From the water’s edge



April 2013 - Spots in their eyes

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.

artificial lite

One particular stretch of canal that we fish has a small brook running close by and walking past it without a speculative cast or two is right up there with giving up beer as something that just can’t happen. Small overgrown and apparently unloved, this brook holds hidden treasure, as you can see.

Today the canal was being difficult and obstructive. Two lost fish and a missed take on 2” shads suggested that they weren’t really in the mood. Changing down to 2” tripple ripple grubs cut down to half that tricked three Zs for me, but that was it. All over bar the shouting at 8am, thanks to heavy boat traffic and a lack of will to succeed on my part; but then we reached the stream.

Pete quickly added an 8oz brownie to his tally of one tiny jack. How could I refuse the chance. Rivers are out of season, trout aren’t. I cast a tiny 1” silver and red kopyto across the stream and almost immediately a small fish was plugging away in the current but shock! Horror! It was an out of season perch.

Just how stupid are our close season rules? This perch was taken twenty feet from a swim on the canal that has produced plenty of perch for us in the past. They would be legal quarry today, the one I caught wasn’t. WHY?

Do perch breed at a different time of the year in rivers? No of course they don’t. Maybe the river bank is a more vulnerable environment? Of course its not, and if it was then walking there should be out of season too. Maybe there aren’t any vested commercial interests in keeping them open. You know the sort of interests I mean. The sort that think it is ok to grossly overstock a water and fundamentally abuse desperate fish if there is cash involved. Or maybe an official body who might want to compete with the aforementioned commercial interests. I am getting warm or just a cynical, grumpy old man? Maybe I just used to like the old close season. It always made June 16th such a special day.

Anyway trout are in season, so the next cast produced a legal fish. Fat and beautiful, it splashed and zoomed around the pool before I lifted it out and laid it down on a pungent bed of wild garlic for unhooking.

I used to fish reservoirs for trout; dull, stupid rainbow trout. I soon lost interest, but I can see the attraction of fishing small streams for wild (?) beautiful, but still stupid, brownies.

An hour later - no a long fruitless, boring hour - later, we came to a spot on the towpath where the stream came back to travel at our side. It seemed to plead for a cast or two more as interesting water always does to any angler. I picked a spot where the water deepened slightly as it was funnelled under an old tumbledown bridge and flicked my new favourite trout lure right through the arch and out the other side.

I rate the flexibility of kopyto tails very highly and while I know that others disagree, I like to see that tail work. They do it so much better in a current and I could feel even this tiny 1” shad working hard as it drew level with the brickwork at the downstream side of the bridge. Then it stopped coming, fast on some hidden submerged snag. Slowly it dawned on me that the sullen weight at the end was bumping about on the bottom and heading across the current. It was another glorious trout. An old one too I suspect; It was around the pound mark, getting on for twice the size of anything I have ever seen in here before. Dark backed, all head and a slender muscular body, he must have seen any number of floods and droughts, kingfishers and mink, and survived them all. I don’t suppose it had ever seen a hook before though and that makes him one of the luckiest trout in the midlands because he had fallen for the lure of an angler that would get a great thrill out of putting him back, somewhat chastened and hopefully a little wiser.

Food must be varied and difficult to come by in such a small stream. Sticking out of his throat next to my lure was a large long-toed, webbed foot, all that remained of what must have been a pretty big frog! Lure angling - every trip a new adventure.





journal 2013.



journal 2013.