Leviathan of the Dorset Stour.

11th December 2018

it has been relatively dry for a few days and the river levels are dropping so i thought it would be a good opportunity to visit the Stour at highbridge mill again today,the temperature was hovering around 12 deg centigrade,the wind a mere breeze from the wsw,ideal conditions.
given that the river was still quite coloured i decided to fish on the bottom using a size 10 circle hook and a swim feeder,for bait it was some European flat worms aka dendrobaena.
being a bit muddy and not having a seat i collected an armful of reeds from the bank and fashioned a crude but effective mat to sit on,then it was down to business,opposite my swim and a few yards down stream was an over hanging alder,i knew if i could get my bait under that without snagging the tree it would be a good spot.
After an hour or so of steadily feeding the swim bites started to show,tentative and infrequent,i assumed it was roach and sure enough after a short while i was landing a nice bar of silver of about 10 ounces,off to a good start.
I cast out again,getting the bait right under the branches and into the slack water,i tightened the line and placed my split cane rod on my antler topped rod rest,nothing….then i started to pour a coffee and there was some small twitches ,probably a minnow i thought,shrugged my shoulders and poured the coffee,with that the rod tip pulled around as a fish hit hard,after a scalding only a chap could appreciate i struck into the fish,bang bang bang,fish on! i started reeling in and some line stripped,then the line went slack,the rod stood to attention,the fish was off,disappointed i reeled in to find half a minnow!
clearly in this swim was a predator,maybe a perch? or a chub?
with an amount of eagerness i recast a nice big worm under the tree again.After just a short while the rod bent again,this time it was hooked well,again line stripped and i was sure i would get to see what was there,sadly this leviathan of the stour was having none of it,it dived deep and into a submerged snag,again this fish eluded me.
within an hour again the scenario played out again ,fish in the snag! i couldn’t believe my luck,then suddenly and unexpectedly the fish came out of the snag,the beast stayed deep and went up and down the swim nodding left and right occasionally stripping line.After a fishers eternity my nemesis was tiring and as it did it came closer to the surface,a bar of gold,it was a chub of about half the size of its fight just shy of 4lb,soon it was netted ,pictures taken and then gently released back to the dark depths of the stour.
I fished for another 2 hours picking up a few nice roach and a bream each time i struck into a fish i was hoping it would be another chub but alas today it was not to be.
A fine days fishing,i am eager to get another day on the stour soon,maybe a barbel next time?

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