The reel grudgingly gave line as the fish moved upstream into the fast white creamy water of the weir pool. Every now and again I could feel the fish turning and twisting in its bid for freedom. I had some anxious moments knowing there were snags the fish could get into. My anxiety was short lived as I started to gain line by pumping the fish up towards the water surface away from any snags. As the fish rolled on the surface I could see it was a big chub, it looked magnificent in the bright sunshine all silver, gold and bronze coloured.

I slowly pulled the fish towards the sunken net and within seconds it was mine. Swinging the net ashore I laid it down on the soft straw coloured rushes then parted the wet mesh. It was a good fish one that perhaps would go five pounds. Quickly adjusting the scales to zero, the fish was weighed at 5-2-0 my 23rd chub over five pounds this winter. I then lowered the net into a quiet bit of water where, after some seconds, the fish was off swimming strongly into the fast turbulent water. My first bite and fish of a two day session on the river Bain.

I had left the BBC Radio Lancashire studio after an early morning shift for the 150 mile drive which was as usual very pleasant on a Sunday morning. I arrived in Coningsby Lincolnshire around 12 noon. It was time for a brew, as I sat on the grass verge close to the water controlled by Boston AA waiting for the kettle, I looked downstream to the now disused bridge supports of what was once a railway system, sadly destroyed by Dr Beeching and company. I loved those days when it was possible to jump on a train then arrive at the waterside without all the hassle of driving. How many of you remember those coach trips? The juniors would sit at the front the older members at the back telling jokes, smoking and reading the smutty stories in the News of the World, sometimes planning what swim they would fish.

After a fresh brew and sandwich I chatted to some local anglers who said they had caught some nice perch and chub then it was in the car for another stretch of the Bain. After parking up I spent some ten or fifteen minutes clearing away rubbish left by anglers, motorists and dog walkers, ending up with a dustbin liner full of rubbish. After getting dressed up in chest high waders and jacket I chucked two large loafs of thick sliced bread, some cheese paste and meat into my canvas bucket. Picking up my tackle I headed off downstream to a private weir pool. As I slowly walked downstream the Bain was at normal level, flowing quite clear - perfect for chub fishing with crust as bait.

The pool looked perfect in the winter sunshine as I slithered on my bottom down the steep bank to a clump of reeds where I could sit and comfortably cast to all areas of the pool. My first two casts accounted for two big chub, both on crust. One fish from the tail of the pool, the other one coming from the white foaming water. The first fish has been described at the top of this feature. The second chub gave a bite that was again just a tiny flicker on the rod tip then the tip slowly pulled over. The strike connected with a good fish which stayed in the fast water. I had to use a lot of pressure to get that fish moving up towards the surface where it was quickly netted, weighing in at 5-4-0. The long journey had certainly been worth it, a brace of five pound chub in two casts. I was certainly a happy angler as I sat in the warm sunshine watching the rod tip at the same time trying to watch a stoat on a hunting trip. I then realised a grey wagtail was it's intended prey so I quickly clapped my hands to frighten off the bird or stoat. They both disappeared.

I fished on for another hour or so without a bite then decided to move further downstream, fishing every likely looking spot. I was in luck, catching four more fish all on legered crust, every fish coming from the centre of the river. The fish weighed in at 3-10-0, 4-8-0, 4-8-0 and 4-4-0. I was most surprised to catch these fish which gave quite savage pulls on the rod tip which I felt were frightened fish. I can only imagine these fish would dash out from a weed-bed, grab the bait then dash back to cover. I fished on in the darkness for a couple of hours but without any more bites so decided to call it a day. I then headed off to Pitchaway guest house in Woodhall Spa for a good nights sleep and a hot bath.

Monday morning; The Ribble and Aire back home had burst their banks, Grindleton bridge was impassable and cars were stranded in flood water. Riverside fields were looking like lakes. I was on the river Bain which was at normal level and flowing clear! I decided to fish the weir pool of the previous day.

For three hours I didn't have a bite, then moved off downstream fishing several spots on the way. The next couple of hours can only be described as a minor disaster. I had three good pulls and hooked three fish which were all lost. One was certainly a big five. I had it close to the net when the line just parted at the knot, my fourth bite of the session was missed.

Around 1pm I made my way back to the car for some lunch and a fresh brew. It was very nice sitting in the warm sunshine listening to a blackbird singing its heart out. In fact it was great to be alive. After lunch I moved off further up river to a small wood where the river made a right hand sweep. Fishing various swims, I caught three chub, 4-6-0 another about two and a half pounds with the best at 4-13-0, all on cheese paste. I fished on into the darkness staying until around 8-0pm when I called it a day.

Back at the car I heated up a saucepan of stew which I devoured as only hungry angler could, I then made a fresh brew. Sitting in the darkness I though about fishing a weir pool further down the valley but decided against it and headed off for my B&B.

Tuesday morning dawned sunny with a wind that can be best described as a hooligan, during the morning I fished several of my previous spots without any sign of a bite. Moving up river towards Horncastle I stopped off at a big gravel pit spending some time watching the water fowl, a few yards from where I was sitting were large clumps of snow drops looking beautiful it was very nice to hear the birds singing in the warm February sunshine. I don't need to catch fish to enjoy our countryside.

After a while I moved up river where I fished a straight stretch of river, taking a chub of 3-15-0 on float fished bread flake on a size 6 hook. For two hours I fished this stretch without any more bites, it was time to move on. The next spot I chose to fish was where a feeder stream flowed in. Fishing with float tackle and lobworm bait I quickly caught a nice perch of about twelve ounces. It was a most beautiful looking fish, straight out of the 'Crabtree' book. I fished on until dusk without another bite then called it a day. Back at the car I made a fresh brew then headed off for The A15 M180 M18 M62 M606 then through Bradford, Skipton then home. It had been another interesting three days fishing.

Mr Martin James