Yesterday I was undecided what to do, I knew I wanted to go but didn’t, for the life of me, know exactly where. I finished work at midday and for the hour previous to leaving I had it set in my mind that it would be a trip to the river Wallington, a local stream not too far from work with sections I was yet to explore, so I guess I was going fishing but it was more a reconnaissance trip. A quick stop home for a bite to eat and with the bare essentials loaded I headed for the river with thoughts of chub set firmly in my mind.
I pulled into the car park at Spurlings Farm and wandered up to the bridge, a quick look around either side saw that downstream there was a lovely deep pool which flowed under a half submerged fallen tree, if there were chub in the swim I knew just where they’d be. The moment should have been one of excitement and anticipation but seeing a decimated chub laying on the bank, probably the result of an otter or mink, marred the occasion somewhat. Nevertheless, I set up the 11ft cane rod, centrepin and net and went off in search of the chavender.
I sat for five minutes or so flicking small pieces of bread into the current upstream so they fluttered enticingly into where I thought the chub would be, but it wasn’t quite as deep as I first thought and I could, with the aid of polarised glasses, see the bait settle on the bottom. With a few more minutes of watching the bread lay dormant on the river bed with no interest it was time to move on, perhaps the chub who lived in this pool was the one I’d seen laying on the bank, an unceremonious end to the king of the pool.
A little further downstream there was a nice bend with a deep undercut, again I baited the pitch and awaited activity, but once again the bread lay on the bottom untouched. On my travels again and half a mile downstream I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to happen, there didn’t seem to be any fish in any of the pools I fed and fished so I decided to head back to the car and try my hand at Whitedell, another stretch further upstream but a couple of miles.
Whitedell was a bit trickier to get to, parking in a farmer’s lay-by and walking a fait way down the track and hopping over a rusty gate I wasn’t sure would take my weight. But a pleasant stroll it was in the light breeze and soon enough I could hear trickling water. The main deeps here were directly below the track and, the same as the last stretch, this seemed also devoid of fish, although I did spot a group of minnows that seemed to like my antics. With an hour of sunlight left I returned to the car once more and headed for Southwick pool, a familiar stretch of the same river a good few miles upstream and close to home where the chance of a carp would be on the cards. The hour passed quickly without a bite but I would like to think I missed a few due to watching kingfishers flashing by frequently.
It was just one of those afternoons, I really enjoyed exploring a few new stretches, I have no doubt there were fish there, I have heard reports of catches being made at the very same bits I fished, but I feel we need a little more rain for the fish to get back into the swing of things properly.
So tonight, I’m booked in for a 24 hour session on a tricky club water, chestnut stunners haunt the water and have tormented me for many a season. I’ve had a few, but it doesn’t like me very much, I can go eight, even ten blanks and then catch two in a night, but a winter carp has evaded me so far. Looking at the clock I have an hour before I leave so I must go and ready my things. Keep everything crossed for me guys…….