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Chubbing

CHUBBING

 

We are dropped of at the starting spot. The trip is a long time in the making. 25km down our childhood river, where we spent hours taking our first steps as anglers. Our main target is chub to be more precise we have a goal to catch at least one in the 50cm range. We prepare our gear. I will be in a solo kayak, friends will be sharing one. Two of us will be on spinning rods third on a fly rod. As soon as we hit the water we start casting. 10min in first two fish. Decent perch near a small natural dam. Both grab the Tsuyoki Fugaz crank. While drifting we check intriguing parts of the river. Trees leaning over the river, shallow, fast flowing water, tree stumps, natural dams are all potential spots.

With three rods waving we blitz areas. Each of us have some bites. Small perch are active and a couple taste our hooks. Although there is plenty of action on the waters surface no chub want to grab the lures. Near the end of the day we stop by a natural damn which splits the river. In the middle an island. There is faster flowing water and deeper areas. We start casting and soon enough we land our first chub. Not big, but still great to finally get one. As the sun falls we decide to set up camp. We lift and secure the kayaks on the banks. Tents standing we get a fire going and BBQ some meats. We chat into the night as the fire fades out.

Next morning we rise around 8am tidy the campsite and set off. Cloudy skies indicate rain is coming. Straight off I cast along the bank under some trees. I have a monster bite. But no hook up. I cast again, another bite the fish bends the rod and spits the lure out. My guess a decent perch. No chub will hit a lure twice in a row. Soon enough the rain starts. We huddle under a tree. Wet and cold we wait for the rain to stop. 40min pass before we can fish again. We reach a promising patch with some low hanging branches. Friend points and suggests I cast to the area. I fire the Pontoon21 Baby Red Rag and as soon as the lure hits the surface it is swallowed. Fish on. I do not muck about and use some force to to lead the fish close. Do not want the fish to dive into the weeds. A chub 47cm reaches the net. Warmed up with adrenaline I get the hook out and set it free.

We continue. Hopefully my friends land some similar fish. As we drift the clouds clear up. Midday approaches so we stop for lunch. A beautiful spot where a bridge used to stand. We light up a fire to warm up, dry off and have a bite to eat. Bellies full we start scouting for chub. I head to higher ground to play around with the drone while my friends cast. They land a couple of chub. Again not the size we are hoping for. I join them and we head to the next location. A shallow patch with some low hanging branches. We have already checked this spot a week earlier. And as that time we land a ton of chub. Bassday Bun attracts small ones with every cast. Yet nothing bigger is interested.

We wade, jump in our kayaks, reach a potential spot and repeat the same process. We drift to a shallow area with an island in the middle. Some water plants create a natural barrier diverting the flow in different directions. Further down stream the flow carves the bank creating a deeper area. We separate each tackling a different location. Chub are biting, but the size is disappointing. I head down river were I see my friend fighting something bigger. As I approach he scoops in a 43cm chub. A decent fish. He mentions there are plenty more in the same spot. We see them breaching the surface for an evening feast. We stand belly deep in water and cast. No bites. The chub keep splashing on the surface. Another cast, I reel the lure and mid river, something heavy hits my lure. The rod bends and the real break clicks. I signal my friend that his help will be needed with the landing net. The fish hits two more times, heading to the deeps. Then the rod straightens. The line snapped. Pontoon21 baby red rag lost, fish gets away. Do not think the fish will bite again, but the naive part of me keeps casting. Nothing. If it was a chub it might of been 50cm or bigger. But In hindsight the more likely culprit was a pike. With its sharp teeth a shake of the head could of easily sheared the line. As the sun sets we head to our next camp. By the fire we discuss the days fishing.

The last day we head out with around 10km left in our route. We do more rowing than fishing since the plan is to reach our end point no later than 16-17h. We still stop to check the most potential sections. Little chub keep biting. Also I land an asp. We end the trip as planned. Cannot express all the emotions and small details of this trip. Although we did not get the 50cm target, it was wonderful trip.

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