On the bank with Dave Binns Angling

Follow my adventures as I travel around the Yorkshire area catching a variety of species from a wide range of different venues, from northern spate rivers to the clearer waters of the River Calder and a few lakes and forgotten ponds inbetween.
I hope you enjoy reading about them half as much as I do fishing them.
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Keep checking back for news of some exciting products that I have in the pipe line!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Exploritry trip down the drain

this weekends trip went down the drain, well a drain literally!

there is a small, call it what you will stream/river/drain that cuts through the eastern part of our area that a few years ago was a half decent place to catch a few fish and its been bugging me for a couple of years now to go and explore this once well fished place.my pb pike of just under 20lbs came from this very place around 8 years ago, in parts you could jump across it but if you walk around the next bend it looks just like one of the great chalk streams of the south, this swaps and changes for a few miles before turning into something more like a fenland drain which to all intents and purpose is what it is now used as, a drain, which in my opinion is what has led to the demise of the fishing and lack of anglers. it still sees a few die hard fans during the year but the main problem is access, you see in its whole 15 or so mile length there is only maybe 3 points where it is crossed by public access with enough depth of water to fish, be it a main road or footpath and these areas are far from been the best of the place to fish, there is 3 other access points however they involve the use of strictly private roads through farm yards and between the fields where I'm told the place is solid with fish and big ones to boot, there are tales of near 30lb carp and pike spotted around the biggest structure on the water way but they are seen once then never again. well i have it on good authority that these creatures along with some massive chub and shoals of bream and roach are happily swimming around well away from prying eyes. and how can i be so sure you may ask? read on and let me explain.
the river(i shall call it that as that's what its know as to the EA) runs through low laying farm land which is very susceptible to flooding, over the last maybe 15 years lots of work has been done to clear the main channel of silt and debris, trees along the bank have been cut back,existing drains that feed it have been cleared and new ones dug, add to this a series of very large powerful pumps been installed which drain the surrounding fields and control the flow of the river its self and you have one very efficient drainage system, this is all well and good for the local farmers but not so good for you and me the fishermen as all that has meant the fish have now shifted into deeper areas which are tucked away down private farm tracks and roads. so if that is the case then you are probably wandering why I'm writing about what now seems to be a waste of time.
well the job of keeping this system running, clearing the pumps of debris and general up keep of the field drains as well as grass and weed cutting along and in the water way is down to two men that work for the local drainage board and one of those just so happens to be my dad! and after pestering him for a while he has spoken to a couple of farmers and got me permission to drive down one or two lanes to the river. hopefully next month when they start weed cutting and he moves a couple of farms down he will be able to get me onto the stretch where he has seen the biggest fish, fingers crossed.

so then, about this weeks trip. whilst waiting for the go ahead on the mid to lower river i went and explored the upper river down onto the start of the mid part where a couple of main roads cross and we used to fish as kids. i took just a single rod and a few bits of hooks and floats and a half pint of maggots hoping to snare a few small chub and dace but it would seem the installation of the pumps and other work down stream has left the upper part too shallow to hold any amount of fish, it is also now very over grown and crystal clear, i walked maybe 3 to 4 miles covering various parts of the river with the trusty polaroids on but all i saw were one small group of chub all around 2lb and a couple of small shoals of roach and dace, i didn't even bother to set the rod up but i did enjoy the nice long walk with the sun out on a nice frosty morning.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Social session with a new friend

Over the years I have made friends and met up with a few people on the bank that I have become aqauainted with via various fishing web sites and last year was no exception. I have exchanged posts with Martin a few times over the last two or three years whilst discussing venues on yorkshire fishing but it is my new found interest in the River Calder that has led to us finaly meeting up. We exchanged messages and phone numbers and agreed to meet up last summer, however due to work commitments from both of us, me having my son Kyle two weekends out of every three and my keen interest in motorsport and add into that a house move! it has taken us untill today to finaly be able to get on the bank together.
Martin had kindly offered to show me a tiny river he fishes that is stuffed with grayling and a few brown trout but with the heavy rain at the start of the week that quickly went out of the window so, it was to be a barbel fishing trip to the River Don in Doncaster. Now up untill around 2 years back I used to fish this stretch a lot and my PB barbel came from here, but for one reason or another the fish are just not there in the numbers they used to be hence the reason I stopped going. It was nice to get back there after a long break and the river looked perfect, surley we should see a fish or two? well, it seems that the fish have not returned and despite our best efforts we just had one chub around 1.5lb which took a liking to my lob worm.
Despite the lack of fish we had an enjoyable day discussing various venues and generaly putting the fishing world to rights. As we packed the gear back into the cars we agreed to meet up again but this time im sure it won't take half as long.

Grayling again? No way

Following my return from the Wharfe I had a fair few maggots left and as i enjoyed using my new pin so much I decided a quick trip to the river Dearne was in order. I had to pick our Kyle up at dinner time but as its fairly local to me I could squeeze 3 or 4 hours in.
I arrived at my chosen area to find the river had risen over night  and was carrying a fair amount of colour, not great but at least I should get a few dace. A few quick trots to set the rig and on went some bait, I ran the float down the narrow run for ten mins or so when it finaly shot under, the strike met with the twisting spinning motion of what I thought would be a dace but I could not beleave my eyes as I scooped up my first Dearne grayling of around 8oz! In two days I had gone from never catching one to catching them from 2 different rivers.
I dropped back in and soon realised the extra water had put the fish off in what is normaly a very produtive swim. just 3 reasonable size dace came in the next hour before I decided to call it a day well over the moon with my first Dearne grayling.

My first grayling

last week i had a great session on a very windy and sometime wet river wharfe
iv been saying for a couple of years now how much i wanted to catch a grayling and should have tried before, this year i have got well into river fishing again and for crimbo i got one of them 40 quid center pins from draggon carp, so off to the wharfe i headed.
i jumped out of the car, grabbed the gear and off i went.
i soon found a nice looking run and got settled, after a few runs through i had the depth sorted and on went a couple of maggots, first trot down and it bobbed under....... missed, was it me? was it bottom?
next trot and it went again this time a fish, only small around 6oz but i was soon grinning from ear to ear and did a little dance when i realised it was a grayling.

2 more quickly followed then nothing, gave it 20 mins then decided to move on. off i headed up stream but it was clear the wind was going to be a problem and the short heavy rain showers didn't make it any better, i covered a fair distance and even had the float lifted clear of the water by the wind a few times before i headed down stream to see if it was any more sheltered, i got back to the car just as it started to rain so i jumped in for some dinner.
i headed off down stream and earmarked a couple of pegs for the way back up later, i made my way to the bottom end of the fishing limits trying the odd nice looking spot but it was no better if not worse with the wind so i decided to head back up towards the car and try the pegs i had seen. well the wind was a bit better but the water was just too fast and the swirling wind made it even harder to control the float. i made my way back to the first spot i tried where i had 3 fish first thing but could not find it now this may sound stupid but i could not for the life of me find it! it even had a faily substantial structure on the far back but its got me beat ???
anyhow the wind had swung around slightly and a spot i looked at this morning now looked more fishable.
after a couple of trots the float sank away and after what must have been 3hrs since my last fish i now had number 4, another nice fish around 10oz, great i thought but after half hour i moved on, only slightly, maybe 20 yards upstream where the wind was now less of a problem than this morning.
i had a few runs down to work the depth out while trickling in a few maggots, second trot and the float burried, a tiny fingerling grayling this time but still another to the tally, next trot i had another around 8oz before on the next trot the float burried and this time there was quite some resistance on the other end and after a spirited fight a rearly nice fish rolled over the net, i punched the air and reached for the scales, she went 1lb2oz, not bad for my first session

it went a little quiet before a couple more small fish around 8-10oz and another fingerling turned up and the rod hooped over again, another solid fight and another good fish came over the net, this time a little bigger at 1lb 6oz over the moon with all the grayling not just the biggest, i ended the day with 12 altogether. i shall be back pretty soon.