Ahhh, Ahhh, Atchoooooooo!

Yes, hay fever season is here. The hot and dry conditions have meant that ghastly grass pollen is suddenly everywhere. Horrid. I used to get the fever badly growing up in Suffolk but it was noticeably less fierce over the last twelve or so years I’ve been in London. In fact I’d almost forgotten about it until this weekend. But here and now, in glorious and green Wales I have a streaming nose, eyes that are red raw that sting unless they are shut and stupid bouts of hardcore sneezing. Bloody hay fever.

Pollen horrors

The good news is it will soon pass. It was always basically June that was the problem month and with the Beconase on hand to ease it, I’m hopeful that my first trip of the season to the river will be sneeze-free.

I’ve been out for a couple of short trips to my local club lake over the last month. The first trip was a few hours on a bright and blustery evening, the second, a classic summer dawn affair in search of tench. I’m really enjoying getting to grips with this interesting lake, as it offers a lot more in terms of variety and challenge than the two commercial style fisheries that, although closer to home, offer little other than the ubiquitous ‘match’ sized carp.

However, I didn’t manage to tempt either a tench or crucian carp, my two main target species on the venue, but I did have fun putting together a respectable bag of bream on the first session. The slabs apparently go to over ten pounds in the lake – my pb is a shade over 7 – so the potential for a new pb is there. The first three bream I tempted were all over four pounds in weight and dark, muscular fish that gave a respectable account of themselves on the light float gear.

When I arrived for the evening session the sun was bright and the wind was blustery. I opted to start on a very light lead, fished next to some pads a rod length out. It took a while for the bites to come, but by consistently feeding little handfuls of hemp and pellet, the fish soon arrived. A small roach preceded the arrival of the first trio of slabs and by dusk the wind had dropped sufficiently to warrant a switch to float tactics. I decided to use a pole float fished slightly over depth, the idea being that the extra sensitivity may show any possible crucian bites a little more positively. No crus in the end, but five more bream and a couple of skimmers fell to the pole float tactics. As it was getting properly dark, the swim really started to fizz and I briefly hooked something much stronger before the little hook fell out. Oh well.

A nice bream from the club water

I also spent a beautiful, but strangely quiet morning on the lake as the weather started to improve, but before my hay fever hell began.

Plenty of skimmers, but no better bream or tench or cru’s. Still, it was a stunning morning to be out and there’s nothing quite like watching a little float, next to the pads as the morning mists swirl and drift across the surface of the lake.

A classic summer dawn by the lake