So my favourite river....Hmm. It has to be the Thames. I have loads of memories of fishing it with my grandad, Alf Churchill, dozens of different stretches.The fishing on the Thames isn't what it used to be, I am led to believe. But we still used to have some pretty good days.I remember one day in particular we were fishing at wallingford. The weather was nice, it wasn't pushing too hard and there was a nice drop of colour in the water. Conditions were bang on, but I was only having a few bits.Ol' grandad however, was hauling.He was punching a feeder across to the far bank and was having a few Chub up to the 4-5lb mark. Whilst doing this, he'd also been feeding the inside line with hemp and caster with the intention of running a stick down it.The Chub tailed off and he then decided to go down the inside.
D'you know what?
From the second he chucked in he didn't stop catching goer Roach. Honestly, one a chuck, all between 3-10oz.
This went on for about two hours and since my fishing had all but dried up, I decided I should go and alert my grandad to the fact that surely he's bored with catching piddly Roach by now?
After all, there's probably a 6lb Chub just waiting to have a feeder crashed on top of it's head on the far bank?
My plan worked and I ended up sitting taking over where he left off with the Roach and seriously put a few fish in the net.
I still remember, the rod was a Daiwa whisker, the reel an Abu 506 (with no backwind!) and the hook length was 1.7lb bayer. What im trying to say is I had no chance! It smashed me straight away.
Being a varied kind of angler I carry a varied kit! I went to my rod-bag and proceeded to set up an old 12ft match rod, with a dog reel loaded with 10lb line and a trebled wire trace.
Obviously my grandad was pulling his hair out (Yeah right...) about me ruining his swim with barbarian tackle and such but I simply informed him of the need to remove the marauding pike and place it a few swims down so that we might get the Roach going again....right?
I caught a live-bait and cast out to roughly where the pike had struck previously and waited for about 2 minutes before the rod tip yanked round and I struck into a decent Pike.
My grandad being a hardcore tiddler basher was flapping around cursing me and suggesting my antics would ruin the rest of his days fishing but I was too busy with my old glass 12ft match rod bent double to fully take it all in!
After a ten minute struggle I landed a Pike of around the 10lb mark. It was in good condition, not long and skinny like some Pike I've caught.
I safely removed the hooks and walked the pike a few swims down, put some oxygen in it's gills and watched it swim off in the opposite direction.
I then returned to my grandads swim and heard him rambling on about the Pike being removed, the Roach being scared and there no point in trying to fish for either as they wouldn't be there anymore. However, I still had the Roach as it was still hooked when I landed the Pike. I gave it another whirl!
Grandad was bleating on about 'no chance' etc and then, after about 5 mins the rod went again! As I was playing the second Pike I noticed my grandad wind in and cut his feeder rig off! Oh dear!
Five or ten minutes went by before I managed to land the Pike. Now, you're probably thinking that it's the same fish, right?
It weighed just over 12lb! Two pike from the same swim in less than half an hour? Surely I wouldn't get a third? Surely I wouldn't be able to catch a livebait? Wrong again!
I went on to land another Pike of 7lb. Three different Pike out of one part of a swim? That must have been one big shoal of Roach!
We packed up soon after but that day sticks in my mind and it adds to the many other memories of the Thames, good and bad, that make it my favourite UK coarse fishing river venue. It also reminds me of the fact that the fish don't always follow the textbooks!
So what's your favourite river venue and why?
Make sure you also visit the favourite UK coarse fishing lake and canal pages on the right hand side of the page to have your say about those too...