On the last full day of the holiday I managed to secure a short morning session on the local river. I had squeezed a few essential tackle items into the boot of the car before we went away and I was half expecting them not to see the light of day. But, the opportunity arose and Madeleine seemed happy to have a lie in while I went looking for fish.
I had done some research on the area before I went away and it wasn't great. It's mostly game fishing on the Blackwater - something I have no clue about. I did stumble on some coarse fishing though, controlled by the local club - Cappoquin Salmon & Trout Anglers Association. At 3 Euros for a day ticket, it was worth a shot. I had also searched out a tackle shop which was also situated in Cappoquin and they were able to supply tickets. It was a perfect plan it seemed, but all was to go wrong.
The tackle shop was part of a post office / gift shop and was another of those multi purpose shops you often stumble on in Ireland. The fishing side of it clearly wasn't the main purpose and the lack of coarse tackle was obvious. Still, I didn't need tackle - just a ticket and a few maggots and I'd be on my way.
The day ticket was no problem, but the maggots were a sticking point. He didn't sell them! Given that he'd told me the coarse fishing was 99% Dace, that was my main bait out of the equation. The nearest maggots were a 40 mile round trip! Had I been going for a full day I might well have stretched to making the trip, but for a 3 hour session, I wasn't going to those lengths. I'd make do with bread and corn.
I turned up at the stretch around 8am and quickly realised it was tidal and at fairly low tide. I spotted fish topping throughout the stretch, so I was fairly confident. I set up in a flattish area close to the water and began some random casts to see if anything was around. Nothing was showing and my set up wasn't exactly relaxed - I had to hold the rod because the area was concreted. Confidence was now ebbing away - along with the tide.
I then moved a few yards upstream and trotted a float through for a while, but it was much the same result. I could see plenty of fish topping further out again, so I went back to a straight lead. I also moved about 10 feet back from the water on to some rocks, where I was able to jam the rod into them and have a more comfortable set up.
I started to get some indications on the tip, including one decent bite that seemed impossible to miss - but I did! Eventually I did hook a fish on corn, but the smile was quickly wiped off my face when the fish slipped the hook on the way in.
It was quite interesting to watch the change in tide during the session. With Warwickshire somewhat lacking in tidal rivers, it's something I've not really encountered before. When I'd arrived, the river was flowing at a healthy rate towards the sea. Within a couple of hours the river had risen a foot and the flow had reversed.
I packed in at 11am - fishless. With a few maggots, I'm sure it would have been a different story, but that's life. It was nice to wet a line in Ireland again - something I haven't done for 10 years. I can see a plan being hatched for a return fishing based trip at some point in the not too distant future. Not to the Blackwater though - I'd be heading somewhere with a bit more of a Roach/Bream pedigree.