Saturday, 17 February 2018

Small Brook Fishing Pt.3 – Small Tips and Big Nips

The last trip down this little Warwickshire Brook, I managed to catch 3 or 4 bullheads on a size 12 Quru QM1 hook which I favour because of ease of unhooking small fish. The bullhead I didn’t even realise it was on till I reeled in, however the subsequent fish I caught, I could notice a tiny tremble on the quiver. After the session finished I discovered my usual 8ft TFG rod was fitted with a 2oz tip, not the 1oz’er I thought I had for the session.

Overgunned to detect bites indeed, and upon sorting through the tackle in the garage the only remaining tip for the rod was a 3oz jobbie. Sadly the finer tip found its way to the bottom of a load of banksticks and bitealarms and was in two pieces.

Maybe a wand type rod would be what I needed to add to my ever growing collection. The Shakespeare Mach 2, Sigma and Agility wands looked ideal but I was after a 9ft rod or shorter and the availability of these seemed to be few and far between. So out of the blue after discussing wand rods with a seat box frequenter he just so had a similar wand for sale, albeit a Browning King F1 8ft wand that came with 0.5oz, 1oz, 1.5oz tips.

A pony changed hands, another rod added to the collection and the Wife none the wiser to the breeding carbon that has been consuming the space in the garage. With the brook hopefully up a nadger because of the recent rain, could I catch a bullhead or even a stone loach by design. The 0.5oz tip fitted, the rig scaled down from the last session. The blank is incredibly thin, the bend all the way down to the butt, a wobble like not other rod in my armory.

A full on maggot attack and hopefully the nip of the bullhead this time would register on the now much finer tip.The bullhead or the millers thumb, is a name by which it has been known popularly for at least 6 centuries.

The curious name apparently arose in days when every village had its miller, and has little point now that milling lacks the personal touch. “The miller’s ear” “is constantly directed to the note made by the running-stone in its circular course over the bedstone, the exact parallelism of their two surfaces, indicated by a particular sound, being a matter of the first con-sequence, and his hand is constantly placed under the meal-spot, to ascertain by actual contact the character and qualities of the meal produced.

The thumb by a particular movement spreads the sample over the fingers. By this incessant action of the miller’s thumb, a peculiarity in its form is produced which is to resemble exactly the shape of the head constantly found in mill-streams, and has obtained for it in the name of Miller’s Thumb”

The miller’s thumb is placed in an order which includes gurnards and sticklebacks; and its family (the Cottidae) there are fish with names like father lasher and long-spinned sea scorpion. The miller’s thumb is no exception to a general rule of spikiness, and if it grew to 3ft. instead of 3inches it would be a really dangerous creature.

The head is obviously the most dominant part of the millers’s thumb, hence the alternative name, bullhead. This is large and flattened, and the widest part of the fish is across the head behind the eyes. The eyes are on the top of the head and close together. The lower jaw projects beyond the upper. Behind the head the scaleless rounded body tapers quickly away to a narrow waist at the junction with the tail fin.

3 inch the humdrum, 3 to 4 inch not uncommon and anything over 4 inches exceptional.

Obviously the main reason why I’m fishing here is for the Dace potential showed promising signs the first time here, sadly not the second, where it was much tougher. These wand rods are for use in commercials though for winter F1’s and Silvers, so even if a trout or such like turned up, then the rod would have as much backbone as required.

Hey maybe there are some stone loaches here too, only one way to find out….

Need to drown those maggots….

With the brook up because of the recent rain I decided to set ones stall out in swim. I'd only 2.5 hours to fish, so roving around probably wasn't the best idea especially when this swim has lots of fish holding features and also it offers a nice transitional route if fish fancy a change of scenery.

Now my deadbaits were soft when I checked them in the bait freezer the other day and stupidly put it up to max so when I got the maggots from the fridge they had frozen solid. So a load of dead lifeless maggots wasn't ideal but eventually I started to get bites. What a lovely like rod, tiny bites registering on the tip nicely and the rod nice to hold.

I was an odd session to be honest, I was hoping fishing the same swim I had the bullheads from I'd manage one again but sadly there were not forthcoming. I had a few roach and dace up to 5.5oz and 23cm's but no trout were showing and bites were hard to come by.

Next time I think I will try white or bronze maggots to see if I could get more bites than red. I'm sure it can vary day by day so much here that it's just a matter of hitting that right time, because compared to the first trip here I found it very tough indeed.


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