October 2013 - Unsettled weather

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From the water’s edge


Just lately our fishing has been dominated by the weather. Somehow we seem to have experienced everything that a good old English autumn has to offer and to be honest, I’ve rather enjoyed it. Last week it wasn’t so clever. We managed to pick the wet day from the dry ones. A foggy start didn’t turn into a sunny morning like it should have, but we caught a few fish. Small ones mostly, perch and diddly Zs. We caught straight away on a new stretch which was very pleasing, but we had to persevere for a couple of hours before we finally hit a better fish. That big perch that I lost last week emphasised something to me in that you can tell straight away if you have hit a better fish. It doesn’t move on the strike, like a tiddler does and I had just mentioned to Pete that I hadn’t had a lure-stopper all morning. All my takes had been plucks and taps and twitches, then the lure stopped an the strike met a more solid resistance.

At long last a decent perch of around a pound and a half was on its way to the bank. A far cry from the tiny leaf-sized zs that I had been catching. No need to mention the lure really. Pete had the biggest of the day. A 3 pound Z that took a new bait he was trying out. A Daiwa 4” shad that looks like it will catch us a lot of fish.

Best part of the morning was the reaction of a lady dog-walker who on enquiring what I had on my line and being told it was a rubber fish fell about laughing. Five minutes later, two more perch on the bank and she really couldn’t believe what she was seeing. I suppose it must seem strange to a non-angler but anyway she went on her way muttering about seeing something new every day.

Fast forward one week and we picked the one dry day from five wet ones and this really was proper beautiful autumn weather. Different weather, different canal and we were surprised to find the normally turgid Oxford, gin clear and looking very inviting. Terry was with us today thank goodness. Without out him our catches would have been much reduced. We got takes straight away as seems to be normal just now, but once more they were not lure stoppers. Just woolly plucks and soft knocks on the line. Terry was quicker witted than me and went straight on to the 1” kopytos, quickly racking up a tally. I’ll steal anybody’s ideas if it will catch me fish, so I did; and I did. So did Pete and he did too. It still feels odd casting and retrieving something so small that you can’t even feel it on the end of the line, but in the right place it is deadly.

Eventually I had another pound and a half perch to add to the haul, on the 1” yellow of course. What a beautiful morning. 30 fish between us; mostly perch but with a few small Zs thrown in. Ultra-light fishing at its best. Great company, good beer, good food, fine weather. Days like this make me want to live forever.

artificial lite




journal 2013.



journal 2013.