Sunday, August 23, 2009 Filed in: rivers
Back to the river the next day then. Having phoned the club to try and secure the weir swim for the evening I could hear the laughter in their voice when they told me the next free slot was Saturday. Who says anglers don't have a social life?
So I wandered down to my usual swim, hacking through the nettles to find someone already wedged in there. Don't know why he looks so surprised to see me - the undergrowth is so thick you could hide a river in here. So, I slogged back out to the towpath and made my way downstream to a spot above the sandbank where the river is wider, slower and deeper. I'd turned two slices of bread and a chunk of blue cheese into the world's most attractive cheese paste...or so I thought...but when I removed it from the creel it had turned into an unholy, sticky stinking mess. Impossible to keep on the hook, it stuck to everything else like glue. At one point I had some on the end of my nose. Shame, because I'm sure I would have caught something here, fishing almost under my rod tip, with the bait drifting tantalisingly just under a weed wrack; if only I'd had a float. And some proper bait.
So, a few terse tugs and one missed lunge later, I was back below the sandbanks where the previous day's experience was repeated. Sharp bites I couldn't hit, no matter whether I used a big olive lead that held the bottom wherever I cast it, or an Arlsey bomb that rolled around a bit before settling into place. Best fun I had was right at the end, freelining a large lump of meat round the swim. I almost hit one of those.
The following morning I counted the cost of those bites that weren't misses - two on one knee, one on the back of my other leg, one on my throat and one - the worst - on a toe. Time for the Nepalese atomic insect repellant methinks.
About the author
Rob Beattie is the other of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.