Friday, 30 December 2011

December and the weather forecast is......

Actually fairly mild for this time of year!!

Welcome to my fourth and final post for 2011 in Bobs Blog.

If this is your first visit and you'd like to start from the very beginning then click on the September link under Blog Archive on the right or simply click here but please be aware that my first post is a lengthy account of the past 12 months and may require a good bottle of red wine to accompany it's reading!!

In the meantime here is my fourth post which will cover my limited fishing exploits during the month of December 2011......enjoy.

Tight lines,


10th and 11th December 2011 - River Dane Saltersford and Wrinehill

I'd planned a full weekends fishing for payback of a lean Novembers outings but the weather started to get nasty mid week and severe weather warnings started to cast a shadow of doubt over proceedings.

The trouble with short winter days and working Monday to Friday is very limited time on the bank so when Andy Pikey and myself hatched the plot it had to be followed through otherwise we'd have missed the opportunity to do the overnighter on Wrinehill as we'd originally planned.

As time was so precious I also planned a morning trotting on the Dane with Cliff but had to change venues at the last minute due to me having all my worthy fishing goods in the back of the car and having to park in an industrial estate to fish our chosen stretch, a chance neither of us wanted to take so I headed off early doors to Saltersford where Andy and myself had our first experience of trotting and our first Grayling a few weeks earlier.

To be honest I was not expecting to catch but we all live in hope so I gathered my gear and headed for the river. The field just to the right of the style was devoid of cows this time so I opted for a quick straddle of the barbed wire (ouch) and then made my way to mid-stretch.

Upon arrival I set the float rod and centre pin up and filled up my newly acquired bait pouch with about a pint of red and white maggots. The swim looked promising so I fed a little and cast out, several trots later I reeled in and as I was travelling extremely light just gathered up my stalking bag and moved on.

This is the first time I'd left all the 'essentials' in the car and to be honest I wasn't missing any of them!!

The next swim turned out to be idyllic, it was on a sharp bend and was very shallow in the margins as the river had recently dropped about a foot. After a well earned coffee (the flask goes everywhere with me) I was soon wading in and dropping double maggot in to fish alley but despite my best efforts nothing came to bare so I headed off for the final swim.

Unfortunately I didn't hook into any fish but here is some photo's from the session..........

Andy had sent a text saying he'd be at Wrinehill for 1pm so I had an hour to finish off on the Dane close to the road bridge and although it was very pacey on this stretch I hoped something would take my bait. I found the faster flow raced the float through but if I mended the line towards the end of the trot it brought the float around and under a very chubby looking over hang. I dispensed with the maggot and put a size 8 hook on and a big chunk of bread flake but despite six or seven trots I didn't get a bite so at 12 noon I headed back to the car and reflected on what had been a very enjoyable river session despite the lack of fish!!!

Wrinehill 10th and 11th December 2011

We arrived at half past one and as it was my first visit to Wrinehill I took a moment to look at the view from the top gate. It really does look like a majestic water hidden down in the valley, apparently before it became a lake it was used as a cinder dump when steam trains ran alongside the tracks around the perimeter but apparently during the second world war the Germans (they bombed our chippy you know) used the soft orange glow of the cinders as a marker beacon to drop bombs on nearby Crewe so it was soon filled in and became a lake sometime after.

The club acquired the fishing rights a while ago and it holds a good head of carp to 30lb as well as plenty of perch and possibly some unknown surprises as well.

We set up camp on the two pegs to the left of car park and settled in for the remainder of the weekend.

I was using my barbel rods and trusty Okuma reels just in case I was lucky enough to hook up with a resident carp which, I believe go to 30lb, but I also wanted to try for the bags of perch that had been coming out recently so I'd brought along my tip rod to have a go with worm over maggot.

The evening passed without a bleep so, after some very nice spaghetti bol (thank you Mrs Roberts!!) I reeled in and went to visit Andy for a chat which went on till 1:30am but we did however solve all the worlds problems so it was well worth it.

The alarm (clock not bleepers) woke me at 7:30am but it was still dark and far too warm and comfy to get up so I hit the snooze and went back off. At 8:30am on the dot I heard footsteps around the bivvy which had to be Cliff calling in for the bacon butties and a catch-up.

At 10am it was back on to the rods for what looked like a promising day.

Mid way through Sunday afternoon a fellow member dropped in to the adjacent peg and was float fishing for the perch, soon enough he was pulling them out on the drop with worm. We had a chat and discussed best methods for catching perch at Wrinehill which it seems where it shelves off about 2 or 3 rod lengths out.

Although Andy had a couple of takes, which where subsequently dropped, he decided to call it a day and head off home at 4pm. I was on the only one on the lake so I decided to start slowly packing away all the gear in the bivvy (most of which I hadn't used). I thought I'll fish through till 7pm and get off as I had work in the morning and an hour or so drive home.

It was about 6pm when the tip rod sprung into life and I struck into a fish, a certain blank was saved and I reeled in a small perch which had been tempted by my rather tired worm. I wasn't entirely alone though as the famous Wrinehill rats had made an appearance to scoff on my bait that had dropped near the waters edge, just to the left of the bait bucket!!

It was 9pm by the time the car was packed up so I headed off home after a very enjoyable weekends fishing.

27th December River Severn Atcham

As planned I headed of to Andy's and arrived just 10 minutes late, well Northwich? Nantwich? all looks the same on road signs at 6:30am, I took a few wrong turns but got there eventually. We loaded my gear in to Andy's car and headed off to Atcham for a day's barbel fishing.

Cliff pulled in behind us as we unlocked the gate and the weather was overcast which is preferable to bright and sunny. The river was well up since we'd last been and was pushing through, close in would have been the best tactic as holding bottom out in the flow wasn't really possible.

Dawn on 'Duffers peg'

I dropped into 'Duffers' peg by the pump (which had been removed) and Andy in the next double peg upstream where I'd previously had my best barbel session back in July in similar but much warmer conditions, Cliff went further upstream to the right.

The river was well up and pushing through...

Mid morning and we dropped in on Andy for a chat, Cliff and I where packed up and ready to move swims but Andy was sticking it out where he was. As we talked Andy's right hand rod gave a couple of knock's and he was in to a fish, as he was close in it was soon in the net and we admired a rather hollow and battle scared chub of around the 3lb mark.

Andy with the only fish of the day....

Cliff and I moved down to the left hand field and I crossed the brook into Poachers field and set up in a slack back eddy hoping to tempt a chub resting from the flow.

It wasn't to be and once darkness fell I packed up and made my way up the hill to meet Andy for the long journey back to Nantwich to pick my car up and headed of to Cliff's to once again recall a very enjoyable but un-productive day at Atcham.

That's it from me for 2011 so I'll take this opportunity to thank you all for taking the time to read my Blog so far and for your kind comments, the tightest of lines for 2012.

Best wishes,


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Thank you for your comments, tight lines, Bob