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Previously on River Running...

Hmm, I appear to have let things slip again, so this time around I'm going to introduce a new feature into the blog - the multiple entry. This will allow me to squeeze the last four trips into a single, coherent whole thus saving you the reader and me, the author time and effort. Everybody wins.


Except I don't remember much about the first trip. It was to Whitmore's lake, a favourite spot these days thanks to its relatively small size and the fact that so few people fish it. However, fishing as we know, goes in cycles, and my first visit of the new season lacks a certain something that was a regular feature last year. Fish. Despite trying various swims before settling on the smaller of the two islands (a lovely spot) I manage a single bite (a confident couple of bobs followed by a sail away) and a single fish (a small rudd of a few ounces). Still, the Kelly Kettle gets an outing too and that's a complete success - the trick seems to be to load it up as soon as it gets going, rather than feeding it sticks in drubs and drabs.

Seconds away, round two. A big club lake this time, a water I associate with surface feeding carp but that now holds crucians, decent perch along with rudd and roach that are growing fast. So what do I catch? Tench. In fact, it looks like the same tench, over and over again - a supersize bar of Pears soap that's just big enough to need the landing net. I go with new club member (and fellow band member - but that's another story) Sam, a sea fisherman who's more at home with 7oz leads with grippers and rods as big as coconut trees; this time round we both enjoy a cup of coffee, courtesy of the kettle. And if I can get the video uploaded, you'll be able to see for yourself.

Round three. My favourite club lake this time. Driving past the alpacas with their funny, Muppety faces, Sam and I find a single club member who's there having had a row with his wife. Storming out he remembered he had all his gear in the car so instead of going to the pub of tramping the streets, he goes fishing instead. Sensible choice. No such histrionics for either of us so Sam settles into my favourite corner swim and I tackle up next door on the other side of the big tree. I start by quiver tipping with maggots, but a succession of fish from the other side of the tree culminating in a lovely crucian carp convinces me to switch to a small float - a leaded, clear short bodied waggler. Luncheon meat goes on a small size 12 (bought from Trago Mills nearly 10 years ago and still sharp as billy-o) and produces a lovely little rudd. Over the next three hours this is followed by a nice bream, some good sized tench (the biggest is here at 3lbs 5oz) and that rarest of all freshwater aquatic creatures, a lip-hooked eel. It was the same day the flotilla sailed down the Thames in celebration of the jubilee, and while London sweltered and soaked in the rain, Sam and I fished into the silence and the setting sun.
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