Sunday, 20 January 2019

Warwickshire Stour – Buck Fitches and Bog Trotters

Hobbyless and good friend Dave admitted the other day that he often watches off grid survival videos where after building the shelter, making of the fire and cooking of the food keeps him in check like fishing does for me. It may seem a simple concept but it's a brief departure from an otherwise busy life like many of us lead, to one more simple.

One particular channel he was watching the closing scene of the video often ended with the cracking open of a can of beer or swinging a dram overlooking an untouched landscape, for Dave that was heaven, pure heaven.To be fair, if my legs ever gave in, I'm right on that one Dave, sounds right up my street. Now if only VR could advance faster than the Brexit process we'd be on to a winner.

It's sort of hit the buffers a little if you ask me but I'm hoping with 5G just round the corner and the exponential increase in computing power being able to become your own Robinson Crusoe will be achievable at the flick of a switch and the modern day narcissism with it's Instagram and YouTube Millionaires, Photoshoppers and lip filling, buttock lifting, HD browers, gone for ever, well for a couple of hours anyway.

Watch this space, I'm sure it's not that far off (crosses fingers)

Now for those that read my blog must know by now that fishing gives me a much need solitude and vitamin D loading far away from the madding crowd and I'm always up for finding new waters that are suitable for me to achieve that.

As you know I'm a planner for all my sessions and for this one, it started a few days earlier whilst enjoying a nice fire I'd looked at Google earth at a quiet section of the Warwickshire Stour I’ve got access to, that could well be home to some nice fish.

A few clicks later following the meandering course of the river the distance was bang on what I thought it was, yes a gnats nadger under a mile of virgin water to explore (to me anyway) and another small waterway to dangle a piece of bread or a lobworm or two.

I had a reccy here recently at the tail end and just exploring that small section it had character in abundance, my kind of water, so for this session I wanted to explore the upper reaches of the stretch just to see if I could get a bite.

Rivers like this are not likely to throw up fish bigger than what you find in the parts of the Warwickshire Avon I fish, however fish like the Roach which I’ve had some decent ones from the Stour in the past, enjoy these smaller waters just like I do. They can go out their daily business with fewer disturbances and one of the by-products of being more contained is the relative sanctuary and safety that these waters give over their parents.

Now Nic from Avon Angling UK who I’ve fished with on quite a few occasions now shares a similar mind-set as me on the whole when it comes to fishing, a specimen fish is secondary to the solitude and location that fishing these smaller waterways can bring. Waters where luckily a matchman’s trolley daren’t venture and its banks trodden by the select few.

The quality Roach he’s been catching in-particular have been an encouraging sign, and the hard fighting Chub albeit not huge haven’t probably seen a hook hence their spirited fight, what’s not to like, well unless you’re a Troll with nothing better to do of course.

I’d not fished the Stour for a while now so it was out with the 11ft TFG River and Stream rod fitted with a fast taper 2oz glass tip. As per usual with my small water fishing, priming a swim with liquidised bread is worthwhile as it often brings bites quick and as a roving angler with only a short session to fish, it can make or break a session.

Again it was cold but with hardly any wind and a lovely sunrise us anglers become accustomed to it was very nice to be out indeed, the river had a nice green tinge to it but you could see just how low the river is by just how lifeless it is. Some visible flow in a few swims, pedestrian in the main and the odd swim had topping fish but we really need some rain to get the river looking in fine fettle again.

Before I started at more or less the middle of the stretch we've access to I fed five or six swims initially and alternated between worm and bread throughout the short session, With rivers like this I've found if you're not getting bites quick it's best move to find the fish rather than the fish find you.

Talking about bread I thought I'd try the Warburtons special editions Sourdough sliced loaf to see if could rival the Blue, errrrrrr don't bother, not just for fishing, not a very nice colour or texture and to be honest it didn't taste much different either, oh well at least the wrapper looked good.

The first fish came after about the third swim I tried and was a nice small Chub that gave me a bit of a run around....

....and that's how it continued to be honest, lots of small Chub, one particular was a bite a chuck, only little chublets but as least I was getting bites.

The last but one swim there was a predator active because every so often a load of small fish came jumping out the water to try and avoid his clutches.

A lobworm went without hinderance so maybe it was a Pike that was giving them a bit of bother. The peg was noted though if I come here with some deadbaits in the future.

Oddly not one roach showed, but then with the liquidised bread visible a couple of foot down hardly a surprise, they like the bigger fish tend to like a bit of colour in the water to be confident enough to feed. Not a session for big fish then, but plenty of bites and it was nice to see more of the river I'd only seen on Google Earth.

Untouched and left alone basically, a canoeist nightmare, oh well, now wheres that thumbs up emoji !!!!


  1. Nice Mick, that sort of close quarters fishing is right up my street!

  2. A great read and looks like a rewarding little stretch! Reminds me of the middle reaches of the Salwarpe, which I'm still meaning to plunder!

  3. That's sourdough? Looks like polystyrene. Lovely river Mick, that is proper fishing. Regards, TT John

    1. I thought you might comment on it being an expert :), how they had the balls to put it in the market is beyond me, they must have handed out some brown envelopes to the supermarkets I reckon.

  4. Mick, I bought some Warburton's sliced white for bread punch at the beginning of December. Used it, put it in my bait fridge and forgot about it. Found it again ten days or so ago and it was perfect. What! Goodness knows what they put in it for 'shelf-life'. Regards, John


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