07/07/2021 - Summer trotting part two (a "ton" up on the River Soar)

Needed a time out this week - pressures of work and family issues conspiring to feed the black dog. A few hours by myself to get some "head space", whether it be fishing, running, or out on the bike is generally all that's required to keep it at bay. 
With half a pint of maggots left over from the last trip I therefore gambled on a trip to the River Soar near Kegworth.  
It had rained quite a lot the day before and whilst I could see from .GOV.UK that the river level was still manageable, I couldn't be sure of the clarity until I got there. However, just grabbing my Ultralite, landing net and shoulder bag I jumped in the car as soon as work allowed. 
Popping my head over the bridge upon arrival I was relieved to see that the river was carrying just a tinge of colour and was hopeful that this could actually be to my advantage. Pulled on my chest waders again (still slightly damp and clammy from last week!) and set off upstream. Loads of small fish were topping mid-river, which I took to be a good sign. In addition, I found found the section to be  completely deserted, the impending Euro semi-final possibly being a factor. 

However, the chest high nettles also seemed to indicate that there'd not been much footfall since the start of the season and I was glad of my waders as I pushed my way through them to reach the river. Only the obvious "armchair" swims had any evidence of their previous moronic occupants, discarded deadbait packets accompanying the empty beer bottles. Dropped
 into the river just downstream of the weir, waded into just over the knees and started running the stick down the foam line. 

From literally the first cast the float only had to travel a few feet before it started bobbing and weaving as the single maggot hookbait was mercilessly chewed to bits and reduced to an empty skin down below.

Bleak were the intial culprits, although as the session wore on I started adding dace, chub and roach. 

It had been threatening rain all evening and at about six o'clock the heavens opened sending the kingfisher darting for cover downstream and me reaching for my rain jacket. Backing up a bit to gain some extra shelter under the trees I was glad that I'd left the 14 foot Acolyte at home. Forced to fish the slower paced water on the near side of the crease I added three few more species - perch, skimmers and a welcome little gonk.

Nearly added another species as I suppose it was inevitable that all of the prey fish activity would attract a larger predator. Hooked into another fish only for everything to go solid. 

Applying some steady pressure I got the lump on the end of my line moving towards me. Reached for the net just as a decent pike appeared on the surface with an unfortunate dace or chub wedged in its gob. Suspect it hadn't realised what was happening up until that point, but a soon as I moved the net towards it there was a sudden acceleration and my line came pinging back at me as he disappeared with his prize. Carried on trotting away, but with an eye on the clock and kick-off. By the time I had to pack up to get back home for the footie I'd had well over 100 fish in total, with roughly half of those being dace. Also, in contrast to the other evening, I'd lost only a couple of fish in the process. 
Whilst I had replenished my hook supply in the interim, the conditions could well have been a factor with the river being more like a "hazy IPA" rather than gin!  As for the rest of the evening.....is it really coming home??

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