Chequebook and Pen? Oh go on then!

Warning! If you like reading blogs that are all about fish captures and winning methods then look away now. In all honesty and to be quite frank, I caught absolutely nothing in February, I didn’t even muster a single bite to my well thought out and presented offerings.

From a personal point of view the month started well. I’d been back at work a week or so after my enforced January lay off and was feeling fighting fit. I’d been advised not to do any heavy lifting but given that things were going well at work with no adverse reactions I was confident a fishing trip wouldn’t cause too many problems. I’d been studying the weather and river levels religiously in the hope a window of opportunity would open up. With the rivers having being bank high for the majority of January with cold, coloured water they finally started to recede, just in time for my 2 days off. With the river carrying just a couple of feet of extra water and a slight hint of colour pike were the only species on my mind. Living where I do I’m very privileged to be in close proximity to many waterways and river systems and the one that was drawing my attentions was the river Wye.

I planned to do 2 consecutive days on the river the only thing I had to decide was do I travel there and back each day or find myself a B&B and cut the travelling down to a minimum. After careful consideration the cost of petrol was actually less than a night in a B&B, an evening meal and couple of beers. Add to that a proper few hours sleep in my own bed and the daily round trip was the plan. Up bright and early I wasn’t looking forward to the 80 mile drive but the heating was soon on in the car and I was on my way. Shortly after 1st light I arrived at the venue and started the long walk over various fields and down a number of muddy farm tracks until I eventually reached the river. It was looking in fine fettle and I was extremely confident of a fish or 2. There were no fresh footsteps in the silt and mud that the floods had deposited so I was certain I was the 1st angler in several weeks to have ventured onto this particular fishery. I spent the whole day on the move, dropping into every likely looking swim on more than one occasion, covering literally miles of river. Upon deciding to call it a day I couldn’t believe that the pike had evaded me. I felt sure I must have put a bait in the vicinity of at least one fish but if they don’t want it then no matter how many tweaks to rigs or changes to baits you make it sometimes just isn’t going to happen. During the long drive home my head was filled with answerless questions but if at 1st you don’t succeed then try and try again so after a good but short nights sleep I was once again in the car heading off for another days piking.

This time I was a little closer to home and it was a mere 50 mile journey I had to contend with. Upon arrival I donned my cold weather apparel and headed off in the direction of the river. Rounding the corner and I was faced with the magnificent sight of the Wye twisting it’s way into the distance with swim upon swim of likely looking holding areas. After negotiating a series of fences and stiles I had a quick few casts in a known holding area without a bite so took a deep breath and prepared myself for the long walk to the bottom end of the stretch. Half an hour later I was there, a little red in the face and hot but I could now spend the day working my back towards the car dropping into every likely looking spot on the way. Well to cut a long story short it was once again a long hard slog and despite fishing my socks off it wasn’t to be. A quick phonecall to a couple of friends who were elsewhere on the river it was apparent I wasn’t the only one struggling. After travelling 260 miles in just 2 days in the fruitless search of pike I was beaten but certainly not down and I will just have to try harder to put it right next time.

Amazingly those 2 days were the only time I made it onto the bank in the whole of February. With my Sous chef having a weeks holiday booked and me unable to get any cover I found myself with a distinct lack of days off work in the in the middle part of the month. The last weekend I found myself heading south for The Big One fishing show at Farnborough Airfield. I was to be spending the weekend with the rest of the Nash PegOne team manning the stand at the show and doing demonstrations and generally talking fishing for the whole weekend. There was a fantastic turn out and a great deal of interest in some of the new Nash products that are due to hit the shelves very soon. It was nice to catch up with friends old and new but come Sunday evening I was definitely ready for home with heavy eyelids and aching feet.

Towards the end of the month I was approached by good friend and Staffordshire regional organiser for the Barbel Society Mark Dutton to see if I would be interested in doing a talk and presentation for his region in May. I jumped at the chance to dip my toes in the water of the presentation circuit and as I will be aided by another good friend in Rob Swindells who has done many talks before the pressure will be taken off a little as he will be doing the 1st half of the night on his exploits on the river Dove. It would be great to see some of you there so if you can make it the details are as follows.

The Barbel Society Staffordshire Region presents a night with Rob Swindells & Lewis Baldwin

Wednesday 29th May


VENUE: Doveridge Village Hall Sand Lane, Doveridge DE6 5JQ.

Doors open at 7.30pm

Members £3

Non Members £5

Andy Sliwa rods will be present as will The Hookbait Company

Guest speakers, Rob Swindells and Lewis Baldwin

Buffet available and included.


That’s all for this month folks but with me writing this in mid march I can assure you there is definitely more piscatorial content in my next offerings.

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