Thursday 14 March 2024

Setting the Tone

Date fished 14/3/2024
8am until 2pm

A week in Dorset to visit my mum followed by a weekend in London meant I was 'free' for the last day of the river season. I had planned to fish down here last year, but never managed it. I acquired a day ticket from Taunton Angling Association and decided on a section of the river Tone. 

I drove 45 mins to the spot and parked in the cinema car park, no signs so I assumed gratis. The rain had been with me on most of the journey but it was starting to ease. I tackled up (the correct rod) in the first likely swim and cast my cheesepaste in at 8am. At 8.09 my rod shuddered and hooped around, it's been so long since I caught anything. I missed it. I cast back in and waited. 
The culprit did not return. 

Never having fished this river or stretch before, I toyed with walking it all first or fishing as I went. Of course, I ended up fishing it as I walked. Every swim looked too good to ignore. 

Constant taps in the next swim, but nothing materialised. Eventually I was at the downstream limit. A likely looking overhanging tree formed a perfect chubby raft. I dropped the bait in and sat back. Seconds passed and the rod hooped over. My first River Tone fish in the net. It had been a while, so I weighed it. 2lb 8oz. I was a happy South West Angler from the North East!!

I turned around and headed back upstream. I found a swim I didn't try the first time. It was a tight squeeze, but some quality casting and I was fishing. Again it took seconds for the chub to be on the bait. I missed four bites, until I eventually connected. Another spirited, Somerset chub. 2lb 9oz. 

The next swim had two very strange things happen. Firstly, as I entered it, I saw something that I thought I saw earlier. I was looking into this swim from about 20 metres away and I thought I saw a terrapin/ tortoise. I realised it was just an odd shaped leaf. Or was it? 

Shy for the pic, but was walking about quite happily.

I kept an eye on it whilst fishing, as they are faster than a hare, so I didn't want it sneaking up on me. My rod didn't move the whole time. As I started to wind in, there was resistance. A fish was on, but had not given any indication. Last time this happened on the Swale it was a pike. I assumed it ate the cheese paste and just sat there. 

I was wondering what it was, as I got it to the bank it was another chub. However, I was now faffing with the net and chub. Something had to give, and the chub wiggled free of the barbless hook. 

I was soon back at the first swim. I tried again and missed two bites. The second was because I did the usual trick of counting down from ten to determine when I would re cast. But this time, on one the rod hooped over. I was so surprised, I missed the bite! 

I kept trying but the rain started again. I didn't want to be soaking wet as I have to pack all the gear and head to London tomorrow morning. Two, Tone Twos and a terrapin/tortoise was enough for me!