Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Another day, another drain

I had slighly more optimism about today. Bearing in mind I didn't manage to catch any yesterday, it couldn't have been much worse.

But TLC and I sat there from first light, trying different things, without a pull. The wind got up, and we kept stepping up the size of the floats and putting the rods as high as we could to keep the line clear of the odd bit of debris being blown along the top.

In the end I went back to the car for a couple of leger rods so I could fish against a feature without the wind dragging me off into no man's land.

When the sun dipped towards the floodbank, the wind dropped and a herd of roe deer tip-toed past us on the far bank. Bait fish began topping here and there, as the surface turned flat calm.

We sank a brew before we rebaited the rods for the last hour. I shuddered at the splash the 2oz lead made as it landed on the far side feature, hooks festooned with a pilchard I'd found in my bait bag.

I swopped the baits over on the other rods and poked them back out. Five minutes later, the pilchard rod beeps. The drop-off stayed on but the tip knocked.

I picked it up, the line twitched and I felt a fish kick on the end as I pulled into it. Just a jack of a few pounds. It came up without much of a scrap, but it was hooked by just the bottom hook on the apex of its top jaw, so I dropped the net and handed TLC the rod so I could chin it.

The hook pops out and I drop it back. Two rudd appear in the swirl, as it kicks its tail and shoots off. Two very dead rudd. It must have coughed them up, because the margins were clear before.

I scoop them up and drop them in the coolbox - waste not, want not. They looked quite fresh. Just eaten, almost. We decide that must mean they're on the feed, so we sit it out as the sky comes alive with geese and flights of duck.

As dusk falls, the surface activity ceases. One fish was feeding. The others - if there were any others out there - clearly weren't.

As we trudge back to the car with the gear, there's a chill to the air. Snow on the way up north, gales on the way down here according to the forecast on the radio.

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