The Quest For A Snow Perch

Yesterday I set myself a mission to catch myself a ‘snow perch’. Not sure why I felt so compelled, but it got me out of the house for a bit. I only had an hour. Half of that was probably spent walking.

I was itching to try a swim that I’d walked past many times and that was my furthest destination. It had half a lid of ice on it and looked fishy, but perhaps a bit too coloured? No bites there. Not even a sniff!

Disappointedly, I traipsed back to my starting point, hoping to try a little bridge hole that I felt was my banker spot. Sod’s law a boat had just decided to move 100 metres and moor up right next to my fishy looking spot. It’s engine on full revs had transformed the swim into a sewer-like broth. Combined with some industrial-strength scaffold post banging I sadly had to give the spot a miss.

Everything seemed to be conspiring against me, the clock was ticking and what initially seemed like a simple quest was now turning into mission impossible. The bridge hole was supposed to be my very last swim before heading home, but I was determined to catch…

I eventually found a clear swim well above the churned-up cauldron and started again. I had a very short window before I needed to be home. This really was to be my last throw of the dice.

Getting desperate I’d scaled down to a mini dropshot setup and 2in micro lure. Literally any fish would now do. First cast and I found a long sunken branch exactly where I felt the fish were hiding. It took a bit of persuading but I managed to pull it out of the way. Thankfully no breakages, so a quick inspection of the hook’s sharpness and I was back fishing.

The grim reality of a blank was starting to set in as I made several ‘one last casts’. With the sun dropping behind the trees the winter chill was really biting my fingers. Please, just one more cast. I hate blanking!

Then, from out of nowhere, a take! This had to be a perch. Definitely not a giant, but a very welcome striped assassin gave a great account of itself on my ultralight setup. As it thrashed angrily on the surface I hoisted it out. I’d finally caught my elusive snow perch!

Despite the flood water and snow I never anticipated the task would be so difficult, but I returned home smiling and triumphant. A short January skirmish in the snow. Who would have thought catching one little perch would be so satisfying?

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