Friday 19 February 2016

Paradise Lost?

We were on the frozen riverbank just after dawn, James and myself, the target was grayling and roach. James had lent me a Greys Prodigy float rod for the day - and it is a perfect centerpin rod - why don't they make a 3 piece version?

I also took the pike kit, I only needed 2lb 5oz to wrap up the predator challenge - one fish - and I was sure I'd bump into one over the course of the day.

I was soon into the grayling and trying to avoid the kamikaze trout (I caught the same trout with a distinctive black mark three times in ten minutes). But as the morning progressed I couldn't find a pike - where were they?

I abandoned the float rod and wobbled a deadbait in likely looking spots, eventually finding a little jack. Never has a pike of this size been so carefully weighed - 1lb 10oz - turns out I needed more than one pike!

After much more searching I finally spotted a little jack in the shallows - 3lb 9oz - challenge cracked - I breathed a sigh of relief, I've been so close for so long.

I continued chasing grayling catching quite a few (lost count) to about 1½lb and far too many trout to about 4½lb (a nice test for the Prodigy). But we didn't see any more pike, no big grayling and only a handful of roach. James did land a couple of them including the most beautiful one either of us had ever seen - a black roach!

One deadbait left, I flicked it out and it was nailed instantly - a pike about 2lb - with marks where it looked like it had been grabbed by an otter!

It looks like the otters have taken their toll on the river, introduced to an ecosystem that can't sustain them - I really hope I'm wrong and we just couldn't spot the fish - the trout will be restocked but not the roach, grayling and pike.

We only stumbled onto this little slice of paradise last year, it would be such a shame if it's already gone...


  1. Well intended but totally ill conceived reintroduction of a top run predator into areas where it probably wasn't present in the first place. But hey, it's cute and furry so we've got to save it right??
    Well done on the predator challenge you've had quite the season. Just need that big double or twenty pound cherry on the top to finish it up nicely.

    1. It happened so quickly, as well as the river there is a pond nearby that contained a bunch of 40 year old carp and a shoal of bream - every single one has been killed.

      It's not their fault, they are just doing what they're designed to do - once the water is decimated they can either move or starve. It's a no-win!

      On another note. Would have been nice to smash the Predator Challenge with a twenty or a big double, but nice enough to scrape over the weight - after failing the previous two challenges. Still might have time to find a big girl!

  2. Can't blame the otters for sure but as they are forced to move from water to water looking for food you'll start to see more unhealthy ones about as well as more dead on the roads etc. Not fair to any of the parties really.
    Always time for a big girl.

    1. Cute and fluffy roadkill!

      Love to get at least one day on The Wye before the season ends...