|ON THE 8TH DAY, GOD CREATED THE CHUB SWIM|
After a restful relaxed morning we ventured forth to the river.
My host made promise of revealing a beautiful swim further downstream that just begged to have a float trotted through it.
The overnight rain had left the clay bank a little precarious on approach to the swim. Ones purposeful gait on occasion would give the sudden resemblance of Bambi on ice but when it leveled off through an overgrown dense curtain of trees, nettles and balsam it was somewhat more negotiable. The thick screen masked the river from view until a clearing revealed a splendid sight. It was indeed a stretch of river that took my breath away. Angelic choirs rejoiced again.
|A VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR|
As we turned, Dave spotted a huge caterpillar and informed me it was the larva of the elephant hawk moth. I'd not seen one before it was as big as a mans thumb and whose body resembled the trunk of a pachyderm from which it gets it name.
Suitably adorned and armed we entered the swim. Dave would fish upstream of me in a shallow stretch that provided access to a deep glide that flowed to an inviting overhang of a large tree.
I was in slightly deeper water downstream that made available the far bank with a delicate underarm cast.
|MY SVELTE FIGURE MASKING AN HORRIFIC BIRDS NEST!|
Now I don't profess to be particularly proficient at casting with a centrepin reel. In fact, after observing a few of my attempts, Dave commented that Mr Wallis would turn in his grave if he'd witnessed a few of my efforts. It was competent enough to procure me a few small chublets and a solitary brownie that welcomed my presentation. Maggots and hemp and a few small pellets insured that loose feed would drift downstream at varying depths.
|DAVE CONTEMPLATING HIS FAITH|
After an hour or so of great fun Dave invited me to try his swim whilst he rested his aching limbs. He had several good trout and small chub and was content enough to allow me the honour.
The chub were getting bigger with each take depending on how close to the overhanging tree the float was allowed to reach.
This really was the epitome of a cracking days fishing.
We were treated by the sight of the two peregrines circling majestically overhead. On several occasions a kingfisher rocketed by like an azure missile, each time causing me to freeze and hold my breath at the sight.
|BY JOVE, I THINK HE'S GOT IT!|
One of my trots through a seemingly fish a go spell produced an unusual avoidance of activity. So much so that questions rattled my conscience about whether I had any bait on the hook, a tangle perhaps or the presence of a predator in the swim attracted by the activity. As my float got within two feet of the over hanging branches of the tree it dipped suddenly and was dragged beneath the foliage as if by an unseen hand. Having the advantages of being immersed already in the water I was able to coax a much heavier fish out and enjoy a much more equal tussle in open water. In the mean time I gingerly retreated back to grab my waiting net at the near bank. The battle won I eased the chub over the net and scooped my prize. Just under four pounds I estimated.
|BEST OF THE BUNCH|
There are bigger chub here which, like the barbel, were waiting for the cover of darkness before emerging from their hideouts. I was more than satisfied with my afternoons adventure and fully sated with a really natural approach to fishing with a float. A new experience which I thoroughly enjoyed and will endeavor to replicate at the very next opportunity. We headed back to the car to pack up and took the arduous track passing through several Heath Robinson excuses for gates and made arrangements for meeting up later for a beer and a curry at the pub to resume much nattering, pulling of legs and jovial titillation no doubt.
In the morning I made my way down to breakfast and was pleasantly surprised to share a table alongside John Bailey who was guiding a couple of lads for the day. I noticed that John looked very tired either he wasn't a morning person or was perplexed by the downpour that awaited him outside the window. I have to concur that the prospect of that didn't do much for me either and I was glad to be making my way home.
|THERE BE CHUB I'D WAGER|
I have thoroughly enjoyed myself here yet again and will never tire of returning to witness what natural beauty this area reveals. I have been blessed to witness spectacular visionary delights. It certainly is very much more than "just a river!"