I thought of another Olympic sport this week, Shopping Trolley Pushing, when I arrived at my local little river to find yet another trolley semi submerged in my favourite swim. The river runs through a park on the outskirts of town and over a mile from the nearest supermarket, so whoever deposited it had a near Olympian task to get it there. A couple of major roads had been crossed, before heading out of town along a busy road and finally dragged, or carried thirty yards through thick, ivy covered undergrowth and thrown into the shallow river. Definitely deserves a medal, or something?
The trolley was bang on line for the trot under an overhanging tree where the chub live, so positioned myself upstream with the intention of drawing them up, throwing a few snooker ball sized lumps of liquidized bread in a path down towards the offending metalwork. The river had fined down nicely, following melting snow, which had caused the banks to overflow and coat everything with a layer of silt. With more snow forecast for the weekend, this was my chance to fish before it happened again and despite a chilling wind blowing about more flurries, I tackled up my Hardy 12 foot float rod with a light stick float rig set at a depth of 30 inches to just trip the bottom.
I cast in, following another cloud of feed, held back the rig and watched the 6 mm pellet of bread sink out of sight, the float settled and slowly dragged under. Bottom? I lifted the rod tip and felt an immediate explosive response as a pound chub stormed off downstream, instinctively backwinding as the light rod curved over. With a size 14 barbless giving a strong hold, he was soon heading back up towards me, that big mouth gaping as it slid over the rim of my net. First cast, not bad. Another ball, another trot and another fish, this time a hard scrapping 8 ounce chub. Three more consecutive casts brought more small chub around the 12 ounce mark, good fun in this shallow river, but the larger fish were not coming out to play and the next trot through brought the tap, tap bite of a gudgeon.
At this point of the river, the flow runs down over gravel shallows and opens up into slower water, where roach shoal, but today the gudgeon had well and truly moved in, even grabbing big pinches of flake meant for better fish. Many of these gudgeon were stonkers of 2 ounces and put a bend in the rod, shame they don’t reach 8 oz, then it would have been worth staying on, but with the wind biting through to my core, I packed up. 5 lb of fish in 90 minutes was enough to keep me going til next time, no specimens, but to me this is what fishing is all about.