Blackwater but to no avail.
Day 2. 17th. Kennet. 0500-1300.
All out on the trotting (but brought the avon rid just in case). Trotted maggot. Trotted it some more. And yet more. Swim 4 (where I had a 4lb chub on 2011 opening day in 2011 with my first cast) the float went down and a 5lb 4oz chub came out. Nearly pulled my arm off. For a summer chub it was in great condition. Changed swims. Trotted some more. Still nothing, constant feeding, could see some barbel doing nothing under the opposite bank but couldn't cast to them from here.. After 2 trout and a grayling that took a lot of reviving as it was getting warm, I got another chub that pulled and pulled to get up a side stream but I held on with my new Asaki and in the end I won. 4lb 7oz. After that two more swims - nothing but trout, bleak and 3 gudgeon.
Day 3. 18th. Blackwater and Loddon (confluence of both). 1100-2100. Absolute grueller. Determined to get a barbel. Fished 6 different swims but concentrated in a swim in the copse under a big old oak in the shade. Legered for barbel. Roved up and down freelining slug, snail and bread for chub. Nothing. Legered for chub, flicked crusts beneath trees, and around onion beds. Nothing. Almost giving up I decided to hold out for barbel and baited up with hemp and a few halibut pellets and sat it out. Nothing, not a bite. Almost at the end, walking back to the car, remembered a long glide. Got the trotting gear out and decided to use the last pint or so of maggots. Feeding heavily, adjusting the depth a few times to skim over the cabbages, and just about ready to give up when the float went down as a guy walked past on the opposite bank and I was in. Like the Kennet fish It gave me a right battle and the guy not he opposite bank watched me land it. He asked, it a 5? 'Yes, it's a 5' I replied, when I saw it in the net. I was beaming. Weighed it, and it went 5lb 12oz! Great! One bite in a long day and it's nearly a 6.
Made up with that, but the three days were not what I had in mind! I will report more fully with photos later this week. Unfortunately, the sodding camera battery died for todays big chub, but I have some pictures of the others in photobucket.
Don't know when I will next get on the rivers but the last three days have been, frustrating, exciting, amazing, and surprising. The main thing being that I have carried on where I left off last season, in that I can't catch barbel, and don't seem to catch many chub below 3 lb.
Source: Ist day