Kev breaks his small fish hex...
"Oh I'm sorry, you can't fish today and I really shouldn't have let you on last week either, it's the close season for fishing now, isn't it?"
These were the words that greeted Kev and I as we attempted to purchase our tickets for a day's roaving on the rivers of Mythe Farm. Oh dear, put your diplomat head on Jeff.
Luckily, after gentle persuasion our hosts became more and more convinced that we were actually right about our alternative date for the season's end. Apparently they had been turning down phone enquiries all week when they'd hardly had any interest all winter long!
Such is the new found power of angling blogs such as this. Last week I visited, caught, wrote up the account of my day, hit a button and published. The growing audience for the various Midlands angling blogs was notified of my new post, hit the hyperlink to it, read all about it and some of that audience followed up with a phone call to the farm for a days fishing of their own. Blogs are beginning to drive custom through the fishery gates, in fact as I logged on to write up this account I was notified that Sean, Author of 'Off the Oche, Down the River' fished the farm on Sunday and had one of the Sence brownies.
We bloggers are now, in business...
Fees on application...!
Three feet down on this time last week
We eventually secured our tickets and walked down to the Sence. It was an utterly different river to the one I had encountered in flood and over its banks just a week before; now it was low, clear and streamy. Even in the tetchy cold of the early morning drizzle it had a beguiling chalk stream appearance (illusory of course) all gravelly twists and turns and gurgling rapid water with the green shoots of the coming summers weed already sprouting. It looked the part and promised much, but despite the clarity of the water I did not see a single fish and after a couple of hours of fruitless enquiries into the fish content of the various glides and eddies on both the float and the lead, we conceded defeat and moved on down to the Anker for some deeper and murkier water.
We tried King Dicks Hole and here I encountered my first bites of the day in the slack water off the near bank. I'm pretty certain that these swift and jangling bites were from small roach and this theory seemed to be backed up by the sucked maggots on the hook, but they were too few and far between to keep my interest and so we eventually decided to move on. The issue was forced when a couple of other anglers turned up on the far bank and started to fish lures just downstream of us.
We set down next in a couple of adjacent pegs below a wooded and inaccessible section. The water here was slow moving and fairly deep and I thought quite likely to hold a chub or two. Sure enough my flake settled, the feeder emptied and about twenty minutes later I started to get enquiries followed by an unmissable lunge of the rod top, which, inexplicably, was missed. A recast to the same spot resulted in another great tug of a bite more or less as soon the feeder had settled, a bite that this time met with heavy resistance. A big triangular dorsal fin broke surface and for a second or two I thought I'd hooked an Anker barbel, but then the fish turned over in the water and a chevin came to the net. A really stunning fish this one but not quite as heavy as I thought it might be at just under four pounds on the scales.
No more action came from my swim in the next hour and Kev still had not had a single bite since his first cast. The lure anglers, three of them now, came past us thrashing the water quite unsuccessfully for pike. I could hear now that they were of Eastern European extraction, and no doubt poaching the club waters opposite for the pot. I took a walk downstream to the road bridge and found some nice looking pegs opposite the mill. We moved along, Kev to ledger in a really chubby looking pool and me to trot maggots for roach, dace or whatever down at the bridge.
Kev finally got his bite and connected to a two pound nine ounce chub - a personal best for the species and since starting to fish once again in August of last year, his heaviest fish to date. Was he pleased, or what..!
And then just twenty minutes or so later I was back netting his second of the day, a new personal best too at three pounds two. Way to go Kev..!!!
Needless to say I couldn't buy a bite on the float and after a further while it was plainly obvious that Kev's chub pool was now defunct after him plundering its chub quota so we moved back to the Sence for a quick chuck but time ran out on us before we could settle down. We returned home for a bit of a party with the girls, Kev's Kate, her friend Ruth and Judy who'd all been working at the NEC wedding fair and to which they would return in the morning.
With a little sweet talk and a gallon of bibulous lubrication we managed to wangle the Sunday too..! Off we jolly well trot!