Date fished 19/6/2021
7am until 14.30
When you use the word "guarantee" you really need to be sure! That's the word I had used.
Tom has recently joined Northallerton and been waiting patiently through lockdown and then the closed season to catch his very first Chub. I had spoken to him about tactics, kit etc and bullishly exclaimed "I guarantee I can get you to catch a 4lb Chub".
I met Tom at 7am just before the car park and he followed me to the spot. He had brought new waders too just to pile the pressure on me. We walked to the river and he was truly excited, that got me excited. I remember the first trips of mine to the Swale, Pike fishing and mostly blanks, I might add!
We saw fish straight away, I was pointing them out to Tom, his Chub eye not quite in yet. I headed to the swim that I had seen all the fish in on Wednesday, a little out of curiosity and a little out of greed of bagging a few. There was another angler in the swim but also no fish. He had not caught any, and I saw no fish. We had a quick chat and then moved downstream. We fished the far bank from waded positions mid river. The casts were getting closer to the snags, it was looking perfect but no fish came. We had a cup of coffee and decided our next move.
I wanted to show him some of the stretch aswell as guarantee him his 4lb Chub so we moved swims.
The other angler had moved pegs too so we jumped into the empty peg just to try our luck. No bites here so we moved off.
We were soon back to where we first saw the river, this was also where I knew they may be Chub. We saw several, Tom spotting them now and one swam close to our bank too. I put Tom in the tree swim where I caught a Chub on Wednesday and settled in to watch.
Ten minutes in his rod knocked and fish on. It was played quickly to the net, only once diving in the roots underneath. Tom was smiling, I was smiling and even the Chub I think was smiling. At 4lb 13oz, a more than decent first Chub.
We waded to a small Island and cast the other side of the tree. This was my chance and a 3lb blank saver graced my net.
It was now time to walk. I took him from the thirties to the teens (peg numbers) to show him some of the river. We stopped for a sarnie, I shared Tom's as someone from my digs last night had "borrowed" mine from the fridge! We fished in spots I had caught in before and I pointed out all the swims I had blanked in, even though they looked so fishy!
We were struggling for bites now and an over zealous dog walker/swimmer in Tom's swim gave us the perfect excuse to move on. Next we fished a sandy swim, it looked and felt right. A large Pike a few feet from the bank was enjoyable to watch as the rods remained motionless. A few more swims and we were back to the tree. Tom was going to leave soon, so I told him to get back in the tree swim as a "one for the road!" He duly obliged and his second Chub similar in size to my three pounder.
Why Gary Tees, I hear you ask? I used to work in a team called "guarentees" and we answered the phone with that as our greeting. When I organised the staff Christmas party, the pub called me and I answered with my usual "hello, guarantees".
She mis heard and thought I said " hello, Gary Tees speaking" and being an idiot, I played along. I had to organise the whole thing and keep answering to Gary. When we were at the venue and I had a few drinks, she kept calling Gary and it took me a few minutes to register and respond!!
As I drove home today, I chuckled to myself about Gary Tees and pondered my guarantee to Tom. I had made it in good faith and I hope I delivered!?