What A Day!

What a day that’s been! I was looking forward to my first RiverFest qualifier of the year at Clanfield on the Upper Thames. I expected it to be tough, especially with the strong sunshine, less flow than usual and a surprising lack of boats, but that meant every peg was potentially just one bite away from qualifying.

I’ve drawn C9, which is permanent peg 81 and was told it could sometimes be a reasonable roach peg with water on, but sadly no chubby looking bushes.The day started great as I stupidly missed my footing on the fence stile and came crashing down to earth with a thud. That took the wind out of me a bit!

Anyways, I’ve kicked off short and had a few little perch on worm, then a run of mostly micro dace, micro roach and gudgeon at 11m over Sonubaits Roach, River and crushed hemp. Third hour bites dried up everywhere so I’ve ended up sitting it out at 14.5m in the deepest part of the peg, ligging on with worms for a couple of perch, a daddy ruffe and a late 10oz chub. Right up to the last minute I felt I was going to get that one big bonus fish I knew I needed, but alas it wasn’t to be.

Ended up with a hard-earned 3lb 9oz, which was pretty good on such a tough day. Not seen the results yet but I heard 5lb might have won one of the three zones and 8lb might’ve won the match. Definitely just needed that one bonus fish. Tough fishing but still enjoyed it and great to be back on the river.

Afterwards I needed a bit more bait but couldn’t make it to a tackle shop in time, but Tony Gee at Ace Tackle did me a big favour to help me out. After picking my bait up I’m not sure why but I had an urge to check out another stretch of river, rather than take my usual much quicker route back home.

It must have been fate as pulling up beside the river I could hear splashing and bleeting. A sheep was in the river and unable to get out, sadly it was next to two dead lambs. No one was about so I felt I had no other option than to get my chest waders on and crawl through the hedge to find it. The sheep was in distress and was never going to get out without help. It was too deep to get in and the sheep kept swimming away from me in fear.

After lots of coaxing it finally realised I was trying to help and eventually swam towards me. Still can’t believe it swam to me, but I knew I’d only get one chance as I grabbed a leg and pulled and pulled until I could reach both front legs. I heaved and heaved until it finally made it out. It would definitely have drowned if I hadn’t been there. I phoned the nearby farm before getting home totally shattered.

So that’s my good deed for the day. I’m now fully expecting to blank or fall in tomorrow!

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