January is not the most welcoming month weather wise, it can be a complete mixture of all the inclement types of weather and this year has been worse than usual. To carry on from where I left off last time, the ice had gone but was replaced by rain, rain and more rain ; I have no problem with fishing in the rain, my waterproofs do their job and keep me dry and I do not use a brolly, but the problem with constant rain is the state of a) the water and b) the underfoot conditions. Anyway I plucked up courage and trudged off to peg 10 on the Friday with the intention of videoing the 10m Chinese whip (the banana). I managed to slip and slide my way to 10 and set up the whip with a 5g Blues rig, 0.14mm main to 0.10mm hooklength and an 18 with double maggot and the pike rod. Now at this point I must mention that with the heavy rain over the previous days the water had gone up and now resembled oxtail soup with plumes of sediment clearly visible (the only thing that was visible in that mess!). I began on the 10m whip and have put a couple of clips to show the action on casting and striking, no playing fish as after almost 2hours I had not had a bite. I swapped to the 7m whip instead and managed to avoid the blank with a shell-shocked roach of an ounce- my only bite!
The weather now went cold- very cold so when we went for a walk on Monday the lake was still frozen but with the weather warming up slightly the thaw had started. Next day I went to the Pondtail peg 2 armed with the icebreaker and managed to get a reasonable space as the ice was thin and melting. Over the weekend I had finally taken my old ABU 506 apart and cleaned it up so it now worked- only taken me 15 years to do it! New line had been spooled and although the conditions were not good I wanted to give it a run out to check it was okay. The water was gushing through the weir and it was akin to trotting on a slow river but try as I might I remained biteless, running through going over depth and dragging made not a jot of difference as the fine weather promised on the forecast never materialised and the Bowood micro-climate kicked in with heavy drizzle that further melted the ice and lowered the water temperature again. I gave it two hours then packed up, walking back to the car, Tim, the gamekeeper, drove past going about his business and pointing to his head mouthed “You’re mad!”
I think he may well be right. However I planned to go on Friday but rain in the preceding days had caused flooding on the roads and fields and when the heavy rain began on Thursday night and carried on into the morning I thought about the potential oxtail soup waiting for me at peg 10 and showed a little bit of sanity and stayed home and did this!