Thursday 25 January 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Cotton Ponies and Caricatures

Sunday just gone, the snow came down, that wet stuff that nobody likes, snowmen no chance, cold too, shall we venture out, “Nah !!!” It was a matter of making our own entertainment in the sanctuary of one’s abode, open fire constantly topped up, cockles warm.

With Nerf wars and sniper target practice complete, Lego Marvel a few more levels down, Kerplunk and Jenga with Sam the eventual victor, I wanted some peace.

So out with the drawing pad, the pens and pencils….”Sam get scribbling”

Sam Newey - Age 6
21 days in to dry January, with the Wife just so happened to be riding a very turbulent crimson wave, the noisy kids house bound because of the rubbish weather, it was a testing time over the weekend I tell thee.

Even the bottle of Rum seemed to be talking to me "Open Me, Open Me", my resolve and willpower severely tested.

Luckily I managed to get through relatively unscathed. 

In our overcrowded visual culture, perhaps there’s nothing as basic and uncluttered as a simple stick figure. But don’t let their unfussiness fool you, the saga of the stick figure is rich and diverse, but lets no go in to that now, well unless you want a history lesson.

Now reading some modern blurb on the matter, Sam is what is categorised as Pre-Schematic (4-7 years). Apparently at this stage, children attempt to create things they see with their eyes. They might draw the simplest things, such as faces, stick figures, cars, trucks, trees, and houses. There are usually no realistic details to these drawings. At the end of the stage, they begin adding in certain things that set their ideas apart, such as flowers in front of a house or clothes on the stick figures.

Detailed, careful drawings may reveal a child who feels the need to try very hard. Bold strokes, especially if close together, can be a sign of stress, strong feelings, determination or anger, while softer marks suggest a gentler nature.

The quality of line can also be significant – a figure drawn with light, wavering, broken lines, reveals a hesitant, insecure child who appears to think as he goes along. By contrast the bold, continual, freely drawn line is expressive of self-confidence, and a feeling of security.

When drawing figures, the size, and the relative size of the figures drawn is considered to be significant, with more important or dominant figures being drawn larger. The absence of arms is sometimes interpreted as indicating timidity, a sign of non-aggressive children, whereas exaggerating the size of the hands is seen as symbolic of aggressive tendencies if the figure is a self-portrait. Likewise, tiny feet are seen as a sign of insecurity, literally an unstable foundation..

Now, ideas on a postcard please, because Sam won't elaborate on his sketch for some reason and having tried to read up about it, nothing seemed to fit so I'll have to interpret it for him.

It was a premonition me thinks, fishing in flood water with a red and spicy bait cus it looked like a Chilli, and a turbulent river. I don't need much of an excuse to get riverside these days and this was exactly what I needed.When I've ever fished in this conditions particularly for Barbel I've always done ok to be honest even with Tuesdays blank fresh in my mind.

So red baits it was then, one glugged, spicy meat boilie on it's tod with a paste wrap blanket. The other a flavored frozen and refrozen hair rigged piece of meat and the gripper lead filled with paste for extra attraction.

The deeper gave 7 Degrees when I got to river quite late, so hopefully the barbel will be feeding, a couple of chaps were bankside and they confirmed they had 4 Barbel quite early in the morning and the rods were motionless during the day until I arrived. I decided to fish a peg I'd not fished before, so two rods positioned in an area of slacker water with a nice uniform pace, just off the main flow which was motoring through still.

I find Warwickshire Avon Barbel feed well in the morning and then switch off till just before dusk when conditions are favourable so there was no rush to get the rods in the water. Once settled the rain started to come down and the wind picked up, a mini storm hit for fifteen minutes but luckily it passed.

The right hand meat rod eventually had some interest but the way the bait was being pulled it was a Chub trying its best. Maybe I should reduce the hair and stick with smaller baits to see what sort of Chub I can pick up, but if I'm honest, I don't like catching them on Barbel gear.

I feel like I'm doing them a disservice....

So half an hour before dusk the right hand rod starts to nudge a couple of times, then the tip springs back and then it goes in to a full blown bite only a Barbel can give....A fish is on !!!

It powers off downstream and in to the middle of the strong flow taking line and my heart going ten to the dozen, it feels a good fish and not caught one for a while so forgot how powerful they are. A couple or four more powerful runs  with the rod bent double I eventually feel in control. It's now swam upstream to not far off my net where it rises out the water to surrender.

What a fantastic fight these fit Barbel give. With my arm now aching I've rested in the nest whilst I've sorted the weigh mat, sling and scales out. A pristine fish too, going 8lb 10oz on the scales, a very welcome trip indeed and just goes to show get your timings right and it can work for you like it did for me.

The fish rested again and returned safely the rods went back out for another half an hour to official dusk, sadly no more bites were forthcoming so I headed home with a grin.

Got to love the Barbel as a species, I certainly won't tire of catching them, next season I plan to trot and use more moving baits for them too, especially when it's summer, shallow and the fishing is tough.


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