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River Len

Leon Roskilly


Managed to get on top of my emails this morning, and out for a bicycle ride by just after 12.


26th October, a decent day and Brenda's in London so I have the car.


Too good not to go fishing!


Took the quick route home, and threw some tackle into the boot (nearly forgot to pack a rod)


Stopped for 1/2 pint of red and white maggots at the local tackle shop then 1/2 hour drive had me at the waterside.


The river (more of a stream really, filled with wooden branches and waterlogged sticks and brambles draping down the banks into the water).


I decided to fish the stretch between Spot Lane and Mote park. A very unpromising stretch of water to those that know no better.


My target was to try and catch one of the small brown trout that occasionally put in an appearance.


I was fishing with a short telescopic rod (the river isn't wide enough for a bigger rod), married to my Okuma centrepin. A small drennan chub float with double maggot on a size 18.


(As I rig the tackle, beneath the trees, I can smell the pleasant smell of wet rotted leaves, as more yellow and browns fall down to join them. The air is warm, though overhead the clouds have darkened)


The river here is mostly just a few inches deep, with unexpected holes that go down a couple of feet, sometimes more. It's at a nice depth and flow, gurgling noisily between the banks and over the stones.


The firs spot I tried was where the river curved hard left beneath a tree, where it has scrapped a hole and exposed the roots. You'd think it was an ideal spot for a big chub, but a few small roach and tiny chub was all I had.


Remembering that I was after a trout, I moved on.


To a stretch where the river ripples through over stones and is nearly 8" deep along the far bank.


First trot through and I have my trout.


Well more of a mini-trout really!


Still she looks really pretty.


I try running though there a few more times, but nothing else comes, just a couple of small chub from the slacker water at the end of the glide.


I move on again, to a deeper looking spot where the river has undercut the opposite bank. A few more chub.


I'm enjoying this :)


A little way further down river a tree is across the river and the winter flood waters have gouged away the bottom downstream of the obstruction.


Here I start getting better fish, nearly 1/2 pound, chub, roach and perch.


Feeding just a few maggots with each trot through, I'm soon getting a fish a chuck.


Pretty soon, I can predict what species I will get. The perch are close under the fallen tree where the water is slackest and deepest, the chub are to the left where the water glides fast and deep under the bank, the roach out to the shallower water to the right.


A flotilla of ducks, moving upstream are perplexed by my presence, wondering if it's safe to come past. They take their chance as I bend down to rebait the hook. Hoping that I won't notice them.


I'm catching so many fish, I feel that it's time to move on before I'm catching each one too many times.


(There can't possibly be so many in that small area)


Then my hook catches in the roots of a tree and is lost.


I've had my fun, so I empty the rest of the maggots into the pool, pack my tackle back into the bag and head back to the car (not so easy, the banks are steep here and it's quite a climb back through the undergrowth to the path).


I wonder what I'll do tomorrow?


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