fly fishing sport fishing freshwater fishing
Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


10/09/2018 - Just One Bite

Chub swim


Just One Bite


Usually I am on the river around 0800 hrs if not before, today I had a dentist appointment at 1015 hrs, followed with a doctor’s appointment. I arrived on the river around 1230 hrs to find the river very low and gin clear, I was quite disappointed after the rain fall yesterday. Having to leave the river by 1400 hrs for another appointment at the local hospital, I’d just a short time to fish, I thought about taking a slow walk with a fly rod, then changed my mind to try and find a chub. With made up rod and landing net, a small bag with scales, camera and tackle box, with a bag of meat chunks in my pocket, I walked off downstream. I’d probably walked about twelve hundred yards, peering intently into all the likely spots where I though a chub would be, but sadly not a sign of a fish. I then quickly walked across a small field that had no bankside cover. Arriving at a small wood with many bankside bushes with some trees over hanging the water, it was ideal chub country, creeping forward towards a big oak, I peered intently in the water apart from a trout and lots of minnows, there was no sign of my target fish. I passed three other good looking spots not seeing a chub. Crossing a small stream I reached an area of bushes and trees, one tree was suitable for climbing, with a branch leaning over the water giving me a good viewing platform.

At Last I Spotted A Fish

Climbing the tree I got high enough to pull myself up on a solid branch, looking down into the water, I quickly spotted a good fish it looked as if it could go five pounds. with a pocket of meat chunk I was able to drop a bait size piece of meat in the water, as it started to sink the chub intercepted the free offering. From my viewing spot I was able to watch the fish eat the meat with what could only be described as with “Gusto” I then dropped in two more bits of meat, again the fish intercepted the first piece then went after the second piece. That chub was for catching if I didn’t make a mistake and spook it. Hastily slithering down the tree, I moved back away from the water to get rod and landing net, taking off plasticine I baited with two chunks of meat, then pushing the rod before me, dragging the landing net behind I crawled on hands and knees underneath the bankside bushes getting stung and scratched in the process but I eventually got in close enough where I could slide the rod tip out over the water with the bait dangling an inch from the top guide. There was no chance of casting, my idea was to push the rod out as far as possible, then take off the bale arm allowing the weight of the bait to pull the line off the reel, I would only get one chance it had to be right. At the water level I couldn’t see the fish, so would hope to feel the line move across my finger and hopefully see the line move in the water. It took some fifteen minutes to get in position, pulling back the bale arm the bait landed with a plop then disappearing in the water, in less than thirty seconds the line was moving, I clamped my hand over the reel pushing the bale arm in place then moved forward to the water’s edge, lifting the rod tip I felt a terrific lung, the slipping clutch done its job perfectly as the fish powered out into the river. I was now sitting on the bank with my legs dangling over the edge. Suddenly the fish kited into my bank, as I tried to pull it upstream it got underneath some brambles, the line then got caught in the brambles. It was a case of sliding down the bank into the water, reaching behind I grabbed the net then slowly moved downstream towards the fish, by this time it was trying its best to escape. As I got near the fish I could see it had some three feet of line from the fish to the bankside brambles. I moved in slowly until I could push the landing net over the fish, then quickly drag it in, after freeing the line I was able to release the hook then move upstream to a small clearing where I could get out of the water onto a grassy clearing. I stuck the landing net partially in the water while I sorted out scales and camera, grabbing the landing net I laid it down on the grass, then sliding the fish from net into plastic carrier bag I hoisted it on the hook of the scales expecting to get a weight of 5lbs plus, it didn’t happen it weighed 4lb 12 ounces I was still happy with that knowing it would be a five pound fish next January, after a quick picture I watched the fish swim off strongly. Tomorrow I will be having a float session in the streamy runs for the dace, I will then be joined by a friend at about 1800 hrs when we will fish for the chub until around midnight.






4lb 12 ounce chub

Back to the News List

Martin James Fishing
Email: [email protected]