Saturday 16 October 2021

The Crystal Maze

Date fished 16/10/2021

8.30am until 2.30pm

In what can only be described as an awful week, I decided that some fishing was needed; and by some I mean lots. I decided to fish both days at the weekend. So here's how I got on during day one.

I needed maggots, potentially for both days so I headed to Cleveland Angling centre for opening time. A couple of pints bought and I was heading to the river. I had "ummed and arred" about where to go, but decided on a club stretch (Lower Tees) that I fished on the Tees last time, but I decided to fish a little further down stream today. 

Earlier in the week, I had asked a question about sections of rivers and got some great answers. Why I asked this, was because in Summer Ellis and I were catching Perch the majority of the time, but recently no Perch. I would love someone to do a nature documentary on freshwater fish movement/migration in rivers. Any ideas BBC??!?

The car said two degrees when I left Hexham and was six degrees in Darlington, the weather certainly has changed and it's getting chilly. I was glad I had my thermals on. I set up in my chosen swim and started to feed a few maggots.

The rod was quickly set up and I was soon fishing. This swim was quite high up from the water so I was not going to use a keepnet. The bank was also not slippery so that was win win!! 

A few trots down and the float buried. A blank saver made me smile.


Next trot down and when the float disappeared again, the culprit did not make me smile! 

The Minnows kept coming. Two weeks ago, I had no Minnows. Today it was six or seven or more Minnows from every other fish. They were relentless. It's tough when the float goes under and a fish only three times bigger than the maggot is hanging on! Fortunately there were some other fish to be caught and a much bigger Grayling soon disrupted the Minnow show. 

I had maggots, worms, bread and meat.  I fancied trying meat on the float. The float being able to keep the meat trundling on a line either against bushes or along the feed line. When I have freelined meat in the past, I have always found it drifts into the near bank due to the slack line. 

Not a sniff on the meat, so it was back to maggots. Suddenly a shape broke the surface in front of me. A Cormorant popped up. Saw me, and bolted! It scared me off my seat!! The swim was ruined so I fed some maggots and went to chat with a fellow angler a few pegs downstream. He was ledgering meat against the far bank vegetation, he had caught nothing yet. We had a good natter about all things fishy.

When I returned it was more of the same, small Chublets and many Minnows. I carried on in the hope of better, it came in the shape of this lovely Dace. 

After a few more fish, I decided to call it a day. I am planning to fish the Swale tomorrow so a short session today was OK! 

I started to keep a count of fish just for a comparison, but soon gave up. Let's just say for every proper fish, let's call them gold tickets, there was many more Minnows, let's call them silver tickets. 
So 30 golds, minus 50 silvers, leaves me on minus 20 fish!! No crystal for me! 


  1. Nice grayling. Pity about the minnows. Just when you think they've buggered off for the winter, back they come.

    1. Always think they are about more in winter!

  2. Luckily there seem to be no minnows in the Bure. Unlike the Wensum.