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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


04/01/2023 - Another Session On The River

Waking up today Saturday, then looking out of the window I could see a leaden grey sky, listening to the weather forecast at 0655 hrs I heard the announcer say “Heavy rain showers” I heaved a sigh, thinking “Waterproofs will be needed today” After a shower then breakfast I checked the gauge getting a reading of 1.524m, that’s about three feet on from yesterday. With bait milk and tackle in the rucksack, I chose to give my Fred J Taylor roach rod an outing, I reckon its more suited for tench, chub and bream, rather than roach.

Walking to the bus stop I though how mild it was with just a light wind, so much better than the gale force wind of yesterday. Twenty plus minutes later I’m off the bus for a long walk, some ten minutes later a car pulled up alongside, it was a mate going off to a shoot, “Where are you going” he asked, I answered “Down the river” “Get in and I will drop you off at the big house”, It was welcome news, half an hour later I’m looking at the river, it wasn’t a good sight, in the low lying areas, it was well over the bank, flowing extremely fast, the colour of dark mud, visibility looked as if it was zero, several large branches floated by on the way down stream, many of the reed beds were submerged. It didn’t look good, I’d come to fish and fish I would.

I walked about a mile or so of the river bank looking for some quiet water, I found one nice looking swim where a stream flowed in, causing a backup creating a small pool. Thinking “That’s worth a try”, further on I come to another similar area but a much wider stream, again causing a backup, which looked even better than the previous one. I decided to fish each spot for a couple of hours. Back in the cabin I sorted out the tackle, I tied on a size 6 hook being my first bait choice would be smelly cheese paste on a two foot link, so felt a bigger hook would help.

Two good Plucks

Fifteen minutes later I’m in my first small pool, checking the water temperature I got a reading of 44 degrees F. The depth of water surprised me, finding just two feet in depth, but over a firm bottom, I quickly changed the hook link to twelve inches, baiting with a decent conker size piece of cheese paste, I dropped the bait gently down under the rod tip, ten fifteen minutes later the dough bobbin moved upwards, striking I felt a fish twisting and head shaking, but it was quickly landed a chub getting on for 2lbs, which was return to the pool. Then the rain started sheeting down visibility dropped quite dramatically, it was now quite miserable, also the air temperature dropped. A few minutes later a fish of similar size, both fish had that washed out look, which didn’t really surprise me. An hour later with no more interest I moved off downstream to my second spot.

I checked the depth finding some three feet of water which gave me more confidence of hopefully catching a better fish. I’d fished for about half an hour, then the bobbin went up to the butt ring, I hooked a fish that didn’t really do much and was quickly netted perhaps it might have been a scraper two pounder. Still the heavy rain sheeted down, there was no let up. Half an hour later feeling cold and wet I called it a day then made the long trek back to the bus stop feeling quite cold, damp and miserable.



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Martin James Fishing
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