River Great Ouse - Offord (27)
Arrival time: 10:30 (at swim)
Weather: Overcast and chilly. Little wind to start with but blew up during the session.
Tackle: 9ft Shimano Aero X1 feeder rod with 1oz quiver, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel, 5lb line direct to a 14 hook. Link leger with 2SSG.
Baits: Maggots and worms.
Fish: A number of smallish roach and dace, with the occasional gudgeon and one small perch.
After yet more heavy rain I was unsure about going to a river but I took a chance, with the intention of going to a particular swim if the river was up. And up it was. Coloured and moving at a pace I was pleased to find that the spot I had decided upon offered some slack water.
I had fished the same spot a few weeks earlier when after chub. On that occasion I got lots of bites I couldn't hit on my chub gear, landing only one small chub that was chased in by what I believe was a perch. So the plan was to fish with a more sensitive quiver this time and use maggots and worms. My hope was to catch some roach, if nothing else, with the chance of a perch or two and, if really lucky, a decent chub.
There were tree branches entering the water on either side of me, the ones to the right (upstream) acting to create the slack. While, to the left, the branches offered cover for the fish and I cast just beyond them, the flow pulling the light leger under them.
First cast produced a reasonable roach, which was gratifying since it showed that my plan of approach was good.
Click on image to open lightbox
The first roach
One of a few gudgeon
One of the dace
Probably the best roach
I continued with the same approach using mainly maggots but trying a worm from time to time. Some gudgeon made an early appearance but I also caught some more roach and a few dace. I was still missing a lot of bites, which presented as no more than sharp jabs on the quiver. I suspect they were small gudgeon or dace, the latter being a challenge to hook on the quiver. I did catch one small perch but my hope of pulling in a sizeable one did not materialise.
And that really was the shape of the session. Towards the end, after about three hours or so, the bites dropped off and I started to be bothered by debris, such as leaves, catching the hook and presenting as what could have been thought to be a bite. I think the river had become 'heavier' since I first arrived and this could have accounted for the increase in material being swept down.
In the end I packed up a bit earlier than I had intended but I was quite happy how the session had gone. In such difficult conditions it was good just to catch and the fact that the 'plan' came to fruition was satisfying.