I took a drive down to The Stour, around 09.30 hrs this morning. Not to cast a line, just wanting to have a look at the river and, more importantly, ensure that I was still okay to fish the stretch. As I was parking the van I spotted one of the tractor drivers and quickly established that I was more than welcome to use the yard and go fishing on their land. I enquired about driving closer, only to be told that the recent wet spell had resulted in one of the shooters getting their Toyota Hilux 4x4 stuck, so my van had no chance! I'll stick with that, and am happy to walk from the yard, almost a mile, to reach this particular stretch of the waterway. At least I know that the van is safe and for that I'm very grateful.
On arrival at my chosen section, I was delighted to find the river in fine fettle and the banks offering me a choice of positions from which to present a bait. I'm hopeful of getting two sessions in before the weekend, when Bev & I drive to rendezvous with the Kefalonia gang and also visit Daryl & Alix (Bev's son and partner) in the magnificent city of Bath. So for these first two sessions I am travelling light, gear pared-down to the absolute basics. With no barrow, what I can't carry I don't need, simple as that. I feel quite confident that, if Pike are present, I'll get some action purely because of Jim Gibbinson's "Pike thrive on neglect" theory which has served me so well over the decades. I'm also incorporating a little ruse, suggested by both Andy Larkin & Andy Brown (Canterbury & Thanet PAC guys) which might just prove to be an edge? Only time, and effort, will tell.
What with flowing water, proper snags and the possibility of a "big" Pike there is no place for the split canes, nor centrepins. My starting gambit wouldn't be out of place on Loch Awe? Two thirteen footers, Big Pits loaded with 50lbs b.s. braid and size 2 "doubles". I'm not going down there to play games, well not to start with. I'm ever hopeful that the weather settles down and a return to the "unfinished" RMC project is a realistic goal. However this sojourn, out on The Kentish Stour, might provide a spark for future campaigns as the retirement gig moves forward? I have only ever taken one "twenty" from a river; could The Kentish Stour provide a second? Let's get a bait in the water and find out!