As you can see from the title is was a bit of a mind bending sort of day.
I eagerly made my way back to the Calder this morning knowing the level had now dropped to something around normal and that trotting for silvers was back on the cards. Choosing a spot I have fished a few times I settled in and soon noticed the wind would be a problem as my short 5no.4 stick float was lifted clear of the water whilst figuring the depth, it was promptly replace with a much longer 9 no.6 domed top one, the large tip making it easy to see in the ripples and shadows as it made its was down stream.
I don't exactly know what has happened along this stretch of water but the recent floods have clearly left there mark and must have altered the layout of the river bed, despite it been only 6in or so above summer level what used to be a nice glide now seems to be a boiling torrent. The main flow now cuts diagonally away from the bank but often changing forwards and back, there seems to be a narrow strip of faster water just this side of it and the water under the rod tip moves the other way. One trot the float will bomb down with the flow before sitting still on the next trot then going up stream on others.
So onto the fishing, despite the difficult conditions the fish were actually there in numbers and even though the float moved down the swim like an empty barrel going over a water fall, bobbing, weaving and generally going where it pleased it kept going under. I was making the best of a bad job and for an hour or so kept putting fish in the net every 2nd or 3rd trot, small roach, dace, a few perch and of course those cracking proper Calder roach.
As the wind strengthened the bites slowed and I knew the rig was wrong but just put up with it as the float kept going under, I was retrieving another fish when it went solid then started to move down stream. It has taken longer than I had expected but a pike had finally muscled in on my fishing. It bit me off in no time and as I had to tie on another hook I decided to make some changes. Now normally I just change my float and shotting but as the wind kept falling in between gusts I rigged up another rod instead and on went a large cork and quill 'topper' type float with what I call an inverted bulk. This is just a bulk of mixed size shot with the largest been at the bottom, in this case an AAA, then an AB, BB and so on meaning that on the strike the bulk is more stream lined and cuts through the water better. Spaced out below this were a no.4 no.6 and a no.8.
This change saw me catching again for a while but when the wind dropped I switched back to the normal stick rig and picked up a better stamp of roach closer in, many of then actually falling when the rig was moving up stream each time the current picked up and forced the back eddy to run harder. Mr pike decided to appear again and as I quickly lifted a fish from the water he did a double back flip just past my feet. You may be wandering whats next looking at the title of this post, well there is only stupid fish left.
For a good hour or so the wind blew stronger and the current was a nightmare, the stick float rig moved down stream more sideways and I could see the float sat at some very funny angles and the large topper float just looked a mess out in the faster water, actually laying flat as the under currents picked up the weight down the line and the wind pulling it in every direction, but despite this they kept going under and I kept adding fish to the net. It just shows that fish don't always follow the rules. The wind dropped and seemed to settle for a while so I decided to experiment. To get past the back eddy and into some smoother water I got the extension for my MAP river rod out to take it to 16 foot and re rigged it with a 3 gram avon float shotted again with an inverted bulk and spaced out no.4 and no.6 shot below.
From the off the float behaved much better, odd gusts of wind blew it around but the extra length of rod allowed me to correct the line better and after upping the feed in the faster water I started to catch more dace and a few chub around 6-10oz also joined in. More quality roach came in between as did the odd nice perch before Mr pike returned doing somersaults as I plucked fish from the surface. It seems he stuck around as it went rather quiet and each time I did manage a fish there were swirls galore as my small fish dived out into the fast water to try and escape its jaws. Of course this eventually un settled them and I decided to call it a day with another good net full of silvers.