To say the last few days of the traditional coarse fishing season were not as expected and hoped for is an understatement. The river had been out of sorts. It comes up quickly once the ground is sodden and the multitude of streams which enter its upper reaches make it react quickly. All sorts of Plan B locations were being discussed as a localised downpour put it up and over the banks for the last weekend of the season.
I still went for the last two days - I could not bring myself to fish still waters for these last two days. The river was the colour of weak chocolate - nearer Caramac. The temperature rose and it was shirtsleeve weather with poached feet in wellie boots - what's going on? Bumblebees, butterflies and sand martins made it seem not quite seasons end.
One visitor I was not pleased to see was that little bastard the Blandford Fly - the ale of the same name is alright I suppose, but this biting little critter made an unwelcome early appearance on both days.
The river actually fished alright, slowly, but just enough interest in the baited slacks of the river out of the main flow to catch a goodly bag of roach, dace and gudgeon. What lovely gudgeon they were - I lost count of how many of the greedy fellows I caught and am always flabbergasted to hear some of the old timers actually speak of eating them, how could they!
I am having a love affair with some of my lightly used Ambidex reels at the moment - they don't get used as often as I would like, but with a switch to a static bait on the bottom of the river it felt the right reel to use. I love the gawdy blue hues of these reels and the bakelite fittings.
A stroll downstream to see how the rest of our gather were faring, with the added hope of cake and tea, and I was overjoyed to see some river debris in the form of someones Christmas lights half way up a willow - lovely.
It was more of the same for day two - the river was still not in the best of condition and bites were much harder to get, but the company was splendid, tea magnificent and cake orgasmic. As the light faded from the day I had my last cast and the tiniest tremble resulted in that hoped for thud and lunge of a large roach. A huge roach. A giant roach. A Stour roach like this has been in my dreams for many years, but it was only to be the tale of the one that got away in the pub that evening..............another season ends and dreams, sometimes, maybe one day will become reality.