Saturday, November 08, 2008

You never can tell

The overnight rain had cleared and the day turned sunny but breezy. With havy rain and gales forecast I thought I'd get an afternoon/evening session in. The river looked bob on, up a little on Tuesday with a hint more colour, but much warmer at 8.5C.

I dropped in to the big slack and put a barbel bait in the deep channel and fished a maggot feeder downstream. A half-moon appeared long before dark, wagtails worked the far bank perching on stones and singing. The high bank kept the wind from chilling me. After three-quarters of an hour the bites started coming to the maggot rod. When I dropped the feeder slightly further down the swim they increased in frequency. Delicate bites that pulled the tip down slowly and were all missed when I struck, the maggots either sucked or missing.

Towards dusk fish started topping in the swim and around it. Dace sized fish. The bites grew more sporadic. I reckon it was dace giving me the bites and they had moved up in the water. When I looked at the swim and the flow rate I thought it would be a good place to run a float through. Pity I'd left the float rod at home.

By five thirty the sky had clouded over enough to obscure the moon. I moved to a banker barbel swim which was also well sheltered and put two barbel rods out. It was eight thirty when I packed up in the predicted rain, the wind rushing through the half-bare branches of the trees on the far bank. Some of the gusts were uprooting the brolly and I had had just a few tentative chub pulls. Shining the beam of my head torch into the margins it seemed like the river was colouring up.

I'd have put money on catching a fish or two under the conditions. It just goes to show, you never can tell. And Emmylou agrees.