Back early today from another Calder trip, due largely to some rather nasty looking lightning! Not ideal for waving carbon rods around in.
I was on the bank for not much after 4.30am full of enthusiasm with heading back to some faster water only to find the river had risen more than I had anticipated putting my first, second and third choice swims out of action. So I opted to fish another new swim to me slightly further down stream than I had wanted to be but it did look promising, slow smooth water close in just below a tree with enough flow a couple of rods out to give a nice trot down a current that I thought the fish would be happy in with the bit of extra water on. Past that around half way the main flow carried the worst of the extra water, a good foot to 18 inches but not holding too much colour.
I started out like normal, rigging up and sitting back with a cuppa whilst feeding hemp and maggots expecting the fish to be there from the off but they had other ideas and must have been fishing the best part of an hour before I actually netted my first fish, a roach of around 6oz. Thinking they had moved onto the bait I was shocked that no more bites were forthcoming. A change of tactics were required and after missing a couple of bites having flicked the rig out into the faster water I decided to rig up a large bolo float and fish out in the flow just short of half way. Off came the 9 no.6 stick and was replaced with a 2 gram bolo float with a bulk around 3 feet from the hook and 2 number 6's and 2 number 8's spaced out below.
I started to feed with a catapult and gave it 5 minutes before flicking the rig out, it was nice to watch the float run a long way down the swim mid river and I was pleased it stayed on line all the way down having not had much experience of trotting big floats well out from the bank before. It took around a dozen trots before the float buried and I added another roach of around the same size, but it wasn't to be and after half an hour or so with no more interest I decided to up sticks and move as the fish were just not there. As I bundled the gear into the car it started to rain. By the time I arrived at the next stretch it was pouring down so I decided to just jump in the first swim that looked fishable, stick the brolly up and try a bit of feeder fishing.
Although the water was fast and boiling it looked much calmer just down the edge and first chuck out the tip jagged like mad and saw me wind in a small gudgeon, back out and this time a nice roach before a couple more gonks, all ripping the tip about as soon as the bait hit bottom. With this in mind I changed to the smallest size black cap feeder and put in around just a dozen maggots, about the amount I would feed each trot if float fishing. By now it was absolutely pouring with rain and I was hoping the flow would not pick up too much and move the fish. A few more roach and a couple of dace, perch and a small chub were netted before I dropped the rig slightly further out. I waited a bit longer for a bite before a steady pull on the tip saw a bigger fish hooked, not massive but it was holding in the flow rather than me winding it straight in but I could feel the line grating on something and as I tried to bring the fish in it went solid. I gave it some slack line but still it held firm and I had to pull for a break.
I got going again and had a couple of small fish then the thunder storm started. The rain bounced high even off the water, the lightning was getting scarily close and as the river rose almost a foot in just ten minutes I made a hasty retreat.
If anyone knows where the summer has gone please could you send it back this way, thanks.