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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


07/06/2016 - 3 Hours of Pure Bliss


Unable to sleep through the pain from shingles, I was up and about around 0500hrs, after a shower, followed by a mug of tea I was soon driving the five miles to my river, I had with me a bag of Lone Angler cheese flavoured crust. After passing through the gate to the fishery I drove down the track to the river then made slow drive along the river bank, after about 400 yards I arrived at a spot where I could sit on the high bank looking down into the gin clear slow flowing water. Downstream I could see a duck with six ducklings dashing here there and everywhere as they hunted down the drowned flies in the scum. Swallows and sand martins hawked the surface, towards the far bank a salmon rolled. All was peaceful no sound of traffic or people, sitting on the bank peering into the water I noticed a sudden movement I watched the area like a hawk then spotted another movement in the water, then realised it was an eel about 18 inches in length, I watched with intense interest as it hunted for food, I’ve never been privileged in all my years of angling to sit and watch an eel hunting for food. I was impressed at the size of stones it moved in its hunt for food. After about half an hour I watched the eel dive under a rock then emerge with a bullhead in its jaws. It then moved alongside a big rock where it settled down to devour its breakfast lasting some ten minutes or more. It then moved into the deeper water and was lost from sight. Fifteen minutes later I slowly drove alongside the river scanning the surface for chub, which I found in some fast broken water, through my binoculars I reckon there were between 30 and 40 fish from two to three pound with an occasional four pound fish. Sitting in the car I fired pieces of crust well upstream of the fish then watched the free offerings drift downstream, soon the chub were swirling and taking the crust with gay abandon, even an odd trout got in on the act. An hour later with all the crust gone the chub just moved slowly up and down the river without a care in the world.

Sea Trout on the Move

Driving some 80 yards upriver where the water was no more than 18 inches deep with big rocks appearing where they are usually below the surface, I come to a length of faster deeper water where I spotted fish movement thinking “More chub” I spent ten minutes of scanning the area, what I found were not chub but a shoal of sea trout, mostly around 2lbs with an occasional fish approaching 4lbs. Every now and again a fish sometimes two or three would move from the fast water into the shallows creating bow waves as they dashed across the shallows into another stretch of faster deeper water. These fish certainly captured my attention until they had all moved on to a very big deep pool, I reckon it lasted an hour or more. A truly memorable early morning session on the river, one I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. In fact it was as interesting if not more so than catching certainly unforgettable.


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Martin James Fishing
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