15/09/2020 - A shiny new(ish) pin

Had about half a pint of maggots left over from my trip to the Soar, so decided to down tools at three o'clock and head for the River Derwent to try out my new centrepin. I'd felt for a while that a pin would give me more control over the float in the more pacier swims, so had a look on eBay for something affordable. Spotted an Ikonix that fitted the bill, used once according to the description and still its box. Whilst not a true pin, with the spool running on two bearings, it received good reviews when it came out with a clutch of similar "affordable" centrepins a few years ago. At less than half the original price including postage I duly hit the "buy now" button. Wasn't disappointed when it arrived - with a smart brass finish and wooden handles it was very light and free running and already spooled up with new Maxima! 

At the river there was only one other car in the car park and that belonged to a chap fly fishing the run at the downstream end of the section. He'd also only just arrived and had yet to catch anything. I therefore had a wander upstream to try a spot I'd found on my previous visit, where a shallow riffle at the tail of the weirpool split around an island and dropped into a small pool. I was sweating in my chesties by the time I got there due to the unseasonably warm day, so it was a relief to get into the water! 

Holding the float back hard by feathering the reel with my thumb I had several bites just as the maggots dangled over the "drop off". Some of these were so fast I felt them on the rod tip before my eyes had even registered that the float had shot away!

However, even with my dull reflexes, I managed several dace and chub and a solitary grayling before the swim went quiet and I headed back downstream to try some proper trotting on a long, steady run. Again the reel performed really well, with the 4BB stick easily getting the spool spinning, and I soon got the knack of flicking the drag on with my forefinger to stop over-runs when I was un-hooking a fish or re-baiting. 

Had a few more dace and chub before I moved again down to the run where my fellow angler had been fishing when I arrived. He was just packing up having not had anything on the fly and pronouncing the swim "dead". However, first trot down I had another grayling! 


After a few more casts I'd added bleak, roach and perch to my tally, along with half a dozen gudgeon.

Having not come across this species since the formative days of my youth fishing the canals and park ponds in and around Birmingham, it was great to see that these handsome  "mini-barbel" are present in at least two of my local rivers. Along with the masses of fry and minnows that seem to be everywhere at the moment, to catch seven different species again in another short float session would also appear to be a good indicator of the current health of both of those rivers. 

Would have happily carried on into dark, but I was getting plagued by viscious little, grey mosquitoes that left me with several bites on my face and elbows. However, that didn't detract from another enjoyable session. I was also very pleased with the new pin, so perhaps I won't put the float rod away just yet. Just need to remember the Jungle Juice next time!   

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