26 April 2018
The plan was to head up to the river for two days fishing basic trotting tactics. 4lb Suplex line straight through to a fixed spool reel and a size 18 hook with a single white maggot. A small loafer float and strategically placed lead shot completed the basic set up. The lead shot pattern was strategically placed to minimise tangles and ensure the bait was presented correctly when moving through the water. I changed this many times over the session to suit the conditions and the river until I felt I had it just right. I did take my centre pin reel with me but it wasn't the best piece of kit for the job and some of the swims you has to cast to the far bank and a centre pin simply would allow this.
We continued to fish throughout the day and I managed a load of brown trout trout including a few wildies and James managed a cracking 2lb 8oz Grayling. With the conditions improving throughout the day I was hopeful that I could land a fish over the magical 2lb mark. I started fishing a stretch that was typically quite deep and dropped into about six feet of water from four feet and it wasn't long before I was into a big trout. I managed another five trout from the swim and decided to persevere as It was mentioned that unlike other rivers the Grayling in this particular river seemed to be isolated amongst the trout. Again the float vanished but this time I could tell that I was attached to something different and knew that I had hooked a big Grayling. The power of these fish is absolutely amazing and it really is nail biting stuff when you have a size eighteen hook, fast current and a large grayling on the end.
After a few minutes she tired and I netted her first time without any unnecessary drama. I knew It was a big fish but when the needle swung around to 2lb 10oz I was astonished. What a fish and what a day on the river. Having never seen a big Grayling before I can say that they are without doubt the most beautiful fish that swim in our rivers. James took some cracking pictures and I was made.
The day went and next morning arrived bringing with it terrible fishing conditions. It didn't stop raining all day and I was soaked to the bone. James did manage a good fish on the feeder but the water turned cloudy and it didn't look good. After trying all day with only a few trout to show for my efforts we decided to head back home. It really was one of the most enjoyable sessions I have had fishing in great surrounds with excellent company. It was nice to catch up with an old mate and I'm every so thankful to James for the invite. I cannot wait to return later this year.
James also managed a PB woodling pictured above :)
25 April 2018
The plan was to spend two nights and two days fishing focusing on the Zander at night and the Pike during daylight hours. The fen drains consist of miles upon miles of baron man made canal like systems that are pretty much dead straight with no obvious features to fish to. The tactic was to cover as much water as possible and fish each area for twenty minutes before moving on further down river. This way the elusive pike would be easier to find and we just might present a bait within range of a monster.
I contacted a few angling clubs and decided to have a go on the forty foot as this seemed to be fishing quite well but the we wanted to keep all options open and were prepared to move onto the 16 foot drain if we had no success within twenty four hours.
Arriving at the venue we were fortunate top find and area that would allow us to drive along side the river which made covering such a large area of water that little bit easier. It didn't take long before Jamie managed a small fish of around 5lb and later on in the day I lost scraper double that spat out the hook once it surfaced. things were looking good but little did we know that it would be downhill from here and the rest of the day drew a blank. For the night session we set up on a spot by a bridge which was the only feature we could find in such a baron landscape and changed out rigs and baits to suit Zander fishing. I went with small roach hook baits on size eight single treble and Jamie fished the same set up. The night passed uneventful and we decided to move onto some new water as we felt we had covered a sufficient area and we were not on the fish.