“Hidden Gem” River Dane, Congleton Forge 10-01-13

To start the weekend and hopefully inspire some more of you to get out on Lymm Waters, here is a superb piece written by Lymm AC Forum regular, superblogger and “Tough Mudder” Paul Critchley on the picturesque piece of water that has to be seen to be believed.

Venue: River Dane, Congleton Forge

Time: 10:00am – 14:00pm

Weather: Fog, 2 Celsius

After last weeks poor start to the season I wanted to get back out as I came home. To try and redeem myself I decided to go for a short session on the River Dane at Congleton, my aim being my first ever grayling. With only four hours fishing time available and never having seen the River Dane at Congleton had I set myself a challenge?
With the destination set the sat nav directed me to a business and retail park, now I knew the river was situated beyond an industrial site but when I arrived it just seemed bizarre. Driving past Tescos and McDonalds and then ending up at a farmers field which the River Dane flows through is like two different worlds. Once at the river you would never know that less than half a mile away there are people shopping and busy at work, I know which world I prefer.
As soon as I reached the river I walked straight towards a good looking swim, not knowing what awaited up and downstream I set up here first and gave it twenty minutes trotting a loafer float downstream without a bite, so continued my journey upstream. Another nice swim with a sunken tree trunk appeared a short distance away, I climbed into a small gap in the trees and gave it a go with the float, feeding little and often into the slack water created by the tree trunk. With no luck again I set off upstream again to see what I might find. With all the previous swims now with a few maggots on the river bed I like to revisited then on the way back see if any fish have turned up hopefully gaining confidence eating the bait without an angler present.
I walked a short distance further but the banks were to high to get to the river so had to walk past some good looking fast and steady stretches. Shortly after I arrived at my final swim upstream, with a small island in the middle of the river and fast paced shallow water it looked perfect for a grayling, twenty minutes trotting double white maggot downstream produced nothing so I was off downstream past the swims I had previously fished. Though a gap in the branches I found a stretch of quiet water that looked deeper than the rest of the river so gave it ten minutes with the float before changing to a maggot feeder, main reason being I wanted to sit down and eat my dinner.
Again no action and with now only around an hour left I headed back to the previous two swims I fished when I arrived. Sticking with the feeder I could cast right into the swirling water a tree trunk had created. The swim definitely holds chub, but not for me on this occasion. I’d give it half an hour and had to get to the other swim before I had to leave. I had a good feeling about this swim the first time I fished it and was reluctant to leave it.

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This time I fished the bend of the swim, with a big bend in the river there’s a real quiet slack area of water created and it looked to drop off in depth considerably from the shallow run mid river. I couldn’t believe I didn’t have a bite the first time so was confident I would this time the swim just looked to good not too.
After ten minutes I was starting to think about selling my fishing gear and taking up golf, but then the tip started twitching, at first I thought I’d knocked the rod rest but then the tip bent round. After a short battle right under the rod tip a nice brownie was making its way towards the net and was obviously a new personal best. Weighing in at an ounce short of two pound it was very welcome, it had saved me a blank and was all I needed to get back on track and leave the blanks behind. With only five minutes left I just packed up and left for home happy I’d caught and looking forward to my next trip……

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Paul’s own Blog can be found at http://paulsfishing.wordpress.com/

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