Saturday 23 November 2019

Du Pain, Du Vin, Du Boursin

Date fished 23/11/2019
07.50 until 14.15

Don't worry, I have not suddenly been sponsored!
Remembering back to French oral exams, the very answer to give when asked " what do you like to eat?"  Was this blogs title.

Fishing alone again today, I decided to head to the Tees. I had not tried some club stretches in a while.  Without being able to get maggots I decided to target chub.

I popped to Tesco to buy some blue cheese to make cheese paste, and I saw the Boursin at half price. I grabbed a few, surely they will work I thought.
I quickly made up a batch, got my kit ready. With rain expected most of the day,  I was travelling light. One rod, a short travel rod, seat bucket with a few bits in and a net. I was ready.

Waking early, Mr Fish, or his modern counterpart was right! It was pouring with rain. I was committed, so into the car I got and headed for the Tees.
Arriving just as the day broke, the river looked a good level but maybe a bit clear. As I looked closer, I could see all the leaves. This had got Ellis and I before. Imagine trying to eat with a leaf slapping you in the face every 10 seconds. Am sure you wouldn't enjoy it!!

I found a nice swim and set up, stealing a trick from Aidan, I had a small brolly with me. Perfect for just holding and sitting under and small enough to slip in the bag if and when the rain stopped!

I cast out and waited. A few taps on the rod, and it was looking ok. As I brought the rig in though, there was lots of leaves down the line. This was not looking ok!!

I cast down an inside line, but still it didn't help. I was going to move.

I found a swim with a bit of a barrage made by a fallen tree. I fished behind this.
Casting to the edge, but up stream the line was slack, so I watched the line enter the water.
Sat waiting under my Brolly  I saw the line tighten, I struck straight away and I was in.
A quick fight and a lovely chub lay in the net. A quick pic and hold, the body was freezing. It actually felt colder than the surrounding water.
An immaculate fish and at 4lb 2oz, another target achieved. I had caught a 4lb 8oz on lamprey years ago, my first big chub and my first Tees fish. But this year, I wanted another big  Tees chub, and was so happy with this fish!

Wondering if there were more fish down there, I sat back for a warming cup of coffee . I left it 10 mins and cast back out.
Nothing this time, so I moved on.

There were lots of swims, that looked perfect but I was not able to fish them. The banks were so wet and slippy, the majority of them just mud or river washed foliage. I was not prepared to slip and fall, so I left them alone.

Finding lots of other swims, I dropped in a few and tried.  Sadly no other fish.
I stopped in a swim for lunch, all looked safe. As soon as I stood up, my feet slipped away. I ended up on my bum, a few feet from the edge.
It wasn't so scary that I pooped myself, but my coat showed otherwise!

I walked back and fished in the swim I had caught from. The rain stopped and it was a nice afternoon. Unfortunately no more fish joined me.

I decided to pack up, as I had been wet, got dry and thought more rain was due.  As I set off home, I was glad I braved the wet and horrible conditions. Afterall, Il faut casser le noyau pour avoir l'amande. —> No pain no gain. 

Saturday 9 November 2019

A pint of maggots and 2 packets of hooks!

Date fished 9/11/2019
7.30am until 2pm

With the weather not knowing what it wanted to do, I decided to head to the Tees at Broken Scar to fish for Grayling. My usual fannying on Friday, checking river levels and weather reports got me thinking about recording the river level visually along with the measurement. I might do this in future on here, we will see.
Anyway, with Ellis busy it was a solo trip again. I always try to see the river situation first as I enjoy that and it uses my club waters. I have some still waters as back up, but I decided to go with the Tees.

I left work and headed to Fraser's Angling in Gateshead for bait. I always go here when needed as it's close to work and there is nothing closer to home. I did the usual thing of looking around, a quick chat with the guys in the shop and I was done. I bought a pint of maggots,  would be plenty on a cold day and a packet of hooks to nylon. Just to top up supplies!! Or that's what I tell myself. Size 18 to 2lb line, pack of 10 would be plenty on a cold day.

Getting the kit ready was easy, one rod, closed face reel, some floats, weights, hooks, bits and a net. The alarm was set, I was ready.

Arriving early, it was cold. There was a frost and the river was higher than I thought based on the river level reading. It was going through at quite a pace. Today was going to be interesting, and definitely not a wading day.
I baited a line away from the turbulent water and trotted down.
Snag. A quick pull and the hook length broke. I tied another and away I went. Not to dwell on this throughout the blog, this happened 16 times!!! I left at 2pm because I had used all my pre tied ones, ( a packet and a half) had tied more and lost them and finally got snagged and lost the lot.

Before all that, it was a good day. I caught 4 Grayling and 3 minnows. You are always likely to catch a few minnows with maggot and small hooks, but as Grayling was my target, I am glad I caught more of them.
They gave a good fight in the faster water and all were positive bites.
3 of the 4 were actually behind the snag, which was why I kept going back!

The loose feeding today was hard. My swim had faster water and slower on the inside. To get on the inside, I had to cast further into the flow and it drifted around. It's where all the action was. I honestly couldn't say if any of my loose feed was ending up there though!

The first Grayling was netted, not expertly, but netted. I had extended the handle too far, so when I went to net the fish the net and pole shot off the end and ended up in the water! Fortunately I managed to get the net ( my new one!) and pole back. I still miss the one I lost at Morton hahaha.

Half way through the day, I went for a walk. Slipping about. All the swims that looked fishable river wise had dangerous banks and all the safe looking swims had raging torrents in front. I walked back and stayed in the snaggy swim.

Mick, another angler from our Fb group,  dropped by to pick up a reel and it was nice to meet in person someone I had only ever typed with. We had a good chat but unfortunately I couldn't catch a fish for him. Got plenty of snags though!!

Once again, as this time of year will dictate, I could have not bothered today. But with 4 Grayling caught, it was a successful day.
It also gives me an excuse to go back to the tackle shop too!!