With Sunday and most of Monday to myself, I thought carefully about how best to spend my precious time. I opted to visit Vale farm on Sunday and to stay local Monday, mostly due to having to ferry Jessica to and from nursery.
I arrived at Vale shortly after 7am and after making my way to the left hand pool ducked for cover as a brief but heavy shower passed over. I walked the empty banks a few times, made myself a new pair of banksticks along the way too, but saw no signs of fish. I was looking for that sign for a good half hour, and then it came to me.
With the rain clouds clearing i was left with a lovely rainbow which seemed to end right behind a naked willow on the far bank. I made no hesitations in making my way to the spot and setting up. It was around 5ft deep quite close in. I scattered some sweetcorn around my float and fished luncheon meat on the hook.
An hour I sat staring at the red and yellow float tip, willing it to dip, but it didn't. Coots, a mallard with a hurt wing and a kingfisher were my companions for most of the morning. I upped sticks (literally) and tried 2 more spots on that pool, but come lunchtime I needed a change of scenery.
The change was a good one. I set up on the windy side of the left hand pool and float fished in the same manner just a rod length from the bank near a bankside bush. The float sunk quite soon after casting and the result was a gorgeous feisty common.
The carp came steadily throughout the afternoon, mostly on the meat, but the last two fish of the day were caught on dog biscuits, mainly through my determination to make that method work. Here are a few more snaps from the day. I caught 14 carp in total.
After dropping Jessica off at nursery Monday morning I visited Carron Row for a quiet day stalking some old friends. I knew the usual haunts and looked forward to retracing old footsteps, recounting old battles and, hopefully, to pursue a few new ones.
I wandered all 4 pools looking for fish, perhaps I'd forgotten that we were hardly out of winter, that the water was still rather chilly and that the carp might still be taking part in short brief feeding spells. Apart from a group of good fish on pool 3 tucked behind an island that I couldn't get a bait to, it was very quiet.
It was still a wonderful day, sat in favourite spots free-lining or watching a quill tip. I didn't have a bite, but still came away happy. I think the friendly robin might have had something to do with that.