Buoyed by my recent success at Atcham I decided to try another day on the stunning River Severn venue at which I’d blanked on my first attempt and so it was that I arrived mid-morning at Rossall, one of Lymm AC’s fantastic stretches of river available to members. As I completed my arrival paperwork I noticed that a fellow member had completed his catch return from the day before but omitted to post it in the box. Hence I was able to discover that he’d landed two Barbel the previous evening weighing 9.5 and 11lbs. Brilliant, the fish are in the mood. Let’s get it on.
One of the lessons I’d learned from my previous visit to this venue is that the walk back up the hill after a day’s fishing can quickly take it’s toll on a middle-aged man’s time for the quarter-mile dash and so I’d resolved to trim down the amount of gear I deemed necessary for a day’s fishing.
Even so, after this cull, I chuckled as I realised the cavernous main section within my backpack was actually filled with tucker and drinks. Never mind, I thought, I certainly won’t be carrying any back uphill with me!
I proceeded to walk the length of the entire stretch, noting the shallow sections, deeper pools, potential holding areas, ranunculus beds, overhanging cover in the form of willow trees and bushes before deciding on a tasty looking swim containing all of the above. What could possibly go wrong?
I prepared the inside line 10 metres downstream by gingerly backwinding six humungous bait dropper’s full of hemp, buck-wheat and pellet, home-prepared to my own specific recipe(!) and then delivered a precision cast to the far side, just upstream of the overhanging branches, allowing the pellet and hemp-packed feeder to drift underneath the cover before hitting the river bed. Perfect. Marlboro time.
There was to be no take on my first cast this time. Nor on my second, or third. After a couple of hours fishing the far side I decided it was time to drop a bait into the near side buffet bar I’d created when I first arrived but, as I retrieved, I was greeted by a cheery ‘good afternoon’ from Phil the Bailiff.
Phil’s a very experienced angler and knows Rossall better than anyone so I listened extremely carefully and employed some subtle questioning techniques that Slipper of the Yard would have admired in my quest to ascertain where the fish might be, what methods and bait would increase my chance of success and why the bloody hell I hadn’t a bite yet?
In summary, it was too early in the day, too bright and although the water was up and showing a little colour it was too cold on account of a release from Vernwy. Excellent. So it’s nothing whatsoever to do with me being a crap angler!
30 minutes later I bid him a cheery goodbye and implored myself to store in an easily retrievable crevice of my mind a smidgen of the knowledge he’d so willingly shared.
Dear reader, I’m not going to drag this out any longer. The nearside didn’t produce so much as a line bite either. Nor did the mid-stream runs between the Rananculous beds. Feeder, rolling ledger, small pellet(s), large pellet, meat and paste all failed to produce so much as a tap.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time available to fish into the night on this occasion so with the last of the stunning evening light fading, I packed away and congratulated myself on the minimalist approach I’d adopted as I
stumbled marched back up the hill to the truck, stopping only a couple of times to catch my breath admire the view.
Rossall 2 Tony 0
I’ll be back
’til next time