Met up with a mate at the bridge at Bransford for a bacon sarnie. It was a "soft" day and we decided to drive up to Cotheridge where you didn't need the mountaineering skills of Joe Brown (showing my age?) to reach the swims. The last time I fished this beautiful river was when I was still living in Birmingham. I'm afraid the price of petrol now makes me look at the mileage as much as the location. Still, some time back on the Teme was too much of a pull to resist.
We got to the car park to find it completely empty. Early result. Deciding to go upstream we found several likely-looking spots and we settled just above and just below some shallows. On my opposite bank there were some fallen trees with the branches looking particularly inviting - too inviting as it turned out.
I bait-droppered 5 or 6 helpings of small pellets and hemp across to the far bank before setting up a 1.5lbs TC Fox Duo Lite.
Initially I had a 2.5ft soft mono hooklength to a size 12 baited with 4 small elipse pellets superglued to the hairs. There were a few plucks on the tip which I put down to small chub, but with hindsight could have been larger fish mouthing the bait before dropping it. By about 9 ish I hadn't had a decent bite and was starting to get a bit concerned as the sun was almost coming over the far bank. The "killing zone" was still in shade however. I experimented with fewer and then more pellets on the hair and eventually had a real animal hoop-over of the rod. Although I was on it within a millisecond (liar, it was more like 2 seconds), I failed to wind down quickly enough and the fish fled into the safety of the tree branches. Now I regretted not having a braid hooklength. I held the fish with the rod having a bend I'd never witnessed before, not only due to the branches but the pulling of the fish. Through the grating of the line I was still having a fight with the fish. When I gave a little line it took more, when I wound back to stalemate it just sulked. 4 or 5 minutes of this pulling back/sulking got me nowhere. I walked down the shallows and pulled at different angles but to no avail.
I decided to give a few yards of line and pour a coffee, last resort. I think the chub - must have been, the way it went straight for the branches/roots - decided it had had enough fun and managed to place my hook nicely in a very thick branch. To say I was pissed off was an understatement. I had no control over the bloody thing and would have enjoyed seeing and weighing it.
The flora and fauna kept me sane during the middle of the day.
During this time I managed a few chub up to 3 or 4 lbs and then, just before deciding to pack up, did the only thing I could do having just bought a camera "safe to 5 metres depth". I chucked it in the river at my feet! Actually I placed it gingerly, not knowing if it was capable of taking a whole 4" of river without blowing up. Unfortunately by then the sun was over my head and this is the resulting photo.
Definately going back to this river soon, or as soon as I save up the petrol money!