Picking up where I left off
Left to right: my first big perch in Wales, another nice Welsh fish, the sun sets over Gyrn Castle, back on the canal
It all came together so quickly. I was pike fishing on the River Severn and had a call from Steve Collett, who when he realised I was in his area, decided to bring his rods and fish (At my suggestion by the way!). A telephone call that Steve then had from the bank with angling cameraman Ian Chapman had me being asked the question ‘Are you free tomorrow?’, as an opportunity had arisen to fish a water in North Wales that had turned up some big perch for the bailiff. With lots of flexibility in my schedule, the next day and I was up nice and early; and before the cock had even crowed I was on the road, eventually heading into the Principality with Mr Collett.
On arrival at our destination, Gyrn Castle in rural Flintshire, Ian was already there with the aforementioned bailiff, a very likeable man by the name of Craig Smith. He’s also a good oarsman as well, which is just as well considering he was in the pool itself breaking the ice! Yes, the awful winter weather had struck unexpectedly the night before and the venue was frozen over. Still, we were there and so we got on with the job of fishing. Amazingly the perch started to feed immediately. Small ones at first, but as time wore on the bigger fish muscled their way in.
Fishing in a clear spot surrounded by ice and still getting amongst some good perch made me think, ‘I wonder what it would be like in half decent conditions?’ Well I will find out next week when I make a return visit there. So watch this space. But in the meantime, our session in Wales. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the filming went well with lots of footage for Ian to produce a programme. (Let me know if you ever see it!) I had a couple of nice perch (as you can see from the photographs above) but Steve out-fished me and had a lot more. One of his fish was 2-15-8. I did offer to weigh it again, as sometimes you get a slight variation. But no, he was happy to settle for that, a fish incidentally that if it were a fraction heavier would have been his 50th 3lb perch.
The rest of the week saw me struggling time-wise to fit a decent session in, so my plan was to grab the spinning rod and have a couple of very brief visits to the local canal. The first one and my Mepps Aglia didn’t get so much as a follow-through. The only time I had a bend in my rod was when I hooked an underwater branch. The second spinning trip didn’t materialise though because I found myself with an unexpected couple of hours more than I imagined. Still on the canal, this time I did a sit-down session instead of a quick hit-and-run job.
I fished a couple of rods, one leger and one float. I talk through the rigs in more detail in the video that accompanies this article. I had a couple of runs on the former, resulting in one small perch right at the end. But it was the latter that produced the goods. If you read my Angling Journal regularly you will know that I spent a lot of time on my local canal last year perch fishing. And it was only the severe winter that saw me pull off mid-December. After three months away it was great to be back, and that’s what the title of this week’s article is all about.
No doubt I will make numerous visits again this year, but in the meantime I have my visit to North Wales to look forward to. Can’t wait; looking forward to it so much. I might be 47 years old but when it comes to fishing I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve. I’ll write more about the venue next week, but if you are interested in finding out more Gyrn Castle does have a website. You can check it out here.
Video number 11 on list
(Originally published March 2010)