Angling Times (UK) - - TIP & TACTICS -

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.

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