Yesterday morning I headed over to Foremark for a few hours to try a tempt an early season rainbow and also to have a chin wag with the River Erewash Foundation chaps who were having a bank social. I soon spotted Mick in Flamingo Bay helping one of the REF youngsters with his casting which paid off as we were pleased to see him land a fish later in the morning. Sunblest Bay was my first target and I dropped in next to another angler who I soon realised was Alan Booth who is a master barbel angler. He is clearly no mug with the fly rod either having already had a brace of fish. Sport was decidedly slow and I fished an intermediate for the first hour without a pull before swapping to a floater. It was about this time Mick joined us and slotted in between Alan and I. Alan had another fish and soon after I managed to winkle one out on a bloodworm. Foremark fish are renowned for their fighting qualities and this one went like stink. Mick offered me some helpful advice during the fight like "Are you still playing that fish Dave" as I missed it with the net. After more jovial banter which is guaranteed with these lads I retired around lunch time. I dropped the fish off at my pal Martin's on the way home who was looking for a good test of his new hot smoker. The text I received later confirmed that Foremark fish have also retained their good eating qualities.
This week I was working in Bristol for a couple of days and have been fortunate enough to find a hotel that has a pond in the ground that is stocked with carp. Although a club have the fishing here it is free to guests and I enjoyed a few evenings here last year also. To be honest it is a bit overstocked and if it was a day ticket fishery it would be absolutely hammered but the fish remain free biting to a number of baits. However, as beggars can't be choosers it is just the ticket to unwind after work for the last hour or so. On Tuesday evening I was the only angler there and fished my usual set up of avon rod, fixed spool reel, and a simple waggler. Bait was luncheon meat as I had some in the freezer but bread is equally effective. It was not long before a young chap who was also a guest walked round to see me and soon revealed his dilemma. He was stopping for the week but had no tackle with him. Soon I played a nice carp but the hook pulled and then I had to take a phone call from work. I handed him my rod and he fished on managing to winkle out one of the fish. I suggested we take it in turns and he was over the moon with a chance to try for a fish. For me there was as much pleasure in sharing the rod and watching the other chap catch. It left me thinking what a wonderful sport we have in that two strangers could instantly strike up a rapport. The angling gods clearly thought so as well as I was lucky enough to land the delightful common below. We fished until the float could no longer be seen and despite it being a warm day the temperature soon started to drop. My usual routine when working away is to frequent a curry house with some reading matter, this week I had How to Fish by Chris Yates. The wife has found it highly amusing that after all these years I am reading a book of that title but it is more about philosophy than technique. So later that evening I enjoyed a chicken vindaloo and a few chapters and it then occurred to me that the evenings session was what angling is all about. Not really about the fish but more about enjoying the outdoors and being close to nature. Fish as ever are the bonus.
I thought I had missed my last chance of finishing the coarse season on a river today. Thursday and Friday were spent working away and consequently there was quite a list of jobs to be attended to this morning. Fortunately I escaped for the last couple of hours and as I didn't have much time plumped for the River Trent at Ingelby. The Trent is what I would call a big river and I don't have a deal of confidence on it preferring the Dove or the Derwent. As it is less than 10 minutes from home though it had to be today. Hoping that my quest for a back end barbel would be satisfied my optimism was soon raised when on the second cast the rod nodded over nicely. Alas it was the chub below which had grabbed my meat but it was a good fish using the current to make me work it to the net and as per every chub I seem to catch it weighed 4lb dead.
Well at least that was my new rod christened what a shame it was not a barbel. Rather a fat chub I thought. That is it now for coarse fish on the rivers as I will not be on the banks again before Monday when the season finishes. So now my thoughts will turn to trout and tench until 16th June.