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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!


River Great Ouse - Offord (23)

Mill Stream

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Arrival time: 10:30
Weather: Sunny and mild for September with a freshening 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: Spam, bread flake & cheese paste.
Fish: Four chub and two dace.

It's a while since I had been to the Mill Stream and I found that things had changed a bit. Reed growth had made a favoured swim by the bridge very difficult to fish. And the clearance of a tree bough that had been restricting the flow had changed the character of a couple of swims.

I started at the swim near the bridge but, as mentioned, it was very difficult to fish. I missed a good pull early on and it wasn't to be repeated. After a while struggling I decided to move.

I first moved to the more established swim nearby, but this didn't yield anything, so I made my way to one of the known chub spots. It was here that the character of the stream had been changed by the removal of an overhanging bough that had started to dam the stream and collect masses of surface weed.

There are two spots close together and I started at the upstream one. Casting so the bait drifted under tree branches I didn't get anything at first, but changing to spam and casting a bit further downstream resulted in my first chub. It wasn't a chubling but neither was it very big. It did however fight well and felt bigger when first hooked.

I then moved about ten yards downstream and again cast spam into a space between the overhanging branches. This time I hooked into a much better fish. However, it didn't lunge off in characteristic chub fashion, but merely swam on the surface into the flow, resisting mildly but not fighting. I brought it in and netted it quite easily, at which point it woke up and thrashed about in the landing net.

At 3lbs 13oz it was a lovely conditioned fish. But it's a shame it didn't give a better account of itself.

mill stream

Swim by the bridge
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mill stream

Chub spot where first fish was taken


Best chub - 3lbs 13oz

weir pool

The weir pool

After all the disturbance I moved upstream a little further and took another smallish chub by again casting under tree cover. It battled harder than it's bigger brother!

Having now taken three chub from a fairly short section of the stream I moved up to the weir pool that feeds into the stream. I chatted with another chap who was in the swim by the weir pool outflow, one I would have tried if it had been free.

Moving on to the weir pool I didn't do any good. The water was too heavy for my light link leger and I didn't have any heavier weights with me. So after a few casts I made my way back to the bridge where I fished the more established swim that I had dipped into earlier.

I soon caught another small chub, again on spam. I then had a really firm pull but struck into something solid. I'm sure it was a chub bite but nothing moved. I walked downstream to the spot in the reeds where I had started earlier, hoping to put upward pressure on the fish. But it soon became clear that I was in fact snagged and I had to break off. Whether I had actually missed the bite and pulled into the snag, or the fish had taken me into it, I can't be sure.

I fished on using bread flake after I had used all the spam and took a couple of dace. I then decided on one last attempt to tempt a bigger chub, going back to the tricky swim where I started to try with cheese paste. Unfortunately after a couple of casts I ended up in the reeds opposite and had to break off again. It was 2.40 pm and I had intended to pack up at 3.00 pm, so I decided to call it a day.

So a bit of a disappointing end but all in all a good day.

© 2023 Robert Bassett

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