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Diary of an average angler

This diary dates back to a holiday in 2003 when I think the urge to get back into fishing took off.
From around 2007 the trips became more frequent with 2010/11 probably being the peak of activity.
Things again pick up in 2020 - a sort of rebirth!

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River Great Ouse - Offord (21)

Mill Stream

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Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: Overcast & breezy - brightening later
Tackle: 10ft EFGear compact float rod, Speedia centrepin, Drennan stick float, 6lb line with Drennan 4lb pre-tied hook length and 14 'red' hook.
Baits: Maggot, bread flake.
Fish: Small dace & perch and a couple of gudgeon.

I returned to the Mill Stream having the previous week thought that the swim at the head of the stream would be ideal for trotting. In fact the cross-flow of the stream and a cross wind made trotting quite difficult.

I had decided to use maggots, hoping that by feeding the swim it would entice some better fish, including perhaps a chub or two. In fact, all that the maggots seem to do was encourage what seemed to be an unending number of smallish dace.

Hitting the dace on float was certainly easier than connecting with them the previous week, when I was using a quiver-tip and an 8 hook! But it wasn't a doddle by any means. I was still missing many of the bites. The other problem was that smaller dace were intercepting the bait before it had even sunk to my set depth.

I explored the swim trying different 'lines', including slacker water nearer the bank. The central flow was fast and quite turbulent. I was rewarded with a few perch and a couple of gudgeon, and perhaps what was the best dace came from this slacker water.

The wind began to freshen and was making it difficult to dress the line as both the wind and the flow were pushing the float towards downstream reeds on the near bank, where I knew there were snags. In the end this difficulty caused me to put on a maggot feeder and leger. I removed the hook length and tied a 14 eyed hook direct to the 6lb line.

Casting with the centrepin wasn't easy and the tip of the float rod, although quite fine, wasn't great as a bite indicator. I continued to get dace bites which, on the changed setup, were even more difficult to hit. I did have another perch that was probably the best for the day although still quite small.

In the end I decided to give up on the swim and try one of the 'chub' spots before packing up. I stopped off at a spot that I hadn't fished before but which looked very chubby. Changing to bread flake I dropped the bait such that the flow took it under some overhanging branches, in a channel between the streamer weed. It looked a perfect 'chub hole' but despite this I didn't get a touch.

After a couple of casts my line caught the rod rest on the retrieve and this somehow managed to create a tangle on the centrepin. I think a loop had fallen over the rim of the reel. I couldn't manage to untangle it in what was now a very fresh wind so I decided to pack up a bit early.

So, not a great day. But I'm glad I tried the trotting approach even though it didn't quite work out. Nothing ventured nothing gained, as they say.

© 2024 Robert Bassett

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