River Trent – 2nd November 2012

I decided to celebrate my birthday by taking the day off and spending a few hours on the riverbank.  Yesterday was spent deliberating on where to go.  I really fancied a river but they were rising due to yet more rain earlier in the week.  I didn’t fancy fishing a gravel pit as I find them a bit soulless.  The Trout waters are a bit far away and time was limited as I had the nursery run to perform first thing in the morning.  This all left me with only one choice, the Trent and Mersey canal.  I’ve never actually fished it but have wanted to for quite a while.  The stretch I was planning on fishing runs very close to the Trent.  The plan was to have a look at the Trent just out of curiosity while on my way to the canal.

I loaded the Landie up and left the house just before 10am.  On the way down I realised I’d left my sandwiches and flask on the table.  A minor setback as I would be able to pick another up on the way.

I arrived at the Trent and it didn’t look that bad.  Clarity wasn’t great and it was running about a foot above it’s normal level.  I decided just to have a few exploratory casts in a large back eddy that I know holds a few fish.  It was while I was putting my waterproofs on that I realised I’d forgotten my wellies.  Things were not looking good.

Despite this I headed upto the chosen spot.  On arrival I saw what I thought to be a Perch striking at fry.  This was a good sign.  I’d be more than happy with a nice Perch.  I had tackled up with a floating line and a yellow deceiver.  On my first cast I put the fly tight in to the bank where I saw the Perch.  Nothing happened.  Second cast I put my fly a bit further into the slack and after a couple of short slow pulls the line tightened and I struck into a nice Pike that turned out to be just over 12lb.  Third cast and it was like déjà vu.  The line tightened again and I was into another fish, this one smaller at around 6lb.  The Pike were obviously holed up in the back eddy out of the main flow feeding on the baitfish that also had the same idea.  A couple of casts later and another decent fish took the yellow deceiver.  This one slightly smaller than the first, probably around 10-11lb.  So 6 casts in and three fish with two of them being doubles.  All thoughts of going to the canal had disappeared.

I decided to leave the spot alone and head to another area that is an outlet from a power station that was demolished a few years ago.  To be honest, I’ve aIways struggled up there but I figured the pike would be out of the main flow of the river and laying up in the old outflow.  I jumped in the Landie and drove the few miles upstream.  The area I had in mind is over a mile walk from the car and therefore gets very lightly fished.  Even travelling light I was glad to get there.

A few casts in and I managed a fish of around 8lb.  The yellow deceiver was looking a bit mangled so I changed it and put on a white and chartreuse variant.  I fished around the outflow but remained fishless for about the next 30 minutes.  I wanted to fish all the way round but I was being pulled by an area just off the main flow of the river where the fast water meets the slack so I discarded a big chunk of the outflow and headed straight for that spot.  During the summer this area is covered in lily pads.  It’s relatively shallow as the silt accumulates here from the main flow.  First couple of casts and nothing, then again in the short space of about 6 casts I had another three fish with another one of them being a low double.  No more fish followed from that spot so I made my way upstream heading for the old power station inlet.

On my way up there was an area of slack just off the main flow that screamed fish.  It looked relatively deep so I opted to fish the intermediate line with a yellow deceiver.  I let the fly fish a little deeper with each cast until something solid hit the fly.  It felt a very good fish as it just kept deep.  Leaning into the fish didn’t budge it.  Then a couple of very solid head shakes and it was gone.  Feeling a bit sickened at what was obviously a very good fish I moved up to the inlet.  I gave it about 20 minutes fishing in this area but it just didn’t feel right.  The water was a lot more coloured and I was struggling to see my fly a foot down.  It was now just after two thirty in the afternoon so I decided to call it a day and make the long walk back.

The day started off a bit disastrous with forgetting my lunch and my wellies.  On another day forgetting these trivial items could have knocked my confidence and I probably would have fished less confidently, but for some reason I decided that on this particular day I wouldn’t let that happen.  I drove home a little hungry and with wet feet reflecting on a great few hours on the riverbank and decided to dedicate the day to my Dad who passed away recently.  I just wish he was still here so I could have shared the day with him.