Today we have a post from Lymm stalwart Danny Holligan who wonderfully describes a day on the River Dane where some surprises and some firsts happen!
River Dane Congleton Forge 20/11/2012
I fished the Lymm stretch of the River Dane at Congleton on the 20/11/12 for the first time, and I have to say it is a lovely part of the Dane, you would never think there are factories and a retail park so close but for the fact you have to drive past them to access the river. I decided to start at the upstream limit of the stretch and was planning on covering as much water as I could throughout the day using a waggler rod, centre pin reel loaded with 3lb line straight through to a size 20 Drennan Carbon Chub under a 6BB Avon float. I was wearing my waders but the first peg I fished did not require them as the bank is a nice flat and isn’t too high off the water. I stayed here for about 30-40 minutes but had no action so decided to move downstream, just off the back of a very shallow area where the water really pushes through. This time I decided to get in the water and stand about mid-stream, trotting down to a partly submerged bush. I had fed a few handfuls of white maggots and literally first cast in the new swim and I caught my first ever Grayling. I was over the moon, I might have only been around 5-6oz but I have wanted to catch a Grayling for a while and will never forget it.
After that I had another 2 or 3 trots down to the tree without a bite but then landed 3 Chub in quick succession, the biggest of which was about 2lb 8oz and put up a really good fight on fairly light tackle. The bites then dried up so I decided to change the line of my float so it ran past the bush and not up to it as I sometimes find Chub can back away from a feature after you have caught a few and this trick has caught me a fair few extra fish over the years. On the first run through the float buried about 3-4 yards downstream of the bush but this was a much better fish and didn’t feel like a Chub, it stayed deep at first but then ran and when it did I had no chance of stopping it. I tried to put a bit of pressure on the fish, as I only put about 50 meters of line on my centre pin ( any more and the line starts to bed in and wont peel off the spool when trotting) but when I did it snapped my line. After losing that fish I decided to feed the swim for 10 minutes to try and get a few fish back into the area but then move downstream to rest the swim.
I found a nice looking swim where there is quite shallow water that drops away very quickly, with a very deep hole under a large tree. It looked perfect for Chub but it was hard to present a bait to it with a float so after a few attempts and no fish I moved on again. Downstream of this there is a large area or water that is very slow moving and there is an area of water off the main body of river which looks like it might have become part of the river after years of flooding and eroding banks. It is very picturesque but I decided to move on further and fish a fast flowing run not far from here. First cast I missed a bite, second cast I lost one Grayling but then landed 3 very hard fighting; fin perfect others in the next few casts. These were to be the last 3 Grayling of the day and the biggest was about 12oz. They are a beautiful fish and they fight really well for their size and I am looking forward to catching more, I am no specimen hunter but I would love to feel the fight from a 2lb plus Grayling.
Next I decided to move back upstream to where I had landed my first Grayling and the 3 Chub and have another go there rather than exploring more of the river. I was glad I did as the Chub were back and in total I caught another 4 in the next hour or so with the biggest being around 3lb. By this time it was about 3:30pm so I decided to stop fishing and have a little look at the downstream stretch on the way back to my van. In total I had 7 Chub and 4 Grayling, all caught on white maggot and for my first time on the stretch I was more than happy.
I always use small strong hooks when trotting maggot for Chub as they can be very wary fish, especially in such shallow, clear water. I have tried quite a few patterns but always go back to Drennan Carbon Chub, they are very strong hooks for their size and are perfect for maggot and caster. It is also important to use a rod with a soft tip as this helps absorb lunges from the Chub, I find if you use a waggler rod aimed at commercial fisheries/Carp they are too stiff and will result in hook pulls and lost fish.
Like I said earlier it’s a great stretch of the Dane and it has every feature you could imagine. I am really looking forward to fishing the rest of it, so much fishing, so little time.