Saturday, June 23, 2012 Filed in: rivers
Having kissed goodbye to the wind, it was time to try the river again, so I 'organised' a quick evening raid, figuring that I could get down there for 7.00pm and still have two hours plus to fish. The maggots were turning into casters and had a good strong smell to them (adding a handful of wholemeal flour helps with the sweats and the stench - at least a bit) and I fancied my original plan would still work.
So back to that beautiful uncut wild field I went and with the wind a distant memory, things seemed very much better. The river looks fantastic - good colour, plenty of flow, not too many weeds or cabbages. I made my way to a favourite corner swim and got to work with the surgical shears to make a bit of space for me and my gear. Out came the Transformer again - the 13ft float version this time - and on went the Leeds 'pin with 4lb line and a size 16. I went with an old favourite float - a sort of chubber I think - but no matter how many shot I squeezed on the line the bloody thing refused to cock properly and rode miles too high out of the water. I started with double maggot and soon re-acquainted myself with some small roach, then a dace and then a tiny chub.
But I was missing bites too and when I got into a terrible tangle I decided to re-tackle with a different float. This time I chose a small stick float that cocked perfectly with two BBs and just poked its nose out of the water. Suddenly I started to hit more bites. I caught more roach, dace and chub and the the first of three perch - the biggest of which is here and must have gone a pound and a half, thus making it my biggest ever perch. An absolute beauty that the photo really doesn't do justice.
So I got my June the 16th after all, only a few days late and it was a wonderful evening, the best on the Adur for some time and hopefully a sign of things to come. I saw the owl too, quartering the field on the Henfield side, and watched it dip silently into that long grass and then lift back up and disappear off into the trees.
About the author
Rob Beattie is the other of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.