Another washout, Mother Wharfe was still brimming with flood water and debris, and it is still raining. I want to run a float, and catch some dace.
I`m getting `twitchy` now.
The river is still flooded, so the match venue is switched to the ponds.
The ponds are fuller than I`ve ever seen them and many of the platforms are submerged. We congregate on Pond 3, draw our pegs, and begin.
I don`t find any fish `close in`. I fish a couple of rod lengths out and start to get some tentative bites but I`m not hooking anything. I get a proper bite and still fail to connect, close inspection reveals the maggot had folded over and masked the hook point. Fresh maggot on, and the rig is cast to approximately where it was, accuracy affected by the wind, but the bait is roughly `in the zone`. The little waggler disappears and I finally latch into a roach. The fishing is slow, and bites are at a premium, so when I lose three fish consecutively, I begin to growl.
I manage to catch a few more, but for every two I catch I lose five. I check the size 20 regularly, but do I change it ? No, I am lazy and complacent. I can`t see all the anglers, but of the ones I can see, there's only me and Crabtree catching, ergo `nothing to worry about`.
Well, I did catch a few more, but I lost a lot more, and that laziness cost me at the weigh in, and it served me right. I finished third, missing out on the big money by 3 ounces. Crabtree won with an all out caster attack.
If truth be told, the banter was of a higher caliber than the fishing – plenty of it coming my way for losing all those fish, and for lurching from my platform suffering a bout of cramp, and a fair bit thrown at Agent Orange for his close involvement with sheep – he freed an entangled sheep from a blackberry bush, cutting it free with his scissors, but still leaving it well camouflaged, adorned by entangled briars.
The river was still high, but steady. I wandered down for a look and found `Izaak` himself just as he was to make his first cast. He predicted a minnow on his first chuck and he was right. Then another, and then something took his maggot and headed for the middle of the river. A short but hairy fight culminated in the capture of a chunky trout. I`d seen enough. I dashed home to get my gear.
Minimum tackle. Travel light. I fished the Ings.
I caught a big dace, and then a procession of ruffe. Where have all the perch gone ? are they there in October? Have they been eaten ? have they turned vegan ? Answers on a postcard please.
A visit to our ponds with the Doctor.
He wanted to fish from last weeks winning peg, same spot, same method. I wanted to fish my peg from last week – unfinished business, following my noddy performance in the match.
Having learned my lesson, I used a different pattern of hook from last week, but the Doctor still caught the first fish of the day despite starting twenty minutes later than me ( he made several trips to the car, ferrying tackle to and fro ). Thankfully my first roach came straight after his, limiting the amount of `bants` he could hurl my way.
The wind picked up, but so did the bites. I only lost a couple of fish today, and didn`t lose my patience. As the gale seemed to have set in for the day, the Doctor abandoned his pole as he struggled for control in the brisk north wind. He set up a waggler rod and soon caught a roach, he also caught a bush, and the fish sanctuary.
My fish seemed to be huddled in one place, accurate casting was the key. A yard short seemed barren, a yard long was a bush.
I caught roach – which I landed, and a bush – which I did not.
The rain began to fall, and as I glanced at the Doctor he was packing up. I followed suit, and we were back in the car as the heavens opened. It wasn’t a great days fishing but I felt I had made amends for my indolence the week before. I trebled my weight from the match in half the time, and in more testing conditions. If only I`d changed that hook.
I`m looking forwards to having a session on the river when its not brown, full of trees, and the minnows have gone wherever they go. Until then…….