13/03/2020 - Small stream chubbing

Hadn't made any firm plans for the last couple of days of the season as it was really a question of what the fickle weather might decide to throw at us. The main rivers such as the Trent and the Derwent were not going to be in a fit state for my purposes anyway, so again it would be a question of looking further afield. When Friday came around it looked as if a nice weather window was opening up in the afternoon - sunny spells and light winds - so I decided to take the opportunity to visit a venue on one of my club tickets that I'd not been to before, the Markeaton Brook near Derby.

Chub were going to be the target but not knowing exactly what water conditions I would be faced with I took a variety of baits, including maggots, bread and cheese paste made with the Christmas leftovers. Arriving at the venue I poked my head over the bridge to find the brook still carrying quite a bit of colour, but running at a nice level. Made my way upstream in bright sunshine to the weir pool at the top of the section, making a note of any likely spots and disturbing a pair of Mandarin duck in the process. 

Started off with a lump of cheespaste on a simple link-leger and soon had a couple of rattles on the tip of my new 5.5 ft Advanta River Rover.

Unfortunately, the colour in the water meant that I was fishing blind and when I lifted the rod I found the rig had stuck in an immoveable snag and had to pull for a break. After losing two more rigs in a similar fashion (doh!) I realised it probably wasn't worth persevering in what appeared to be a right snag pit, so moved downstream to a short glide with some cover on the far bank. Dropping a lump of cheesepaste at the base of a tree I had to wait all of two minutes before the tip bent round and, after a short tussle, had my first fish in the net. Let things settle a bit, then ran the float through the swim a few times. The minnows were straight onto the maggots and I'd had a handful of the greedy buggers (how do they get double maggot on a size 16 down their gob??) before hooking something a bit more reasonable. Turned out to be a very sorry looking chublet that, judging by his missing scales, must have had a recent run-in with an avian predator. 

Carried on downstream picking up another stocky chub from a near-side slack, before dropping into a promising little pool. Again, the lump of cheespaste had only been in the water a few minutes when the tip went round and another chub was in the net. Was just baiting up to cast in again when all hell broke loose! A male goosander suddenly surfaced about 6 feet away, saw me and then panicked, thrashing the water in its attempt to get away. After all of that commotion I realised that it probably wasn't worth carrying on in that swim, so moved downstream again. 

Didn't see my feathered friend again, but the lack of of any further bites made me suspect that he'd probably been working his way upstream through all of the spots that I subsequently dropped a bait into. The weather conditions had deteriorated by this stage and I was suddenly caught in heavy shower. As I was only wearing my light down jacket I was soon soaked, so took that as a good enough reason as any to end the session!

I doubt if I will be venturing out for the last day, so that for me is likely to be the end of a very weather-disrupted winter campaign on the rivers. Oh well, on to the next. I've not bothered those canal zeds for a while.........

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