Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Spammers and Scumbuckets

Ones blog over the last few weeks has been bombarded with spam comments, up to 10 a day sometimes and despite me altering setting to try and quell the onslaught it's still coming thick an fast.

All adult website related, don't bother clicking, it's not even the good stuff (a little birdy tells me)


Still the weather has been nice hasn't it, in-fact probably too hot really because the rain has been few and far between, the rivers so low and clear I've stopped targeting the Barbel especially where I fish where the waters are deeper and sluggish.

A weekend of celebration and copious amounts of well, just about everything, this week is very much damage limitation.


Just felt all a bit blurrrrrrrrr after all the excesses....

....luckily with the good weather the BBQ has been out in anger, highlights include tandoori chicken, mint yougurt with salad and lentils and cus cus and some of the biggest prawns you have ever seen.


Alcohol off the cards for a week, heck even 'Wine Wednesday's' put on hold till the liver has its thumbs up. Thunderstorms could crop us most of this week so fishing could well be put on hold for a while.

 I like many anglers and gardeners to be fair at the minute are praying for rain, because lets face it the ground is looking parched the oxygen levels in the rivers low most likely.


For this dodge the shower session I decided to pop to the syndicate stretch to clear some one of the downstream swims for a potential dangle in the future.

I've not fished this area yet so it will be interesting to see what turns up because there is more cover here, a safer place for the bigger fish to hold out.


Once that was done I got the deeper out to find the deepest area which turned out to be nearly 9ft.

There were fish in the swim as well, the water temperature a swimable water 22 degrees. Two sections of lamprey went in just before dusk to try for whatever came along basically. I've caught decent Chub and Zander on lamprey so it was fingers crossed and sky watching to try and winkle something out.


Dusk came and went though without even a raised bobbin or an enquiry, there were hardly any fish moving either this was not looking good.

I stayed an hour past dusk and apart from one tentative pull that was my lot. Still nice to be out out though the sights and sounds at dusk amplified by the senses.


A short session, an even shorter blog post....

Friday, 7 August 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Secret Squirrels and Scuttlebutts

We've been coming to this pub for a while now it's a nice leisurely walk along the canal towpath and a canal waters that hold some good fishing memories. The garden great for roaming Ben, containment not his thing, for him to be limited to a 2 metre circle which some other local pubs are doing just won't happen.

Here he can stretch his legs, wiggle his worm, feel comfortable in his surroundings, heck his brother Sam can even kick a football. Now the food and drink ain't bad too especially when making use of the government scheme where the food was half price basically, it felt very odd tapping ones card on the machine with a total so unbefitting.


Now Guinness is exclusively served on nitrogen, meaning it is pressurised in the keg with a nitrogen/carbon dioxide mix (at a ratio of 75% to 25%) as opposed to being strictly carbonated like most beers. 

Unquestionably, nitrogen taps pour differently that standard lines, coming out rich and velvety and, indeed, taking a little while to settle, but luckily not 'that' long.

Guinness's two-part-pour myth-making might have worked back in the days when few beers were available as nitrogen pours.

But, nowadays, countless beers are available "on nitro," with most bars devoting a line or two to special faucets which help further facilitate a nitrogen beer's correct flow.


Now If you're a newcomer to all things Guinness though you might really enjoy a pint of the back stuff, the problem is there are so many nicer stouts around these days dare I say it, it is rather mediocre in its offering.

Still if you're in and around Lapworth near me you can actually get a proper hand pulled pint here, in-fact 'apparently' it's the only place in the UK you can get one poured like that (I wonder if Guinness know ?). I find that hard to believe but then when I think about the rare pint of Guinness I have had they have all been served the same way, yeap taps not pumps.


I must add, most proper Guinness drinkers just drink Guinness though, I need more convincing.

Does it taste any better ? Well all I can say is with an ale offered at the same bar that's where my money will be headed, especially as it's such a well kept pint featuring Styrian Goldings, Goldings and Fuggles.

The Landlord who serves a cracking pint of his namesake does wonderful stuff to his beer all very secret squirrel stuff.

Now talking of secret squirrel stuff revealing Barbel swims does seem to be a complete no no these days.

To be fair I can understand why because I'm finding them harder to track down myself of late. Those usual places I've found them in the past not as prolific as they once were.


For this session I was back at the syndicate stretch because here I can fish as late as I like which when targeting Barbel in these gin clear waters can give an edge. Obviously you need fish in front of you but there are Barbel here because, well I'd caught one, a good un too, so I was hoping a quick session I'd find one milling around.

Barbel I find are not particularity hard to catch but they need to be there first, that is the biggest hurdle.


I didn't rush to get fishing, it's a place of contemplation. a place to chill and just enjoy the environment. That's a byproduct of our pastime we are very lucky indeed, not many others offer such involvement with nature like ours does.

A few balls of scalded pellet and hemp when in to a swim on the inside and I could see them hit the bottom the water is that clear. Nothing much happens till dusk, no rush.


Dusk came and went with only a tentative pull from something small very small indeed materialised after an hour after the bait went in. Still I was here in to dark so fingers crossed something would happen.

There wasn't a breath of wind so any kind of fish in the swim would register on the tip. Dark now, the isotope glowing dimly and I had decided to give it an hour past official dusk which was approaching fast when all of a sudden a motionless rod went in to meltdown.


The rod almost pulling off the rest the centrepins ratchet taken by surprise. The bite continued and kept on going water-ward, a bite that could be measured in seconds not in milliseconds . I fully expected to lift the rod and be in to a Barbel after the fish had clearly hooked itself.

But then I lifted in to nothing ? no fish, not even a persistent Chevin, "you what ?" It didn't make sense, the bite so violent it could have only been one species, the barbel. "Why wasn't it on though ?" Damn !!!! I put the bait back out and stopped for another half an hour but nada, nothing, zilch, back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Gaudiloquent and Gatecrashers

This week I have mostly lost my fishing mojo. You see with the rivers low and gin clear I've not really had the urge to go bankside because I know it will be tough and most likely for the bigger fish anyway I'd blank. Work as well has been a bit manic and to be honest, I've felt a little tired because of  it, the urge not quite there to maintain ones 3 times a week.

You noticed I've been going more of late ? and why not, make the most of it, the longest day gone and forgotten.


Then things changed you see Sam piped up and really wanted to go fishing for a couple of hours after I got back from the office (back two days a week now) so I agreed to his request, so after dinner with some tackle cobbled together we headed off to one of my favourite stretches of the Warwickshire Avon. 

Now this place is never usually fished that much but of late every single time I've gone, be it the weekend, randomly in the week or a quick adhoc session  there is ALWAYS someone bankside. 3 cars in the official car park another roadside all clearly fishing in to dusk as we left at 9.00pm.


I know exactly what they are after and to be fair they have always been here, but they are not used to this pressure so lets hope after a few blanks they can get some peace otherwise it might not been the same again.

The swim I wanted to fish because it is ones of the deepest surprise surprise was occupied so with the river so low and clear we found a couple of swims with some depth. It's a very characterful stretch and that's why the Chub in-particular like it. Over hanging trees, sunken sumps, streamer weed and reeds it's snag city.


We were here for the gudgeon though and what a cracking little session it turned out to be. The first swim took a while to get going. The bleak and small perch getting in on the act first but once the first gudgeon was caught they kept on coming. The diminutive barbel impersonators getting carried away with the maggot hookbait and really giving the quiver a really good workout.

Now Sam hadn't used a centrepin in anger before but he had to learn quick because it was the only rod we had with us. An ultralight 8ft Darent Valley Specialist Quiver  with a NGT centerpin, my tiny stream set-up basically if I fancy a change from the float. To be fair he took to it really well especially as some of the bites can be quite savage.


Eventually it was a bite a chuck, the maggots really doing the business. Gudgeon after Gudgeon succumbed to the set-up. Not huge fish, I've had bigger here, but to entertain a young angler there really is nothing better especially as a 10 ounce perch got in on the act and give him the run around.

Daddy "we've gatecrashed a gudgeon party !!!"


I went from not really been bothered to get banskide to really really enjoying it. The enthusiasm so nice to see especially when now he is thinking about changing tact to target different species of fish.

You see the last swim as the light was starting to go it had Perch hanging around and some good'uns too and a rather large one followed a gonk as Sam was reeling it in. "We need to come back here again with a lure rod and catch those pesky perch, don't they know everyone loves Gudgeon"

It was one of those memorable sessions which confirmed to me Sam will be an angler for life. I've taken him since he was four years old, 6 years later there is no let up in his passion for angling, love it.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Innkeepers and Infundibuliforms

The works liquid lunch I instigated this week had many participants of both sexes willing to take a break from the screen for a while and enjoy this nice spell of weather we are having. Now the conversation turned risque rather too quickly for my liking especially as we don't know each other that well, still I suppose it got ones mind away from the mediocre pint.

It's amazing what a cellar dweller can muster up when he knows how to keep beer. In-fact post lockdown when the pubs were open the first port of call was one of the local pubs where dare I say it I cannot see how the beer can be kept any better.


A perfect pint poured every time, a perfect head that clings to the glass and a clarity every pub should try to replicate. What some pubs serve up is frankly embarrassing, vote with your feet I say, they will soon learn, but them maybe the likes of me are way down the pecking list to try to get bums on seats, beer gardens full.

Now at this particular establishment the landlord is front of house, pulling pints etc nut he is also the cellarman, now a cellarman is responsible for the duties involved with the fermentation cellar and all beer released to packaging. Wort is made in the brewhouse, but beer is made in the cellar. The quality of our beer can be greatly affected by the cellar processes.


Ensuring quality must be the primary focus to ensure the quality and integrity of our product. He is responsible for cleaning and sanitizing fermentation and conditioning tanks, as well as transferring beer from tank to tank, ensuring the beer is transferred slowly and in an aseptic manner. 

He is also responsible for monitoring the fermentation of beer, the cooling of fermenting and conditioning beer, and carbonating beer to the correct level. Cleans and sanitises product lines and other equipment as well as the general working environment in the cellar such as cleaning the floors, outsides of tanks, miscellaneous parts, floor drains, catwalks, filtration equipment, brewer’s office work area, cellar racks, and containers.


In addition, the cellarman is also responsible for checking dissolved oxygen of the beer, and any other task in the cellar that is deemed necessary. No job is too big or too small for the cellarman to complete. Slap dash shouldn't be applied here, if you fancy partaking in some beer keeping but are a little haphazard or cannot be bothered please don't bother, with declining pub numbers we need cellar men to be on-top of their game. 

Now this fishing lark I've been dabbling in for the last numbers of years I don't think I've ever been at the top of my game. But then I'm quite open about it, fishing for me is all about solitude and location rather than the fish size. Ok it's always nice when a specimen fish turns up out to the blue because it can transform a medicore sesssion in to a memorable one at a dip of the float, a quiver of, well a quiver stupid.


Whilst I was working my magic on all things CATIA I was pondering on where to fish the weekend and all of a sudden the 'bomb hole'  popped in to my head. Now I'd not fished this area for a while but with the river very shallow and clear indeed the depth of the 'bomb hole' should give a decent fish some sanctuary overhead at least.

Simple Chub rod tactics with a hunk of highly visible breadflake, nothing complicated, let the Chevin Chasing commence. I'd not caught a half decent one yet this season and I fancied a decent bend in the rod from probably my favourite river species.


Boy the river is clear but the first narrow band scan through of the 'bomb hole'  revealed some fish in residence. Despite using some rather large pieces of breadflake all that seemed to be around were roach, not big ones either but they decided that their mouths were man enough for bait.

I stuck with it though but after a few hours without a decent fish it was time for the off. What to fish for, where to go ?. Well I've got some maggots so maybe a Gudgeon session with Sam, hopefully they will be biting because I know where some nice ones hold up.


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