Saturday, 2 December 2017

Lower Itchen Fishery – Flimflam and Floozy’s

The Monday at work my mind was elsewhere, you see the working week was to be cut short and at the end of the week, I’d be fishing one of England’s premier chalk streams available on a day ticket.

Post concept alias surfaces I needed to get a lengthy report out for a client so the headphones were donned and some Psybient mixes stacked up, Luciano Vizentin’s Dance with the Wolves really gave the ear drums a work out as did the more laid back BLOND:ISH mix from the 2017 Burning Man Festival , the low frequencies particularly pleasing, the correct number of BPM's too. Heck I even stuck it out for a whole mix from Solomun from The Old Port in Ibiza.

Dance music really does concentrate one’s mind to keep it on track, the tinnitus just about averted. Memories flooding back to the end of my 10 years of partying, the canal club in Wolverhampton and Code in Brum, dancing on speakers, away with fairies, beats just how I like them.

The hours pass quickly, the crosses ticked….well, the feasibility boxes filled mostly amber and red.

The end in sight….

My last trip down to the Lower Itchen Fishery in Southampton I felt a little cheated, not only did I fail to beat my Grayling PB but I didn’t really catch anything of note. Ok, the fishing was as prolific as ever with huge quantities of fish that reside in some of the swims a sight to behold, but it just didn’t stir one’s loins like the first trip down did.

Certainly no Harry and Markle sparkle that’s for sure….

One of the feeder streams
It didn’t help I suppose that Simon’s life is often dictated by work, even when he is meant to be on holiday, so fishing related chat, down and back was often broken up with the Champion partaking in a conference call from afar with all the flimflam terminology and acronyms that goes with the business consulting territory that apparently he specialises in.

Waffle to the layman and heathen like me….

Luckily Danny was with me for this trip down and like me he had plans that he had intended to stick to, for me it was before lunch fish the the upper part of the stretch and concentrate on a couple of swims that have Grayling in abundance and then after some much needed sustenance of fried onion and Lashfords Pork finest, more salmonidae and anything that would come along.

Main bait for catching the manic wriggler, well a couple or three tins of Green Giant and a pint of red maggots. Now sweetcorn passes through a Grayling like it does me and thee, I assume it's a bait that is mistaken for salmon eggs maybe, but it certainly did the trick when I've been to the Itchen before, as it seemed to land the better stamp of fish over the maggot.

A worthless foodstuff maybe, but boy, does it work....

Eventually or if I got bored, with a couple or so hours before dusk, I'd head down to the deeper lower swims with glides and holes and fish a little differently.

So it was down with the sweetcorn and it was out with the Warburtons Blue.

The bread would be fished liquidised in a feeder with a nice folded piece of punched piece on the hook to try and attempt something special that this fishery holds. Roach, Dace, Chub, yeap, any of those would be most welcome as any caught of size could well rival or better my mediocre PB’s.

A sight tip was fitted as I planned to finish off in the weir pool in to dusk to end the session and retire to the pub for a bit of fodder and a post Itchen catch-up. Rod, well the ever faithful, TFG 1.2TC River and Stream that is probably my favourite rod out of my ever increasing arsenal.

I felt that I went on the rove far too early when I was really enjoying myself in a couple of the swims bagging up on Grayling. If I had stuck it out in those the bigger fish would eventually turn up and a PB beater would have been mine. I’d managed an best equaling 1lb 8oz fish which was nice but still quite a bit away from the fish that are said to frequent this picturesque chalk stream. I needed to give them a proper go this time and fish through the plebeians.

My trotting set-up couldn’t be simpler, rod, a 14ft Drennan Acolyte plus, centre-pin (JW Young Aerodex 2900) loaded with 4lb line, a large Righyni float (Grayling Society ) a couple of BB’s to get the bait down quick to hopefully the bigger fish and a Guru QM1 hook which I found to be brilliant for hook-ups and ease of removal.It's such a light set-up that despite chucking the float out countless times and letting the rod tip do the work it never feels tiresome.

They are bold biters these Grayling and I found the self cocking and weighted float to be ideal as the fish would often hook themselves without needing a strike.

Corn on the hook with caster nearing red maggots and corn as feed, little and often worked well last time….

Much planning I’m sure you’d agree….but it’s how I go about my sessions.

Well, enough of that, how did it go....?

Well a bit of a mixed big really, it was cold very cold and only 3 of us on the whole stretch, still plenty of fish were banked, grayling, trout and more trout, the biggest grayling went 1.6oz so the big ones didn't show for me despite giving them a good go. Enjoyable trotting through especially with the flow making a small fish in to a bigger one.

After lunch I decided to head down the coarse stretch but despite fishing bread only game fish were caught, I wouldn't say I was tired of trout as they give a good scrap but a decent chub, roach and dace would have been nice.

Danny who had been feeder fishing most of the day had a lovely fat chub at last knockings to end an overall and enjoyable day. Door to door in less that 2 hours so not a bad drive either.

The Salmon seemed a lot more active for this trip too, a couple of big'uns spotted in the margins and lots of existing from the water in many swims.


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