IT’S BEEN A BUSY WEEK FOR ME!
My angling odyssey needed a pit stop so I spent the night in my own bed, which also allowed me to change my tackle and direction for the next adventure.
The M4 would point me eastwards, and when I was close to the M25 my destination was within casting range. A tributary of the Thames, the small, semiurban River Colne, runs as clear as a chalk stream. Beds of lush green cabbage weed add vibrant colour to the canvas and offer cover for my quarry.
At first glance the river can look lifeless, but then a shadow will drift over the bottom. My pitch was next to the canopy of a willow with its branches trailing in the flow. Chest waders allowed me to pass through the weed to reach the middle and an area where the
bottom had been scoured out to supply five feet of water.
Here I felt I could draw chub out from their lair of a fallen tree, and to begin the process I allowed half-a-dozen maggots to trundle downstream every minute.
Patience is an asset with this approach and I didn’t even think of casting when the first set of white lips appeared. Only when the entire shoal had become greedy did I let the Loafer float take my hookbait into battle.
Getting a bite wasn’t the problem. Where it would come from was, and the answer came halfway down the trot as the orange float tip dipped and was dragged sideways. For a split second my strike surprised the chub, but that was short-lived and soon I was grateful for the strength of the size 18 Super Spade hook that was the only thing stopping a good chub from reaching the snags and freedom.
The sport was wonderful, and it was difficult to pull myself away from it, but I knew I only had a couple of hours to spare before I tackled my next destination – a gravel pit for which the Colne Valley is famed.
Trotting for chub on the River Colne.
Bulk shotting got the Loafer float down.