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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


29/02/2024 - Heavy Rain, Cold Wind, But I Had To Go Angling



I was up early and away to the river by the first bus to Clitheroe, then a taxi to a stretch of river I hadn’t been on for a while. The water was low and clear, on taking the water temperature I got a shock 38 degrees F, that I didn’t expect, I then walked down through the wood to a pool below, where in the past I’d had some good fish. As I was taking the rod out of its bag, a large number of field fare flew across from the field opposite then settled in the wood, I reckon in the next thirty minutes or so there must have been several hundred coming into the trees, the chattering was amazing. At the same time I witnessed several sightings of a kingfisher or kingfisher’s,

Having got my gear sorted out, using a Peter Stone glass Leger Master from John Harding, with a Mitchell 300 filled with 8lb line, to which I attached two float stops, then a size 4 barbless hook, my usual weight was plasticine, after a few casts I reckon I’d got the weight correct. With the water temperature very low it would have to be a searching method in the hope a bait would land close to a chub. My choice of baits were bread, cheese paste and sausage meat.

Nuisance Trout

In the first half an hour I had three nuisance trout, I just hate catching them out of season trout whatever the size, they were all caught on crust, I persevered with crust for another hour without success, then extended the distance between the hook and weight to about fifteen inches before baiting with cheese paste, fifteen minutes later I got a sharp knock, then nothing, after about twenty minutes I careful retrieved the bait, there were two distinct lip marks on the either side of the cheese paste, large indentations, no doubt about it, “That was a chub”.

Storm clouds were building

Within minutes of casting out another lump of cheese paste, the light rain suddenly turned to a heavy down pour, the clouds becoming darker by the minute, the wind also increased, soon a stream of water was running under my chair. Half an hour or so I started to shiver I had never felt so cold in ages, but I wasn’t giving in, knowing there is a chub around. The fieldfare had gone quiet, everywhere seemed dead, even the rooks in the opposite field had stopped feeding, then flew away.Suddenly I felt the line tighten over my finger, the tip slowly pulled round about an inch, striking I felt the pull of a fish, soon I had a chub about two pounds in the net which was quickly unhooked and released. I baited again with cheese paste, minutes later another chub of similar size, I can’ say I was enjoying it, as rain trickled off hood then my down my face caused by the gale force wind that was blowing directly at me. “This weather wasn’t forecast it only said light rain”. My mittens were wet through.

Soon I had another chub similar size to the other fish, I was getting disappointed catching only small chub which I must say “Didn’t lift my spirits” Despite the horrid weather I persevered hoping for that chub which that had sampled my cheese paste early on, I reckon that was a good fish. I fished on for another two hours, getting wet and colder with no sign of a bite, I decided I’d had enough, Packing up I the made my way through the wood falling over twice as the bank was so slippery, eventually getting out on the filed where it was better walking, I was then battered by both wind and rain. Eventually I found shelter behind a stone wall, then called the taxi firm, asking them to collect me, then it was home, After a hot shower, some eggs, bacon, with chips from the air fryer, as they are cooked without oil, making them safe for me to eat occasionally. So ended one of those horrid days at the waterside, though seeing all the field fare and kingfisher sightings, were the highlight on the day.

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Martin James Fishing
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