"We had quite a bit of rain the day before, a quick look at the EA river level graph revealed that it had peaked and was falling nicely. I set off a bit later than normal just to give the river a bit more time to settle down and there was about 1ft of extra water - perfect.
"My plan was to do a bit of piking until it got dark then target the chub on dead baits for an hour or so into darkness. This particular stretch has quite a bit of pace, so rather than use the float I opted for alarms with drop off indicators, it was more convenient to fish one rod (fishing two would have been cumbersome).
"There was a slack in the margin that stretched downstream for about 10 yards. I ledgered a smelt at the head of the slack water, knowing that the adjacent crease would work to my advantage and waft the scent downstream. Normally I cover about 2 miles of river in a day but this swim looked inviting and I decided on instinct to stay put.
"The bait had been out for around an hour and a half when the alarm beeped and the indicator dropped down. A quick strike followed by a powerful first run as it powered off into the main flow. It was an epic battle as it made a series of powerful runs using the current to its advantage.
"Eventually I drew her closer and closer until finally she graced the net, 25lb 2oz and in mint condition. A few quick photos and the day was made already.
"I fished on and switched to ledger tactics for chub with small lamprey section for bait. Just as darkness fell I landed a chub just over 4 pound, then ten minutes later a fish of 4.5 pound and finally a clonking 5 pounder. Job done, happy days."
Dean Brook appears regularly in Angler's Mail magazine - do not miss out on features and tips from the man dubbed "the river river master".