Friday 3 March 2023

Small Brook Fishing Pt.24 - Grandguards and Grammaticasters

SOONER or later, generally sooner, we all go after the dace. For many of us the dace, because it is so plentiful, was the first fish we ever caught the first to provide us with the thrill of the bite and the catch. And that is an experience we never forget. We catch bigger fish as the years go by and we come to know more about the gentle art, but the memory of that first remains with us.

The dace is such a small fish; the biggest ever caught weighed only just over 1 lb. A pounder is a giant, a half-pounder a notable fish. They generally run to only a few ounces. All the same, there isn't a gamer, pluckier little fighter in the water. The dace doesn't come in quietly. He fights to the last gasp left in him. What a pity it is that the chub hasn't the dace's heart, for, if it had, what a fight it would give the angler!

We need very fine tackle for the dace, a size 16 hook, and a small float, would be about right. The best bait, a tiny piece of bread crust, maggot, wasp grub and, very occasionally, a small red worm. Will your rod be suitable? Errr it will.

The dace is the the happy fellow that likes to plays in the sun. Another name for the dace is dart. That is a better name, I think, for it darts about like quicksilver. The dace is an attractive fish. Its flanks gleam like burnished silver and there is always a sheen on the blue-grey of its back.

Being a quick-moving fish, naturally enough it thrives best in fairly fast flowing water. You won't find dace in lakes or ponds. Like most fish, it is shy. It won't do for you to cast your shadow on the water, or bang your feet on the bank.

For me these little forgotten streams I've been fishing hold some really nice examples. Now to be honest I knew the stream wouldn't be in brilliant fettle for this afternoons couple of hours but with some maggot needing replenishing I thought I'd give it a go before I'd be confined to the canals. 

When the stream is properly up and I fish the slack water I often fish a light link ledger set-up but it was out with the float rod for this trip because well, not quite cricket with a ledger rod now is it. Still sometimes needs must when targeting fish and when the end result is the same, why the heck not. 

Now the little stream was rather low when I got there, I mean proper low in-fact in most swims you could see the bottom in gin clear water so I thought I would struggle for bites. 

That couldn't have been further from the truth though, Soooooooooo many bites I was running out of the depleted maggots stores faster than I thought I would.

Nothing big showed today sadly, some plump dace for sure but not the usual stamp that reside here. Big dace I'd imagine with the conditions were maybe not up for feeding. 

I only caught one brook trout too which is unusual for this stretch as there are plenty up for either a lure or worm and maggot.

An enjoyable little trip out though because I do love fishing these little local forgotten streams. I'm sure there are some gems to be had on the right day. With the river season on the way out I doubt I'd get back here again because for the bigger fish to show we need a little more water on which will bring some much needed colour as well.

Talking of colour...

Old Jimny verses the New 💪


  1. Lovely bit of fishing Mick …. Baz

  2. Wasp grub ? Ypu sure ? I won't be searching out any nests when I can buy a pint of maggots for £3.50.

    1. £3.50?? That's Southern prices for you - £2.80 for a pint of finest in my neck of the woods!

    2. Yeah you have a point I suppose !!! I've used them in the past though like a maggot on steroids some of them

    3. £2.80 a pint of maggies ? Do you live in the 1990s ?


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