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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 (22)

Mill Stream

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Arrival time: 08:15
Weather: Alternating bright and cloudy with a stiff breeze.
Tackle: 11ft 6" John Wilson Avon with 1.5oz quiver tip, Shimano 5000RE reel, 6lb line direct to 8 eyed hook with 2xSSG link leger.
Baits: Bread flake & cheese paste.
Fish: Two chub.

Back to the Mill Stream but this time to target the chub. I decided to start at the swim by the bridge that rewarded me with a chub of just under 5lb a couple of weeks previously. Chub are visible from the bridge so at least you know that there are chub in the swim.

I started with bread flake but what was immediately apparent was the greater difficulty in casting compared to my previous visit. The marginal reeds had grown and flicking the bait down between them was an act of faith as it wasn't possible to see where the bait landed. It took a few casts to settle in and during the day I snagged those reeds on a number of occasions.

Despite the difficulty of the swim it wasn't too long before I was into a decent fish. Being hooked between the reed beds it tried repeatedly to seek refuge in the far side reed bank. I kept it clear only to have another battle as it tried to embed itself in the reeds immediately in front of me. But eventually it was safely netted.

It needed a while to recover and once it was active I unhooked it and weighed it at a shade under 3lb. A good start.

Getting more than one chub from a swim is quite rare so after trying for a bit longer, alternating with cheese paste, I decided to try other swims along the stream. There aren't that many and, having dipped into three spots, I didn't tempt another chub. There were plenty of taps from what I assume were dace but a good rod top bender didn't show up. A fair time had passed so I decided to return to the bridge swim hoping that it had settled down after my first fish.

After a short while my hope was rewarded as after casting a piece of cheese paste down between the reeds, there was a quick response in the form of another decent chub. Yet again the battle was to keep it clear of the reeds although this time it didn't try so hard to snag me in the reeds immediately in front of me. Once again it needed time to recover after a strong fight.

This chub weighed in at just under 4lb. I struggled to unhook it as the hook had snagged the landing net mesh and the line pulled through the lip of the fish up to the neoprene stop. Not realising this at first I was confused as to where the hook was in the chub's mouth. It was necessary to thread the line back through the lip. It had been hooked literally in the very edge of the lip.

I wasn't hopeful of taking a third chub from the swim but at the same time wasn't keen to move again. In the end I decided to try the head of the stream, just below the main weir pool, where I had taken a chub a couple of weeks ago. This time, however, there were no takers. I had proposed to pack up at 1.00pm so this was my last attempt at another fish.

The stream was still low and clear so two good chub was certainly a good result. It would have been nice to tease another fish out of another spot but it wasn't to be.

© 2023 Robert Bassett

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