Last day…

So, the last day of the coarse season has come and gone.
Once again I joined Graham from wildflies for a spot of Piking. The plan was to fly fish for Pike in the morning and spend the last hours watching a Perch bobber. Unfortunately we were out of luck as the local tackle shop had sold out of lobworms and due to the overnight frost, the compost was worm free.
The plan changed to Pike in the morning and a spot of spinning/plugging in the afternoon – something I hadn’t done since the summer in Cornwall.
We set off to our usual haunts and it wasn’t until we reached our second venue that either of us had a touch. Unfortunatly for me, it was Graham’s turn to cast first, covering the water with his fly until eventually he was in contact with something which seemed fairly game for a fight. After a minute or two of fast runs and lunges, he ‘chinned’ a lovely Pike around double figures. Luckily I was filming and caught it on camera. Here is a Vimeo link to the resulting video – I’ll upload it to Youtube soon too.
There was no more action on the fly fishing front and as afternoon came around we moved venues and tackled up the spinning rods. After an hour of plugging we were both amazed that we hadn’t had a touch. With the sun high in the sky and super clear, low river conditions perhaps it wasn’t that surprising.
We moved towards the weir where I was hopeful of a Pike from the slack in the middle. I put my old faithful jointed lure on, around 6″ long and with a lovely action. After covering much of the weir I cast into the faster water and had a take almost instantly. The surface exploded with anger and I was sure I’d hooked a good Pike. I was wrong.
As the fish surfaced in front of me and no longer impaired by the sun in my eyes, I could see it was in fact a chub – and a good one too!
I netted and unhooked the fish, a tremendously thick fish – almost carp like across the shoulders. After weighing it was clear it wasn’t quite as big as I thought, but still around 5lb and my first ever on a plug of this size. When holding for a couple of quick snaps the fish did feel a little ’empty’, perhaps why he took the plug in the first place. A lovely way to end another season though.
Now I have a short wait until my favourite time of the fishing calender – small stream trout fishing, and with the prospect of exploring a new water this year I simply cannot wait until April 1st comes around.
Adam Rawson
Dad, husband, maker of split cane fishing rods and lover of the great outdoors.

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