15/12/2010 - River Soar

With a return to sub-zero temperatures imminent, thought I'd better make use of the current "mild" conditions and grab a couple of hours somewhere. Headed to River Soar with the temperature in the car reading a balmy 6 degrees. Suprised to find the carpark full, but was relieved to see that they were all tiddler bashing on the canal. Had the whole section of river to myself apart from the Kingfisher and a Little Grebe. River was still slightly coloured, so it was the black pepper spam that came out of the bait bucket. Baited up a few spots then started fishing them in rotation. Had a fish after only a couple of minutes in the first swim - a skinny 2lber. Had a better fish of just over 3lb in swim number three after missing a tentative pull in the previous spot. Blanked in swim number four, then returned to the first spot once again. Again, bite was almost instantaneous and resulted in best fish of the afternoon.

Rub a dub

Tried a couple more spots, but nothing more forthcoming. Think I've already established which are the most consistent swims on the stretch. Just need to catch one a bit bigger now. Oh, and happy birthday Dai if you're reading this on the 16th!

05/12/2010 - River Dove

Much anticipated return to Tim's syndicate stretch of the River Dove, this time with the the trotting rod and a pint of maggots. Earlier in the year Tim had had several grayling over 40cm on the fly, including a personal best of 2lb 9oz. Arrived at the venue in thick fog with the thermometer showing minus 7 degrees! However, by the time Tim turned up the sun had started to break through and we were soon working up a bit of a sweat, slogging across the field through the snow to the river. Started just downstream of one of the weirs on the section. After trotting down a nice glide for half an hour without any indications, I moved upstream slightly and found a pocket of fish hanging just off the main flow near the weir itself.

Tim in the hotspot

In the next couple of hours I took ten grayling and a bonus brownie from the spot, all of which went like the clappers, twisting and turning in the clear water. Most of the fish were males and in great condition. Seven of them were over the pound mark, with the biggest at 1lb 15oz. Not quite the two pounder, but a fantastic fish. Tim had a similar number, again with a trout thrown in.

So close!

We did move downstream to try a couple more spots. However, arriving at the next swim to find your centrepin frozen solid is probably telling you something, so we decided to quit while we were ahead! Hopefully, next time Tim will have worked out how to light his Kelly Kettle.......