Wind, Mud, Rain: Fishing at The Old Warren Pool

I knew that today would be a windy and wet brute and so The Old Warren Pool seemed like a good place to go. Yes, it’s a bit of a hike through some slippery deep mud and cow pat infested fields, up and down a slippery hill and over two slippery stiles. But the idea was: The Old Warren Pool sits in a nice sheltered bowl and so the wind wouldn’t be much of a factor.

I was wrong. The gales blew so hard this morning that the “Bowl” of the pool meant that he wind seemed to come from all directions. There was nowhere sheltered to sit. The rain was relentless. The conditions were awful and yet I actually caught fish. I must be improving. Soon I’ll only be mildly incompetent instead of what I am now (bloody useless). One day I’ll even get to Beginner standard.

I decided to lighten up my load for the hike. No seat box for this walk. A simple rucksack stool, similar to this one:

Lightweight rucksack stool

Inside I had a small plastic waterproof tackle box with a few floats, split shot, hooks to nylon as well as loose hooks and hook length line, two disgorger/loop tyers, a couple of feeders, drop shot rigs, some small lures made from suggestive-feeling rubbery material, a pair of pliers and scissors. Also in the bag, two reels and a towel. The towel didn’t really keep anything dry, for that I would have needed a “house” with full central heating, but, as I mentioned, I aimed to travel light today and so left the house behind.

For my bait boxes, bait tray and bait – maggots and worms – and rod rests I simply used a two compartment keep net bag. There was room in that bag for my 4 piece travel spinning rod as it breaks down to less than 2 feet in length. No rod holdall this time…I had my Okuma waggler rod in its cotton sleeve and I slipped my landing net handle into the larger compartment of the sleeve. Flask, check, waterproof housed action camera, check. That was it, ready to slip and slide across the mud and cow pats. And, what a difference from the last two murderous hikes lugging full equipment loads. My gear felt as light as a feather. I’d like to say that I glided across the fields with a wispy elegance but this isn’t true. I squelched and squished and slid but I arrived at the Old Warren Pool fresh as a daisy physically but possibly also physically smelling of Cow Pats.

oldwarrenpool1The fishing itself wasn’t wonderful but then your fishing writer isn’t very good at fishing. I decided to go after one or two of those big Old Warren Pool perch and set up a drop shot rig with a fat and unlucky lobworm. I had watched a few YouTube videos of experts showing how to dropshot and catch lots of perch. It looked easy! I particularly liked this instructional video from Angler’s Mail mainly because it features an expert champion of lure fishing but he doesn’t actually catch a fish in the video, although he says he did catch fish that session:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9cLsv3XWIQ

I can’t help notice that the weather in the video isn’t filthy like it was today. I fished this way for about 30 minutes, except I “Fished This Way” in ridiculously high, swirling winds with constant rain. I had three bites and one nice perch:

warrenperchYou see, the Fishing Expert in the video above SAYS he caught fish that day but I actually have to PROVE it photographically otherwise you, my loyal reader, won’t believe a word I write. Unfortunately, after this perch I couldn’t entice another predator bite so it was time to switch to the trusty waggler rod and float. I wish I could “regale” you with tales of monster fish but take the “gale” out of “regale” and add tons of rain and, while the fishing was good, it was all small roach and one or two small rudd and a couple of mini-perch.

Once again none of the Old Pool bream showed up. Three hours of awful conditions was about all I could stand, so I fished for four hours just to prove myself wrong. It was fun, I stayed warm and dry, unlike my maggots which got wet and spent the entire session escaping up the sides of the bait box. I still can’t believe that rainsuit only cost twelve quid. I caught loads of small fish and I was a pretty happy camper when I got home around 3pm. My wife, being the loving person she is, made me hose myself down outside before I came into the house but luckily I was still wearing my waterproof hiking boots and rain suit when I did the hosing and was able to avoid Wife Induced Hypothermia. I had a LOT of mud and other sundries on my rain suit and boots and washed it all off. The garden will be extremely fertile this summer.

warrenperch2I had to leave my regular camera in the car due to the weather. The still photos you see here are video captures from the action cam. They’re OK, but not really to a high standard of clarity compared to a still camera. One thing I found out this evening was that I CAN actually use the Action Camera like a regular still camera and the photos it takes should be better than the video captures. I’ll try it out next time I go fishing.

Shakespeare Deluxe Rucksack Chair - Brown/Green
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I know these little backpack seat combos are the stuff we used to use as kids but sometimes I think I overload myself with gear when fishing. Today it was nice to travel light for a change and it’ll be nice in the future too.