After a quick scouting trip last night, this morning saw me make my first proper river trip of the season to the Calder. Driving past the old estate lake that I have done so well on recently I was wandering if I was making the right choice as there could still be plenty left to discover but the lure of running water was too much, by the time I was 50 yards past the gate thoughts turned to the river and what would welcome the new season proper.
I decided on a stretch not fished by my self since last August when I was just discovering the joys of the Calder, I arrived bank side and was down the steep bank ready to fish shortly after 6am. The river looked to be carrying more water than I had thought last night and I recon a couple of foot and still holding a touch of colour, this short length only has 3 or 4 fishable swims on the one bank and all but one seemed too fast and boilie for stick float fishing, even the one I chose was a little quick for my liking and the current kept switching around with a crease that seemed to keep moving in and out.
A few trial runs to shot the float and figure the depth confirmed it was not going to be an easy job to keep the float on line. I could see the current changing all the time, sometimes the float would run down just a rod and half out whilst others it would almost stand still, some times I could drop it further perhaps two to two and half rods out to see it run through perfectly only for it to head diagonally mid river on the very next trot, Add to this the water on the inside was running up stream due to a large eddy further down stream!
I had everything ready and started to feed maggots, casters and hemp whilst enjoying a nice cup of tea. First trot resulted in a dace around 6oz then a roach around the same before an early chub around a pound slid into the net. It was hard work keeping bites coming on every trot and the float point blank refused to follow the same path with the changing current and I was picking fish up every second or third trot, mainly dace with the odd roach and perch mixed in.
After an hour or so the level had dropped and forced me to shallow up by a few inch's three times and the fishing had slowed, if anything the pace of the flow had actually increased and I think this is what had shifted the fish around. Another hour of steady feeding and a trickle of roach, dace, perch and another chub around a pound came before the current seemed to slow and the definite crease come back along with the fish. I was now able to run the float down more naturally 2 or 3 out of every 4 trots and each time resulted in a fish or missed bite. I was now picking up quality roach, nothing massive but I was having to net every one of them with most been 2 or 3 to the pound, it was great fishing and the odd dace and two or three more chub up to around a pound and half came in between for the next couple of hours.
I had to keep shallowing up a few inch at a time as the lever dropped and by 10am it had dropped a good 18in but with it came a major change in the current. The fish tailed off again and to my disappointment the swim turned into a swirling mess and getting the float to run through anything like natural was near on impossible unless I dropped in around 4 or 5 rod lengths out, so with that I decided to call it a day having enjoyed what I had caught. I was very surprised by what I had actually amassed when pulling the keep net up as it took some unexpected lifting! Well over 20 pounds of fish in around 4 hours with most of them quality roach, even better they were all caught on just a stick float with a pint of maggots, a bag of hemp and a few casters AND IT'S FREE FISHING!