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River Culm: Out at Last - 20/01/12

The shop has been so busy over the last few months, and with family to see over the holiday period, I hadn't got out fishing since November. It is easy to tell as suffer from fishing withdrawal and get fractious as it is my form of meditation, to settle myself down. so I was determined to get out for the afternoon. Leaving home about lunchtime, I headed off to the River Culm just above Exeter, and was immediately met by the sight of the morning mist hanging in the valleys, a sight often seen from our home on one of the highest hills in Devon.

swim 350After about an hours drive (Devon is a big county with small roads) I arrived at the river to find it changed since my last visit. Many iof my favourite chub haunts have been washed away in floods and the river was about a foot up on summer levels and coloured, so it proved difficult new places.

I started in my usual manner on small streams for chub, lump of spam on a light lead so that I can flick it and twitch it to roll under bushes. This is normally deadly but didn't work here. As I spent 10-15 minutes in each spot, I worked my way up the river, changing weights to match the flow, trying a straight running lead and paternoster rigs, all without success.

I then came on to an area of relatively smooth flow and had a lovely half hour trotting with corn whilst watching the kingfishers, dippers and my favourites, a flock of long tailed tits. Still no bites, and by now, the sun was below the horizon and the light was starting to fade. I then moved on to a double bend where there were converging flows and positioned a legered piece of spam at the point where the creases in the water meet.

first chubI quickly has a take touch legering with a 10' spinning rod which had the power to pull a nice chub of about 2.5lb against the current and hold it out of the bankside vegetation. It was a fish in superb condition. It was gently slipped back into the river. A recast quickly brought another fish to the bank, this time 3lb 1oz.

second chubNo further fish were taken here as the shoal probably had been disturbed, and as the light rapidly fell, the temperature dropped to about 2 degrees, and I packed up having spent an enjoyable day walking and fishing in the countryside.