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


30/07/2023 - Another Good Chub Session



This morning I got a call from my doctor with the results of my scan, which states there is a large broad-based posterior disc bulge, severe bilateral facet joint degeneration which is very severe resulting in severe spinal canal stenosis etc etc. I think I have that right, but don’t know what it means. According to my doctor, though it’s causing me a lot of pain, it will be dealt with when I come back from holiday. While I am away arrangements will be made for me to see a specialist surgeon on my return. who will discuss what they plan to do. But the doctor was very confident saying “Don’t worry we will get you sorted out”. There was only one thing for me to do, “That’s go fishing and forget the problem”.

An hour later Paul called to see if I wanted to go trout fishing, as my balance isn’t good, I chose to fish for some chub, he dropped me off on the stretch of water I wanted to fish, saying “I will call you when I’m ready to go home”. Paul then went to another beat, with the rain sheeting down I slung tackle bag over my back, with rod, sponge seat and landing net in one hand, the other with my walking stick, I made a very slow painful walk to my chosen swim, often through nettles and brambles, a distance around 1200 yards, another member caught up with me, who offered to carry my gear. I politely said “No thank you Roger, I have to do it myself”Eventually I arrived at the swim I wanted. My problem was getting down the high bank without tumbling in the river, usually I just slide down on my bottom, but there were lots of rocks etc to negotiate, thankfully I have a strongly made seat some 30 years old, it belonged to one of my wheelchairs, sitting on this I made my way down to the bottom, getting back will be quite easy, I would crawl on my hands and knees.

Tackle Set Up

Safely in place, I put together a Milwards 12 foot Swim master which I find an excellent rod for trotting, laying on, or stret-pegging.The area I wanted to fish was under the far bank trees, no way could I reach that area with a Wallis cast, the centre pin was out. I chose to use one of my Certate fixed spool reels model 2500, I rate these reels the best that have come out of Japan, the engineering is Rolls Royce quality. The clutch is so smooth, I don’t know of any other model of fixed spool reel, that is its equal.The spool was filled with 4 lb bs floating line, I am a great believer in using sliding floats more so when fishing at long distance, it really does make casting a lot easier, if your fishing over 5 feet or more of water. Another point I like about the slider, is when you strike you’re in direct contact with the quarry so getting a better hook up.I chose a swan quill with a shotting pattern of 1LG, 3AAA, with 2BB around 8 inches from a size 10 hook, my bait choice to start with was sweet corn, I do find Jolly Green Giant is better for hook bait, than the cheaper brands, for feeding the cheap variety of corn is ok, in fact the Green Giant is ideal for the hook as the larger pieces of corn are a bright yellow colour certainly stand out, so probably more attractive to the fish.I fired two catapults of corn under the far bank trees, baiting with two grains of corn, I made a long cast, at the upstream of my swim, within second the float buried, striking well back I felt the kick of a fish as the rod tip pulled down, after some minutes I netted a chub around 2.5 lbs, as I admired this perfect specimen, I realised it would make a good picture, it was fin and scale perfect with a plump body. For some time I thought I should get a smaller camera, the heavy one I have is rather cumbersome to drag around, also it takes up to much space in my small bucket like bag.

In six casts I had five similar size chub to the first one, I find it so restful working a flat down the swim, waiting for it to dip, then striking into another fish, every fifteen minutes or so, I would catapult more grains of corn, hoping to keep the fish shoaled up and interested. I never tire of the experience when watching a float, long may it continue. After some two hours the bites slowed up, time for a bait change, I replaced the size 10 hook for a size 8 then fished either bread flake or crust, again attracting more bites, with a better than average size, occasional 3lb fish would be caught.On the nearby phone lines were a group of swallows, the parent birds would go off hunting insects then return to feed one or two youngster’s, I had their company all through the session until the wind increased as the rain sheeted down once more.In my five hour session, I had some 30 plus chub, sadly missing many bites, which I couldn’t find an answer to. I lost what I thought was a good chub which grabbed the bait on the drop, close to the surface, I had a brief glimpse of the fish probably 4lbs plus. It dashed off downstream then rejected the hook. All in all it was a very good session. If I can get a lift tomorrow I will be back.

Back to the News List

Martin James Fishing
Email: [email protected]