Over the last seven days I have managed to get out three times and to be honest not one of those trips have lived up to my expectations for one reason or another!
The first trip on Thursday of last week was admittedly a prospective session at Ryton pool carp fishing. All winter long I have quietly been planning, bait making and studying old blogs in readiness for an early spring assault on this water, and with the weather being already milder than this time last year it seemed the perfect opportunity to have my first go.
A mild overcast day raised my hopes of a run or two and upon arriving at Ryton to see a flat calm pool shrouded in low light, my carpy senses were tingling in anticipation.
Throughout the day I did see a couple of golden backs break the surface of the lake and every now and again a couple of bleeps on the indicator belied the attentions of moving fish, but after moving constantly all day and searching out every area on the lake I thought might yield a fish, all I had to show for my efforts was one dropped run just before it was time to leave.
During a packed weekend I returned for a short two hour session on Sunday evening to try my chances again in the same area as my previous run came from on my last session. I suspected on my last visit that my baits had been picked up and the rigs had failed to hook up the culprits so I made some modifications prior to arriving. This time I registered no odd bleeps at all until the light went and my right hand rod which had been cast tight to the bank roared off. I only felt the juddering of what I suspect was small carp for a moment before the line went slack.
After two sessions where I have managed to get some kind of response from the fish in Ryton I have concluded it is still a little too early to get a full on campaign going. I may have been trying to force the issue a little but still, they are waking up and give it a few weeks and they should really start to wake up and they may even be hungry...
My third trip was one myself and Andy had been planning for a while to the picturesque river windrush nestled on the Cotswolds. I first visited this river a few years ago and it was the site of my first ever greyling capture.
All week I had been watching the weather and praying the rain would ease off as this clear river never responds well to too much rain, as the fish population spend most of the year swimming in gin clear water and sight feeding.
After meeting up with Dave we scoffed a hearty breakfast before obtaining our tickets from the local tackle emporium and headed down to the first section. I was half excited and half worried since the night before regarding the conditions and this is where my troubles started! I had brought with me three rods. One for trotting and two others for light and heavy ledger work as well as a huge array of baits to try. The river was not as bad as I thought it would be, but on the other hand I was... as we worked our way round both beats I could not settle into what I was doing at all. If I was ledgering I thought I should be trotting. If I was trotting I thought I should be feeder fishing. We all lost a fair amount of kit on unseen obstacles but by far I seemed able to find every bit of debris in the river with ease.
Fishing the slacks I managed to scrounge a few taps but my first real bite came fishing under a mat on a half sunken tree when a small trout grabbed my bread bait before snagging me up under the mat. Several moves later whilst trotting a lovely glide I lost a half decent greyling on the retrieve as I slackened off reeling it in and the small hook popped clean out.
I found myself falling foul of putting too much pressure on myself to catch. I felt like I had to cover the whole river in one day, so if I wasn't getting bites straight away I needed to move on as quickly as possible. In retrospect I would have far better off concentrating on one swim all day rather than flapping round like an idiot loosing crap loads of gear and generally getting wound up.
And after all that I realised too late that whilst concentrating on not catching fish I hadn't bothered to get the camera out and take and pictures and so had missed some wicked shots. Though I did grab a couple just before the light started to fade.