Our popular pleasure fishing blogger Colin Mitchell reflects on an end-of-season river session to forget!


IT’S ALWAYS nice to end the river coarse fishing season with a session on flowing water – but sometimes I do wonder why I bother!

I know a lovely stretch of a tiny Thames tributary which is almost guaranteed to give me a good catch to tide me over until June 16 but I really wanted to try somewhere else.

So with just over a week to go to the close down I went to the Kennet – and got a good drenching thanks to four of our six fishing hours being spent in pouring rain.

Eighteen grayling, a nice chub and four out of season but hard battling trout still made it an enjoyable day and sociable with Music Mike and Cousin David.


It looked fishy, and I was hopeful my final river session could be one to remember for the right reasons.

With the days ticking by to that March 15 shutdown I just had to wear blinkers and get onto the Thames so I headed to some spots I know at Chertsey but which I haven’t visited for some time.

That was my first bad move. Four years since I last visited the areas have become overgrown with vegetation and tree branches that left me with just one fishable spot.

A nice lady and her dog talked to me as I tackled up, a very pleasant start to the day before things started to go wrong…

Three cormorants, two parakeets – yes they do live wild around this area – assorted diving birds and a swan that was so determined to get my bait that it came onto the bank and almost fought me for the tub of maggots, meant I also got the bird!

Then the next dog decided that it couldn’t see my rod and line and marched straight through it heading to the water. I acted fast enough to snap my line so the mutt didn’t get tangled in the end gear.

The dog’s owner shouted it back to no avail. “He’s as deaf as a post, just like me,” the dog walker smiled at me. Deaf? How the hell was the dog going to hear him shout him back!

I decided on a small feeder approach, filled with soaked pellets and maggots with two reds on the hook.

First chuck right to the edge of the crease. Second chuck smack on again – only this time it got snagged!

Half an hour gone and out of the corner of my eye I saw a nod on the quiver and grabbed the rod in time to set the hook on what turned out to be a mint conditioned roach.


An early roach was welcome… but I sensed it was not to be my day…

Somehow I just knew that was a flash in the pan. Just two more bites followed, one missed and the other a tiny dace.

The river was flowing too fast to be fair and with very little colour after a frost it was never going to fish well during the day thanks to the sun (it always shines when you don’t want it to).

It soon became obvious that I wasn’t going to catch a lot and when a whole load of ice cream van chimes sparked up – I know where did they come from? – the gear was heading back into the bag for the trek back to the car.

On the way back to the car park TWO dogs decided to chase after me and try to attack my ready rod holdall. Both ladies who were walking their mutts were embarrassed and couldn’t explain whey this happened.

One had to be restrained on his lead whilst the other was happy to have a sniff of the holdall and then become my friend!

I reckon it was just the animals’ way of really doggin’ off my final day on the river…


Litter louts have no place in angling

Blog MitchThere may have only been one spot fishable but I wasn’t the only one who had found it.

An empty boilie bag, various cans, plastic bottles and other rubbish meant it was a nicely marked spot.

Louts like this have no place in angling – for I am sure it was would-be anglers who had left their makr.

Do they just throw rubbish on the floor at home? Actually… they probably do!

One day I am going to come up with an ingenious way of stopping people like this even going into the countryside, never mind fishing.

They spoil everything for those of us who like to sit in unspoiled places. One day they could even lose us some fishing spots.