Thursday, September 3, 2009 Filed in: rivers
Sometimes you need to know exactly where you're going - and why - in order to relax and really enjoy it. For example, when I thought about returning to the river in Surrey I started to get antsy, thinking about the slog to the bank, then hacking down through the undergrowth. But when I realised I could fish elsewhere instead (hey, it's OK) everything breathed out and fell into place.
To the bridge then, and a short walk upstream. I haven't fished here for two or three years and the character of the swim has changed in all sorts of ways. Some - like the little platform and the tree swing - are obvious, while others, like the slower flow and more weed are less so. I've never done very well here but always remember remember Sean's tale of a mighty roach session one Christmas morning, so approach the swim with high hopes. I decided to fish with cheese paste and a 12, smallish lead and quiver tip. I'd brough the John Wilson for an outing, a great little rod only spoiled by the lack of a screw thread to hold the reel in its seat - cue comical reel bouncing down the bank action.
Three gudgeon were my spoils, a kettle that wouldn't boil, so no coffee (if you can't get your kettle to boil you don't deserve any) and then a happy hour freelining luncheon meat in three or four other swims below the bridge. It's remarkably light stuff luncheon meat, even on a big hook, and it's fun to watch it rise and fall in the current. No bites, but plenty of enjoyment. And as you can see, a lovely setting as the sun came up. Need to sort that kettle out though.
About the author
Rob Beattie is the other of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.