River Isle – V.E.S. Precision Winter League – 1st November 2009

With loads of rain in the night and more forecast for today plus high winds, I was thinking it might be cancelled today but as I drove over the river it looked nice with some colour and pace. I got to the draw and it was on the river and Robin had put pegs in that would give people some cover. I saw peg 95 was in and was convinced I’d draw it but actually pulled out peg 20, it’s not a great peg but there is usually a nice slack on the far side.

I got to the river and it was still raining but the river looked nice as I made myself comfortable and set my gear up. I got out old faithful and started plumbing up in the slack opposite but there were loads of brambles under the water and I kept getting the rig snagged and lost a hooklength. The match started and I tried fishing the slack but the river was rising and the slack was soon a mass of boils, after an hour the river was unfishable and I was just sat on my box staring at the brown, turbid raging torrent in front of me.

The river was actually rising at such a rate I had to move all my kit back up the bank, I did phone the match organiser, Robin Cox, thinking that if everyone was in the same boat we could call it off and go to the canal or Dillington. Robin was at Isle Brewers (the same peg I had last week) and had already caught some small dace so we would have to sit this one out. The anglers at Isle Brewers would have an hours fishing before all this water hit them and I fancied the winner would probably come from there.

I went for a walk to see if anyone had caught in my section, Tony Newman was blanking in peg 17, Pete Lonton’s kit was up the bank and he was up with Graham Bulgin in peg 14. Neither had caught and poor old Graham’s keepnet had been dragged into the river by the extreme flow, mind you it didn’t look like he would need it anyway. Pete spoke to Rob on the phone who said we could move anywhere where we though we might have a chance of catching something, although me going to the canal might be taking it a bit far!

I walked back to my peg looking at any potential swims but they were all unfishable with no slack water anywhere. I walked down to see Moses, he hadn’t caught either and had snapped a top three just to top things off. Back at my peg and the water was now lapping at the legs of my box in my new seating position. The river looked truly awful with trees and allsorts being swept down. I did see some minnows in the area where I had been originally sat and even tried for these by holding the rig by the olivette and dangling it in amongst them and watching for one to take the bait! I had three on but as I lifted them out of the water they dropped off because they were so small they couldn’t get the hook in their mouths. Just one would be worth mega points.

Moses walked up, he’d had enough and found my new tactic highly amusing before heading home. Pete turned up and phoned Martin Heard, who was also at Isle Brewers, and as he’d had a couple of pounds he was looking good for yet another victory. I still couldn’t catch a minnow and had by now taken my keepnet out and was fishing in the tiny bit of slack where it had been, still no joy though. The rain had stopped and the river didn’t seem to be coming up anymore, I was praying it would start dropping.

With two hours to go, it did start dropping but the river was still unfishable. With an hour to go it was dropping as fast as it had come up. Robin and Alvin turned up, they’d all packed up at Isle Brewers as their swims were unfishable, Martin had weighed 1lb 15oz, Alvin 1lb 10oz and Rob 12oz. They didn’t stay long watching me sat like a gnome holding two sections of pole and headed back to the pub. With half an hour to go I think I had an indication and as I struck a small fish bow waved away. With my interest rekindled I put two bronze maggots on a laid the rig back in, it didn’t even have chance to settle properly as a fish held the olivette up. I struck and swung in a 3oz chublet, which meant I had to put my keepent back in.

I did think I may get a couple more but that was the last of the action. I quickly packed up and walked up to see if anyone else had caught, Pete and Graham had blanked but Tony Newman had found three small chublets and I was praying they would weigh more than Robin’s 12oz to give me a chance of the section. They didn’t with the needle stopping at 10oz – bugger. My solitary fish weighed 3oz as I expected and although I wouldn’t be picking up any money at least I would score decent points league wise.

Back at the results and as expected, Martin, Alvin and Rob filled the top three places with Tony winning my section. Nobody else caught in the bottom section and the section money was added to the golden ball fund. The only other angler to weigh was Bruce Hunt who had five minnows for an ounce from peg 27. After two matches I am actually leading the league with 4 points followed by Martin Heard and Tony Newman on 5, early days yet though.

Next week we’re having a sweep so lets hope for better conditions than.

Martin seems unstoppable at the moment





Alvin was second (go on, give us a smile!)





Robin Cox was third with 12oz






1 – Martin Heard (Tiverton) – 1lb 15oz
2 – Alvin Jones (Enterprise Angling) – 1lb 10oz
3 – Robin Cox (Ilminster) – 12oz

Section A – Tony Newman (Ilminster) – 10oz
Section B – no winner


Posted by Jamie Rich

Leave a Reply