Saturday, 9 March 2019

The Flood King

Date fished 9/3/2019
8.30 till 17.00

Today's trip to the Swale at Northallerton started long before I left the house at 6am. It was started in the week, on the prep. Speaking to local club members, looking at the weather reports and looking at the river levels all said "it's gonna be tough, if you bother"
Ellis and I went back and forth about if we should go or not. Finally deciding that because the season was closing next week, we should go anyway. So we did!

Leaving Hexham at 7 degrees, the roads dry, I was happy. Slowly the weather changed, I drove through light rain, torrential rain and then snow. The A1 being covered in slush as I approached the junction. I knew Ellis would be keen with his heated seats on full blast!! The king travels first class.

A quick stop to get fuel for Ellis and I of the sausage variety, and I was soon sat on the warm seat in Ellis's car. Eating our way through the muffiny goodness, we looked at the worsening weather. Ellis announcing " when the snow came, I nearly pulled over and called you to say I was going home!!"
That's the keen spirit mate!

Eventually the rain lightened and we set up. It was actually not too cold and if the rain stopped, it would be nice. A quick walk and we saw the river. Well, we saw it long before you normally would as there was much more of it!

Deciding to ledger in the slacks, we both started with large ish weights and cheese paste. Stood watching the rod tips, we heard a splash, looking up to see a large chunk of the bank on the opposite bank and over 100 metres away, break off and slip into the river. I gulped. Ellis proclaimed " the fish will all be over there eating the worms from that chunk!" Haha, but the king did have a point.

Nothing occurring in the first swim, we headed off. The sun had now come out and I was annoyed my sunglasses and cap was still in the car!

The next swim also produced nothing, so I moved to fish against a bush. Ellis saw this manoeuvre and countered it by taking his lead off and free lining his cheese paste by a large floating raft and tree line.
This proved a smart move for the king, as his line tightened and he struck into a fish.
A nice looking chub of about 3lb his prize.

I was quick to jump next to the King and fish against the tree line. A small pluck on the line was all I could muster. We moved on.

The next swim proved snaggy and a few hooklinks lost had us wondering if free lining was the right way in all the swims? Some of them seemed better with a lead on.

We carried on our way. The next swim, I did not like the look of. I suggested I did not "feel it" in here.
I fished with a lead this time. As hunger crept up on me, I reeled in so I could eat and Ellis could fish in the swim.
He was free lining cheese paste. Ellis started to explain that the cheese paste would roll around the crease in the current and sit against the overhanging bush in a natural way moved by the current.......... wow! Went the shout as his rod was nearly ripped out his hand. Another quick fight and I netted the kings second chub. This fish looked much bigger, we weighed it. An honest King gave himself just under 5lb, but it was close enough for me to be a five. A cracking fish no less!
I was free lining in the spot before the king even turned around!

After no more bites, and with a laugh at the perfectly demonstrated chub capture, we carried on. We walked and fished slacks all the way to the top end of the stretch. More just to see the swims, than trying to catch.
Nearly at the top, we about turned and walked downstream. Fishing in a new swim, we both sat and waited. Soon enough and with a royal shout, Ellis's rod hooped over and he was in. As he played it to the net, disaster. The fish got off. I think that makes the King only a Prince now!?

It got us thinking, as I have lost a lot of fish recently when ledgering or using a swim feeder. I am sure the weight between rod tip and hook has an impact and fish can use the bouncing weight to shed the hook. Answers on a postcard please.....

As the Prince and I fished our way back to the car, we were in our final swim. My rod bouncing with the flow. Suddenly it gave a fish type bounce, I was sure of it. Reeling in, no bait on. So was it a fish? Maybe, just maybe but we will have to wait till June 16th to see who lives in that swim.

Reviewing the season, a pb Chub for me in the summer and 6 Morton Chub for the Prince since 2019 makes us both feel like kings!