Winters tale

For the first time in two years I was in a pub last night, partaking of pints of Guinness, first in Johnnie HcHale’s and then Paddy Moran’s. Very pleasant it was too at the time but this morning it was a bit of a struggle to get out of the bed. I eventually sorted myself out and headed off to buy some maggots and then fish for a couple of hours on the canal. Blustery winds battered the car as I headed east but there were blue skies above for a change.

I would not have long to fish today so I opted to try a spot at Keshcarrigan. There is a marina there which is always busy during the summer but I figured it would be quiet at this time of the year. Pulling in I could see only a workman’s van parked and no boats at all on the water. Over to one side there were three small stands so I set up there. A small maggot feeder on the feeder rod was lobbed out and I busied myself getting the float rod set up. Plumbing showed an interesting feature, the bottom had a dip or hole in front of me about three rod lengths out. While the rest of the basin was about 6 feet deep this drop off was a couple of feet deeper so I decided to target it with some loose fed maggots and set the float to fish slightly over depth in the hole.

Getting myself comfortable, I looked around. I was right on the edge of the village here and a small cut ran back from where I was perched. A line of small trees on the other side gave me a degree of protection from the increasingly strong wind. For a while the sun beat down on me, warming my hands as I fished. It was all rather pleasant and things just got even better when the float dipped and I wound in a small roach. A couple of perfectly good bites followed but I contrived to miss them both before connecting with another small silver as the float dived for a third time. This turned out to be a small skimmer.

While all this was happening I noted the dark clouds building behind me. The wind grew even stronger and then the heavens opened. For the next hour or so the downpour continued, sometimes slackening off to just normal rain but then ramping up to full-blown Indian monsoon again. Cold water pooled on top of my seatbox, leaving me with a damp derriere. My oilskin coat kept the worst of the water off me but inevitably water found its way in and I started to get a bit wet. Strangely enough the fish did not seem to mind and four more small roach came to hand in the awful conditions. I am afraid there are no photos of these fish as it was far too wet to pull my phone out of my pocket, it would have been saturated within seconds.

The clouds thickened and minutes after I took this photo the rain started

Finally the rain eased off but time had run out for me and I had to be on my way. A kingfisher flew a circuit of the marina, almost like it was celebrating the end of the rain. Not so much as a nibble on the feeder which was a shame but the float worked well, probably because it was fishing in to that hole in the bottom. Half-a-dozen small silvers was probably more then I had hoped for, so there are no complaints from me. Of course all my gear got sopping wet and will have to be dried out before my next trip which, weather permitting, will be tomorrow.

Fishing in winter over here can be a bit hit and miss but today I was lucky enough to meet a few fish. The canal is full of fish and even though they are usually on the small side I still enjoy my sessions there. That is the first time I have fished in that particular marina and it is good to know that is holds some fish. Summer will find it rammed with boats the car park full to overflowing and no room for an angler like me. No harm, these waterways are for us all to enjoy and I can usually find a spot with less traffic.

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